October 25, 2000

2001: A Political

By Roy Rivenburg

Election Breakthrough: Our time-traveling journalist has just returned from the future with exciting news about the Nov. 7 presidential election: Neither idiot will make it to the White House.

As you recall, Off-Kilter has access to an experimental time machine that was developed at Caltech and which we use purely for scholarly purposes, such as solving riddles of history, reporting on future news and betting on horse races.

A few days ago, we sent our correspondent to January 2001 to find out about the presidential race and to pick up some groceries (perishables keep longer when you buy them in the future because the expiration date is later). He filed this report:

  • Nov. 3: In a final bid to sway undecided voters, George W. Bush and Al Gore hold a fourth debate, in which they spar over taxes, education and who put the bop in the bop-shoo-bop-shoo-bop. Gore claims he invented the bop, and also put the ram in rama-lama-ding-dong. Meanwhile, Bush erases concerns about his foreign policy experience with a promise to "end the violence in the Middle East by sending over a negotiating team led by Mr. Rogers and Secretary of State Barney the Dinosaur.''
  • Nov. 7: Bush narrowly defeats Gore. But doubts linger about his mental acuity and mastery of the English language when he concludes his victory speech with a plea for Democrats and Republicans to be uniters, not dividers: "I speak of the pompatus of love.''
  • Nov. 8: Ralph Nader asks the Consumer Product Safety Commission to order a product recall of Bush to repair possible manufacturing defects in his brain.
  • Nov. 13: Bush is pulled from the market.
  • Jan. 21: To avert a constitutional crisis, actor Martin Sheen of TV's "The West Wing'' is sworn in as the nation's 43rd president. All world crises must now be resolved within 60 minutes, including commercial breaks.

    Amazing Grace Period: Meter maids in San Francisco have formed a gospel choir, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

    Get Smart Bureau: Has anyone else noticed that Al Gore and George W. Bush bear an uncanny similarity to Hymie the Robot and Larabee from "Get Smart''? Where is the "cone of silence'' when we need it?

    Press Releases We Ignored: "Denver Company Rolls Out Flavored Anticaking Agents for Cheese Industry.''

    Off-Kilter Encyclopedia: Our latest collection of useless information:

  • A survey of bestselling art posters by barewalls.com found that "Dogs Playing Poker'' is rapidly gaining popularity in Asia.
  • South Africa's parliament uses 500 roles of toilet paper a day.
  • A Tennessee company is manufacturing Holy Cross Soda, billed as "the world's first Christian soft drink.''
  • Singer Lou Reed would like to be reincarnated as an amplifier.
  • Venus is upside-down, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
  • On July 4, 1947, a spaceship carrying five aliens allegedly crashed near Roswell, N.M. Nine months later, on March 31, 1948, Al Gore was born. Coincidence?
  • Bumper Sticker Patrol: Spotted by The Realist: "Your planet's immune system is trying to get rid of you.''

    Supermarket Tabloid Headline of the Week: "Space Alien Kills Man During Drive-By Shooting'' (Weekly World News)

    Our time-traveling journalist says this incident marks the beginning of a turf war between extraterrestrial gangs and earthlings over who will control the crack cocaine trade. Also ahead: alien graffiti.

    Unpaid Informants: PR Newswire, U.S. Catholic, Wireless Flash News Service, Chicago City Newsstand, Terry Mattingly.

    Copyright © 2000 by Roy Rivenburg
    Distributed by Creators Syndicate