The EFM Feature

When I was growing up in Paris, Tennessee, public radio was my main source of news. None of my friends were necessarily interested in government or politics, so I’d curl up by myself and my radio and dream of what was going on in faraway places.
Once, when I was in high school, I had the chance to go London on a chorus trip. it was the first time I ever flew, and I was intoxicated at being there. As our group was walking to the Hard Rock Cafe, I noticed some officers standing outside a restaurant.
“What’s going on?” I asked.
“John Major is having lunch,” they replied.
My friends’ eyes got big. “Johnny Majors is in there?” Of course they were referring to Tennessee’s football coach, not Britain’s Prime Minister.
When they realized it was John and not Johnny, they carried on to Hard Rock.
I stubbornly sat right outside the restaurant, hoping to get a glimpse of the Prime Minister and feeling quite smug at my own political awareness.
While my friends ignorantly munched on cheeseburgers a few blocks away, I figured I was as close as I’d ever get to someone so influential in my life. I wouldn’t budge. After about an hour, dignitaries started coming out the door, so I raised my camera to my face and inadvertently uttered, something I’d later regret:
“Which one’s John Major?”
Since I got most of my news from public radio, I never had actually seen the Prime Minister and had no idea who he was. I was so surprised at my own stupidity that I asked my rhetorical question a bit too loudly. In fact, so loudly that the British Prime Minister stopped, looked straight at me, and laughed. As did the guards who were a little annoyed that I approached them in the first place.
If I could’ve done anything to disappear at that moment, I would’ve. But the Prime Minister was so amused by the question, he turned to me, pointed to his chest, and allowed the red faced sixteen year old American to take his picture.
How does that relate to the ’08 race? Stay tuned for Part 2. By the way, this is John Major:


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