Mitt Romney is your Clark Griswold.

I don’t think my family believed in family vacation. We took one or two and then gave up and now, occasionally, I go on a camping trip with my in-laws and brave public showers in the name of family togetherness and we have fun, but probably because we’re all adults and too old to care that that we’re sharing the backseat with someone else and we could walk off into the woods looking for a safe place to pee and never return and we’re willingly foregoing indoor plumbing and basic human comfort in order to experience things we could easily have seen on an HD documentary.

If we were kids, we would have made the misery of our parents a top priority until they were three olives short of a martini. Because there is no complete family vacation without a nervous breakdown.

So, back in 1981, when Mitt Romney was still in his hotheaded youth, wearing ties and short sleeve shirts without collars and running around America making trouble for himself, he took his family on a summer trip out to a lake in Boston for a boat trip. And like all good family vacations scripted around Chevy Chase, Mitt Romney somehow translated the excursion into a criminal record.

As Romney prepared to put his family boat into the water, a park officer told Romney not to launch because his license appeared to have been painted over. The officer told Romney if he put his boat into the water he would face a $50 fine. Romney felt that his license was still visible and decided to ignore the order from the officer and pay the fine.

“I figured I was at the state park with my kids. My five kids were in the car wondering why we weren’t going out in the boat, so I said I’d launch and pay the fine,” Romney said in 1994.

Romney said the office didn’t tell him not to launch his boat, just that he would face a fine for doing so.

“I was willing to pay the fine. But if he had said don’t launch the boat and not mentioned the fine, I would not have done it,” Romney said.

After Romney put the family put into the water, the office reappeared visibly angry and arrested Romney for disorderly conduct. Romney was handcuffed on the scene, taken to the local police station, and booked.

He was booked. Dripping wet. In his bathing suit. Which is pure awesomeness. I bet this story gets told at every barbecue and family reunion. And I bet it gets better with age. Because now that you know Mitt Romney, you can just picture him standing there, turning purple while he makes a puddle on the floor of a country police station.

Eventually, he was let go (no bail) and when he showed up at the courthouse ready to sue the office for false arrest, the city dropped the charges, because, hey, he was willing to pay the fine and, unlike our fair President, its not like he smoked crack or wrote bad poetry or accidentally flashed his commune when his sarong slipped off or anything. He was a p*ssed off dad on a family vacation who picked a fight with a police officer, likely rather than pulling the limbs off one of his smaller children.

Obviously Buzzfeed thinks this is horrific, but this actually kind of makes Mitt Romney look more like someone you care to know because he’s basically your dad. Sure your dad didn’t get arrested trying to put a boat in the water in Boston, but he totally put his foot through the ceiling of your grandma’s house or accidentally weed-whacked your cousin. Even the dog-on-the-roof thing. The dog had eaten a whole f***ing turkey. What was he supposed to do, let it sh*t in the trunk? Everyone’s had that asshole in the car who, despite a college education, didn’t fully understand the mechanics of tequila and vomited all over your back seat. That smell never comes out. Think if Barack Obama was your dad. Instead of getting himself arrested in a road trip incidennt a la National Lampoon, you’d probably spend your entire Spring Break reading Kafka and writing letters to Bill Ayers, critiquing the economic failings of Milton Friedman.

At least Mitt Romney would let you do it in a national park. And not because he felt obligated to use taxpayers’ money to look interested in the way Americans live on a budget.

  1. Anthony Bialy

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