Last Friday, I was invited by my PR assistant Remy to attend a coffee shop meeting she hosts at The Brew in downtown Raleigh. I came in full Mark Twain mode. It was very well attended and nobody seemed put off by having Mark Twain sitting with them. They seemed to take it in stride.
After about an hour of chit-chat, I decided to channel Mr.Twain on the issue of fracking. He would have gone on the offensive without a thought about who he might be offending and that’s just what I did. As Twain wrote in an essay, “The humorous story is told gravely; the teller does his best to conceal the fact that he even dimly suspects that there is anything funny about it”. The story will not have a punch-line as we use that term today.
As I began my defense of fracking, I presented it as a way to solve serious problems facing our state and our country. First, by introducing dangerous chemicals into our water, we will lower the life expectancy of the residents of North Carolina. I then argue that this will lower costs of social programs like Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. The toxic water would be delivered to nursing homes, encouraging the seniors to drink as much of it as possible. This argument confused some, shocked others and was hilarious to the rest. Every listener chose what he wanted to hear and how to interprete my argument.
Everyone seemed entertained in his or her own way. This was a Mark Twain “inspired” way to present the most outrageous opinion without even blushing. When I left, I went to the courthouse and stood on the steps speaking to anyone who stopped to chat. At this point, I have appeared in public as Mark Twain and given his speeches enough times that it seems natural to rant and rave in that persona. I find that people are tired of political correctness and enjoy the opining of perhaps the most politically incorrect speaker of all time. Watch for many more Mark Twain sightings and soundings all over North Carolina!