Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Eye of the Be-Voter

You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of the imagination. There's the signpost up ahead --- Emergency Pull-Offwhich has always struck me as kind of funny unless you're 16 years old and you're feeling ... 

No, no, wait!   I mean, there's the signpost up ahead, your next stop:

Submitted for your approval, one candidate for the highly elusive office known as President of the United States.  A man who has everything the job seems to require --- a nimble mind, a grasp of the affairs of humankind, and a record of political contribution in one of the great states of the Union.  But this man also has a flaw, a dark forbidding flaw that casts doubt over all he's hoped and striven for.  This man has all the charisma of a room temperature bowl of Cream of Wheat!

One man, one tragic flaw, about to enter The Twilight Zone.

"What a tragedy, doctor!  All that ability, political service in the state of Massachusetts, burning desire for the job and yet ... all the personality of a casaba melon!"

"Even less, I'm afraid, nurse. Our cardiac surgeons have been asking him to give campaign speeches to their pre-operative patients in lieu of an anesthetic.  Seems to be working fine, with way fewer side effects than anything else!"

"Has our treatment worked, doctor?"

"It's too soon to tell.  Charisma transplants have been tried before but none have succeeded.  The last one I attempted was on a stultifyingly boring preppy woman named Martha something or other.  It failed dismally, but I heard she was able to find work on daytime television."

"Nurse!  Nurse, I need you!"

"Yes, sir, I'm here." 

"Nurse, I'm feeling a little stronger now.  I'd like to work on my inauguration speech.  I must know if the charisma transplant has worked!"

"Please, sir, don't try it yet!"

"Nurse, you just don't know what my life has been like! My earliest memory is of people yawning whenever I came near.  In school whenever I was speaking in class, teachers used to put a mirror up to my nose to see if I was breathing!" 

"Even now when I'm making love to my wife, she doodles on my back!  It's been a nightmare, do you understand, nurse?!   A nightmare!!  Nurse?!  Nurse?!!


Commercial Message. 

"Now, sir, it's come time to remove the bandages and find out whether the procedure has succeeded. When the last bandage is removed, please begin reciting your proposed inauguration speech."

Round and round the bandages are unraveled. The first rays of light begin to appear to the patient's eyes through the continued unraveling of the layers of bandage, breaking through at last into his private world of darkness.

"Now, sir, begin!"

"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country!"

"NO CHANGE!  NO CHANGE!  He's still boring as hell!"

"Doctor, he'll never be President now!" 

Submitted for your approval, one political candidate from Massachusetts named John Fitzgerald Kennedy.  Now the question may be asked "where is this time and place where somebody like Mitt Romney might be considered a cool guy?" The answer is "it doesn't really matter." 

For charisma truly is in the eye of the be-voter. 

Lesson to be learned in this thankfully non-Presidential election year of 2013 or any other, both on Earth and in  ... 

The Twilight Zone.


And you didn't think I was capable of a true Twilight Zone ending!

(And thank you to Rod Serling for The Eye of the Beholder, the great Twilight Zone episode on which this humble parody is based.)