|||||||||||  Wednesday, Jack-O'Tober 4, 41 A.B.  |||||||||||

"A gallon jug of mercury weighs 15 times what
a gallon jug of water does, yet amazingly they can
appear to weigh exactly the same if the jug of
mercury wears a label with vertical stripes."

- Fashion Hints For Inanimate Objects, p. 37

So - which jug do you think won last night's debate?

Before I tell you what I think, let me tell you how Jester responded.

About 15 minutes into Gore's first 3 minute response, my cat wandered into the living room, stretched, then just sorta fell over on his left side as he does whenever he comes into the living room and it suddenly occurs to him that he simply doesn't have the energy to go any farther.  No surviving member of the Donner party could have done it better.  Although he wasn't facing the TV, I could tell he was listening by the heart-felt sighs he let out periodically.  At the end of 40 minutes, Bush led Gore 6 butt licks to 4, but Gore was ahead on stretches and yawns.  At 10pm Jester began to vocalize his desire to be excused, but I didn't realize it until he clawed through the pillow I'd buried my head in and told me.  At 10:35 I nudged him aside from my computer and added my name to the letter he was writing to Tony Blair, begging for political asylum and/or yummy treats.

I wanted to like Gore.  I really did.  I thought he'd been on a pretty good roll since the convention, and I wanted it to continue just so I wouldn't have to think about him or the election anymore.  It's like with Tiger Woods.  Or Shakespeare.  Just tell me who the overdog is so I can say "Yep, he's the one!" and move on, ok?  Alas, it was not to be.  The magical effects of that kiss of Tipper's disappeared right in front of my eyes as he reverted to the cross between an insurance salesman and a bad high school actor that's annoyed me for years.  Damn....

I wanted to dislike Bush.  I really did.  Instead, I ended up feeling sorry for him.  He's not a bad guy, really.  Just a bad possibility for president.  I'd be proud to have him as my county commissioner -  I really would.  I just have always felt that if the president of Peru ever got him in a room alone, the president of Peru would eat his lunch, lift his wallet, and obtain the mineral rights to Madonna while George stood there trying to remember if Peru was in Central or South Africa.  If the president of Peru ever comes to my county, on the other hand, there are two other commissioners with the power to call out the salt trucks and aren't afraid to use it.   

Neither Bush or Gore have presence or star quality.  They couldn't lead a squad of 5 men behind enemy lines.  They couldn't carry a movie on their own, let alone get their names listed above the title.  Pierre Trudeau dead has more charisma then these two put together, and probably twice the number of original ideas.

Over 270 million people in this country, and we get to choose between two middle-aged Southern white guys with a single suit and tie between them??

My despiar only deepened as I watched Dan Rather interview Dick Cheney after the debate.  Dan seemed old.  Dick thought Bush had won.  And together they proved that there's actually only one fashion statement to go around their entire demographic group: Blah suit, white shirt, red tie....

Before the debate, I had a fantasy.  In this fantasy, Gore showed up in black pants.  A black shirt.  And wearing black shades.

HA!  As if....

We all knew he wouldn't.

We all knew what this was gonna be before it even began.

And that, my friends, is what's wrong with politics today.

It's Hallmark cards and Mickey Mouse and Pat Boone when it ought to be is T.S. Eliot and The Simpsons and Beck.
Then again... maybe I'm just pissed Lehrer didn't ask any of the ten questions I posted yesterday.  Instead, he asked #11.  You know - the one about education.  About how the candidates were trying to change 100% of the U.S. education system when the federal government only pays 6% of the cost.  That was mine!  I just ran out of room before I could post it.


I need to go crawl into the living room and drop on my left side like the last surviving member of the Donner party.

Wish me luck 'cause I just don't think I'm-a gonna make it....






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Footnote:  Today was the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi.  To celebrate (and to take my mind off last night), I took Jester to my local Catholic church's annual "Blessing of the Animals."  To celebrate (and to take everybody's mind off last night), Jester performed his impersonation of Regan in "The Exorcist" whenever a priest appeared.  A fine time was had by all, but most especially by those who own stock in local dry cleaning companies.