Seems like every year, Halloween sneaks up on some of us, and we have to rush out to the drug store for bite-sized candy bars to hand over to the Halloweening hordes.
Often, all that’s left is off-brand candy corn and Zag Nuts.
This year, it appeared that the holiday had snuck up on us even earlier, as a cloud descended upon the state and ominous music was heard off screen.
Alas, the horror we thought we were facing came not from ghosts and goblins and Barbie-attired tykes fiending for Ferrero Rocher Truffles, but from Blount Street.
That’s where Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson resides and from where he emerged to assume the role of acting governor.
With the real governor, Roy Cooper, in Japan on a trade mission, Robinson by constitutional edict ascended to the role of acting governor: it’s a ceremonial ascension, but he moved with alacrity to ensure that everyone knew he was now the state’s Big Cheese.
One of the first things he did was announce a “special event.”
Now, if that doesn’t put a fright in you, nothing else this Halloween season will.
Alas, the special event was merely a press conference, a chance for Robinson to stand behind the governor’s podium and distinguish himself from his fellow GOP candidates for the position. He unilaterally declared Thursday a statewide day of prayer for Israel and the week “North Carolina Solidarity With Israel” Week.
That purely ceremonial declaration would carry more weight had Robinson not previously called the holocaust “hogwash,” as state attorney general John Stein’s campaign was quick to note.
He is already the presumed frontrunner among Republican candidates to succeed Cooper, and he no doubt figures that play acting as governor can’t hurt his chances for election - unless he does something out of character.
Like display some humanity.
Or forgo a chance to bash gays.
If you’ve been paying attention to some of his previous pronouncements, you know there’s no telling what that special event could’ve been, though.
Would the aggressively anti-LGBTQ Lt. Governor mandate that every gay male in the state undergo conversion therapy by watching eight ACC football games at the same time while guzzling brews, eating chopped barbecue and puffing Pall Malls?
Or would he mandate that gay females have to sit through Thelma & Louise and oooh and ahhh over a shirtless Brad Pitt?
Or would Gov. Robinson just go Full Monty and ban rainbows - from flags, businesses, front porches and the sky?
Those of us with long memories – and access to the internet – no doubt wondered if Robinson would top the horror he unleashed last Halloween.
Remember when Robinson somehow decided that posting a meme ridiculing and questioning the hammer attack on Nancy Pelosi’s 82-year-old husband was the height of hilarity and political discourse?
No, I’m not going to describe the meme, because there is nothing amusing or humorous about an 82-year-old man being beaten about the head with a hammer because you disagree with his wife’s political stances.
It's easy enough to find, but for your own spirit, don't bother.
The likelihood of me being elected governor or anything else is remote – I received 14 votes during my lone run for office, Rockingham’s city council four decades ago – but hey, a man can dream, can’t he?
Me? Were I Governor for even a day, I’d go a step further than what even a presumed Robinson governorship would look like. (I’m imagining he’d require every public school child to pledge everlasting fealty to former president Trump and then recite the Pledge of Allegiance with red MAGA hat placed firmly over their heart.
Under my administration, every school day would begin with students doing five minutes of the Funky Chicken.
Constitutional guardrails exist to ensure that a rogue lieutenant governor can only wreak so much havoc when the governor is out of the country, but how can we ensure that there is no Nightmare on Blount Street Part II if, say, Gov. Cooper leaves the country and all of the telephone and internet service in the world goes down simultaneously and carrier pigeons lose their sense of direction so he can’t govern from afar?
Other than changing the constitution, we could just plead with Cooper to take Robinson with him.