Vol. 2, Issue 33, September 28, 2004
Random Numbers for All Purposes

Bare-Knuckled Politics

Ezekiel F. Watley, Esq.

As the heady days of September slip away like so many fallen Leaves, and the Exhilirating days of October loom benignly upon our Horizons, my thoughts turn to that most Quintessentially Human pursuit: that of Prevarication, the ruthless pursuit of Dominion over one's fellow Man, and the well-aimed hefting of Mud.

I speak of course of Politics, and though I myself am not running for Office during this particular Election - a wearisome Burden, such a task, to be sure! - I nonetheless find these pre-election days both Edifying and Gratifying. I have asked the faithful Elisabeth to please iron the Bunting I traditionally hang from my Windows during these exciting times; it is like a Holiday, only without the precise Outcome being known. At the day's end of Independence Day, one has Fire-Works; All Hallows-Eve finds the pumpkin-shaped plastic Coffers of our Youth stuffed with all manner of Confectionary. But when the sun sets on Election Day? - Who knows? - It is rather like Christmas, except that one must wait for the presents to be opened late in the Evening on that hallowed Tuesday.

Though the wild days of the Whigs and Know-nothings are long past, we nonetheless find marvelous Diversion in the present-day antics of their descendants. Now, I know many are Dismayed at the turn of events, and the Stakes riding upon this Election; but I find that, once viewed with the proper Attitude, they can be Wholly Entertaining - or at least so I thought.

The announcement came as a Refreshing surprise at the Club, as we bandied about Headlines from the staid and respectable Journals which the staff of that most excellent establishment lay out each Day. "The Gloves are Off!" declared old Haversham; "I have it as Gospel Truth that George and John will at last lay aside their vacuous Rhetoric and settle things like Men, down at Pembleton's at Three."

My stars, what an unexpected return to Form for our moribund Politicians! The testing of Mettle in a more Traditional form which would be Entirely Wholesome for American families. Surely most Americans would rather see two grown men gallantly Battering each other with their Fists in defense of their respective Political Platforms than a drawn-out Public Relations war of Attrition. By Jove! - This was headily reminiscent of the Lincoln-Douglas fights, in which those most worthy Candidates did battle every day for a Fortnight prior to the Elections.

I attired myself Accordingly - my very best Silk Hat (these are, after all, candidates for the Presidency); a pair of patriotic Star-spangled Spats; appropriately red-and-white striped Kerchiefs. I even brought along a flask of Domestic American Whiskey - not to drink myself, of course, but to have on Hand in the event one of those notables should need a Drink.

But alas, to my dismay, old Haversham was not entirely correct - for while two gentlemen named George and John did indeed have at it at Pemberton's over their respective Political Differences, they were Not those of the Bush and Kerry clans.

However, I must point out that the quality and sophistication of the Repartée enjoyed by these two stalwart Champions far exceeded that seen from our Candidates as of late; particularly when they began wielding broken Bottles. If only all politics were so Direct these days! - I fear the excessive Civility and Decorum of our candidates has stifled the genuinely creative Fire of true political Passion. Well, there are still plenty of weeks before the Elections: perhaps things shall pick up a bit.

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