By Cooter Jackson, Editor In Chief
MUD LAKE, NV—Greetings, friends. Well, it’s election time, and ol’ Cooter here is happier than a tornado in a trailer park. Once every four years, we the American people are treated to this fine spectacle, a veritable three-ring circus of bloated egos, outlandish promises, and shameless approval-seeking that would make a high school prom queen blush.
We’ve just now dipped a toe into the primary season, where each of our political parties decides who their candidate will be for the general election. This often happens by way of a process known as a caucus. As you know, I am something of a political expert, but even I get confused by the caucus system. What you have to realize is that it’s all based on time-honored traditions, developed by the infallible wisdom of people who lived a long time ago, back in the times when bloodletting was state-of-the-art medical technology, and dentistry involved a stout piece of oak and a pair of pliers.
Once you get a handle on it, the caucus system makes just as much sense as, lets say, American units of measurement. It’s simple enough: an inch, itself a totally arbitrary measure, is divided into sixteenths, eighths, quarters, and halves. Twelve inches is a foot. Three feet is a yard, 5,280 feet is a mile. Makes perfect sense! Much more consistent than that crazy metric system. I’ll take a patchwork of differing standards, developed centuries ago by uneducated bumpkins, over a logical, unified system developed by a consensus of scientific minds, any day of the week.
The American caucus system is much the same. Any idiot could figure it out. But for you foreigners and small children out there, I’ll explain the process.
On the first Wednesday after the corn seedlings have grown as large as a mouse’s ear, (Each county has its appointed mouse-keeper, who walks the corn fields each day starting on the new year, carrying his ceremonial mouse, comparing its ear size to the corn sprouts) we know it’s time to caucus. Thusly, the caucus pigeons are released from their cages, with a caucus-bell around their necks. The pigeons fly to the furthest reaches of the district, letting citizens know that the time has come to gather for the caucus.
When the citizens arrive at their appointed caucusing place, each one dons the ceremonial caucus hat, as determined in the town charter. These hats vary according to locale, from the traditional tricorn hat, to a hollowed-out gourd, to a live bee’s nest.
Next, attendees separate into groups according to which candidate they support. This group is called a caucus. Each caucus builds an effigy of their candidate from corn husks, stuffing it with fragrant herbs and cotton, painting it gaily in bright colors. In an informal preliminary vote, the effigies are set up at the far end of the caucus hall, and attendees pelt them with fruits and vegetables. Traditionally, caucus-goers throw apples for a yes vote, and onions for a no. At the end of the pelting, the produce is gathered up and cooked in an iron pot, and the resulting applesauce is tasted. When it is agreed upon which sauce is the bitterest, that caucus is disbanded, its candidate disqualified, and its members are encouraged to endorse a new candidate.
Having weeded out the weakest candidates with the applesauce ballot, the real vote is ready to begin. According to the official rules written in 1783, “Frome eache district, onlee the most buxom of maydens shall be chewsen. Then shall these maydens bee dressed in imatasheun of the candidates, onlee farer to the eyes.”
Look folks, I’m not making this up. It’s right there in the rules. Following the apple-onion vote, the most attractive young ladies in the district are selected. They then dress up as sexy versions of the candidates and are paraded in a bizarre sort of fashion show.
During this portion, caucus-goers show their support or non-support of a candidate by yelling when the appropriate girl takes the stage. A show of support is indicated by yelling, “Coo-ee, wally wally roompa,” while a vote of no-confidence is indicated by a call of “Humpa-dumpa dilly-oh dilly.”
As telling as the maiden-parade vote is, it’s still only an informal gesture. The real decision is made during the next step: the squirrel poll.
In the squirrel poll, each candidate’s name is written on a walnut and placed at equidistant points around the room. Then a red-white-and-blue-painted squirrel is released into the middle of the room. Whichever walnut he makes off with, there’s your primary winner.
I may have gotten one or two details wrong, and there are of course regional variations, but that’s more or less how we decide on our candidate for the election that determines who will be the next leader of the free world.
Some have argued that this is an archaic, inaccurate system, prone to manipulation and arbitrary results. But I say shut your mouth, you got-damned commies. This is a beautiful, perfect system, handed down to us from a glorious golden age. To even suggest that we should alter this perfection with things like an actual vote, with accountability and verifiable, binding results, why that just sounds suspiciously unpatriotic to me.