|ConstantCommentary® Vol. XV, No. 199, June 22,
As a matter of fact, I do know Jim Moore
Jim sends me a message via Facebook. “We should meet for a beer, dude.” He’s right. It’s time. I message him from work, and he messages back telling me to meet him at Sam’s Boat in north Austin at 6 p.m.
Jim Moore hails from Flint, Michigan, the same place liberal gadfly Michael Moore came from, and although they’re not related and have never met, their dads did work at the same factory. Jim graduated high school in Flint, and went to Michigan State where he majored in communications and met the girl who would soon become his wife, Mary Lou.
I get to Sam’s Boat before Jim does and grab a booth. He walks in a few minutes later and we chat a bit, catching up on our lives. Seemingly out of nowhere he asks, “You’ve gained a little weight, haven’t you?”
After college graduation, Jim climbed on his motorcycle and headed out to find America. Even more importantly, he headed out to find a job in America. It wasn’t easy. A station manager in North Platte, Nebraska, told him, “You might as well quit now, boy, because nobody like you will ever make it in broadcasting.” But he found several jobs in both radio and TV, and even served as a news bureau chief in Denver, Colorado. To this day, he still appears on CNN and MSNBC as a political analyst.
Jim and I order beers and he continues. “Seriously, dude, you’ve gotten real fat. You gained back all the weight you lost plus a little more. Man, you’re fat. That’s not even the right word. Tubby? Porcine? County-fair ready? Holy hell, you’re incredibly fat, man.”
Of course, Jim’s real claim to fame was his turn as a NY Times best-selling author. He and writing partner Wayne Slater wrote “Bush’s Brain,” an exposé of Karl Rove’s role in the George Bush candidacy. The book was eventually turned into a movie and Jim attended the premiere of the film in a limousine and given the red-carpet treatment.
Now Jim climbs on top of the table. “May I have your attention, please? Got a fat man here. Right there. No, no, don’t try to hide under the table, you’ll never fit. I believe this man to be the fattest guy in the room, possibly the fattest man in Central Texas. Sure, he’s not Houston fat, but he’s plenty fat all right. If this bar’s got a tug-o-war team, I suggest you sign him up immediately. Sam's Boat found its anchor!”
The success of Bush’s Brain led to a second book about Karl Rove called “The Architect.” Although it didn’t sell as well as the first book, it received high critical praise. As of this writing, Jim Moore continues to publish books, both non-fiction and fiction, and has a new book deal in the offing.
Jim continues to mock me and I wonder: Where in the hell did he get a megaphone? And why is he still standing on the table, waving his arms in the air like he just doesn’t care? And why is everybody singing along with him? “All we are saying … is this dude is fat — one more time, everybody, louder with feeling — all we are saying, is this dude is fat …”
Who can predict life? A few years ago Jim and I played ball together on the Padres baseball team in a 50-year-old-and-over hardball league. Since then, we’ve hung out from time to time to discuss literature, sports, art, politics, high-tech horizons and the past that’s so quickly slipped away — all while sipping pints of locally-crafted beer in cool dark hideouts safely removed from the blinding heat of the great consolation prize called Austin, Texas.
How can so many people fit on one table? And why does Jim continue to lead them in song? “For he’s a jolly fat fellow, for he’s a jolly fat fellow, for he’s a jolly fat felloooooow … that nobody can deny. Is fat.”
Yep. I’m friends with legendary author James C. Moore all right. Lucky me.
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Mike Jasper is a writer and musician living in Austin, Texas.
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, he claims strong ties to Seattle, St. Petersburg, Florida and North Platte, Nebraska.
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