Fired up by Sarah Palin’s bestseller, Going Rogue, a grassroots movement appears to be taking root, one that embraces Ms. Palin’s style, her way of speaking, and her insistence on being an individual.
“We’re selling a complete rogue package for the holiday season,” says Lou Hoggert, manager of merchandizing for Wal-Mart. “For $26.99, you get Sarah’s book, a flag pin, and a stuffed pig wearing lipstick.”
When reminded that the “lipstick on a pig” line was originally meant as an attack on Ms. Palin, Hoggert nodded. “Exactly! It’s like, I’m rubber; you’re glue. You can’t demoralize a rogue, defeat a rogue, or force a rogue to engage in self-analysis or reflection. Thinking too much? That’s elitist and anti-rogue. The pig represents all that.”
Evidence of the nation’s willingness to go rogue abounds. When asked how it was that the 57 local she was driving, whose route circles downtown Boston, Massachusetts, made its last stop in Alaska, bus driver Stella Simmons, tucked into a booth at the Just Eat It Diner in Wasilla said simply, “I went rogue.” She then returned to the specialty of the house, a burger topped with a mountain of fries and blanketed in brown gravy.
“I never had this before, but it tastes funny,” pronounced Ms. Simmons, prompting a blushing teenaged cook to peak out from behind the counter and admit, “I substituted hot fudge sauce for gravy. I wanted to think outside the box. I was feeling mavericky!”
Meanwhile, there’s a state of emergency in hospitals across the country that has almost reached the degree of drama one sees in TV shows about hospitals. “But this baby isn’t mine!!” insisted new mom Barb Goldfarb, holding an infant at arm’s length. “I had a dark-haired boy, and this is a red-headed girl!”
Central Hospital Nurse Pat Mahoney stomped her Croc clad foot on the linoleum floor and said, “Look, lady. It’s not my fault the night janitor went rogue and switched the babies around. Just be glad you’re not having surgery today, because he also believe that vacuuming floors is a natural progression to doing lipo. He says that expertise is a form of elitism.”
“Expertise is elitism! Is that in Palin’s book, too?” asked new-Mom Goldfarb.
“No,” Nurse Mahoney admitted, “but it’s there between the words.”
“You mean between the lines?”
“No,” replied Nurse Mahoney. “I mean between the words. I’m going rogue, so it’s okay to exercise my freedom with how I express our American language.”
Indeed, the English language as spoken by fans of Ms. Palin is in for a rogue awakening. Emboldened by the quirky names bestowed on the Palin children, parents are agonizing less over the business of naming baby. A spokesperson for the American Baby Name Bible notes that names of late reflect a whatever-pops-into-your-head freedom, citing as evidence Callbutton, Urethra, Oxy, Tray, and Push.
In retrospect, it appears there were signs that the practice of going rogue began building in anticipation of the release of Ms. Palin’s book some time ago. Captain Sully Sullenberger now admits there were no birds interfering with the plane he piloted into the Hudson. “I went rogue,” Sully said, “It’s a feeling that comes over you, and you’ve got to go with it.”
Where will this national going rogue craze end? “Don’t ask me,” said Fred Farrell, VP of meat marketing for Jumbo Markets. Farrell laments that, for the first time since the pilgrims landed, a majority of shoppers have abandoned the custom of eating turkey.
“It’s squirrel this year,” declared Peggy Najarian of Windom, New Hampshire, pointing to her backyard Hav-A-Meal trap. “Squirrels appeal to our New England rogue-ish individualism. They’re a ball to catch, a cinch to field dress, and yummy with cranberry sauce. Forget Butterballs. Nothing says ‘I’ve gone rogue’ like plunking down stuffed squirrel on your dining room table!”
“My husband thought I was going bananas,” said realtor Joyce Milunsky of her decision to leave him for their Guatemalan landscaper. “I said, heck no! I’m going rogue. I’m done with suburban life, nightstands piled with elitist New Yorkers, Pottery Barn furniture. Goodbye Pilates, swallowing fish oil capsules the size of Easter eggs and getting my roots done every 8 weeks.”
Commenting on his wife’s decision, Lou Milunsky seemed resigned. “On some level I don’t blame her. I’m a dentist who drives a Prius. I’m passionate about recycling and green tea. I’m not in touch with my rogue side, so I guess I don’t have the single-mindedness or the gumption to be who she wants me to be.”
Asked whether she has any regrets about leaving her fifteen-year marriage, Ms. Milunsky appears to grow reflective — she’s still new enough at going rogue that she lapses into thought at times — before shaking her head and saying, “Regrets are pesky things that slow you down. And plus-which, going rogue means that, if you mess up, you just say, well, they’re all against me and wanna see me fail, so I’m going to dust myself off and get right back on that wild steer of mine.”
Ms. Palin herself couldn’t have said it any better.