You, the Donald and Al Gore

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TIME named "You" as Person of the Year. That could be anybody.

Are there no heroes anymore? This week, a fella named Donald Trump arose to save Miss USA from the gutter. "After days of headlines about her underage drinking, failed cocaine test, nightclub bathroom antics, and incessant hunk-hunting in Big Apple hotspots," as the New York Post put it, surely young Tara Conner, a small-town Kentucky girl grooving overly on the Big Apple, would be stripped (ooh) of what the New York Daily News called "her $17,500 Mikimoto pearl-dotted tiara."

Then the Donald stepped in. To this girl gone wild, he offered that great American gratuity — a second chance. He was in a position to do so, because he owns the Miss USA franchise. An odd thing to own, I would have thought, especially if you're a married man and therefore do not need to meet girls. "Where are these hotspots?" I asked my wife, perhaps in what she leapt to conclude was a wistful tone, for her answer was, "I notice she hasn't been showing up around here."

If she had, I would have forgiven her, as Trump did. And steered her right. I don't know that I would have packed her off to rehab just yet, as Trump did.

"I wouldn't say that I'm an alcoholic," said Miss U., "I think that would be pushing the envelope." Is that how we use that expression these days? And she wept in gratitude, as the corporate envelope closed around her. After a suitable therapeutic interval she'll be fit to show up at all the boat shows and smile, but if she kicks up her heels she'll be proving she's in denial, as witches used to prove themselves witches by insisting they weren't.

Al Gore is being pretty heroic, in standing so tall in the fight against catastrophic global warming. Trouble with that is, I was in three places this week where it is usually cold this time of year — Massachusetts, New York and Chicago — and in all three places people were remarking upon how nice and warm it was. Hard to hate, this global warming. Why can't it be global stinking, or global choking, that we're succumbing to? Then we (You) could feel like rallying behind a bold leader!

You know what they say: put a frog in a pot of boiling water and he'll jump right out, but put him in a pot of lukewarm water and heat it gradually, and he'll eventually boil to death. Trouble with that is, how exactly was the second part of that experiment ever performed? It's an awfully lethargic frog that would sit in any pot of water that he could jump out of. Maybe there was a top on the pot and the frog didn't want to push the envelope.

Here's something to get indignant about: the theory that all this treacherous warmth is being caused by El Nino. At this time of year? Blame a thing like that on the Christ child? No, I blame it on You.