It won't be over on Tuesday

One of the things I didn't look forward to when I was a lawyer was negotiating contracts. I was a young guy, new at that endeavor, and I took things too personally. I was also impatient. These are not good traits to bring to a negotiating table on Wall Street.

The people I was up against were usually a lot more experienced than I was, and they knew how to work a green lawyer like me. I think the deals my clients got turned out to be pretty fair, but I always flew home feeling beat up. I made some rookie mistakes. The biggest one among them was not staying cool and treating it like the game it was.

Of the many types I sat across the table from, a common one was the obnoxious New York face card who never admitted they were wrong, hung onto ridiculous positions long after they were shown to be unreasonable, and never let you feel you won an argument on any issue, even when they were conceding the point. With this kind of person, after a while you'd get so disgusted that you'd give in on all the small crap, just to get rid of them. They didn't care that they were showing themselves to be a colossal jerk, and they sure didn't care if they gave you, personally, an ulcer. They didn't give a damn what you thought of them, because they probably would never have to deal with you again. It was all a game.

I tell you this story because I know that a lot of you are anxious about the election, and you can't wait for it to be over. You're planning to stay up late Tuesday night, waiting to hear Lester Holt or Wolf Blitzer or somebody like that tell you that it's final, Biden won, it's airtight, have a glass of champagne, and finally, finally! Go to sleep in peace.

That is not going to happen.

Orange Caligula has never in his life ever admitted that he is a loser, on any issue, no matter how obviously he has failed. He isn't going to start admitting that now.

So there will be lawsuits, probably some violence by his goons, and he will drag it out as long as he can. No matter how badly he loses, he will never concede. It was rigged, a stolen election, etc. He will never attend a Biden inauguration.

It's not clear to me how this sociopath will ever leave the White House peacefully. Many people have died during his horrible reign, and sad to say, it would surprise me if more didn't have to die in order for that reign to end.

So as hard as it may be, chill out for now. If you've voted, put it down for a while. Save your adrenaline for the next couple of months, because there's little to no chance that our national nightmare will be over on Tuesday night, or even by this time next week.

Here in Oregon, the bulk of the ballots will be counted by Tuesday night. Most, if not all, of the state and local races will be decided at that time. Plan to party, or cry in your beer, over those. But forget reacting to the White House race for a while. Inauguration Day is 81 days from now; you can go nuts then.

And do yourself a favor and limit your TV "news" time for the next few days. Those people make a living by riling you up. They crank up your anxiety level on purpose, so that you keep the set on and let them pitch prescription drugs to you. Find something else to watch, something else to do. A half hour a day of that stuff is enough.


  1. I know what I've got to do: rake leaves. Gee, if only someone had a story about that from Late Night with Letterman.
    How's this for a deal? If you tell that story I'll tell you my Sean Connery story.

  2. Jack, I'm beginning to see why contracts were tough for you. I can't tell if you went for the deal or not. Folks, Letterman used one of our blog host's contributions in his letter bag segment and it was about raking leaves. In my world that's a major anecdote although Jack, you have to sell it a little harder than this. Here's my part of the bargain:

    Okay, I stopped counting after 500 jokes on the Tonight
    Show but I believe I sold around 700 of them. Sorry, that was a "not
    so humble" brag but I certainly can't recall all of
    them. However, some had a memorable twist. One night Leno used my joke
    that went, "Scientists in Japan say they've invented a roll-on form
    of Viagra. But be careful, I mistook some for deodorant and now my
    arm won't go down."

    At this point you hold your arm up at an angle that
    suggests an erect penis. (Hey, they can't all be classy, folks.)
    Actually my insightful cerebral-type jokes often got a mild response
    while these simple crude ones usually got a big laugh.

    So Leno's first guest comes out and it's Sean Connery - the
    one true James Bond. You probably know that Sean Connery died this
    week, may he rest in peace. Anyway, they get to talking about
    tattoos and Connery says he has a tattoo with the word "Scotland"on it.
    Leno says "Oh, where is it? I mean does it say 'Scotland" and then
    when you get excited does it says 'Scotland Forever"?
    Before I give you his response, the key to a Sean Connery
    impression is to say "schh" for the "s" sounds. So Sean replies, "It's
    schnot there, Jay. It's not like your Viagra joke." At this point he
    lifts his arm at the same suggestive angle as Leno had. Sitting at
    home, I thought, "Wow, I've got James Bond acting out my material now."
    Epilogue: I was quite impressed with this story. I mean a
    Portland writer interacting with 007? Right about then, this local
    radio DJ named Mike Rich sold a script to a movie called
    "Finding Forrester." The movie starred Sean Connery. This took a lot
    of steam out of my Sean Connery anecdote. But it's still cool, isn't it?
    At least it took us a few minutes closer to Tuesday.


  3. Thanks for putting up with me, Jack. This has been a tremendous break to do this all again and now I've remembered what made it so rewarding. It was those times when I knew everyone or almost everyone was stressed out or anxious about something...kind of like now. I know it sounds pretentious but I'd wake up early in the morning and tell myself, "This one isn't for the rent or the glory or to take some political jab at a politician that was pissing me off. No, this one is to cheer people up. Stand back, everyone. I'm going to try and crack up the United States." And some of them would bounce around the world for a few days and I felt fulfilled. Like I was helping. There is always good news going on. We need to tap into it. For example, I just read a lengthy new interview with Joni Mitchell. A few years back she had a brain aneurysm and it did not look good. She couldn't talk, she couldn't walk. Well, she's still struggling to walk but her brain is back and she is talking up a storm. That is a tremendous break for the world. If Joni Mitchell is still in the game we can't lose.
    "And the seasons they go round and round
    And the painted ponies go up and down
    We're captive on the carousel of time
    We can't return we can only look
    Behind from where we came
    And go round and round and round
    In the circle game"


Post a Comment

The platform used for this blog is awfully wonky when it comes to comments. It may work for you, it may not. It's a Google thing, and beyond my control. Apologies if you can't get through. You can email me a comment at, and if it's appropriate, I can post it here for you.