Over Easy: Still too close to call

  • Dan Mackie (Courtesy photograph)

For the Valley News
Published: 11/13/2020 10:20:45 PM
Modified: 11/13/2020 10:20:37 PM

Out of an abundance of caution, the Decision Desk at Over Easy hasn’t proclaimed a winner in the presidential election. This column won’t make a call unless it’s been certified by the Electoral College, Supreme Court, H&R Block, Guinness World Records and the Publisher’s Clearing House Prize Patrol — which will bring the balloons. These are vital institutions that know what’s what.

I also lean on the prodigious predictive powers of a Florida tortoise that reportedly has picked the winner in every election since 1968.

The remarkably reliable reptile, named Slow Poke, is slower than the election boards of Nevada and Alaska, so at the time of this writing only partial results were available.

I have a backup, a Rhode Island Red chicken residing in Saunderstown, R.I. It reportedly pecked out the name Biden on Nov. 1, but there have been complaints that party officials couldn’t closely monitor the bird, which has a disposition that can only be described as foul.

Similarly cantankerous Rudy Giuliani, the president’s excitable lawyer, has threatened to file suit. “Don’t egg me on,’’ he told the mainstream media, which described his claims as “legally scrambled.” In response, Giuliani demanded, “Don’t write that I have egg on my face. No, this isn’t any scheme I’ve hatched. I am not madder than a wet hen. Stop it with the puns. I mean it. I MEAN IT!” As he yelled, his voice cracked.

Even if partisans elsewhere have doubts, Joe Biden is the Upper Valley’s president-elect. According to election figures published in our own Valley News, he took all 24 Vermont towns in the paper’s coverage area. That includes a number of communities that are, or aspire to be, rural.

Almost remarkably (although not really remarkable if you know the town), he took Norwich by more than 10-1. In the culture wars, the Priuses ran the roaring pickup trucks with quivering flags off the road.

The result almost certainly ensures that you’ll never see the Trump Organization logo emblazoned on iconic Dan & Whit’s general store. That atrocity would make the Connecticut River stop. The only thing worse would be T-R-U-M-P painted on the mighty Norwich-Hanover bridge balls. A second term could lead to that.

New Hampshire results were more mixed, as they always are, New Hampshire being a politically mixed-nuts sort of state. By my count — feel free to conduct a recount at www.vnews.com/charts — there were 14 Biden towns in the New Hampshire sector of the Upper Valley, and eight aligned with Trump country. As Norwich goes, so goes Hanover: Biden won there more than 7-1.

Actual facts aside, it would have been interesting if researchers had been able to tap cortisol — the stress hormone — in the days leading to the election and the aftermath when time stood still. I’m sure the country could have drawn enough to fill the National Cortisol Reserve. I was sweating the stuff. I only had to type the letter “L” in the Google search bar and it offered up choices like “latest election results,” “losing my mind” or “let’s look into Canadian citizenship.”

As it happens, my father was born in Canada, although he always seemed American to me. Admittedly he had an inordinate fondness for Marxist Harry Truman.

In the midst of pre-election worst-case-scenario thinking, I stumbled upon the fact that our neighbor to the north has modified citizenship rules since I checked decades ago. Several minutes of slapdash internet research suggested that even at my age I could apply for dual citizenship, although I suppose I would have to pledge fealty to the Canadiens or Maple Leafs. I’m going to hold off; I’m not really into hockey — or parliament.

I do admire the country’s mellow nature. It’s like we live in a dysfunctional family and our Canadian cousins merrily play board games without leading to a thrown Monopoly board and multiple lawsuits in various jurisdictions.

But here in “the States,’’ as the Canadians refer to us in the nether regions, things are shaky. Sweeping charges of voter fraud are being made without specific evidence. Concessions are verboten. Hell, no, Trump won’t go.

My wife, Dede, said they should tell the president that he magnificently finished second, like in the Olympics, and award him a silver medal. I added that for the sake of the nation, NBC could step up and offer to bring back Celebrity Apprentice.

The really big question is why, if the election was rigged for the Democrats, Republicans did so well across the country. It’s another head-scratcher, in an era when we are scratching our heads raw.

Dan Mackie lives in West Lebanon. He can be reached at dan.mackie@yahoo.com.




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