The award-winning Asheville Disclaimer recently caught up with a local man who perhaps is best known for constantly receiving praise and pandering from politicians on both sides of the aisle, as well as being frequently name-checked in the media by pundits who otherwise are content to allow this individual to fade into obscurity. Stranger still, these same politicos and pollsters boldly speak of Joe Six-Pack’s fears and desires, claiming that Mr. Six-Pack is sick of politicos and pollsters while somehow excluding themselves from his projected blue-collar cone of malice.
Joseph Six-Pack descends from a long line of Packs, and an even longer line of Eights. (Many Eights pragmatically changed the spelling of their names to the more American “Six” upon arriving in the United States in the 19th century from the Old Country, where “Eight” was spelled “douche.”)
The consummate everyman, Joe, as he is known by his fawning admirers in Washington, New York and in dope-smoke-enshrouded Ivory Towers across this great nation, grew up in a nearby working-class neighborhood where he and other local urchins played stickball, because their laid-off fathers could not afford real baseball equipment.
On the walls of his room growing up hung three posters: one of Joe DiMaggio, one of a large socket wrench, and one poster of an American flag mid-flap, with the word “freedom” in italic Helvetica with shadow outline superimposed along the bottom three stripes.
Joe took nothing but welding classes in high school, before dropping out and going through a troubled white-T-shirt phase. He met a local gal down at the bowling alley, and knocked her up at the bowling alley. Frightened of God, because Joe was God-fearing, when Joe needed advice, he wisely did not mention the matter to God, but instead turned to his friend Tommy, who used to work on the docks and was down on his luck and was living on a prayer. (Later in life, Tommy turned his life around and landed a pretty sweet gig as a drum tech for Bon Jovi, before successfully suing the band for song-writing royalties and slander six months later.)
“Marry that girl,” Joe’s friend advised him, “because it’s the right thing to do and also because the villagers will tar and feather you if you don’t. Also, somebody needs to tell her to stop bowling pregnant.”
So Joe Six-Pack got married and got a job at the Skyland Budweiser distributorship, first as a lowly delivery driver, and later as an Account Distribution Specialist in Charge of Driving. Joe had more kids. On weekends, he still bowled. Older and wiser, he no longer knocked up shoe-rental girls between the Galaga game and the wall.
It was, by any measure, a pretty humble and simple life.
Mr. Six-Pack was as surprised as anyone when Ronald Reagan launched a national analytical obsession with the trivialities of Joe’s life by stating, during a televised address to the nation, that Joe Six-Pack, of all people, supported Reagan’s policies and that Reagan’s policies supported Joe Six-Pack.
Stunned, Joe stared in silence at the black-and-white television in the corner of the Burger Bar for several minutes.
Up until then, Joe had been a Geraldine Ferraro kind of guy.
Still to come: Joe’s shocking interview in which he admits to sitting and talking at the kitchen table with his wife about his fears of how the troubled economy will affect regular schmoes like him, but only as a way of deflecting her questions about nano-technology.
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