Dewey Defeats Kerry

["Fresh Choices" sign in abandoned Safeway.]

Some of the pre-written newspaper coverage of the election reads like a Mad Lib.


<?php
print (
  "<h1>$Winner Defeats $Loser</h1>
  <p>A victory for $Winner was all but certain, even as some polls on the west coast remained open to accomodate higher than expected voter turnout. The networks' news divisions, still reeling from their repeated mis-calls on the night of the contested 2000 election, were careful to wait until the last possible moment to project a winner for any of several swing states.</p>");
  if $Concession = 0 (
    print (
      "<p>$LoserAdvisor insisted that "$LoserAdvisorQuote" $Winner consulted with attorneys in preparation for possible $NatureOfLegalAction, a possibility that became $LegalActionLikelihood likely as the results continued to come in. According to $WinnerAdvisor, "$WinnerAdvisorQuote"</p>"
      );
    );
  elseif $Concession = 1 (
    print (
      "<p>In an early morning address, a weary $Loser told a somber crowd of supporters, "$LoserConcessionQuote"</p>
      <p>$Winner followed $Loser's concession with an acceptance speech an hour later. "$WinnerAcceptance" he told a packed $WinnerLocation.</p>"
      );
    );
?>

I’d like to see a collection of news stories that were written and then withheld from publication because they failed to happen.

Election

There was no line when I went to vote today. In fact the poll worker for my precinct was dozing off. (He must have been there when the polls opened at 6:30.) I looked to the poll worker in the seat beside him for help, but he didn’t seem concerned. So I cleared my throat and said, “Excuse me,” quietly. The poll worker jumped awake. Then he laughed and called me “sir”. A volunteer observer looked over my shoulder when I signed in and thumbed through her own printout of registered voters to make a mark beside my name — almost like she was voting for me!

A line of voters did form while I was filling in the bubbles for the two dozen races, referendums, and initiatives on the ballot. I chose one Republican and one Green, several Democrats, four non-partisan judges, and one monorail.

I have to admit that while I care about which party will control the Senate and which initiative was filed by short-sighted land owners to sabotage public transit, those aren’t the votes that have me holding my breath.

Here, Now

NaNoWriMo 2004 Participant

I’m going to give NaNoWriMo a go this year — National Novel Writing Month or 50,000 words in thirty days. I tried once before, in 2001, ended up with a tangle of 30,000 uneditable words and the title Beans for Breakfast. (I apparently wasn’t honest enough to admit the failure on the weblog. There’s no post mortem entry.) I also came up with the title for another NaNoWriter’s finished novel, Like, Moses or Something. If nothing else, 2001 was a good year for bad titles.

This time I’m organizing everything on a public wiki. There are pages (for people who can figure out how to navigate a wiki) to comment on the “story” as it progresses, point out errors, and loan me ideas. It ain’t Shakespeare, but at least it’s short.

I have a lot of other things to do this month, so I ought to get busy.