"Hello, you've reached the Christie residence. This is Governor Chris Christie. Nobody is home right now but please leave a message and we'll call you back."
"Uh, Governor Christie? This is the Father's Day/Mother's Day Council calling. We're the organization that honored you as a 'Father of the Year' on June 4 in New York City. You remember that day, right? Well, this is difficult, but we have found a more deserving recipient. At your earliest convenience, please FedEx your award to Arkansas and address it to 'State Capitol: Attention Mike Beebe."
"We know, you're probably thinking, 'Arkansas? The state that gave us Wal-Mart and the World Championship Duck Calling Contest?' The state whose lowest point is either near the Ouachita River or the Clinton/Lewinsky affair, depending on who you ask? Correct on all fronts. But it's also home to Beebe, the outgoing governor who recently blew the lid off fatherly love through a promise he plans to deliver before leaving office in January.
Pardoning his 34-year-old son Kyle."
"You see, in 2003, Kyle was convicted of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. That's a felony -- far more serious than 'possession of a roach with intent to catch a buzz down by the riverbank.' Kyle got three years' probation which would normally look pretty nasty on a background check. But it will no longer pop up once Beebe dips his pardoning pen into the official state inkwell."
"Governor Christie, please try to contain your disappointment. We know you're a good dad to your four kids and you certainly meet the requirements listed on our website: 'Dedicated to family, citizenship, charity, civility, responsibility and reverence.' That being said, how can we overlook a father who absolves his son of criminal behavior? Talk about scoring family, charity and reverence points! And Thanksgiving dinner at the Beebe household is bound to be more civil this year now that Dad can say, 'Pass the biscuits,' comfortable in the fact that they are not being handed to him by a family member with a convicted criminal."
"We also feel Beebe is a responsible dad. Yes, we live in an age where parents think nothing of buying alcohol for their underage teens' prom parties, writing their college application essays and even accompanying them on job interviews. But Beebe didn't just blindly bestow this gift of a clean slate on Kyle just because he's the governor. He made his son show some self-initiative.
Kyle had to ask first."
"'Mr. Governor, I am asking for a second chance at life. I am asking for a second chance to be the man that I know that I can be,' Kyle Beebe wrote in his pardon application."
"Brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it?"
"To be fair, Beebe recommended pardons for others with similar drug offenses -- nine to be exact. And he said he was 'embarrassed' by his son's behavior. That qualifies as tough love in the current age of parenting."
"Governor Christie, we want you to know that we're also contacting the other 2014 'Father of the Year' recipients. Bloomingdale's CEO Tony Spring, former New York Jets running back Curtis Martin, women's fashion magnate Vince Camuto and medical device executive Robert Reid will be instructed to send their awards to Beebe as well. As with yours, their fatherly accomplishments are many, but what's more impressive? Doing what Curtis Martin did after he hung up his cleats? Starting a job foundation that benefits single mothers, disabled individuals and those in need of better education and housing? Or forgiving your son for running a convenience store of pot?"
"Don't feel bad, sir. As long as you hold a powerful position, there should be plenty of chances for you to recoup the award. Surely you remember the George Washington Bridge debacle? You claimed to know nothing about the traffic nightmare your staff created. Next time, just face the cameras and say, 'Yeah, I caused it. My son had an important Little League game that day. Guess which bridge the opposing team used to get to the game? A forfeit's the same as a win, right?'"
That would be parenting Beebe-style.
(c) 2014 GREG SCHWEM. DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC