Vocabulary Building

“Well, he’s got charisma.”

“Charisma doesn’t make a good president.”

“No, but that goddamned, blacklisting bastard?”


“What’s charisma?”

“Charm, attraction, hell. Dammit, Helen! Kennedy could win just because he’s pretty. Goddamned Madison Avenue.”

I was sitting in an olive-drab barrel chair in front of the most boring TV show I’d ever been forced to watch.

“Watch, MAK. It’s the first time the presidential candidates have debated on TV.”

How would I know THAT? I hadn’t existed before TV. What was the big deal. There hadn’t even been a WORLD before me. I loved my dad, though, so I shrugged my little kid shoulders and took my place in this very uncomfortable chair, about which my mom said, “Year, no wonder your mom didn’t want them. You can’t SIT in them.” Our living room was decorated in my grandparent’s castoffs, but THAT’S another story, kind of funny one, though.

So these two men in suits sat yammering on stage. In the next debate they would stand and the TV “room” in which they debated would be a lot more elegant. I’d be compelled to watch that one, too. To me it didn’t look that different from the $64,000 Question.

“I do believe Kennedy is wearing makeup.”

“They always put makeup on people on TV.”

“Look at Nixon sweat.”

Try as I might, I didn’t see sweat. The screen was only a little over a foot across and the heads of the little people on the screen were barely an inch in diameter. I needed a new glasses prescription.

“Bill, do you think he can win?”

“I don’t know. I’ve held my nose and voted Democrat before.”

“Oh Bill, you wouldn’t!”

By the second debate, Nixon wore makeup, too.