A strange thought hit me as I was driving to work recently. I realized I missed Sarah Palin.
The enormity of this epiphany proved dangerous to other users of the Interstate because my car veered across the road as I tried to slap the errant thought out of my fevered brain
I slapped to no avail. I still miss Sarah Palin.
Six months ago there surely wasn't anyone with a pulse in America who'd have believed they'd find themselves missing Palin. The country was in the grip of mania for the Governor of Alaska and even if you missed her in person there were plenty of willing stand-ins such as Tina Fay.
Sadly Sarah Palin impersonators have now had their day. Their outlook is as rosy as John Cleese's parrot or Circuit City employees.
And in place of Sarah we have to make do with the trinity of Barack, Barack and Barack.
If Obama doesn't own all the TV networks he surely will soon. Every time I look up to the screen he's there; like a benevolent Big Brother (more like an uncle really) trying to save the world.
As for Sarah, she tried to salvage her reputation after the election with a few interviews about the evils of interviews and slowly disappeared into obscurity.
But for a few weeks last fall Sarah Palin landed in our living rooms with all the subtlety of HG Wells' aliens in the War of the Worlds and showed no sign of budging.
She took the Republican conference by storm, causing people to forget she wasn't actually the one running for the White House. I'm told it was a man with white hair.
Middle aged men froze at Palin's glassy right-wing stare and amazing up and down hair, and rushed off to divorce their wives.
Although Palin didn't quite possess the face that launched a thousands ships, she could claim (with some degree of inaccuracy) to have the face that sunk a thousand bridges to nowhere.
And boy could she shop.
But a series of "soft" interviews given by Palin have cemented her reputation as a superstar of the electoral circuit.
When Katie Couric asked Palin why Alaska's proximity to Russia enhanced the vice presidential nominee's foreign policy credentials you could almost hear a vital cog fall out somewhere and sharply hit an unsuspecting toe.
"Well it certainly does," replied Palin, in the sort of timbre that people use when they want to say "hell if I know," and the rest is incoherent history.
If Vladimir Putin ever reared his head and shoved it into Palin's airspace - something unkind commentators said was located between her ears - he's not likely to bother with her anymore.
But now that Palin is no longer in our air space, I have to admit she has left a void.