Dem Party sets new record for announced candidates: Chaos anticipated.

The Office of Public Office Monitoring (OPO) announced this morning that at the present time, 8,253,667 individuals have announced their candidacy for the Democratic Nomination for President of the United States.

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The following article is a satire.

Dateline–Washington, D.C.

The Office of Public Office Monitoring (OPO) announced this morning that at the present time, 8,253,667 individuals have announced their candidacy for the Democratic Nomination for President of the United States. The latest person to announce was a homeless man from Tallywhacker, Idaho who claims to be “the former Attorney General of North Dakota, or maybe one of the Carolinas or Wake Island. He isn’t entirely sure. He is certain that he’s a registered Democrat, though. “I remember voting for that Carter fellow. You know, the peanut guy,” he said.

The final tally of candidates awaits filing deadlines and is expected to expand by another 150,000 or so. “At the moment,” said Herb Tickercounter, spokesperson for the OPO, “it seems that it’s winding down, but there’s still some time left.” Mary Lou Thelma of Makepeace, Tennessee, interim chair of the Democratic Party (all other officers in the Party have announced their candidacies and resigned their party leadership roles) said that the raw number is unprecedented. “We haven’t seen this many Democrats trying to unseat a sitting president since the War Between the States!”

Spokesperson Tickercounter also noted that the situation has created several critical shortages. “We are looking at serious problems with accommodations in states such as Iowa and New Hampshire,” Tickercounter said. “At the present time, every hotel and motel room, bed and breakfast, airbnb, back room, garage storage shed, meat-smoking barn, pup-tent and lean-to in each of these states is fully booked for the duration of the run-up to those states’ primary polling dates.”

Reports of price-gouging for places to stay are widely reported. A man in Cornfed, Iowa claims he was charged $3245.72 for standing too long on a public sidewalk. “It’s an outrage,” he was quoted as saying. “I was only there for ten minutes, and they didn’t even offer room service. But they still charged me a hotel/motel tax!” In Deeregreen, Iowa, a wheelbarrow and blanket were reportedly being advertised for rent for $1,250 per hour, plus state and local taxes. In addition, vast amounts of pancake batter mix, syrup, eggs, sausages, sandwich-makings, and similar foods, as well as coffee, are also being stockpiled in record amounts. “We’re thinking of renting some counter space in Nebraska, where the demand is less,” said Irma Fingerrim, head of the Iowa Restaurant, Cafe, and Donut Shoppe Association (IRCDSA). “Nobody ever campaigns in Nebraska or the Dakotas. I mean, what do they have, like twelve votes?”

The larger-than-expected field of candidates is posing special challenges up and down the board. Melvyn Glasstrain, head of the National Pollsters Organization (NPO), complained that there was simply no way to get a reasonably accurate measure of any candidate’s standing. “How are we supposed to know who is going to win, if we can’t get polling information?” he asked. “We’re down to nano-fractions of a percentage point for all of them. I mean, at the moment, front-runners hold a .000004% margin, plus or minus three percentage points, against thousands of others. How are people going to know how to vote if they don’t have polls to tell them?”

Francine Focus, a producer for Combined News Broadcasting (CNB), a subdivision of Viacom/NBC and AT&T/HBO/Facebook, Inc.(VN&ABF) and Apple, Inc., admits that managing televised debates for all of these announced contenders is presenting almost insurmountable problems. “At the moment,” she said, “we’ve scheduled a block of time in late spring, 2020 that should provide at least a few seconds of exposure for everyone. The debates will commence on all three networks and PBS, Fox News, and, of course, CNN, with parallel radio and internet streaming coverage, podcasts and what have you, on a Sunday evening, immediately after the Masters’ Golf Tournament at one of the president’s several resorts concludes. They will run, uninterrupted for the next twenty-seven days, 24/7, longer if necessary.” She concluded, “If more candidates announce, though, this may cause a necessary expansion of the program.”

A second round of debates has been declared “cosmically impossible” by all concerned.

As you can imagine,” said Terry Spudspade, spokesman for the “Television Advertiser’s Association” (TAA), this is something of a unique opportunity for automobile companies, as well as big pharmaceutical advertisers, to say nothing of beer and soft-drink corporations, insurance companies, and so forth–you know, the usual people. Competition for air-time will be severe.” When asked if this might not also create a windfall for networks selling ad time, Spudspade scoffed. “Are you kidding? They only run the ads before and after each round of debates—and at the bargain rate of only around $20 million per second—somewhat longer for the patent medicines that have to run all those disclaimers, though. But don’t worry,” he said, “this ain’t the Superduperbowl. It won’t be nearly as good, and there’s no half-time show.”

Focus offered the additional observation that a significant but secondary problem will be finding enough reporters to staff the panels who will ask the candidates’ questions. “We’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel,” she said. “At the moment, we’re actively recruiting from the staff of junior high school radio-run radio stations, but we’re assured that there are still some other avenues yet unexplored, like former newspaper reporters. Nobody really wants them – after all, print media is dead – but any port in a storm!”

Even assuming that some candidates might drop out before reaching the critical debate stage of their campaigns, there will still be sizable problems. A shortage of buses, motor homes, and RVs suitable for use as campaign vehicles is anticipated, as well as significant short-falls in areas such as patriotic bunting, flags, and poster-board paper. More than a hundred previously bankrupt print shops have reopened with additional employees as they begin to gear up for the demand.

Concerns about the depletion of what remains of the natural forests in the United States have been allayed by President Trump’s Executive Order to clear cut most of the nation’s wilderness forest to provide the necessary pulp to ensure that yard signs and billboard advertising can be provided to meet demand. “We can acquit the National Debt with this kind of deel [sic],” the president tweeted. “We can always replant a bunch of stupid trees. With new taxes on domestic lumbar [sic] sales, it will solve our financial problems for a generator [sic]. Just think of the jobs! And besides, what difference does it make? Nobody reads those stupid signs anyway. Too many words! Sad!”

Canadian President Justin Trudeau announced that Canadian paint manufacturers are gearing up to meet the demand for tempera paint. “It’s a huge opportunity,” he said, “To assist our neighbor to the south who, thus far, hasn’t imposed a tariff on paint! “Vive le processus démocratique!”

Ball cap and tee-shirt factories area also being pushed to the limits of production. Juan Cabeza-Cubierta of Guadalaraja, Mexico, commented that the Mexican nation is rallying to answer the need. “We are assured that the demands of this election will not only solve the national budget crisis in Mexico,” he said, “but that it will also provide such a massive influx of legally-earned cash that the drug cartels will shift to legitimate production of these sombreros de la democracia. It’s potentially far more lucrative than the narcotic trade – and safer, as well!” Preliminary reports are that the murder rate in Mexico has declined precipitously, as there is a fear among the business-shifting cartels of depleting the labor pool.

In addition, large numbers of undocumented workers were reported to be migrating south to find better paying and less demanding jobs in that industry. Caravans of workers in California and Texas are reportedly forming to travel south to the border. President Trump has threatened to have anyone arrested and imprisoned who attempts to return to Mexico across the southern border. “Another Border Crisis!!” he tweeted. “I knew this would happen!! Who’s going to mow golf courses and clean terlits [sic] ? BUILD THE WALL!!! It works both ways!!!!”

The concession for campaign buttons is still open for international bids, but there are numerous interested nations interested in beefing up their domestic employment rates and economies. Some of these are among the so-called “S**t-hole countries” previously defined by President Trump. “This is a sweet irony,” stated Wheelright Buttonhook, spokesman for the American Association of Campaign Swag (AACS). “The American political process solving the world’s economic crises! Who’d have thunk it?”

Early analysts, though, are faced with a different kind of problem. Political Science Professor and bonsai tree enthusiast, Desmond Drumwitty, of Yellow Brick University, stated, “Almost all of us have thrown up our hands. We have developed a dozen different algorithms to try to discern the difference in policy positions among all the candidates, but, mathematically speaking, they are so small, so indistinct from one another, that it’s impossible to tell any difference among them. Speaking colloquially, there’s not a snake’s hair’s difference between most of their positions, although they all claim to disagree on specifics. Those who do diverge exhibit strong signs of mental illness or felonious intent.”

Some candidates also may well be convicted felons who are running under the assumed names of dead Democrats, sometimes slightly altered. Candidate Francis D. Roosepelt was revealed to be a convicted sex-offender named Sheney Halliburton who escaped from the Florida State Prison in 1959, living under the assumed identity of a parish priest in Toadtree, Florida, for more than thirty years. Father Francis, as she is now known, is, however, a registered voter and is eligible to run, provided that she returns to prison and completes her sentence.

Moreoever, Drumwitty adds, “Voting is going to be another nightmare. I mean, assuming that if all the candidates from, say, Massachusetts or Maryland cast votes only for themselves, then the result could be a 289,875-way tie in either one of those states, and that assumes that each candidates spouse also votes only for him or herself. The run-off elections in those and other states could take decades to complete.”

Many of the candidates dispute Drumwitty’s position, though. Candidate Mavis Lautrec Toulouse of Sacramento City, Ohio, asserts that the differences among all the candidates is clear. “Any idiot can see that,” she angrily claims. “There are widely divergent opinions on every single one of the major issues.” When asked to give examples, though, she cited positions on sensible shoes, socks with sandals, and other footwear-related issues, all of which are central to her campaign. “Hammer toes and bunions are no laughing matter,” she observed. “It’s time to stamp out these sexist biases in fashion.” Beyond that, she would only say, “The only thing we all agree on is that the present president has to go! The man is a disgrace! Have you seen his neckties? Too danged long! That and that there are just too dad-gummed many people running. It complicates things. A quarter-million or so would have been plenty.”

When asked if he thought all of the candidates, particularly some who are relatively unknown outside their personal bathrooms, have any chance at all, Howard Hyde Watchman, candidate from Hot Rock Mountain, Arizona, asserted, “Of course they do. I mean, look at me. Two days before I announced, not even my own family was sure who I was. Now, there are at least a half-dozen people, some of them associated with the newspaper industry, who are well aware of my name.”

One of these, though, might possibly have been Chester Hardpumper, a neighborhood teenager with aspirations of becoming a personal trainer and body-builder, who throws Mr. Watchman’s twice-weekly edition of the local paper, for which he claims Mr. Watchman is in arrears for his subscription, going back to 1976. “I categorically deny that charge,” Mr. Watchman stated. “It’s a scurrilous attempt to slander me on the part of the Republican Party, of which I happen to know that Chester’s father is a card-carrying member. Besides, that idiot kid could hit a puddle in a five-year drought!”

Similar comments echo across the field. Agnes Alloy, candidate from Leftfork, California and head of the Metallica County Animal Control Office (MCACO), pointed out that as the campaign matures, more and more people will become aware of the candidates’ positions and name recognition is sure to follow. “Look at me!” she declared. “Everyone says I don’t have an immigrant’s chance on the New Mexican border, but they said the same thing about me six years ago, and I got elected dog-catcher, didn’t I?”

Bertha Clementine McMaster, the main spokesperson for the Democratic National Convention Organizing Committee (DNCOC) outlines even more challenges. “Finding a venue for the convention is becoming a major problem,” she said. “Size is one problem, although there’s been talk of using Bill Gates’ rumpus room or possibly an abandoned mining pit in Wyoming, which might be large enough to fit at least the more important states’ delegates into, if any or all of the putative candidates appear to still be in contention at the point when the opening gavel falls.” She continued, “An additional problem will be security, particularly since no Republican governor is willing to lend the DNC National Guard units to keep order or provide protection for all the candidates.”

Suggestions have been made about bringing in either French or German military police forces. But transportation becomes an issue, since the president won’t allow them into the country without individual passports and visas, and the Secretary of the Interior insists that they not be allowed to carry arms, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff refuses to allow foreign military planes to land at US airbases. “That’s a bunch of Republicans for you!” McMaster grimly forecast, “Between the hookers and the drug dealers, this could get out of hand. And don’t even get me started on our contingency plans for medical aid and . . . well, it’s a big job! As you can plainly see.”

She outlined other niggling concerns such as a potential balloon shortages, confetti shortages, patriotic ribbon shortages, and other convention needs, like a paucity of availability of straw boaters and cell phone towers. She then continued, “But the real problem is the nominating speeches and seconds. This could last six or eight months, even if we hold each one to just a few seconds apiece and forbid ‘spontaneous demonstrations,’ which any idiot knows aren’t really ‘spontaneous,’ and if we don’t stop for anything, even restroom breaks.” She went on, “And restrooms! Oh, my God! Nobody’s even thought about that, yet! The line to the Women’s could stretch for miles and miles! If we don’t impose flushing restrictions, the water bill is going to break us!” The porta-potty industry is also going to feel the strain, she concluded.

There also have been significant difficulties in engaging an alcohol concession for the convention, although numerous craft breweries have offered to combine in a joint effort with legalized marijuana concessionaires, provided that the convention is held in a state that is in open defiance of federal law and a sufficient number of tanker trucks and semi-trailers can be engaged.

Finally, problems in campaign financing are being aroused. “There’s simply not enough money in the world,” declared Alexander Coiner, chief watchdog officer in charge of campaign finance oversight for the bi-partisan Campaign Funding Security Office (CFSO). “Conservatively, something on the order of six hundred trillion dollars will be required just to get through the Texas primary. By the time we reach California and the rest, the amount would be too much for even the World Bank to handle.” Talk of recognizing human bone marrow and major organs as currency are unrealistic, he said.

Some candidates, getting a jump on the others, have already contracted with some foreign countries, such as Venezuela, Greece, and Cuba to start printing their otherwise worthless currency that might be used in the event the US Mint runs out of cash. Great Britain has offered boatloads of unused euros, as well. “We’re already working on pocket conversion tables,” Coiner said, “But we know there will be a shortage of armored cars and bank vaults to handle this.” Credit card companies have also announced that any spending on the campaign that might be charged will not accrue miles or points or cash-back bonuses. A spokesman for American Express said, when asked about this dubious policy change, “Are you out of your f******g mind? We’d be bankrupt in a nanosecond.”

PACs and SuperPACS are gearing up for the cash infusions. Inspired by old Donald Duck comic books and the famous character, “Uncle Scrooge,” several billionaires, including Warren Buffett, have offered to drain all the swimming pools at all their properties to store any currency overages. “This is contingent,” Buffett noted, “on whether or not I decide to run myself. I’ll be making that announcement in coming weeks.”

Republican reaction to the large field of Democratic contenders has been remarkably calm, particularly since no Republican has announced a candidacy to oppose Donald Trump. Frank Tightrite, Chairman of the Republican Party, stated, “We’re thinking about not holding a convention at all. Instead, we may just have a series of ‘Keep America Locked Up’ rallies, shuttling the president from place to place on Air Force One, along with his family and golfing buddies, of course, and with lots of food stops at MacDonald’s and Kentucky Fried outlets in case the big guy gets peckish.”

In the meantime, though, members of the GOP delegation are busily painting all of the Democratic candidates with the “brush of socialism,” something the president has tweeted, “they all clearly is [sic],” and something many claim is evidenced by their casual disregard for the independence of the private sector and over-regulation. Owing to the over-sized field of contenders among the Dems, this is turning out to be a big job.

“We need to hit every one of those parlor pinks,” stated Senator Dabney Nightfall (R-Alabama). “It’s a good thing the private sector got rid of lead-based paint, or we’d have what’s left of the EPA all over us! That was almost as good a move as the private sector cleaning up the water in Flint, Minnesota–or was it Montana? No matter – or putting a man on the Moon, something else Ronald Milhouse Reagan was responsible for, like winning the War in Vietnam and conquering Pakistan!”

As soon as the Democrats decide on a front-runner,” Dolores Chatterwhite, Chair of the Committee to Re-elect the President and Keep Him in Office Forever, Even If He’s Stupid” (CREEPKHOF–EIHS), said, “we’ll start focusing ourselves on the meaningful issues of the campaign, like who really should be in charge of packing Melania’s suitcases and making reservations for the president’s next summit with whatever dictator needs his knob polished.”  Chatterwhite anticipates no significant challenge from the Democrats. “My gosh,” she declared, “There are so many of them. It’s like sorting chicks in a poultry farm!”

In the meantime, Iowa and New Hampshire are gearing up for the coming political storm. Residents of both have been asked to travel to neighboring cities across state lines to make room for all of the candidates and their entourages, but to be sure to vote absentee before departing and to take back roads to prevent strain on the states’ infrastructures. 

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My background is that I am a well-published novelist, essayist, scholar, and literary critic, the author over 1,000 publications ranging from scholarly studies to short fiction and poems, essays, critical reviews and twenty published volumes, including nine novels and a collection of short fiction. I am recently retired after serving as Professor of Arts and Humanities at the University of Texas at Dallas, where I also served as Director of Creative Writing. I hold academic degrees from the University of Texas at Austin, Trinity University, and a PhD from the University of Tulsa. My published novels include The Vigil, Agatite, Franklin's Crossing, Players, Monuments, and The Tentmaker, Ars Poetica: A Post-Modern Parable, Vox Populi: A Novel of Everyday Life, and Threading the Needle; I also have published a collection of essays, Of Snakes and Sex and Playing in the Rain, and a collection of short fiction, Sandhill County Lines. My nonfiction books, authored and edited, include Stage Left: The Development of the American Social Drama, Taking Stock: A Larry McMurtry Casebook, A Hundred Years of Heroes: A Centennial History of the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show, Twenty Questions: Answers for the Inquiring Writer, The Plays of Jack London, and Hero of a Hundred Fights: The Western Dime Novels of Ned Buntline. My novels, short fiction, and essays have won numerous regional and national awards, including the Violet Crown Award, which I have has received twice for fiction, and theSpur Award for short fiction as well as the Spur Award for Creative Nonfiction; I was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1993; I am a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow and is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters.

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