• Ordinary Guy

In a 2007 Boston Globe profile, Neil Swidey introduced the world to Seamus, the Romney family dog, by way of an anecdote about Mitt, the Romney family patriarch, strapping the pooch to the top of the car for a 12-hour ride from Boston to Ontario. (In a canine carrier, mind you. Tricked out with a little windshield!) The nominal punch line is that the dog defecated wetly on top of the car while the Romney clan drove it down the highway, but this is one of those rare instances in which shit doesn’t necessarily make the story funnier—which is to say that it’s the sort of anecdote that begins with a grown man strapping a dog to the top of a station wagon. Or, as Gail Collins recently put it in an online chat with David Brooks, “Dog on the roof of the car. Dog on the roof of the car.” Gail Collins is obsessed with this story. She’s cited it, says Swidey, in more than 30 columns.