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Winging It, Vol. 11

Looking for a good scare this Halloween, bunkie? No, I'm not talking about the inevitable parade of overweight women who will march around in public tonight, wearing overly-revealing costumes without fear of public ridicule. Nah, I'm referring to a recent telephone poll in Nebraska that examined a long list of Important World Issues that are on the minds of Cornhusker State voters in these crucial weeks before Election Day. Such as: "Would you favor or oppose military action in Iraq if the United States did not have broad-based support?" And: "What, in your opinion, is a bigger problem at the moment -- the economy or terrorism?" And: "Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Frank Solich is handling his job as head football coach at the University of Nebraska?"

I wish I was making that last one up -- you know, in the spirit of the often-used comedy technique of presenting two serious items and then a third, ludicrous one (quick example: "For dinner, I enjoy chicken, mashed potatoes, and bug-flavored glass shards." Get it?). But goofy as it sounds, the question about Solich was a serious one, and was really, truly included among the queries involving 604 voters by Midwest Survey and Research during a six-day period ending Monday. By the way, the coach was rated "favorable" by more than a 2-to-1 margin. Good thing that Texas A&M was on the schedule last week instead of Okie State, or somebody else halfway good.

The study also asked Nebraskans for whom they were casting their ballots in this year's nailbiter of a governor's race. Surprisingly, 70 percent said incumbent Mike Johanns, while just 20 percent endorsed his Democratic challenger, Stormy Dean. The other 10 percent hung up, too embarrassed to continue after selecting Dean, only to be told that he is no relation to Thunder Collins (rim shot).

Regardless, these survey results highlight a growing apathy among Nebraska voters. It shows that the state's electorate is content with the do-nothing status quo. It's never been more obvious that there needs to be a viable third-party candidate to choose from -- someone who isn't afraid to put Nebraskans' most near-and-dear interests first at the Statehouse. So Cornhuskers, Bugeaters, Nebraskans, lend me your ears. I come to bury Mike, not to praise him. And you can help: When you cast your ballot on Nov. 5, don't vote Republican. Don't vote Democrat. Take your souls to the polls and vote for the Red Party -- vote Loon for Governor.

That's right, vote for ME. Sure, I probably wouldn't know what the hell I was doing and, once elected, would probably be drunk on power and quickly become entirely out of touch with my constituents, but how exactly is that different from any other elected official, really? At the very least, you should give me your vote because I have a number of innovative planks in my platform. A thousand pints of Lite, if you will.

Want to hear more? Good! Because, fellow Nebraskan, here's what I will do for YOU once I am elected:

-- In a sweeping reorganization of state government, the unicameral Nebraska Legislature will be broken into two distinct houses of government: The 49-member Senate, which will convene daily in the spring at the State Capitol to debate and pass laws, and the 78,000-member Our House, which will convene once a week in the fall to take care of the state's really important work.

-- Sweeping reforms will be instituted regarding the process of how the state university deals with athletes who run afoul of the law. Out: The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. In: The Director of Fools and Regulations.

-- In a move to bring government closer to the common man, the state will seize the assets of The Champions Club and its members and use the funds to convert the building into Brewsky's West.

-- The state income tax will be abolished. To make up for the expected shortage of funds, Nebraska residents will be taxed 25 cents every time they snottily grumble at work about how everyone cares too much about the Cornhuskers in this state.

-- The state's official motto, "Equality Before The Law," will be changed to "Quit Running to the Goddamned Short Side of the Field, Already."

-- The Nebraska National Guard will be dispatched to the banks of the Missouri River to secure and protect the border with Iowa, and will remain there until an elite band of armed forces can "take care" of this little Dan McCarney problem for us.

-- New state bird: Robin Miller. New state tree: Dean "The Burr Oak" Steinkuhler. New state fish: Jeff Finn. New state flower: Leodis, of course.

-- With the goal of bringing Nebraskans into the 21st Century, applicable Nebraska radio stations will be ordered immediately to stop their practices of "All '80s Weekend" programming. Eventually, as the theory goes, this will cause "The Wave" to cease at Memorial Stadium, as well.

-- Young white men listening to loud rap music on their car stereos will, unfortunately, only be charged with a simple misdemeanor. However, prosecutors may enhance the charges if it is discovered the car was maroon and the rap music being played was by Busta Rhymes.

-- To more accurately reflect Memorial Stadium's overall mood one week after a crushing road loss, the Tunnel Walk's title song will be changed from "Sirius" to "Serious."

-- Despite an inevitable outcry from the "moral majority," a blue-ribbon task force will be established to explore the expansion of gambling. Resource materials for the committee would include a video replay of Frank Solich's 4th-and-1 call from his own 29 on Saturday night.

-- A statewide moratorium will be invoked on any new Geocities, Tripod or Angelfire Web pages called "The Ultimate Husker Fan Site" until the State Auditor can make an official determination as to which is the true owner of said name.

-- By executive decree, the NU cheerleaders will be allowed once again to perform skirt-raising aerial stunts. Also, every August $2 million will be taken out of Nebraska Lottery funds originally earmarked for education and placed into a cash reserve to pay for possible cheering-related personal injury lawsuits. It's money well-spent, no?

-- A constitutional amendment will be proposed guaranteeing Nebraska women the fundamental right to choose: Bud, or Bud Light?

-- In an attempt to handle the inherent dangers of the state's burgeoning prison population, new demoralizing inmate uniforms will be introduced at all Nebraska state penitentiaries. To wit: white shirts and white pants, with a single red spandex gusset down each side.

-- It will be unlawful for opposing teams to use metal bats at Haymarket Park. Exception: Metal bats will be allowed if the opponent is either Texas, Baylor or Creighton, and if said opponents are facing the Huskers in the midst of a severe lightning storm.

-- The official flag of the State of Nebraska, one of the most unoriginal state flags in the United States, will be modified. Instead of solid red with a white Pro Block N in the center, the new flag will be blue with a round, yellow crest depicting a scene of pioneering progress. Or, um, maybe we should re-evaluate our position on that one.

-- Debra Winger would not be allowed back into the Governor's Mansion, not even for a visit, until she apologizes for "Forget Paris."

-- It will be perfectly legal for anyone who notes with incredulity that the sun actually came up the morning after a rare Nebraska loss to be stoned to death in the town square of the county seat. And then run over with an apple cart full of cartoon-style anvils.

-- State Treasurer shake-ups. Out: Loralee Byrd and her cash-hemorrhaging "give unclaimed property back to residents" program. In: Bill Byrne and his money-making "The Nebraska State Patrol would look sharp in these new adidas uniforms" program.

-- Coca-Cola will be reinstated as the soda to be sold exclusively by vendors at football games. There is no such thing as a Rum and Pepsi.

-- The Attorney General will be instructed to file an injunction to compel Red Cloud High School to change its mascot from the politically incorrect "Indians" to the much more hip and modern "Loons."

-- To save the state's hard-working taxpayers thousands of dollars in yearly travel costs, Nebraska will threaten to secede from the Big 12 unless the four former Southwest Conference schools were forcibly removed. In other words: Read my lips -- no NU-Texas.

Red. White. Loon.
Show your true colors in THE POND,
Home of Nebraska's RED CLAD LOON.