"When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it."
- Clarence Darrow


Great Poets respond to the Great Mess!

* * Henry Wadsworth Longfellow * *

Listen, my children, don't dare ignore,/The midnight actions of Bush and Gore./In early November, the year ought-ought,/It's hard to believe the mess they wrought./Two billion bucks of campaign bounty/All came down to Palm Beach County./What result could have been horrider/Than the situation we found in Florider?

* * Edgar Allen Poe * *

Once upon a campaign dreary, one which left us weak and weary,
O'er many a quaint and curious promise of political lore -
While we nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a yapping,
As of some votes overlapping, energy-zapping to the core.
"Tis a mess here," we all muttered, as the network anchors
Stuttered, stuttered over Bush and Gore.
Could there be another election, with such a case of misdirection,
Yet fraught with tension to the core? Quoth the ravers, "Nevermore."

* * Edward Lear * *

There once was a U.S. election/That called for some expert detection:/ How thousands of pollers/Turned into "two-holers - Like outhouses Of recollection.

* * Ogden Nash * *

I regret to admit that my knowledge is/What I learned at Electoral Colleges,
So please tell me, (I hate to troub-ya),/Will the winner be Al, or Dub-ya?

* * Joyce Kilmer * *

I thought that I would never see/The networks all so up a tree.

* * Walt Whitman * *

O' Captain! My Captain! Our fearful trip's not done.
The ship has weather'd every wrack, but no one knows who's won.

* * Dr. Seuss * *

I cannot count them in a box,
I cannot count them with a fox.
I cannot count them by computer,
I will not with a Roto-Rooter.
I cannot count them card by card,
I will not 'cause it's way too hard.
I cannot count them on my fingers,
I will not while suspicion lingers.
I'll leave the country in a jam,
I can't count ballots, Sam-I-Am.

* * And finally, Clement Moore * *

'Twas the month before Christmas, when all through the courts,
All the plaintiffs made stirring "Bad Ballot" reports.


   "It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything." - Josef Stalin


   As reported in "The Onion," Serbian president Vojislav Kostunica deployed more than 30,000 peacekeeping troops to the U.S. Monday, pledging full support to the troubled North American nation as it struggles to establish democracy.
   "We must do all we can to support free elections in America and allow democracy to gain a foothold there," Kostunica said. "The U.S. is a major player in the Western Hemisphere and its continued stability is vital to Serbian interests in that region."
   Kostunica urged Al Gore, the U.S. opposition-party leader who is refusing to recognize the nation's Nov. 7 election results, to "let the democratic process take its course. Mr. Gore needs to acknowledge the will of the people and concede that he has lost this election," Kostunica said.
   Serbian forces have been stationed throughout the U.S., with an emphasis on certain trouble zones . . . "For democracy to take root and flourish, it must be planted in the rich soil of liberty. And the cornerstone of liberty is elections free of tampering or corruption," Kostunica said. "Should America prove itself incapable of learning this lesson on its own, the international community may be forced to take stronger measures."
   Though Kostunica has pledged to work with U.S. leaders, he did not rule out the possibility of economic sanctions if the crisis is not resolved soon.

   "One has to be a lowbrow, a bit of a murderer, to be a politician; ready and willing to see people sacrificed, slaughtered, for the sake of an idea, whether a good one or a bad one." - Henry Miller


   George W. Bush is now under treatment for two problems: electile dysfunction and premature congratulation. His VP, Dick Cheney, is recovering from a mild heart attack. His spin doctors report that the Legislative Chamber of his far right ventricle was clogged with dimpled chads.
   Also, Word Doctor Merl Reagle reports that the FDA has been looking for a generic name for Viagra. After considering Mycoxafloppin, Mydixadrupin and Mycoxafailin, they have settled on - Mydixarizin.

   "If aliens landed now and asked you to take them to your leader, we'd be in trouble."
- British comic Sean Meo,


   Douglas Herbert, CNN.com Europe writes of European reactions to our present electoral muddle: "Witness the title of a cover feature story that ran this week in The Guardian, one of Britain's leading national dailies: 'Only in Florida - How America's weirdest state derailed the US election'.

   The authors (including a Floridian), write about the state where a guy was charged with shooting his dog because he suspected it of "being gay", as "America's weird, troubled protuberance in the Caribbean, where a million Cuban exiles still plotting revenge against Castro, rub up against Jewish pensioners from Brooklyn, Haitian refugees and a shoal of opportunists, lost souls, and part-time Disney employees, all of whom have been known to act as if under the influence of the local swamp gas."
   The Internet has provided the ubiquitous "Notice of Revocation of Independence," informing us of the Queen Mother's intention to resume monarchical duties over her former colonies in the light of our failure "to elect a President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves . . . applying to all states, commonwealths and other territories - except Utah which She does not fancy."
   And a Russian website calls for a 12-round boxing match at Madison Square Garden to end "the presidential imbroglio", followed by "a summit showdown with their own Judo master" - President Vladimir Putin.

"We learn from history that we do not learn from history." - Hegel


   Ex-Committee-man Garry Goodrow writes, "I chuckle and giggle a lot lately as I walk down the street and glance at the headlines. At home, the front page of the Times has me chortling over my morning coffee.

[Go to next column to continue reading]


    Way back in 1972-or-was-it-3, I was in Italy at Spoleto when the Watergate number was really getting rich. Every morning I'd walk down to the one newstand that sold the Tribune, and I'd stand there laughing out loud at the headlines while the international crowd gave me horrified glances. To them, I must have looked like a lunatic, but I was just having a good time."
   Funnyman Danny Mann observes: "As the campaign reached its penultimate day, the two major presidential candidates were finally in agreement about something - Americans are seeing too much inappropriate material in popular entertainment. However, as usual, they disagreed on the details.
   "The Republican candidate stated that there is just too much bloody violence in the movies and on television while his Democratic opponent stated that the media present Americans with too much gratuitous sex, especially graphic frontal nudity.
   In other words - Bush says there is too much gore. Gore says there is too much bush!!"

"You can fool too many people too much of the time."
- James Thurber


   To the American People: We Floridians have gotten together and decided to hold the Presidential election hostage until the rest of you come down and take your parents back home. We are sick and tired of hearing about how good it was back there, and how beautiful their grandchildren are. We're running out of Depends, and it could get messy.
   So - you want a President, we want to be able to drive over 20 miles per hour. Do we have a deal? GW? Al?

The People of Florida

"A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar."
- H.L. Mencken


   In Time magazine, "Dr. Notebook" says that according to the New Hacker's Dictionary, the word "chad" may come from the acronym "Card Hole Aggregate Debris" and not from the fallout caused by the recent release of "Chad & Jeremy's Greatest Hits."
   Then, the website <http://www.parlo.com> suggested that "chad" can be translated as follows: In Cantonese, "dye toad tsee" or "Big Stomach Paper"; German, "schwanger Stanzabfall", or "Pregnant Punch Waste" and in Russian: "beremennaya konfetti" or "Pregnant Confetti".
   And finally, according to The New York Times' Anthony Lewis; "TEXAS election law, as it happens, provides for recounting punch-card ballots by hand . . . if '(1) at least two corners of the chad are detached, (2) light is visible through the hole, (3) an indentation on the chad from the stylus or other object is present and indicates a clearly ascertainable intent of the voter to vote, or (4) the chad reflects by other means a clearly ascertainable intent of the voter to vote'."

   "I once said cynically of a politician,
'He'll double-cross that bridge when he comes to it.' " - Oscar Levant


   Bob Herbert notes in The New York Times: "Incredibly, the year 2000 is almost over. It flew by in an instant. And yet the biggest story of the year, the presidential campaign that ended in a virtual deadlock, is moving so agonizingly slowly it seems to have stopped time altogether. Score one for relativity."

   "All politics are based on the indifference of the majority."
- James Reston.


   The so-called "butterfly ballot" in Palm Beach County resulted in thousands of confused folks apparently voting for the greater of three evils; so Leesburg, Georgia psychologist Ron McGee put the design to the test by asking seventy-four 8-year-olds at a local elementary school to vote for their favorite Disney character on a copycat ballot. "No other directions were given and questions were not answered by teachers," McGee said.
   And guess what? Not a single student voted incorrectly - which resulted in a TIE between Mickey Mouse and Goofy! Just like our election...

   "Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.
- John Kenneth Galbraith


   Robert Trout, 91, is off the air. Most recently a producer/commentator on NPR's "All Things Considered", Trout had been a newsman since 1931 when he began his career on Virginia radio. It was he who referred to FDR's popular populist radio addresses as "fireside chats" and so indirectly helped to name "The Firesign Theatre."

   "Great innovations should never be forced on slender majorities."
- American Statesman John Calhoun


   * Vice President Gore: "I fight for the turkeys and I am fighting for the turkeys right now. I will not give up on the turkeys crossing the road! I will fight for the turkeys and I will not disappoint them."
   * Governor George W. Bush: "I don't believe we need to get the turkeys across the road. I say give the road to the turkeys and let them decide. The government needs to let go of strangling the turkeys so they can get across the road.
   * Senator Lieberman: "I believe that every turkey has the right to worship his or her God in his or her own way. Crossing the road is a spiritual journey and no turkey should be denied the right to cross the road in his or her own way.
   * Secretary Cheney: "Turkeys are big-time because they have wings. They could fly if they wanted to. Turkeys don't want to cross the road. They don't need help crossing the road. In fact, I'm not interested in crossing the road myself."
   * Ralph Nader: "Turkeys are misled into believing there is a road by the evil tire makers. Turkeys aren't ignorant, but our society pays tire makers to create the need for these roads and then lures turkeys into believing there is an advantage to crossing them. Down with the roads, up with turkeys."
   * Phil Proctor: "And now -- Let's Eat!!! And as the politician said to the ballot box:"GET STUFFED!" Maybe when it's all over, we'll know which turkey will be our next President...

   "Do not call a working method corrupt just because you don't like the results. In a democratic union, not unlike a democratic country, people can get involved and change the system. I encourage all working actors to do so. There is an old saying: America, Love It or Leave It. I will suggest the following instead: SAG, Love It or Change It."
- Actor/Activist Andy Milder



Phil's "Signs of the Times"

ppsign26.jpg (10170 bytes)

The opinion of over 50% of the voters, eh?
captioned by
Tiny Dr. Tim

2000 by Phil Proctor

Published 11/26/00