There is an imaginary test for humanity: if you don’t smile at this picture of Joe Biden, you are not alive. At least, you are not a being with human emotions. You might be a robot or an alien or a bag of tape recorders, but human you are probably not. All of which is to say, politics aside, that Joe Biden seems like a likable person—always smiling, generally bumbling, often cursing.
Which is to also say that, politics aside, Joe Biden doesn’t matter. Politics aside, Joe Biden doesn’t exist as a person whose picture with a biker-woman on his lap, flanked by two shocked/aghast/etc. biker-men, means anything outside of “why is this guy hanging out with these people?” Putting politics aside when considering Joe Biden is maybe kind of foolish, but that’s also exactly what we’re about to do.
So, forget about that time the VP lifted quotes for a presidential-campaign speech, ignore the role he played in ramping up the Drug War, disregard anything he’s said about chains or gazelles or “big fucking deals,” and just focus on Joe Biden, the active human being.
The vice president has never, it seems, gone on record about his exercising exploits—unlike his Republican counterpart who actually just told a pile of dirty tube socks that he did 50 pushups before he ate breakfast (egg whites, lean pheasant bacon)—but aides and staff members have said that he maintains a consistent regimen of biking, running, and weight-lifting.
But what about when he was younger?
“As much as I lacked confidence in my ability to communicate verbally, I always had confidence in my athletic ability. Sports was as natural to me as speaking was unnatural. And sports turned out to be my ticket to acceptance—and more. I wasn’t easily intimidated in a game, so even when I stuttered, I was always the kid who said, ‘Give me the ball.’”
Biden? Lacking confidence to communicate verbally?
“A lot of people thought they called me Dash because of football. I was fast, and I scored my share of touchdowns. But the guys at an all-boys Catholic school usually didn’t give you nicknames to make you feel better about yourself. They didn’t call me Dash because of what I could do on the football field; they called me Dash because of what I could not do in the classroom. I talked like Morse code. Dot-dot-dot-dot-dash-dash-dash-dash.”
Did he play any basketball?
“Obama played basketball. I played football.”
OK, what position?
“I was a running back. Half the time my nose was in that grass.”
So, he wasn’t very good, then?
“I was the leading scorer on our undefeated and untied football team my senior year, and I didn’t lack for confidence on the field. I still wanted the ball.”
Oh, wow. I didn’t know “leading scorer” was a football term, but still.
“Like a lot of teenagers, I had a pair of outlandish Walter Mitty-esque daydreams that filled my head in high school. One was to play professional football.”
But that was just a dream. He’s Veep now, so that must’ve stopped when he went to college?
“I started my first year of college a little too interested in football and meeting new girls. There were a lot of new girls to meet.”
Hmm, I wonder if he was any opinion regarding cheerleaders?
“Guess what, the cheerleaders in college are the best athletes in college. You think, I’m joking. They’re almost all gymnasts. The stuff they do on hard wood, it blows my mind.”
OK, well the football dream ended at some point? I mean, the dude’s second in line to be POTUS at this exact moment.
“I’m vice president, and let me tell you, I’d trade it all to go back and play my senior year again.”
Wow, I wonder what does he does for fun?
“My idea of Saturday fun was to jump in the Corvette with Neilia (his first wife) and drive around the Wilmington area scouting open houses, houses for sale, land where we could build.”
A corvette? I wonder if he’s seen those Onion stories about him?
“I saw the one of me washing a Trans Am automobile in a driveway, shirtless and with tattoos all over myself. By the way, I have a ’67 Corvette and not a Trans Am.”