Sep 5, 2013 by



Marnie Macauley


Today, I opened my mailbox and, as usual these past months, it was stuffed.  I got two letters (OK, one was a bill), and 23 glossy political ads about every human running and   every other human running against them.


Apparently, the object of the game is to get voters to distinguish between “Them” and “Not Them.” Several of us played and we all lost. The glossies blended into a sea of self-important blow-harding and warnings that make the “get under your desks kids in case of fall-out” during the Cuban Missile crises seem like Simple Simon.


Speaking of which, in talking to friends with an I.Q. larger than a brisket, it seems many of us feel like the losing boot in some bizarre new cardboard game called Monopoly-tics, where we constantly land on “Tax,” never pass GO, and can’t even afford the 60 bucks for lousy Mediterranean Avenue (or in Britain, Old Kent Road). Worse, we keep landing on Boardwalk with four hotels, owned by the producers and backers of the game … our friendly caring politicians.


Always up for a challenge, I decided to look at the games candidates play. Hey, it’s the only one in town.




PHOTO FINISH or WHO THE HECK IS THAT? — On the same day, I saw photos of a peppy, attractive candidate warmly embracing five octogenarians in her five glossies. In her rival’s glossies, she morphed into shades of Elvira hanging in an alley after a wild night of Slivovitz. Similarly, her glossies cloned her opponent into Darth Vader, smirking while leveling cheese factories in rural Wisconsin. Clearly their PR people never heard of loshen hora. But the visuals are great. For us to win this game, we actually have to see our candidates upclose, which we can’t … because of …



“FIND YOUR CONGRESSMAN” —  With shades of  “Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego” this gambit challenges we, the voters to actually find our congressperson, or senator between campaigns. When asked, we’re told our rep “is presently out of the country on a critical fact-finding mission.” (“But please leave a message as we care about you.”)  Then I read he’s lying on An Bang Beach, near Hanoi, to check on the progress of the Vietnam War. Which brings us to a spin-off.



“THE HIBERNATION GAME” – The object of this game is to find a way to wake up our representatives who, much like the brown bat, go into a deep sleep until six months before an election, then suddenly arise to “care” before Election Day by stuffing my mailbox with chazzerai. After the election, they retire to their respective fact-finding caves and gay shluffin. Trust me. Try to reach one about say, healthcare, and you’ll get a recorded message from his PR people:  “The Congressman/Senator is in Washington at the moment.” I’ve written, texted, e-mailed hundreds of heartfelt words, and received a single page form letter telling me how much they care about me, and proved it by sending a complimentary photo of their blond wife and six children that I can use as a fridge magnet. The winner of this game is the one who gets them to write me less and wake up more, so we can afford to choose a doctor who wasn’t trained in a terrorist country.


X-FACTS? In this new version of Truth or Dare “regular people,” like Jim Lehrer and Andrea Mitchell get to ask candidates questions during debates such as: “What’s your opinion on the economy?” The game answers are designed to showcase the creativity of our candidates and their heroic grasp of proof in numbers. For example: “Well, Jim, We went from 9.3% unemployment from May 2009 to 9.5 in September, 2011 while in July, 2007 the figures went from 8.9 to a whopping 9.2% in November. I’d say the news is good. Clearly, this shows that the economy is collapsing more slowly.”


Alevai?! But … what if his numbers are false? What if the economy isn’t collapsing more slowly?


Thank God every news station has “fact-checkers” to clear up whether during those particular months, the economy was falling apart faster or slower. Their conclusion?  “Maybe a little.  He didn’t include illegal farm workers in Texas, so what do we know? ”

Now, if it’s proven the candidate actually lied, he’s faced with a torturous consequence. Another debate.


WINNERS & LOSERS: In this game, debaters are either winners or losers. Period. Show me one game or TV “reality”-show where the “runners-up” who may have tripped running from a lion, gagged on pureed leech paste, or lost a culinary battle because their pate pooped got anything but 100 boxes of Rice-a-Roni.


I resent the object of this particular game. Did he “lose” because of unpopular strategy or unsightly shvitz? Ever since Nixon’s famous TV “shvitzditude,” debaters have become The Bores of Our Time, fixed, futzed, Botoxed, surgically altered, and neutered by whoever runs central casting. Personally, I want a politician to shvitz. With our issues, he or she should be shvitzing. No doubt Lincoln, a lovely man, but face it, no beauty, shvitzed.  If his debates with Douglas were shown in hi def. Blacks might still be totin’ that barge and liftin’ that bale.


MONOPOLITIZING: Unlike the original with nicely colored properties, this game is played for State stakes. There are Red states, Blue states, Green states, “In my pocket States,” and “Get Outta Here States.” Instead of rolling the dice, candidates now have experts, graphs and flow charts to tell them where to stump. The object then, is to play “I have no opinion,” which is now a good thing. These are the States where the candidate may actually visit, have an ethnic nosh, pose for photo ops, and take a few ringer questions. I’m now busily at work being “Undecided.”


If there’s a moral here, I suggest we turn the whole mishegoss over to producer Mark Burnett. After all, he created Survivor, the Apprentice, and Shark Tank.


At the very least we’ll know the rules, it lasts only 13 weeks, and we’ll find out if at least one candidate is  Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?

(Red States, Blue States Photo credit: dannysullivan)

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