Apolitical Ambitions

by Calendar Hacksaw

What with the Year 2000 presidential election beiní just a scant 12 months away, many of the Walker Basin political heavyweights have been hittiní on olí Calendar for a few early predictions, lest they lose their $20 wagers, which is far more important to them than anything as silly as political affiliation.

And, as usual, I aim to please, and not disappoint anyone, or please anyone, either, for that matter, because whoever you pick to win will surely lose, and that goes for you, too. Just for starters, unless we have a fresh candidate who emerges from outa nowhere, weíre gonna get stuck with a new president whoís no more appealing than dropping yer soap in the shower at Lerdo.

A Wall Street Journal editorial recently described the Reform Party as the "Halloween Party," crediting a growing cast of characters that includes the likes of Jesse Ventura, Donald Trump and Pat Buchanan. But Iím inclined to leapfrog the Journal here, and describe the entire field of presidential contenders as embodying little more substance than spooks and ghouls, none worthy of leading our country into the 21st Century. We are left to select a new president by default.

Now, I know that if youíre a stalwart Republican and one of the 43% who have lined up behind "Junior" Bush, youíre going to insist that Texan George is just right for the ticket.

Who do you think youíre kidding? This is Walker Basin, not Texas! We do things differently here. We think differently. Weíre superior. We go to the bathroom indoors, mostly. So donít sell yourself short.

Elsewhere on the presidential landscape, we find two sorry Democrats, Albert Gore and Bill Bradley. During the past seven years, olí "Al The Veep" has taken credit for everything short of repairing the Creek Road. Correction; he took credit for that, too. And Bradley played basketball on TV for years, yet still 99.9% of Americans couldnít pick him out of a line-up of tall white guys who canít jump.

All weíre left with is the remainder of the GOP hopefuls, a list of names familiar so old and familiar we think we went to high school with them. Remember when Pat Robertson was in our home room, always circulating petitions to outlaw the teaching of science? And then there was Steve Forbes, wearing an ascot and driving his parentsí BMW, serving five full terms as President of the Junior Millionaires Club. And lest we not forget, John McCainóstraight from ROTC--did hard time in the Hanoi Hilton, then emerged to become a senator with a penchant to treat all political opponents as if they were related to his North Vietnamese captors.

Did I miss anyone? Did I give anyone more credit than they deserved? Can we do better?

* * *

Well, if we canít get us a decent president next year, maybe we can work on improving the Congress. It would be nice to get some worthwhile legislation passed that would actually find its way down to our level and improve our daily lives. Iíve been looking for sponsors for a few bills Iíve written, and invite you to add your name to the list of backers. Herewith is a little synopsis:

The Tobacco Suffering Act. The states and federal government are busy suing the tobacco legislation for billions of dollars, then squandering a few bucks on so-called "smoker education" programs, and pocketing the rest. I think most of the money should go to the injured parties; a million or two for each of us should do the trick. Most smokers I know would gladly accept tobacco products in lieu of cash, and 10-cents on the dollar, at that.

The Rural Roads Reclamation Act. This would earmark billions each year to maintain paved and unpaved roadways in rural areas, regardless of private or public ownership. Anyone with a dozer or grader could clear and pave any road, then bill the government for whateverís fair. The funds would come from a 1% tax on idiots with cellphones; itís only fair.

The Drainpipe Preservation Act. Every night, millions of American women cram ungodly things into the garbage disposal, flip the switch for three seconds, add 1/3-cup of water like itís a special recipe, and then expect the danged machine to puree it to slop and send it out to sea. Within 30 minutes, the drainís clogged, the bathtub and toilet fill up with primordial stew and itís time to call out the guy with the long snake and the even longer bill for services rendered. This Act would provide a $300 annual subsidy for heads of household to offset unanticipated rooter jobs, financed by a $1.00 surcharge on all purchases of nylon stockings and fingernail polish.

The Protect Our Drunks Act. This one is the most important of all. It would establish a nationwide standard for driving under the influence of alcohol, setting .20 as the benchmark, instead of that silly .08 thing weíre currently stuck with. The benefits are many. Nighttime commerce would blossom again, and the jails would be far less crowded. Every cop I know would tell you that really drunk people tend to drive really slow, or pass out entirely, which would be better for all of us, and the cattle, too. Sure, the defense attorneys would suffer financially, but they would be compensated with funds from a 10% surcharge on the price of bottled water, which is also worthless. People who buy Yuppie water donít care how much the stuff costs, just as long as the name on the label makes them feel good about themselves, and superior to us.

Come to think of it, these ideas are just too good to give away. Maybe Iíll form an "exploratory committee" and head for the Iowa caucus. Can anyone give me a lift?

Calendar Hacksaw hangs out at http://www.calendarhacksaw.com, and he predicts that whichever presidential candidate visits Walker Basin first during the coming campaign will ultimately win the election, so Lord knows, he's hopin' none of 'em show.

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