You probably don't realize that the all-time King of Trinketry was Secretary of State A. James Manchin, uncle of one of our current U.S. senators. Mr. Manchin took the art of trinketry to new heights. I myself received a certificate from Mr. Manchin to honor the publication of my first book. I didn't receive a trinket from Mr. McGraw upon that occasion, but he did call me to his office and talk to me about Abraham Lincoln. I never forgot either occasion.
Why, you may ask, did Mr. Manchin give me a certificate and Mr. McGraw regale me with thoughts about Abraham Lincoln? Because, sir, they were and are kind and decent men. They were and are quintessential West Virginians.
Let me hasten to say, I know the art of trinketry is a dying one. I know of no younger politicians, even in West Virginia, who practice it with as great a vigor as those in Attorney General McGraw's generation. Perhaps younger generations are not so eager to receive trinkets. I understand that we could pay for a great many of the state's problems with the vast amount of money we will save on trinkets. We might even be able to lower the terrible tax burden on the coal industry for good measure.
But, sir, I suspect thou doth protest too much. If I may say so, your obsession with trinketry is far greater than that of those who previously distributed the objects. Your obsession, along with your "Made for TV" event and all, amounts to anti-trinketry obsession. If the problem persists, I recommend therapy.
Perhaps I should give you the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps you don't really care about trinkets at all, but simply wish to steer attention away from the reality of your other positions on issues.
In any event, take care that some of your fellow public servants don't bestow upon you a rather large trinket -- a T-shirt that reads, "I'm Not From Here."
Giardina is a novelist and teacher.