- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 22, 2000

Florida motto

We're happy to count Holly Anderson, the official purchasing agent for Air Force One, among our Inside the Beltway readers.
And while Miss Anderson waits impatiently with the rest of us to learn whether it will be Al Gore or George W. Bush flying aboard Air Force One come January, she is helping kick off a new reader contest.
"I think you should have a contest for a new state motto for Florida," she recommends. "My entry would be: 'Come to Florida Where Your Vote Counts and Counts and Counts.' "

Hero of Chad

Reader P.G.H. submits this prediction: "If George W. Bush gets bushwhacked or finessed in Florida, the government of Chad will issue an Al Gore commemorative stamp."

Fresh chad

Chart House waiter Ric Smith tells patrons that the fish special this week at Alexandria's favorite dockside restaurant is "Fresh Florida Hanging Chad," although there's another catch: "Nobody knows if it is 'ballotable' or not."

American plates

"I live on the Canadian side of the Niagara River in Niagara-on-the-Lake and travel once a week to Lewiston, N.Y., using the Queenston-Lewiston Bridge, which has a one-way toll on entering Canada," writes M. Woods.
"In spite of postings on the bridge warning of the toll and in spite of two large signs over the two gates during the summer when there is a lot of traffic on the bridge there is chaos with cars, suburban assault vehicles a variety of vehicles with American plates trying to back out of the automatic lanes simply because the occupants can't or won't read the directions.
"Consequently, the Palm Beach problem came as no great surprise."

A compilation

Literary giants the world over are weighing in on the ongoing crisis surrounding the U.S. presidential election.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:
Listen, my children, don't dare ignore,
The midnight actions of Bush and Gore.
In early November, the year ought-ought,
Hard to believe the mess they wrought.
Two billion bucks of campaign bounty,
All came down to Palm Beach County.
What result could have been horrider,
Than the situation we found in Florider?
Edgar Allen Poe:
Once upon a campaign dreary,
One which left us weak and weary,
O'er many a quaint and curious promise of political lore.
While we nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a yapping,
As of some votes overlapping, energy-zapping to the core,
"'Tis a mess here," we all muttered, as the network anchors stuttered,
Stuttered over Bush and Gore.
Could there be another election with such a case of misdirection,
One with such a weak selection, yet fraught with tension to the core?
Quoth the ravers, "Nevermore."
Edward Lear:
There once was a U.S. election
That called for some expert detection
How thousands of pollers
Could become two-holers
Like outhouses of recollection.
Ogden Nash:
I regret to admit that all my knowledge is
What I learned at Electoral Colleges,
So tell me please, though I hate to troublya,
Will the winner be Al, or will it be Dubya?
Joyce Kilmer:
I thought that I would never see
The networks all so up a tree.
Walt Whitman:
O' Captain! My Captain!
our fearful trip's not done
The ship has weather'd every rack,
but nobody knows who's won.
Alfred Noyes:
And still of an autumn night they say,
with the White House on the line,
When the campaign's a ghostly galleon and both candidates cry,
" 'Tis mine!"
When the road is a ribbon of ballots,
all within easy reach,
A highwayman comes riding,
Riding, Riding,
A highwayman comes riding, and punches two holes in each.
Dr. Seuss:
I cannot count them in a box
I cannot count them with a fox
I cannot count them by computer
I will not with a Roto-Rooter
I cannot count them card by card
I will not 'cause it's way too hard
I cannot count them on my fingers
I will not while suspicion lingers
I'll leave the country in a jam
I can't count ballots, Sam-I-Am.
And finally, Clement Moore:
'Twas the month before Christmas,
When all through the courts,
All the plaintiffs made stirring bad ballot reports.
Perhaps the best way to stop complaints that are raucous is
Start over again, with the Iowa caucuses.

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