News+Opinion » Chris Haire

If Henry McMaster is above the law, so am I

Going Rogue

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I'm sure you've all heard about the impending release of Sarah Palin's memoir, Going Rogue: An American Life. It's the must-read stump speech of the season and a guaranteed best-seller among hockey moms, pit bull owners, and fifth columnists. And while there's been some chatter about the cover, I must say that it left me feeling a little meh. I hope the centerfold's better.

But in the midst of all of this talk about Palin's memoir, news about another equally noteworthy memoir has been drowned out. And that's a shame, because that memoir is about me. It's called Going to Ralph: A Life Spent Disgusted By My Fellow Man. And like any good memoir, it starts at the most pivotal moment of my life — the one instance that shaped me far more than any other — my birth. It's a moment that I recount with startling clarity in the first few pages:

"The air was thick with the smell of sweat, smoke, and patchouli, and a most frightening sound filled my ears. It was the sound of a guitar solo, a long, meandering mess that bore an unfortunate resemblance to the steady, but staggered drip of a leaky faucet. And yet the people danced — each in their own hobbled, epileptic way. Were these people or frogs in their final death spasms, I asked? My father held me aloft, as my mother lay there in the mud still gasping for breath, the toil of childbirth evident in each exhalation. I looked at the swirls of color all around me and the twirling, stumbling unwashed mass of humanity. It was madness. If this is what peace, love, and harmony looked like, I thought, then I wanted no part of it. And then some asshole mistook me for a beach ball. I never saw my parents again."

Good stuff, right?

Well, here's the thing: I didn't write it.

See, I'm a busy man, and quite honestly, I don't have time to write a memoir, no matter how much the masses demand it. Which is why it's only proper to thank the true author of that particular passage, City Paper intern Rowan Morrison. As promised, I will give her above-average marks on her evaluation. The same goes to the other two interns who assisted in the writing of Going to Ralph. I may even call their respective instructors and encourage each one of them to hand out As. They deserve it.

Now, I know that my actions may strike some of you as wrong — that I would strike a deal with our interns whereby they would write my memoir in exchange for positive evaluations — but I assure you, it's not. There is a precedent here, and it's one that was set by no one less than the topmost legal expert in the state, Attorney General Henry McMaster.

Recently, it came to light that McMaster, who is also running for governor and was once a member of an all-white country club, accepted campaign donations from lawyers he had hired to represent the state in a case against a drug manufacturer. Although at least one State Ethics Commission investigator said that state law forbids such behavior — and the law seems to indicate as much — McMaster disagrees. And for several days after the news about the donations became public, the AG refused to return the donations. But after The Wall Street Journal ran an editorial condemning the apparent pay-to-play scheme, McMaster announced he would return the donations — but he continued to insist he committed no wrong.

And neither have I.

But I am worried that some might perceive it that way. So I have decided that I will not give the interns who worked on my memoir positive marks on their evaluations. In fact, I will notify their professors that they engaged in seemingly unethical behavior.

As for the book, you can expect it to hit store shelves any day now.

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