Why I Love the Fictional Earl Ray

There are these people out there, and sometimes you don’t even know who they are, but you’ve got to love them.  I can no longer contain my adoration for my personal candidate for the next individual elected to the chief executive office for the great State of West Virginia…….please give it up for @ActingGov_WV!

Hailing from Chapmanville, West Virginia, this tan, rested and ready top gun on Twitter states his bio as follows:

The (fictional) Governor of WV is the head of the executive branch of WVa’s government and the commander-in-chief of the state’s military forces (fictional).

The profile pic of @ActingGov_WV

I like the real ERT very much so far, but if for some reason he can’t fulfill his duties I rest comfortably knowing that the fictional Earl Ray Tomblin is ready to roll.

I can hear your thoughts, dear reader.  Why would anyone spend their time creating and sustaining a fake account, masquerading as Earl Ray Tomblin, and being completely clear that it’s all fiction?  I can’t say for sure.  But I can hazard a guess or two.  This person knows state government, and not just the structure and processes and rules.  He knows the people.  He knows how the personalities of those people can work for or against functional governance.  And God bless him, he knows that so much of our crazy world at wv.gov is just pure hilarity.

Citizens in every state across the U.S. of A. are losing their collective sense of humor, and that is understandable.  I follow and appreciate @ActingGov_WV because he makes me laugh at things that need to be laughed at, including myself as a voter and a citizen.  He also has a gift for poking at people who take themselves too seriously in a very gentle way that keeps things in perspective without trying to take a body count.  Having worked in the Governor’s Office myself a few years back, I can assure you that this skill is rare and to be treasured.

It is impossible to share all the great tweets because, well, they are all great.  If you are on Twitter and follow West Virginia politics, you really need to find @ActingGov_WV and treat yourself to the full smörgåsbord of fun. Without further ado, here are some of my favorite tweets from a very funny mind:

  • OK. Get this clear. Tent was a Manchin thing. It’s in state code that all Manchin stuff is tacky. #lookitup
  • John Raese sure does love the people of West Virginia, Alice Click. That’s why he lives in Florida. #totallyobvious
  • Sending intern to Natalie’s kickoff to spy. Also to bring back some pizza. Don’t tell Mrs. Earl Ray.
  • Joe apparently wants all state residents to stop what they are doing and listen to his maiden Senate speech tomorrow. #yeahright
  • Marcellus shale will give me a perpetual perfect tan and get me on Jeopardy.
  • May do musical chairs next Board of Public Works meeting. If you don’t grab a chair, you can’t run for governor. #imfast
  • When Senator Jenkins talks about the “Far East” I’m suspicious he means Jefferson County.
  • I think Betty is giving Kabler gift certificates to the Food Court. Will have to step things up. Delivery + a behind the scenes tour.
  • As Senate President, may order heat in Sen. Jenkins turned off over the weekend. Freeze all his hair products.
  • Are we sure there is actually a real Shelley Moore Capito and not just a bot in DC pretending to be SMC?
  • UK Parliament amending the Act of Settlement isn’t going to put the Speaker in line to be King of England, either. #justnothisday
  • Text from Joe. He wants to know why we haven’t made his birthday a state holiday yet.
  • Polishing the ATV for the ride into the chamber.
  • May challenge Natalie to a shovel-off for the next big storm. Won’t tell her I’m bringing the ATV. #planningahead
  • Clearly, one should not trifle with Daily Mail reporters. The editorial staff is a different matter, altogether.
  • Communications staff is in for a rough meeting this morning; expect an explanation of why @CartneyWV gets better press than me.
  • I walked to the candy machine instead of sending an intern. #fitwv
  • Considering submitting legislation to make the Speaker the governor of Mason County. #dontwantitanyway #compromise

And my personal favorite, naturally:

Thanks @ElizGaucher for the #ff! I always insist the staff read your blog. 😉

Though I am bracing for:

@ElizGaucher kissing up, dropping resume hints.  Think she’s too pale to do get the job done. #letherdowneasy

6 thoughts on “Why I Love the Fictional Earl Ray

  1. // From BP to WV //

    The model for fictional tweeting began during last year’s BP oil spill. Given the company’s horrible and insensitive public relations, they were primed to be mocked, and someone cunningly established this account: http://www.twitter.com/BPGlobalPR

    The ensuing updates from @BPGlobalPR were ridiculous, because of their callous nature, yet funny, given they reflected the perceived mentality of company executives. The account amassed almost 180,000 followers.

    Observers will notice the absurdity of West Virginia politics at times, which means our public officials are susceptible to similar taunting.

    Though I’m not a fan of online anonymity, perhaps by airing the preposterous tendencies of our state leaders, we’ll be more inclined to realize the joke is actually on us.

    • Excellent points, all.

      I too trend pretty far away from online anonymity as valuable or valid, but that is part of why I think this account is so well done. Part of me never wants to know who this is (if you know please don’t spoil it for me). It’s so pitch perfect on all fronts.

      I don’t think just anyone could do this. It’s like Dr. Seuss. On the one hand you think, “It’s just goofy cartoons and silly rhymes.” Um, OK. Now you try it!

  2. For the record, I am NOT @ActingGov_WV. I do, however, love the humor. Not mean-spirited in the slightest – just funny. If only all of our political discourse were on this level, we would be a better people and place.

  3. Pingback: Fare Thee Well, SPAAGERT…. | Esse Diem

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