This was fun. It also got mentioned on other sites and a few political sites linked to it. But nobody plagiarized this one. I greatly enjoyed writing this one. There were calls for a sequel, but I knew this was a one-time-only deal.
As much as I’d like to have a column written about the election returns, it just wasn’t going to happen this week. Unfortunately, PW goes to press on Tuesday afternoon, long before the results would start to roll in – and possibly days before the winner is decided. But to stay timely, I decided to do a column that would be accurate for every possible Presidential election outcome – a difficult task to be sure, but one whose answer came to me in the form of a series of children’s books. Anyone who went through elementary or junior high school in the early 1980’s might be familiar with the format, which is in the style of the Choose Your Own Adventure series.
If you could figure out how to vote, you should be able to figure out how to do this. I call this Choose Your Own Election #1: The Ballot of Eternity.
START HERE: Did you vote? If you did, go to 1. If you didn’t, go to 19. If you’re too young to vote, pretend.
1 – Did you vote for George W. Bush or John Kerry, or did you vote for a candidate from one of the smaller parties? If you voted for Bush, go to 2. If you voted for Kerry, go to 3. If you voted for anyone else, go to 8.
2 – You cast a vote for four more years of a Republican regime that sees civil rights only as an obstacle to be overcome? Whatever. Has Dubya been declared the clear winner? If yes, go to 4. If no, go to 6. If it’s still too close to call and the lawyers are now riding their warhorses into battle, go to 10.
3 – You cast your vote for John Kerry, a live-action version of the “pin-the-tail-on-the” donkey? You can’t pin anything on this guy. Has Kerry been declared the clear winner? If yes, go to 5. If no, go to 7. If it’s still too close to call and the lawyers have grabbed up their swords for an epic fight, go to 9.
4 – Congratulations! George W. Bush has been reelected. The Republic is safe for four more years and you can rest easy that The Man Who Would Not Be Misunderestimated is back in the saddle to protect us from Third World Dictators who didn’t blow up the World Trade Center. Go to 21.
5 – Congratulations! John Kerry is in office! Now we’ll have a chance to see what happens when a man with a three-digit IQ takes over. Say “Who’s Yo Daddy” to the first neighbor you see with an SUV and a Bush/Cheney sticker, then go to 21.
6 – How could you have lost? Those punk Democrats must have pulled some dirty trick to win. Ignore the wimp in the Volvo asking you “Who’s Yo Daddy,” then go to 21.
7 – You lost. Does this really come as a surprise? Take the time to consider that backing a moderate Democrat next time might possibly do the trick. Go to 21.
8 – You cast a vote for freedom from the antiquated two-party system and away from their corporate masters. Huzzah! Did your candidate win? Yes, go to 11. No, go to 13.
9 – Those damn Republicans are trying to steal the election – again. Go to 12.
10 – Those damn Democrats are challenging the rightful winner – again. Go to 12.
11 – Oh, come on. This wouldn’t happen even in a children’s fiction book. Go to 13.
12 – Are you a member of the U.S. Supreme Court? Yes, go to 14. No, go to 16.
13 – Another election, another loss. You have options, though. If you decide to back a major party next time, go to 15. If you decide to stick with your people, go to 17.
14 – Justice Whoever, are you conservative or liberal? Conservative, go to 18. Liberal, go to 20.
15 – So you’re willing to give up for an easy victory, are you? Absolutely nobody has respect for you – unless you vote for their side next time. Go to 21.
16 – I’m sorry, but your vote no longer counts. Next time it’s too close to call, make sure you’re a Justice. Go to 21.
17 – You may feel certain of the rightness of your decision. You may feel the respect of others. You will feel disappointment for the next several terms. Go to 21.
18 – Congratulations! You have (made sure your team) won! Go to 4.
19 – Idiot. Go to 22.
20 – At 5-4, your vote wasn’t good enough. Imagine the shock the American people won’t feel. Go to 7.
21 – Hoist a glass of something foamy and salute the fact that, regardless of who won, Thank God It’s Over. Go to 23.
21 – Hoist a glass and salute the fact that, no matter who won, thank God it’s over. Then go to Left Field Sports Grill for our first-ever Thank God It’s Over Party. This way everyone wins.
22 – Put your head back in the sand and your thumb back in your ass and go back to ignoring your most important right and responsibility.
23 - Left Field Sports Grill will host Planet Weekly’s first-ever “Thank God It’s Over” Party on Saturday, November 13, starting at 10 p.m. We don’t care who you voted for – just that you voted. Come down and join colleagues and opponents for a friendly drink. I’ll be there with fellow columnists Tre Bass and Ali Greggs, and everyone else who’s ready for the election season to end. If you still want to verbally abuse your opponents (or try a lucid argument), go to planetweekly and join in the fray that is certain to begin.