Kerry, that wait

So John Kerry lost.

I sat up the whole day yesterday, waiting for returns to come in from Ohio because it said there on CNN and NBC and even in Fox News that the fate of the whole planet itself hung on whether Ohio voted for Bush or for Kerry.

That, you would have to admit, is reason enough to stay indoors, to skip work and to forego a bath, and to extend a deadline for a column. I care enough about this planet. I didn’t want to be out there, doing inconsequential things, like work, while Ohio messed around with the planet’s future.

But John Kerry lost.

Just when we were having trouble with one of our toilets in the house, and were hoping that a Democratic presidency would provide the best atmosphere for fixing it.

I could have fixed it. I can be your regular handyman when inspiration strikes me. But not — and let me make that very clear — not under a Republican administration. All these fittings, these assemblies, these what-do-you-call-these-little-round-things will have to wait, on a matter of principle.

“We waited four years for this victory,” vice presidential candidate John Edwards said, in an effort to justify their refusal to concede. “We can certainly wait one more night.” Tell me that didn’t come like a breath of fresh air. You go, John, I said. And your partner John, too. If this planet can, there’s no reason why this toilet can’t.

But it appears that John Kerry lost. So what do I tell my wife now? That we were short of electoral votes to ensure unhampered flushing in the next four years?

She had prayed hard for a Kerry victory. I just know that. I knew that from the way she looked up to high heavens when there was another light bulb to change that had to wait for a change of administrations.

And when she threw her arms up in the air, as if in supplication, when the doorstopper for the flinging screen door lay there, waiting for George W. Bush’s concession speech.

Or when she bowed her head and closed her eyes when I refused to install the telephone extension because the Democrats had a better plan.

I’m reading her mind and it’s saying: “Nothing’s going to happen in this world unless Kerry wins.” So there. CNN is right. NBC couldn’t have put it better. Fox News is right on the money. The fate of the planet hung on this election.

But Kerry lost. NBC all but said it.

CNN was more cautious. Wolf Blitzer bit his tongue, and so did Larry King. Maybe that’s why my wife tuned in to CNN and hid the remote control, took out the lightbulbs, the doorstopper, the phone extension and the plumbing tools. There was hope in her eyes.

The sight of tools and things to be done moved me enough to say to her: “ Maybe we should switch to NBC now? Tim Russert really made a lot of sense with all those Bush numbers.” But my wife, and the remote control, were immovable. And so were those tools and things.

But Kerry lost. A new direction for this planet will have to wait. We will just have to put this behind us and move on. I did. I went to take a bath and told the toilet: Four more years. Ohio really did you in.

SunStar Cebu
4 November 2004

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