If this year’s presidential election showed me anything, it’s that a year is actually 17 months long.

Both President-elect Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton announced their candidacies in June 2015. That’s 17 long, grueling months of non-stop bull plop. A woman who got pregnant in June 2015 would not only have had the baby, the baby would now be sitting up and possibly crawling.

I’m going to take a bathroom break while that sinks in.

Let’s compare our presidential election cycle to France’s. French presidential elections last a sane four months. I would say the French have it right, but my rock solid American upbringing won’t let me admit that.

But why do people run for office in the first place? What’s there to do in Washington, D.C., (city motto: “Come for the crab cakes, stay for the graft and corruption”) other than to see the studio model of the U.S.S. Enterprise from “Star Trek” displayed at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum?

To give the nation’s capital a break, there’s a lot to do there. When I went, I visited national monuments, ate great food, saw a hooker (I must stress the word “saw”), encountered a couple of hobos, and literally ran into a German tourist with an amazing amount of body hair. She was nice.

There are a number of reasons people seek political office and only one of them is any good. The person may run simply because they don’t like the candidate, or they may be indifferent about the candidate but think they can beat them, or their ego is the size of the Death Star and the person thinks they can show Darth Vader how to run a tighter ship.

These are people with aspirations for national office. Many people who run for local office have an entirely different reason for doing it – they want to help people.

That was me. I ran for mayor of my hometown as a write-in candidate and won. It surprised the hell out of me; I thought people knew me better than that.

Once in office, I quickly discovered voters don’t necessarily elect people to do anything, they simply want somebody to absorb all their yelling.

It would be funny if it weren’t true.

A group of people showed up at every city council meeting to yell about barking dogs, when it should have been dogs coming to the meetings to bark about yelling people.

People yelled at me about policemen giving too many tickets.

People yelled at me about policemen giving too few tickets.

People yelled at me about the city’s water pressure.

People yelled at me about the sun coming up in the morning (I don’t remember this, but it may have happened).

And a furious man came to my house at 10 p.m. to yell at me because the city was making him mow his yard that looked like a velociraptor habitat from a “Jurassic Park” movie. I may have even brought up velociraptors.

If you’re going into politics because you want the job, or you just don’t want anyone else to get the job, that’s fine. But if you’re going into politics to help people, why don’t you just buy me a sandwich instead. At least you’ll get a thank you.

Find out about everything Jason at jasonoffutt.com.