Washington DC, October 28 2000 - New millennium: lots of zeroes. New round of elections: lots of choices. Or so one would think! But the reality is very different.
Despite the normal political pettifoggery and scripted idealism, this election boils down to a single overriding issue. One issue that cuts to America's heart -- much like the dagger of an Aztec priest, making human sacrifice so that the faithful might have fertility.
It's impossible to understate what the upcoming election means for America. It's bigger than the choice between abstinence and AIDS. It's even bigger than the choice between slavery and let's-not-really-oppose-slavery-until-two-years-into-the-war-against-the-slave-states. After years of sticking our heads in the sand of "liberal" and "conservative" we can no longer put off what must be done. The time is now -- to choose between Old and Fat.
Some of you may be scratching your heads and thinking to yourselves: "Why haven't I heard about this?" Well, to be blunt -- you have dandruff. Current events are image-conscious and don't want to be seen with you. Now get some good shampoo or go back to listening to your Stephen King books on tape, okay?
The schism between Old and Fat is deep-rooted and goes back decades. Many forget that, twenty-seven years ago, fat was illegal. Penalties were harsh for what the law regarded as a moral shortcoming. The only recourse the big-boned of America had was the back alley and the quack liposuctionist. The few fortunate enough to have money, or connections, could have themselves smuggled out of the country on the "Overweight Railroad".
This situation came to a head with the landmark 1973 court case "Old v. Fat", which declared one's weight to be a matter of personal privacy. The response was a firestorm of public opinion that has lasted to the current day. Citizens on both sides of the debate have long been courted by politicians seeking weight and eminence.
The vocal anti-Old movement prefers to refer to itself as "Pro-Fat", while the anti-Fatties for some reason prefer to be called "Pro-Thin". Indeed, they acclaim as role models women who've never set foot in the kitchen. Abstinence, they say, is the only way to avoid avoirdupois.
The current Republican candidate is running on a flat "No Fat" platform. Meanwhile, radical groups of centenarians -- calling themselves "Operation Osteoporosis" -- have picketed and firebombed fat farms across the nation. Aerobicizers fear for their lives, jobs and reputations.
The Grand Old Party has called for a return of honor to the White House, claiming that Democrats have turned it into a house of white elephants. They make oblique reference to last year's scandal in which the President engaged in same-fat relations. In many U.S. states a physical relationship between two people of the same weight is actually punishable by imprisonment. Civic and religious leaders cite the "Jack Sprat" ditty, learned at their Grandpappy's knee, as the moral standard -- now shamefully fallen out of date.
In his defense, Democrat Al Gore claims to be born-again thin (and Tipper born-again fat). However, he declares that Americans should be free to choose partners of any weight. Gore points out that the stage show at the Republican Convention was dominated by elephants -- to create the impression of tolerance -- but that there wasn't a single elephant in the audience. He claims the Republicans, despite recent facelifts, have the same old constituency of curmudgeons.
By way of rebuttal, Republicans claim the elephant as a symbol of maturity and wisdom. In fact they've long pushed public schools to adopt elephant skins as school uniforms. This measure is intended to impart some much-needed gravity to today's superficial, image-conscious schoolkids. As an added benefit, the elephant costumes will encourage children to join herds instead of gangs.
Meanwhile, on the fringe, a different voice is gaining influence. A movement calling itself the Life Party points out that Old and Fat are two sides of the same coin. "Both parties receive matching contributions from the Monopoly Guy, who I need not point out is both elderly and rotund," says Life-Party spokesperson Rainbow Landfill. "In fact, both these parties should just get together and run as the Dead Party. They get lots of money from Parker Brothers, but are the Parker Brothers actually alive? I don't think so. Disney signs fat checks over to lawmakers -- but do you see Disney walking around? Maybe he's propped up in the Animatronic Studio, but those aren't his words coming out of his mouth."
True, perhaps. But however accurate their criticisms, the Life Party's influence remains slight. It doesn't possess the weight or respectability of the established factions -- which is all to the good. The delicate balance of bipartisan politics must not be upset. The scales held by Blind Justice have only two support plates. Should anyone else be rude enough to climb on, the scales would be upset -- and Justice would be forced to take off her blindfold to see what the hell was going on.
So get out there on Election Day. Show 'em you're not afraid to compromise. Worship the vote -- at the Establishment of your choice.