12 Important Things to Do Before Andy Grove Calls

I’m making a list of the things I must say for politeness,

And goodness and kindness and gentleness, sweetness and rightness:


Pardon me

How are you

Excuse me

Bless you

May I?

Thank you


If you know some that I forgot,

Please stick them into your eye!

Shel Silverstein, "I'm Making a List," from Where the Sidewalk Ends


I haven't yet heard from Andy Grove. This is a relief. I have so many things to do before he calls. With apologies for two in a row, it's time for another list.

2-Do B-4 Andy G. Calls:

  1. Contact Marvel Comics. Beg (plead, cajole) powers-that-be (including The Walt Disney Company, since it now owns Marvel) to fulfill their patriotic duty: donate the Captain America brand so Andy Grove can use it to help our country combat the evil forces of high unemployment, a jumpy, frenetic stock market, humiliating S & P downgrade, and snarky comments by the Communist Chinese Party's newspaper, the People's Daily.

  2. Be polite. Try to not sound desperate.

  3. Contact Captain America co-creator Joe Simon to see if he'd be willing to write and illustrate a new series of Captain America comics using Andy Grove in place of Steve Rogers. Suggest a cover illustration of Andy Grove / Captain America punching China's Guan Jianzhong in the nose (email him this link in case he's not sure why), similar to the one he did in 1941 showing Hitler being punched in the nose. Pressure Mr. Simon, gently but firmly, to accept role as Creative Director of this project, which would assure the American people that someone who knows what he's doing is in charge.

  4. Again, no desperation. Just suck it up and rein it in. Remember: "please" and "thank-you."

  5. Post three ads on Craigslist. Sound strong. Turn the fact that you have no money to pay anyone into a positive. Say something like: "This volunteer position offers a rare opportunity to participate in a noble, history-making cause." Place ads for a seamstress / sewer willing to create an exact duplicate of Captain America's red, white, and blue spandex uni-tard suit and mask per Marvel Comics 1941 illustrations; a shoemaker willing to craft those nifty red cuffed leather gloves and matching thigh-high red boots; a sheet metal person willing to craft that all-important shield. In the kindest words possible, specify that all materials used in Captain America's costume must originate here in the U.S.A., and then tactfully remind the volunteers that due to the precarious state of our economy we need everything done a.s.a.p. Please.

  6. Apply to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to see if it (a.k.a. our tax dollars) can fund the Captain America marketing campaign and fly our superhero, Andy Grove, all over the country, spreading hope and optimism and igniting the rebirth of American manufacturing. First stop: Rust Belt.

  7. Ok to sound desperate. Desperation is, sadly, FEMA's normal milieu. It's probably even ok to be rude. But don't.

  8. Write a compelling slogan. How about: "Yes, We Can Manufacture Again. We Used To."

  9. Try not to panic about slogan.

  10. Search for Andy's sidekick. Someone equally ticked off about the Death of Manufacturing in America. Someone high-energy, optimistic, with a can-do attitude. Maybe Julie Reiser? Give her a call.

  11. Try not to whine. Reiser founded and runs her own company. And she has six sons. I'm guessing she has a No Whining Zone sign posted over her desk. Whining = negativity = waste of time. Who needs it, right? Yup. Definitely gotta talk to Julie.

  12. Buy a new BBQ grill.

I know. The last item on my list has nothing to do with launching Andy Grove as America's superhero. It's about doing my part as an ordinary citizen to encourage American companies to manufacture here at home. And it's about my other {more important} hero, Don / Richie C, who does all the grilling for our dinners, cheerfully, regardless of the weather. He's needed a new BBQ for a couple of years now. Item # 12 on my list is about trying to remember that, despite the lousy economic news, life goes on.

And a beautiful life it is, here in late summer. The San Francisco Bay fog drifts in most mornings, mists the nearby ridge, and burns off before noon. The jasmine vines that climb all over our fences and posts bloom at night, sending the sweetest fragrances through the open windows. Simple August delights.

By the way, as some of you likely know, Weber still makes some of its grills here in the U.S.A. So I'm off to Home Depot to see what I can find in stock. I'll politely--not desperately, although I may feel slightly panic-stricken for our country--ask for help in finding just the right grill for my favorite hero. Wish me luck.

P.S. Hope Andy calls soon.