Tim Pawlenty Has the Courage to Stand Smelly Meat Hooks

Tim Pawlenty Has the Courage to Stand Smelly Meat Hooks
By Jim Geraghty, National Review, December 10, 2010 7:36 A.M.

I wonder if Tim Pawlenty, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee will run across each other on their book tours.

Here’s the first excerpt from Pawlenty’s, Courage to Stand:

     I think I was about twelve when my dad picked up a side job to earn a few bucks one weekend – a side job that required my help.

     It was a hot, sweltering summer day, the kind of day when outside work is the last thing anyone wants to do. But my dad clearly needed me, and I always wanted to lend a hand if I could. I didn’t ask a lot of questions, and he didn’t give me very much information about the task at hand – until we got down to this parking lot beside a warehouse.

     The “side job” included yanking meat hooks from large wooden bins that were stashed in a couple of truck trailers on the lot. Tangled meat hooks that once held whole sides of beef were tossed in those bins, in trucks without Thermo Kings to cool down their trailers. Hundreds of thick, heavy meat hooks, covered with discarded raw remnants of sinew and fat, all rotting in the blistering heat. It was up to my dad and me to pull out every one of those hooks and hang them up – presumably to be power-washed and used again.

     Have you ever opened up an expired or rotting pack of hamburger from the bottom of your refrigerator and given it a big whiff? Yeah. Multiply that times a thousand, and you’ll get the idea. You could smell that rotting meat as soon as we opened the doors of those trailers.  Then, when we hopped up there, we could hear the buzzing. My dad reached in and grabbed the first hook, and I held my breath and leaned in through a swarm of flies to grab mine – and I lost it. I tossed my cookies next to one of the bins, only adding to the mess and the stench.

     My dad didn’t say much to me. I looked up at him, hoping for an out. He isn’t really gonna make me keep doing this, is he? My dad’s face was steady. He wasn’t having an easy go of it either. But he looked at me and said quietly, “We have to do this.”

     It was all he needed to say.

I think every aspiring president should begin their memoir with an anecdote about vomiting.