Because of an office construction project, I had to clear off my desk -- which meant moving seven years of accumulation. Every morning, I'll share another uncovered item with you.
Yes, folks, that is it. The famous Richard Nixon mask which I wore to protect my precious anonymity at all public events during my first years on this job.
It was among the first (though certainly was not the last) of the strange expenses I had to justify to my bosses, and one of the most valuable. For years, it allowed me to maintain my air of weird mystery while still judging wine tastings and chili cook-offs in full view of my never-quite-adoring fans, looked fantastic with the platform shoes and creamsicle-orange tuxedo I wore it with, and saw me through many unusual nights until I finally wised up a couple years back and traded it in for a Lucha Libre mask (which was much easier to eat through) and my alter-ego of Eduardo el Magnifico (who was more fun because he drank a lot more than Nixon did).
I retired Tricky Dick some time ago, but he has never been far away. The mask has hung proudly from a hook in the corner of my cube for a long time -- in a place of honor alongside some of my phony credentials and a gigantic Christmas stocking filled with bottles of cheap wine. And when this office remodel is finally finished, he will be one of the first things I re-hang in my new digs on the other side of the building -- a reminder of the days when mystery was my middle name...
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