Vol. 6, Issue 10, November 11, 2008
My Kingdom for a Sock (or Two)
Election-season is like no Other. Truly there are Few occasions where one may Drink to excess, laugh and Curse at one's neighbor, and engage in Heated debates over the Federalist Papers, all while eagerly watching Electoral Votes roll in over the News-ticker with the avid Enthusiasm of a Foot-ball fan at a Harvard-Yale game. I never Tire of this splendid exercise in Democracy, and look forward to hanging the Bunting from my Bay Window every time the fresh scent of political Debate tinges the air.
The results of this historic Election are by now known to All, diligently reported by those publications which adhere to a more "Timely" and "Accurate" method of reporting. However, it so Happens that I played a small Part in this momentous Event, as I occupy one of the rare Jeffersonian Seats in the Electoral College. I am, to wit, a Member of the college, though rather in the sense of an Adjunct professor as opposed to a Dean. The circumstances which led to my inadvertent Acquisition of this post are rather Improbable and bear a more Proper retelling elsewhere (the sale of a Bison was involved, along with a game of Whist, the wife of the French ambassador, and a theoretical Poodle). However, on Election Day, what was most Important was the fact that I had a most important Duty to attend to, and I absolutely could Not find my socks.
Now, as a lifelong Bachelor I am accustomed to handling my Own affairs, and have a standard Arrangement with the Haberdashery for a fresh shipment of suitable stockings every Month. My faithful housekeeper ensures that all is Arranged properly, with my Cravats sorted alphabetically and my Spats arranged by seasonally appropriate Color. In short, my closet is as Orderly as a West Point parade drill team. But I did not count upon my nephew's twin gifts for Creativity and Larceny: the rapscallion apparently borrowed the Lot of my socks in order to create an Election-themed Puppet Show, for which he charged Admission, I am told. One would think that, at the age of thirty-Four, he would have found more Productive Employment.
But the task at hand remained: to find suitable Stockings, and in a Hurry. The law governing the comportment of the College of Electors is quite Strict, and the dress-code is enforced with ruthless Vigor. Everyone recalls the unfortunate tale of the Sasparilla Six, those ill-fated Electors who left their Cravats at home and hence were not permitted to cast their Votes for the hapless Mister Gore in the 2000 election (a dress-code faux pas with Lasting repercussions). I was Determined not to let the same happen to Me this year, and cast about for a Substitute.
I briefly considered having the Shoe-shine lad apply shoe-blacking to my Feet, but considered that this would likely not be very Effective, nor did I think that arriving to cast a vote for the Illinois senator in Black-foot makeup would be Appropriate (being but five and a half feet removed from Black-face). I thought of wearing my Riding boots, thence to cover my lower legs Entirely. However, I concluded that this would be Disingenuous, and furthermore I experienced some Difficulty in getting the boots on (apparently my Calves have become somewhat more Substantial since last I rode a Horse). The Haberdashery, of course, was Closed due to Election Day (as All fine haberdasheries would be, I knew, by ancient and hallowed American tradition). What was I to do?
Pshaw. I would not let a mere few inches of Cloth stand in the way of my electoral duties: if there were no socks to Hand, then I would simply Make some, not unlike Lewis and Clark in the days of old. (Well, likely they asked Sacajawea to help them out with such matters - but the example remains Relevant!) Quick: to the Needle and Thread. An old Tuxedo of Ephram's provides the cloth (surely, he will not Need it again, as he last wore it when he was Nine). A snip here, a stitch there, and we have... well, something resembling a dyspeptic Tea-cozy. Well, Rome was not built in a Day: I took up needle and thread Again, the richer for my Experience. A stitch there, a tuck here, and we have... hmm. Perhaps it was an Error to attempt to contour the stocking to each Toe.
Seven unsuccessful trials Later, and naught remained of Ephram's tuxedo but a pair of silver Buttons and a scrap of cloth the size of my Thumb. Clearly, the blood of Tailors does not run in my veins. What to do? I could not Telephone or Telegraph my vote in, for the use of the device was Specifically prohibited by that pesky Statute from 1914 requiring electors or their Delegates to deliver their votes in Person. I began to Despair, when I heard the gentle Cooing of the pigeons in the Coop atop the Roof of my neighbor. Henry McDuff, you have just earned yourself a bottle of my Finest scotch.
Thus did I cast my Vote this year, having duly designated Siegfried, a splendid domesticated Rock pigeon, as my Delegate and casting him to the Skies towards Washington, D.C. with my Vote securely fettered to his foot (pigeons, like All birds, being Exempted from the dress-code). As the results rolled in later that Evening, it became apparent that the election was not really Close - no danger of the Sasparilla Six scuttling a fair Result with another Cravat mishap. Still, I am exceptionally proud and Honored to have added my vote to the Total in this historic election; and I cross my Feet atop my Desk (clad in Carpet-slippers), and raise a glass of Glenmorangie to our new President. Godspeed, sir, and good Luck.
I wonder if they shall Reimburse me for the cost of renting the Pigeon.