Sunday, June 29, 2014

207. Campaigns

Guess you could say the Alien was upset. He came charging into where I was working on the computer, still in the shape of Richie the Young Conservative. Only this time his expensive-looking haircut hung in disarray and tears had spotted his chinos. He was still sobbing.

“It’s your wife,” he said. “She’s trying to ruin me.” His face contorted into a set of wrinkles.

“My wife?”

“Mrs. Big Dope … she’s going to ruin my career.”

“And what career is that today?”

“You know,” he said, “my political advertising career.”

“Oh right,” I said. “You’re going to get rich producing political ads.”

“Not if she has her way,” he said. “You’ve got to stop her.”


“She’s your wife and you are the paterfamilias.”

“Why don’t you calm down and tell me what’s going on,” I said. “And, by the way, I control her about as much as a weather reporter controls rain.”

He drew a breath. “She thinks people are in a state of having one's interest, forbearance, or indulgence worn out with political ads.”

“They are ‘weary’ of them indeed,” I said. “So what is the problem?”

“She’s designing a new way to campaign.”


“The way she put it to me is this …” He drew a deep breath. “She has this plan that instead of making TV ads that compare the other candidate to bird droppings or cow poop—you know, the Amerian way—the candidates would take their political contributions and donate them to worthy causes.”

“Say what?”

“Health clinics for the poor,” for example,” he said, “or animal shelters, schools, public work projects, homeless shelters,” He stopped. “Oh,” he said, “the horror! The horror!”

“Let me get this straight,” I said. “Each candidate would donate her or his campaign contributions to charitable causes?”

“Not churches though,” he said.

“Not churches?”

“No. She said something I didn’t quite understand about too much campaign money already being spent to purchase rattlesnakes. No churches. Just worthy causes.”

“I see,” I said, although I wasn’t sure I did. “So what next?”

“People would vote on the candidate that they thought did the most good with their campaign contributions.”

“Oh,” I said. “So the public would actually gain from the political process.”

“Not me,” he said, almost in a wail.

“Or the other ad agencies and television stations.”

“It’s un-American,” he said. “Diverting free speech that way.”

“It’s an interesting thought,” I said. “So we would be voting on the basis of good works?”

“Hell,” he said. “Can you imagine?”

“Not really.”

“My clients might as well be forced to admit what they believe in. Your species should vote on faith.”


“That the other candidate is worse.”

Could you imagine campaign contributions
going to help the undeserving poor? - C.W.
“Not on the basis of doing good?”

“Never. How idiotic.”

“And my wife thought this up?”

“You’ve got to do something,” he said.

“You know,” I said, “I think I will.”

“What?” he said, looking relieved.

“I think I’ll go in and tell her I love her.”

“Oh,” he said. “The horror! The horror!”

Click an ad. I still need that new computer. - C.W.
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