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In Goreville and Bushland, and most other places, People were watching electoral races. They kept their eyes glued to cable TV As pinheads and pundits talked portentously Of how the election was too close to call And how it would be a most marvelous fall. And so all the people kept eyes on their work Not realizing that there was a smirk Coming from that old meanie, the Grinch, Whose heart was no bigger than a tenth of an inch. The Grinch said, “It’s time to unleash what I’ve planned, And cause consternation all over the land.” “I’ll steal the election, just whisk it away, Ballots and posters, all public display. I’ll take the soft money, the endorsements, too. I’ll make the campaign staffs whimper boo hoo.” And so he unleashed his terrible plot, As voters watched the polls getting hot. The Grinch raised the prices of prescription drugs. He made HMOs look like terrible thugs. In Goreville the kids could no longer read. They accused folks in Bushland of succumbing to greed. In Bushland the voters screamed with one voice, “We can’t vote for Gore because he’s pro-choice!” The Grinch just sat chuckling. He unleashed more terror. Ratings in polls? Just statistical error! The Grinch wasn’t done. There was more to his game. He made the candidates look just the same. They wore the same clothes; they had the same ties. They looked just alike in most voters’ eyes. And still the Grinch continued his stalking. The Grinch-addled candidates wouldn’t stop talking. They spent budget surpluses and used all our money For programs and tax breaks that sounded quite funny. Said Bush, “We’re half empty.” Said Gore, “We’re half full.” Voters were thinking it all might be bull. The people all waited for Election Day, Wondering when it would all go away. They watched on the TV and read all the polls; Their brains were as soft as old jelly rolls. But the Grinch still was plotting, with superior knowledge, To create two dropouts from the Electoral College. Election Day dawned, the populace waiting. Likewise the candidates, their spokespersons stating That they’d go to Washington with the best of intentions To end all the rancor, cant and dissensions. The Grinch saw it all on CNBC, Ready to cause some more misery. In Palm Beach County, he used butterfly ballots. It was like hitting the voters with 16-pound mallets. He sent New Mexico votes all the way to Tirana, Making George Bush and Al Gore act just like piranha. In Iowa, he spit in the candidates’ eyes Because Cedar County came in as a tie. He messed with the networks and their exit polling And tinkered with Florida to keep his plan rolling. He put chads on the punch cards and let some double-punch, Voting for Buchanan or some other bunch. Red states and blue states, the electors came in, The margin between them becoming quite thin. In Bushland and Goreville the tension did mount. And then the Grinch whispered, “Demand a recount! Call out your lawyers! Ask for injunctions! Destroy all the voters’ higher brain functions! I know you can do it. Just use fuzzy math! You’re leading our country down just the right path!” As spinmeisters threatened and judges opined. In Goreville and Bushland folks woke up to find That the day was still sunny, the temperature warm. The donuts and omelets were still up to form. The cats were all sleeping. The dogs were not howling. Gone were attack ads and candidates’ yowling. “I’m quite amazed,” said almost every resident, “Maybe we just don’t need a new president. Let them go somewhere else to do all their fighting. Bulgaria, Belize. It will be quite exciting To have peace and quiet, no more alerts. We’ll all stay at home and have more desserts.” The Grinch was astonished. He couldn’t believe He’d given the people a blessed reprieve. By messing with Gore and tinkering with Bush, He’d given the voters a kick in the tush. They woke up and saw, like a down-crashing icicle, That we need these guys like a fish needs a bicycle. In Bushland and Goreville all is serene, And candidates no longer try to be seen. Nobody cared about who had won, With cloned candidates all the voters were done. The Grinch still is hopeful of voters to pillory. He says to himself, “There soon will be Hillary.” As we leave all the voters resting and quiet, Having avoided electoral riot, The lawyers will argue ’till blue in the face Of recounts and miscounts and votes to replace. Let you and me give up all this questing, We’ll watch the real president each week on “West Wing.” It ought to be obvious that Tom Alleman, a shareholder in Winstead Sechrest & Minick in Dallas, would much rather watch Cartoon Network than CNBC and equally obvious that what’s expressed in this poem is entirely personal if a bit off center, and not necessarily the opinion of anyone at Winstead Sechrest & Minick or its clients.

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