There are forms that C.W. loves but some of those would get on the last nerve in my body. Take, for example, the one he calls “Redneck Raymond.” Yep, you guessed it. A big bushy-headed bully with a paunch cantilevered six inches over a belt buckle featuring a cowboy riding a bucking horse. He grates. Really grates.
And he showed up yesterday.
I was in the back yard waiting for the family to come back from grocery shopping. I was enjoying a summer breeze, a cigar, and a rum and tonic when he just walked around the corner of the farmhouse and plopped, uninvited, into a chair. He grabbed a glass belonging to my wife and poured himself a liberal shot of rum. He sipped it, made a face and held it out. “Not bad,” he said.
“Where have you been/” I said. He hadn’t appeared in this form for some time.
“Preaching,” he said. “I tried preaching.”
“Oh really? How did that work out?”
“Not bad at first. Found me a little Baptist church, learned a few gestures, perfected a little sing-song babble and off I went. Just had to work a few hours each week. Good gig.”
“So what happened?”
“Well,” he said. Before continuing, he took a good sip of rum, looked away, and then turned back to me. “To tell you the truth, the son-of-a-bitches wouldn’t pay me.” He slapped his knee and let out a hearty laugh. Then he took another drink. “Anyway, the Falloonian Elders have me on special assignment for a while.”
“Oh,” I said. “Doing what?”
“Elections? Helping with them?”
“Hell no,” he said. “It seems your species, or your voting habits, is the talk of the galaxy right now. I’ve been directed to make some notes.” He poured himself some more rum. “Want to hear what I’ve done so far?”
“As long as we finish before my wife gets back. That’s her glass you’re drinking from.”
“Mrs. Big Dope’s never seen me drink,” he said. “She thinks I’m a saint.”
I rolled my eyes. “So what have you got?”
“I started with the types of elections, that you folks seem to have.” He took a small note pad from a shirt pocket, flipped a few pages, and read. “Types of elections.” He looked at me.
“Yes,” I said. “Go ahead.”
“One,” he said, “Americans sometimes have ‘Hissy-Fit Elections,’ or elections designed to express displeasure over some insulting occurrence, such as the election of a person with the wrong racial features or of the wrong gender.”
I thought about this. He continued reading. “Earthlings in this country have had, on one occasion, what I called a ‘You don’t mean it election,’ which is not simply an election but an intercession by its highest court when the court feels the electorate is about to make the wrong decision. The results can be devastating.”
I just stared. He kept going. “There is what I call ‘The Archie Bunker Election,’ based on a stereotypical uneducated, bigoted, but hard working American character in a popular TV series. The character was known primarily, at the time, for saying outlandish things, but it turned out later that a huge segment of the viewing population adored the character for saying things they wanted to say themselves but didn’t dare.
He flipped a page. “This one is complicated,” he said. “I call it the ‘We’re so stupid vote.’” He actually winked at me and took a sip before continuing. “There have been states with nearly simultaneous elections, one cutting taxes and the next mandating additional services.” He sipped. “In my own host state, where hunting is sacred and hunting rights nearly outweigh property rights, they once held an election to guarantee the right to hunt.” He made a note. “It passed, by the way.”
“Are we about finished?” My head was beginning to itch.
|Your voters are certainly most particular|
about to whom they grant rights. - C.W.
“I don’t understand,” I said. “How do you have a census vote?”
“It’s easy,” he said. “You just declare, for example, a statewide vote taking away, from a minority group, a right fully enjoyed by the majority group. It works quite well as a census.”
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