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Election to be decided by 'fuzzy math'

By John Breneman

Having invented the electoral college when he was a student at Harvard, Vice President Al Gore says he is confident he will win the dramatic Florida recount that will decide the 2000 presidential race.

However, Republican Gov. George W. Bush says he, too, is certain that he will prevail, thus giving him enough "electrical votes" to become the next president of the United States.

Meanwhile, Florida officials are investigating the claims of 19,000 voters who say they meant to cast their ballots for Gore, but accidentally wrote in the name of Reform Party leader Slobodan Milosevic.

Amid the controversy, Bush accused Gore of perpetrating "fuzzy math" regarding the election results, while Gore countered that Bush has been utilizing "fuzzy English" to confuse the voters.

As the drama continues, a Gore spokesman pointed out that, not only did the vice president win the popular vote nationwide, he also carried the majority of the "smart states," while Bush picked up most of his votes in "dumb states."

In response, Bush said he was outraged at such an accusation and considered it a blatant insult against "the good people of Califraska and Pennsylbama."

Another Gore spokesman said he believes the recount will uncover at least 1.2 million additional Gore votes that are being held for safekeeping in an "iron-clad lockbox" at a remote precinct in the Florida Everglades.

A Bush aide responded that still uncounted are thousands of pro-Bush ballots now being held under armed guard by rabid NRA activists at the home of Bush's brother Jeb, who is governor of the Recount State.

The mood in the Bush camp is said to be upbeat and there are reliable reports that George W.'s trademark aw-shucks grin has held strong amid the confusion.

"My brother promised me all the electron votes in the great state of Floridakota," Bush said from the family compound in Maine. "Plus, my dad said that getting too worked up just wouldn't be prudent at this juncture."

"The Albanian people have spoken," said Bush, who urged Gore to concede the presidency to him.

Gore said it will be "a cold day in sunny Palm Beach County" before that happens, prompting Bush to accuse the vice president of being "snippy."

Humor Gazette pundit Phil Airtime, reporting from Dixville Notch, said both men are convinced that they will prevail once all the lawyers and judges have decided who will be president -- perhaps as soon as March.

Until then, any rebroadcast, retransmission or other account of the above information is strictly prohibited without the expressed written consent of the Committee to Re-elect Martin Van Buren.

Humor Gazette editor John Breneman donated $1.25 in soft money to the Whig Party in 2000.


Gore urges students to make things up

Al Gore tells UNH students about his work "finding a cure for the debilitating effects of charisma."

By John Breneman

Vice President Al Gore, who attracted worldwide attention for his claim that he invented the Internet, used his keynote address at yesterday's University of New Hampshire commencement to urge the 2,400 graduates to "harness the power of your imagination."

Gore asserted that, if not for his "unwavering faith in the human imagination," he never could have invented the cellular telephone, the lightning rod or the pneumatic toilet.

"A healthy imagination," the vice president continued, "was absolutely vital to my groundbreaking work in finding a cure for the debilitating effects of charisma."

Gore also cited his quantum theory of rabies immunization and his new quadruple-blade shaving system in touting "the infinite power of a vivid imagination, cluelessly deployed."

After announcing that each graduate would receive a coupon for a 12-oz. bottle of "Al Gore's Own" mango vinaigrette salad dressing, the vice president issued a special invitation to all wealthy alumni to visit him in Washington for a cup of his new White House Fund-Raiser brand instant coffee.

Several months back, the hubbub over Gore's statement about his pioneering work on the Internet drew satirical responses from Senate Majority Trent Lott, who amused Washingtonians by claiming to have invented the paper clip, and Dan Quayle, who quipped, "If Gore invented the Internet, I invented Spell-Check."

At UNH yesterday, Gore picked up the banter between the two presidential aspirants by claiming to have invented J. Danforth Quayle during his undergraduate days at Harvard. Gore said he invented Quayle for a political science case study of a privileged, but intellectually challenged legislator at around the same time that he and his future wife Tipper inspired Erich Segal's classic romance novel "Love Story."

The university presented Vice President Gore with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree for his "unbelievable contributions to the world of patent law."

Humor Gazette editor John Breneman is a figment of Al Gore's imagination.


Cowboy boot issue shouldn't hurt Gore

By John Brenemen

I'm no expert on Al Gore's strategy for providing universal health care, but I do know that he disrupted my recovery from the flu when he passed through town this week. I had planned to take Tuesday afternoon off and just lapse into viral-induced dreamland. That was before I learned that the vice president would be visiting not only our fair city, but our fair newsroom as well. So it was time to "suck it up" as they say in the rough-and-tumble world of professional journalism.

I had to be there, because I play a key role in the political process here in our First-in-the-Nation-Primary state. You see, there is no shortage of people to report on presidential platforms and policies. But who else will provide you with first-hand coverage of the way Gore's ears tend to rise slightly with certain facial expressions?

Who else will dispel the "Al Gore is a complete stiff misconception by describing the way he tipped back in his chair while talking about "an economic policy that unlocks the potential of our people"?
But one cannot give the true flavor of the Al Gore experience without describing what happens before the vice presidential motorcade arrives.

Al was scheduled to arrive here at 3 p.m. Tuesday for an intimate chat with our editorial board. Fortunately, the vice presidential procession was running late so I had a little time to observe the crew of Secret Service agents in action as they conducted an elaborate "sweep" of our building.
There were agents of all shapes and sizes, each of course with a telltale wire extending from their ear down into their clothing. The bomb-sniffing dogs were two of the most beautiful animals I have seen, especially the black one (they wouldn't divulge his name, so I shall call him "Blacky").

Blacky's partner led him through each room and every time the agent pointed to a spot Blacky would sniff it, I assume to see if there was a bomb or an Algerian terrorist hidden in some nook or cranny or filing cabinet.

The most impressive part was Blacky's reach. He is so large that when he stands on his hind legs he is capable of sniffing a spot seven or eight feet off the ground. I'll never forget Blacky. Security was tight. And though none of us were physically frisked, I think I saw one of the Secret Service agents undressing me with his/her eyes.

Around 4:02 p.m., the 10 of us who would participate in the interview were instructed to file into our small conference room. An event at Somersworth High School had concluded and Al was on the way.

"They kicked me out of my office," said our publisher. "I wasn't going to argue with them." They also read some of our faxes and looked in our desk drawers, but I guess you can't be too careful nowadays.

As we sat in the conference room waiting, there was the usual joking around. We speculated on the contents of the two small yellow canvas satchels sitting in the corner, stamped with large black letters VRU. ("It detects something," said the publisher's assistant.)

The minutes ticked by, and one editor who shall remain nameless said, "I think the first question should be `where the hell have you been'?" But when Gore arrived moments later, he defused that line of questioning by politely apologizing for being late. We all introduced ourselves and shook the vice president's hand.

He won points with me right off the bat by failing to wear a tie, though for some reason I still tend to find cowboy boots a little hokey. Mr. Gore appeared quite relaxed in a plaid shirt open at the collar and khaki-style pants. When asked, he requested a cup of decaf. That cup -- a plain black mug -- now sits on a shelf next to the newsroom police scanner sporting a sticky note that says, "Al Gore drank here Jan, 4, 2000."

I wanted to ask him if he had come out with any new innovations since his much-celebrated announcement that he had invented the Internet. But I felt that would be disrespectful, so when my turn came I posed some lame question about health care.

("Mr. Gore, does your vision of universal health care cover people who suffer from gangrene?" Yes. "Rickets?" Yes. "Subdural hemotoma?" Yes. "How about dogs? Are dogs covered?" No. "Aha!")

Gore gave earnest answers to our questions, almost none of which were what we newspaper types call "softballs." But we were also in for a pleasant surprise. Al Gore, a man dogged with the reputation of being stiff and humorless, is actually pretty funny.

He was right there with the banter, mostly the kind of stuff where you had to be there, conversational quips that don't sound funny at all when some idiot columnist tries to recreate them in print. But trust me, Gore knows how to joke around a little and seems to enjoy it.

Our time passed quickly. He used the words "bold" and "sweeping" a couple times to describe his vision for our future. Basically he wants to "keep the prosperity going, bring about revolutionary improvements in our public schools ... clean up our environment ... (and launch) a focused step-by-step approach to get universal health care."

Before we knew it a big fellow with glasses and a long coat opened the door and made "let's go" eye contact with Doug Hattaway, Gore's Granite State press guy. But Al wasn't quite done. He answered a few more questions, chided Bill Bradley for limited vision, and said "OK, we're coming" when the big fellow poked his head in again a few minutes later. More handshakes. Then, "Oh, one other thing. I'd like to formally ask for your endorsement." We'll take that under consideration.

As is customary with these kinds of visits, Al then visited our newsroom to say hello to all the reporters and editors, to shake hands and state the absurdly obvious. "Hi, I'm Al Gore."

Somehow I ended up shaking Al Gore's hand four times that day. The last time, unbeknownst to the Secret Service, I concealed in my right palm a tiny Handshake Biorhythm Calibration Monitor -- an imaginary device I use to determine whether a test subject would function capably in an important leadership role.

Al Gore -- the possible next president of the United States of America -- did extremely well on my little test, despite a spike in the readings that I suspect was caused by friction from his cowboy boots.

Humor Gazette editor John Breneman is in favor of bold, sweeping adjectives.


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