How the Grinch Stole Election Day

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Nov. 21 2000 3:00 AM

How the Grinch Stole Election Day

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(With respects to Theodor S. Geisel.)

Every Chad
Down in Chad-ville
Liked voting a lot ...
But the Grinch,
Who lived just north of Chad-ville
Did NOT!

The Grinch hated voting! He thought it a bore.
Now, please don't ask why. Could be Bush, could be Gore.
It could be his heart bled with liberal mush.
It could be, perhaps, that he listened to Rush.
But I think the real reason his trust was so shattered
Was the great Grinchy view that his vote never mattered.

BUT
Whatever the reason,
Lack of trust, lack of goals,
The Grinch dreaded that day when Chads went to the polls.
He just hated those speeches and negative ads,
And when push came to shove, he just hated the Chads.
He just hated their theme parks, their football-team rooters,
He just hated their gun laws, their barmaids at Hooters.
He just hated their weather, even hated their hate.
And he hated that they were a battleground state.

"So they're making their choices," he snarled with a sneer.
"This 'Decision Two Thousand' is practically here!
"They'll struggle to choose 'tween a crumb and a bum,
" 'Cause a voter's a voter, no matter how dumb."
Then he growled, his Grinch fingers nervously drumming,
"I MUST find a way to keep outcomes from coming!"

For tomorrow, he knew ...
All the flag-waving souls,
Would again waste their efforts on Clintons or Doles.
And by then, oh, the polls! Oh, the polls! Polls! Polls! Polls!
That's the one thing he hated! The POLLS! POLLS! POLLS! POLLS!

So the Chads, rich and poor, and by bus, car, or boat,
They would vote! And they'd vote!
And they'd VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!
They would vote to ban smoking or clearing your throat.
They would even vote laws in for curbing your goat.

And THEN ...
They'd sing that anthem. It always came later.
Be they Bush-ites or Gore-ites or ites of Ralph Nader.
They'd stand close together, and though still full of fight,
They'd stand and they'd sing, by that dawn's early light.

And the more the Grinch thought of Election Day's ring,
The more the Grinch thought, "I must stop this whole thing!
"Why, for two hundred years I've put up with it now!
"I MUST stop these outcomes from coming!
"... But HOW?"

Then he got an idea!
Yes, a legal idea!
THE GRINCH
GOT AN AWFUL BUT LEGAL IDEA!

"I know just what to do!" The Grinch laughed with a jig.
And he wove from his goat a Sam Donaldson wig.
And into the mirror he spoke with grand rancor,
"With this helmet of hair, they'll all think I'm an anchor!"

"All I need are some ballots ..."
The Grinch looked around.
But since ballots were private, there were none to be found.
So he made his own ballot, printing letters quite little,
And he scattered the names, running holes down the middle,
And he stuck it together with Chad-berry spittle.
And he said, "They'll need Einstein to figure this riddle!"

THEN
He loaded his boxes, and without looking nervous
Put a sign on his van that said "Voter News Service."
THEN
The Grinch pulled away in his van with a screech
Toward the pads of the Chads in a place called "Palm Beach."

When he came to the first polling place in the square,
All the lines were quite long. Thoughtful talk filled the air,
As the Chads chatted merits of managed health care.
"Vote early and often," the Grinch said with a grin.
And he marched to the front of the line and stepped in.

There he left all his ballots, the strange ones with punches,
And instructions that said, "Please punch punches in bunches."
As he slunk out the door toward the nearest Grand Hyatt,
He could hear what you'd think was an Elián riot.
The Cohens—sisters Esther, Mitzi, and Shannon,
Just realized that their votes had all gone to Buchanan!

At a place in Dade County near a middle-school yard,
The Grinch donned a shirt that said, "Polling Place Guard."
And he eyeballed each Chad and said, "Where is your card?
"Voter card? Motor card? Credit card? Diner's?
"Face card? Race card? Baseball card? Shriners?"
And he turned them away. Then the Grinch, like a fox,
Stuffed all of his ballots and locked the lockbox!

Then old Grinch returned home to go "LIVE" on TV.
He had waited quite late: (It was now eight oh three.)
So the Grinch Network News first projected a score:
"Now with one percent in, we pick Chad-ville for GORE."
Every Gore-ite in Chad-ville said, "GIVE US SOME MORE!"

So he pulled more projections straight out of his stack.
Then, "Oh, dear!" said the Grinch, "I must take it all back!"
So the Grinch Network News, in grand fairness to all
Now reported that Chad-ville was "TOO CLOSE TO CALL."

"Don't be mad, all you Chads, for this isn't a scandal,
"It was just," the Grinch said, "we forgot the Panhandle.
"The science of sampling can leave one out-simpled."
So the Chads were left hanging and pregnant and dimpled.
And the stress of it all put George Bush among the pimpled! 

Then the Grinch raised a finger for the night's final push.
"Election Day's done, and the winner is BUSH."
After all, George was leading at least by a dozen.
(And whenever it's close, always go with your cousin.)
"Play the music, the songs, pop the corks, sing the praises,
" 'Cause with Bush as the winner, you're all getting raises!"
And then the Grinch yawned, "This election stuff's hokey,
Good-bye 'till next year! And now back to you, Cokie."

And the Grinch, he went back to his old Grinchy pad.
But en route, he was nabbed by a little Chad lad
Who had stayed up all night (quite ignoring his dad).
He stared at the Grinch and said, "Sir, who's our leader?
"Is it Bush? Is it Gore? Or, my choice, Derek Jeter?"
And the Grinch simply smiled: This day couldn't be sweeter.

They were finding out now that no outcome was coming!
They were seeing it now, all their dumbness and dumbing.
"They're just waking up!" he said. "Here's what they'll do!
"Their mouths will hang open a minute or two
"And the Chads down in Chad-ville will all cry, 'WE'LL SUE!' "

As he stared down at Chad-ville, the Grinch popped his eyes,
But the scene that he saw brought a shocking surprise.
All the Chads down in Chad-ville, Chad lads and Chad dads,
They were counting the votes, they were counting the chads!
He hadn't stopped an outcome from coming.
IT CAME!
SOMEHOW OR ANOTHER, IT CAME JUST THE SAME!

As the Grinch with his head buried deep in the sand
Sat puzzling and puzzling, "They will count them by hand?"
Yes, it came with the lawsuits, it came with the lawyers,
It came with Tim Russert, it came with Bill Moyers.
When the ballots were plucked and the counting was done
The last margin of victory turned out to be ... ONE!
And if the Grinch had just voted,
... HIS GUY WOULD HAVE WON!
And what happened then ...
Well ...
In Chad-ville they say
That the Grinch's small district
Grew three sizes that day.

'Cause the minute his mood had come out of its slump,
The Grinch said, "Hmm! I could be running this dump!"
So he formed a committee to do all the work
And he ...
HE HIMSELF!
The Grinch ran for town clerk! 

Frank Cammuso and Hart Seely are co-authors of 2007-Eleven and Other American Comedies. Cammuso is a political cartoonist and Seely a reporter for the Syracuse Post-Standard in Syracuse, N.Y.    

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