Yo. Pretty boy. Are you a brilliant, promising, middle-aged but incredibly boyish-
looking politician who needs to spend time with his hot new cookie, but can’t
afford to let go of the Mrs. just yet? Join the club! That’s the Appalachian Affairs
Association Club, the Triple A. You didn’t even know about it? Where have you
You probably read about former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, who
announced recently that he’s now engaged to marry his Argentine girlfriend,
Maria Belen Chapur. Three years ago, when he was still governor and was still
married, he admitted that he was visiting the girlfriend in Argentina at the same
time that his aides were telling the press and the public that the governor was
not available because he was hiking on the Appalachian Trail. What a buzzkill.
Sure, he gets to keep the cookie, but he loses his entire career and he has to pay
for a bitch of a divorce. What kind of free ride is that?
What you need is a place for you and the cookie where no cell phone tower can
find you. And brother, the Appalachian Trail is perfect. Hundreds of miles of
muddy, rocky footing with all the ticks, poison oak, and ill-mannered bears you
can possibly need.
What’s that you say? You don’t really want to go there? You had a different kind
of birds and bees in mind? Not to worry. You’re not coming within a thousand
miles of this place. Just tell all your trusted aides, your trusted assistants,
and your not so trusted not-such-a-babe-anymore wife that you’re hiking the
Appalachian Trail for five days. And for a small, non-refundable fee of $25,000,
we’ll back you up. Just give us the money and we will totally lie our asses off for
After a hundred years of grueling, penny-ante fundraising, we, the Appalachian
Trail Conservancy, have finally hit on a sure-fire way to raise gobs of money
without doing a stitch of work. Join the Appalachian Affairs Association for
$100,000 a year, plus $25,000 per clandestine trip, and here’s what you’ll get:
1. Picture postcards to your wife and to your office, in your handwriting,
mailed from every ranger station between Maine and Georgia.
2. Digital snapshots of every non-descript waterfall, gorge, and swamp on
the trail with your face photo-shopped in, with a time and date stamp.
3. On your way home from your new hot cookie, we’ll inject you with a mild,
but unmistakable strain of lyme disease. And we’ll give you an irrefutable
doctor’s note swearing that it’s lyme, not chlamydia.
Have a lark like Mark and join Triple A today!