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Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2006 04:55 pm

A hairy situation

How I decided to vote in the gubernatorial race

A hairy situation

I’ve written about 40 articles for Illinois Times, none of ’em on purpose. The words fall from my laptop during morning coffee. The stories “falling” are always 1,600 words long. Because Illinois Times only allows me 800, I just eliminate 800 words at random and call what’s left “well said.”

Oftentimes the randomly eliminated words are integral to the story — the reason, I think, folks sometimes e-mail and say, “I enjoyed your story. Interesting. Different. Made me laugh (or think, or smile), but I’m not quite sure what it’s about. What does it mean?”

My reply: “Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it. It’s missing 800 words as it is — I’ve not a clue what it’s about, I was hoping you could tell me.”
Sometimes they do.

A while back I wrote an article titled “Hamburgers, in the eye of the beholder,” which I thought was an innocent little story about . . . hamburgers!
Carl from Champaign wrote (and other than the “@$$&&,” which is something else altogether, I quote): “You flaming left-wing @$$&&! You puke liberals are backing immigrants who do fast food jobs. You @$$&& liberal socialist bastard! @$$&& you! You think you know it all, you hippie @$$&&!”

And Earl from Taylorville e-mailed in reference to the same story: “Why not eat raw ‘foreign’ fish while you’re at it — you left-wing terrorist whore @$$&&!”

So I replied to Carl from Champaign and cc’d Earl from Taylorville: “Carl, I took the liberty of sharing your e-mail with Earl from Taylorville, and he says he has ‘man love’ for you.”

Then, other than both of ’em e-mailing back something about finding my @$$&& house and blowing it the @$$&& up, and @$$&&, @$$&&, @$$&&, that was the end of our enlightened conversation.

Nonetheless Carl and Earl did give me food for thought: Perhaps I am a flaming liberal.

The true test of one’s inclination is how one votes, not what one says, and, when I thought about it, whenever political candidates have “equal hair,” I do lean more left than right. But my leaning has nothing to do with philosophy; rather it involves the reality (I think we can all agree on this) that Bill Maher is always witty and usually funny, whereas Rush Limbaugh is always not funny and usually insane!

I only use the “wit tiebreaker” when there’s equal “best hair for the job.”

Hair, as you know, is a key indicator to one’s fitness to a do a specific job; for example, people who pull large trucks by their hair for a living must have strong hair. The same is true of public service: You gotta have the right hair for the office.

Proof positive: As every thinking person knows, senators should have disheveled white-gray manes. You may be old enough to remember that Illinois once boasted Everett Dirksen and Paul Douglas as senators. Now those lads had great gray manes, and therefore, by definition, they were the two best senators we ever elected — one a Republican, one a Democrat.

It’s common knowledge that a president (of anything) ought to be bald, so since Ike died I’ve been forced to write in Jean-Luc Picard or Winston Churchill, two of the most decisive and courageous leaders ever, for president. I thought for a moment about voting for John Kerry in the last presidential election, but I couldn’t ignore his very hairy head. Another vote for Jean-Luc.

And we also know that representatives (state or national) are of no consequence whatsoever, kind of like the first-base coach in baseball; that is, all they do is cheer for their team’s “real players.” Any hair will do here. Therefore I usually vote for Harold Baines, the first-base coach for the White Sox.

If we’re writing a “real” job description for a governor, it would only read, “Is a responsible steward of my money.” A governor ought to be a CPA. And all candidates always agree: They always say, “I will be a responsible steward of your money.” It follows, then, that a governor ought to have “accountant hair” — that is, a comb-over!

The puzzle: Rod Blagojevich seems an OK guy; I’d even consider voting for him if he’d pull his hair out with a clamshell, leaving just enough for a Homer Simpson four-strand comb-over. As is, though, he has far too much hair for my vote. In fact, he may have more hair than anyone who has lived so far.

The monkey wrench: Judy Baar Topinka confuses my hair logic by being a woman. We can’t subject a woman to the same hair standard as a man, which is why I’ve decided to vote for the person who sends me the most e-mails saying, “I really enjoyed your article. Interesting. Different.”

Tally to date: Topinka 4, Blagojevich 0.

“All politics is local,” said Tip O’Neill, a great congressman with a full, uncombed mane of white hair.

Well said.

Contact Doug Bybee Sr. at dougbybee@sbcglobal.net.

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