Decisions Start Early

Mr. Gore, you and I both know that your inauguration is meant to celebrate you and you alone, and that you have every right to do whatever you wish during it, when the eyes of the nation will be upon you. In fact, I fully applaud your choice of Louise Gluck to compose and read an inaugural poem, and your speech seems like it’s going to be a winner---I just love that bit about a new dawn. But I think your desire to sing a seven minute, nineteenth century a cappella bayou spiritual about death’s e’er encroaching hand might send out a message that’s not so easily grasped or accepted by either the party’s central base or the fringe voter who came through for you in November. I especially want to examine the lyrics ‘Oh Reaper, you been with me since I was born / I seen your face in every storm / now don’t you be takin’ me befo’ my time done come / Let me sit right he’ah and beat on my lonely drum’, which, when delivered in the soulful, unaccompanied way you intend, crouched down on one knee with hands clasped and sweating as if you’ve just spent your entire life toiling on a primitive shrimp boat, may just come off as…I don’t know, odd somehow.

So here’s what I suggest: we revert back to your original plan of you standing at the microphone in front of one hundred thousand onlookers and going through your childhood baseball card collection piece by piece. I know it came off somewhat awkward at the Democratic National Convention, but remember, this is going to be a daytime audience more open to something conceptual. One twist we could add, though it’s kind of short notice, is that we could have you guess at each card’s actual dollar worth, and then have an expert standing beside you telling you if you had guessed too high or too low. Another option, and I’m just throwing this out there, is that we get some of the boys from the House Committee on Anti-Terrorism and do some of those “If Copernicus Were Alive Today” skits that had us busting up over lunch with the ambassador from Ghana.

So, okay, there you have some options and we can go over everything tonight after Dexter. Unless you were planning on going to bed at 7 again, Mr. Gore. I know it seems better than being “totally bored,” but can you at least stay up till 8 once in a while, just for show?