So it's Friday night, it's spring, the season of hope. And I meet this woman. She's a South Dakota gal, sharp, smart, serious. She looks at me with eyes that say if we're going into a meeting, I'd better have my poop in a group, because she'll see right through any bullshit.

She tells me about traveling the world, from D.C. to Africa. She talks about doing economic development in the Third World and learning lessons she could port to making banks and other businesses work on the reservations and throughout rural South Dakota. She has one degree from out East; she's going back for an Ivy League graduate degree this fall.

Because these are the kinds of things we talk about in casual conversation, I say, "You should bring that degree back here and run for office. With your résumé [and she would use those accent marks], you'd be great!"

And she fixes those no-bullshit eyes on me and says, "With my résumé [see?], I could never win in South Dakota."

I pluck those accents aigus from my heart.

All you other strike-out artists at Ray's Corner, Z-Bar, and every other South Dakota watering hole, you know how I feel. A little bit.