Rev.Al-ations about our missing speaker

Daniel Pike

Hope everyone enjoyed the Rev. Al Sharpton’s Tuesday night lecture, titled “Where’s wALdo?: How a Presidential Longshot Ensures Failure in His Bid for the Democratic Nomination.”

Mere moments after Tuesday’s Heralds were stacked in campus newsstands — featuring, predictably, an editorial praising the timely visit from a civil rights dignitary — Western was notified that Sharpton was instead destined to a forgotten engagement in Washington state.

It was an honest mistake. Undoubtedly, a glob of hair care product rolled from Sharpton’s magnificent coiffure and splattered across the word “Washington” in the antiquated ship’s log within which his public appearances are apparently recorded.

The “W” and “N” were spared from the oily wash, however. When Sharpton agreed to the Western gig, his handlers inked their quills and angled open the yellowed tome, only to spot the still-unsmudged letters. The Western booking, they understandably assumed, had already been scribbled down.

The oversight was discovered late Monday night, as Sharpton marveled at his not-quite-star-making cameo in the vomitous Adam Sandler vehicle “Mr. Deeds.”

That movie, Sharpton recalled, was a remake of the 1936 film by Frank Capra, who also directed “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.”

Which is exactly what Sharpton did, remembering that while Mr. Smith went to the Washington on the right-hand side (D.C., that is), Mr. Sharpton was expected in the left-hand one.


Then again, a rumor I’m starting right now suggests that Sharpton did make it to Bowling Green late Tuesday afternoon. Problem was, he inadvertently adhered to Western’s Sun Belt Tournament parking plan.

Sharpton embarked on a grueling trek from wherever in southeastern Warren County non-tournament arrivals are expected to park. After traversing frozen earth and slicing through razor-sharp winds, a weary but triumphant Sharpton ascended the Downing University Center steps 20 minutes ago.

There, a freshman eyed Sharpton’s hair, mistook the icy visitor for Benjamin Franklin and asked for an autograph.

It’s OK for Western to feel exploited and taken advantage of after Sharpton’s slight.

That’s why he should immediately plunge to the bottom of the list of famous Als to be considered for future campus appearances.

Sharpton’s been drilled by Al from “Home Improvement.” He’s staring at singer Al B. Sure’s B-hind. He’s throwing BP to Al Kaline. He lacks the charge of an alkaline battery. He’s buried deeper than Al Capone. He’s playing second fiddle to “Weird” Al Yankovic’s accordion.

Western should sooner hire wild boars to fill vacant faculty positions than invite Sharpton back to campus. Government department head Saundra Ardrey deserves plaudits for securing a commitment, but why give Sharpton a break for blowing us off?

The point is moot anyhow. Sharpton’s bailout won’t hinder his presidential campaign any more than his controversial opinions, his connections to folks such as the clearly insane Don King or jokes about his gnarly cut.

And is Western that worse off for not having heard Sharpton speak? He certainly would have sparked engaging discussions, but so would watching three albino squirrels juggle acorns while pedaling unicycles.

Besides, should we ever need a Sharpton fix, we can always rent “Mr. Deeds.”

Daniel Pike is a junior print journalism major from Glasgow. The opinions expressed in this commentary are only those of the writer, not of the Herald or Western Kentucky University.