"It's all over for Ollie," Demmick said as he clicked the set off.
"How can you say it's over? The man's a designated national hero."
"That's what I mean. Do you know what it's like to be a national hero?"
"I guess it's not all confetti and open convertibles."
Demmick said, "Ollie is going to need every bit of his Marine Corps survival training to get through this one."
"Give me an example."
"Let's start with the advertisers who are willing to pay Ollie anything to hold up a pair of panty hose on television. Or who want Ollie to do a paper shredder commercial. The man is getting it for what he did."
"Ollie can do it without much trouble."
"And after he's finished doing his commercials, he will have to fight his way through 144 publishers camped out on his lawn. Each publisher wants to sign him up to write a book about what it's like to testify in front of a joint committee of Congress and find God. If Ollie commits for a book and ties himself up with TV commercials, then he's going to have a tough time doing his lectures. North will not only have to do paid lectures, but prayer breakfasts and Rotarian lunches that all designated national heroes must attend."
"I get tired just thinking about it," I said.
"Did I mention that as a designated hero Ollie will have to do the Bob Hope show?" Demmick asked.
"I almost forgot the Bob Hope show," I said.
Demmick told me, "Ollie will really have to suffer as a designated national hero because he'll become the property of the press."
"There is nothing wrong with that," I said.
"Nothing except the average honeymoon for a national hero is now six months. Then the media turn on you and make your life miserable. Once Ollie is thrown to the press he will not only have to justify what he did in Nicaragua, he will also have to prove he didn't commit any hanky-panky in Washington."
"North can do it," I said.
"He could if he didn't have to go to the White House dinners."
"You mean dinner?"
"No, dinners. The president intends to have Ollie to dinner every night. Reagan doesn't get to see a designated hero very often. But the thing that will really do him in will be the banquets he has to attend in hotel ballrooms all over the nation. North will not only have to listen to thousands of windbags, but he will also have to eat the hotel food. This is cruel and unusual punishment. No person can survive more than one hotel banquet a week. As a designated national hero, North will be expected to attend seven. Do you have any idea what this can do to one's digestive system?"
"Do you think anyone told North what he's in for?"
"I doubt it. The designated hero is the last to know what is going to happen when he becomes one."
"Maybe we should tell North what he's in for."
"It's too late -- they've already named three streets and a high school after him."
"North's a good man. He doesn't deserve it."
Demmick said, "What makes America great is that the people are the ones who decide when you destroy evidence whether you will be a designated villain or a designated hero."