In the funniest column of the week, Bruce Feirstein imagines the highlights of Election Night
2004. Here’s a sample excerpt from his “Pundits Go Nuts”:
10 p.m., NBC: Andrea Mitchell reports that Mount St. Helen’s has exploded.
Tim Russert offers his instant analysis: “Since 1781, no Republican incumbent whose last name
begins with a ‘B’ has ever won re-election when a volcano has erupted in a western state within 72
hours of voting.”
Feirstein predicts a l-o-n-g night not without its compensation in laughter:
1:07 a.m., Fox News: In keeping with his tradition of truthful journalism, Carl
Cameron reports that John Kerry has gone windsurfing, after which he’s getting a manicure, which
will be followed by a guitar concert where he’ll play “Kumbaya” accompanied by Bruce
Springsteen and Bono, before ending the night goose-hunting.
1:09 a.m., Fox News: In an effort to appear fair and balanced, Cameron also reports that
George Bush is clearing brush at the ranch. With a flame thrower. And he’s set a CBS news truck
on fire, reportedly commenting, “Put that on your Internets.”
Somehow Feirstein must have channeled the satirical routines of William S. Burroughs. Either
that or he read Uncle Bill’s classic, “Roosevelt After Inauguration.” Here’s an excerpt of that
“routine” — Burroughs’s term — which was conceived in a dream back in 1953 (long pre-dating
Lenny Bruce) and from which, he wrote Allen Ginsberg, “I woke up laughing”:
To a Transvestite Lizzie went the post of Congressional Librarian. She
immediately barred the male sex.
Lonny the Pimp became Ambassador at Large and went on tour with 50 “secretaries”
excercising his despicable trade.
A female impersonator, known as “Eddie the Lady,” headed the Atomic Energy Commission,
and enrolled the physicists into a male chorus which was booked as “The Atomic Kids.” …
A veteran panhandler was appointed Secretary of State, and disregarding the dignity of his
office, solicited nickels and dimes in the corridors of the State
“In short,” Burroughs wrote, “men who had gone gray and toothless in the faithful service of
their country were summarily dismissed in the grossest terms — like ‘You’re fired you old fuck.
Get your piles outa here.'”
Admittedly, Burroughs’s tone is much harsher than Feirstein’s. But both cue up the same
realm of absurdity.