The Case of the Sweaty Solon

(Monte Dutton sketch)
(Monte Dutton sketch)

I try to learn something, even while I am watching TV, where it is difficult.

Last week I was working, just as I am now, while the House Committee on Damning the Democrats was in session, and I found something in its chairman, Trey Gowdy, with which I could relate.

Every time I play my guitar and sing in front of people, everyone thinks I’m relaxed, but my hair gives me away. It sweats. It’s not really nervousness. It’s adrenaline rush. Smiling and ad-libbing are a great way to draw attention away from the chords being fumbled and skipped.

Slow down. Slow the hell down. The hell you doing?

By Monte Dutton
By Monte Dutton

As I half-watched the proceedings, and Hillary Clinton seemed gradually to morph into Margaret Thatcher, I noticed that Chairman Gowdy’s face turned pinker and pinker, and sweat popped out. He would have looked natural had he been sitting in a sauna with terry-cloth robes wrapped around him.

Yet sweat doesn’t pop out on my face when I’m singing. It collects in my hair. Recently I cut it short — my hair grows wild until I have occasion to go to a church, or funeral home, or some other place where I feel an odd urge to be more presentable — and it helped. My hair was still wet, but it didn’t look like I was just getting out of the shower. When it gets long, it sometimes creates a gurgling flow down my back, which, in fairness, can be invigorating.

What was the deal with Trey Gowdy’s face?

And who was this Sidney Rosenthal?

Through eleven hours, I learned more about Mr. Rosenthal than many distant family members, but I had to think the sweaty-face thing through.

Gowdy is a strange-looking sort. He’s righteously indignant. I could see him addressing sweet peas in the same vein as the former Secretary of State.

“Why would they serve you so often? I mean, you’re just peas. Why would this family succumb to peas far more often than, say, meat loaf? What? Are they going veggie? Have you persuaded them to give up meat?”

Gowdy’s silver hair is short on the sides and comes to a point above his forehead. Whatever keeps it in place is a powerful substance, something that shampoo might take a while to penetrate, and, so, somehow, I have concluded that sweat can neither penetrate it or get out. That’s why the perspiration pops out on the Honorable Congressman’s face.

I suppose he could be an extraterrestrial, but I’ve watched too much sci-fi lately.

The hearings also reminded me of an early, oh, reality show from my youth, Divorce Court, with Judge Voltaire Perkins. The lawyers in Judge Perkins’ court were forever making a statement, then screaming the opposite in the form of a question. It was a pattern I was sophisticated enough to notice at age eight.

“You say, Mrs. Beathard, that you are an excellent mother, that you dote on your children and husband, but isn’t it true, Mrs. Beathard, that you are secretly a woman of the streets who openly associates with known gamblers?”

For some reason, Mrs. Beathard (or Smith, or Lilienthal) would then lose her wits, scream that she was indeed a conniving harlot, start crying, and admit to killing her brother-in-law to hide their affair.

Perry Mason used this method a lot, too.

Judge Voltaire Perkins and Mason didn’t sweat, though, and that is the difference between fiction and reality.


              My next novel, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, is now featured on the KindleScout web site, where you can sample it, and, if you like, nominate it for publication.

              Of course, my third novel, Crazy of Natural Causes, has only been out for a little over three months, and its sales have peaked. It will only be on sale at $1.99 for a few more days, after which a download will set you back $3.49.



One thought on “The Case of the Sweaty Solon

  1. Quoting your eloquence, “I suppose he could be an extraterrestrial, but I’ve watched too much sci-fi lately.” I too have noticed a lot of freaky changes come over our lawmakers, and other people with influence. their eyes are getting darker, their tummy is bulging, and they are speaking so much drivel I can’t understand how they have the thought capacity to drive much less “?lead?” or worse pass laws.

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