Cry uncle

Stop. Please. Now. Let it just be over. Yeah, admittedly, it was mildly interesting for a tiny brief moment about four weeks ago, and I'm sure the portfolios of a lot of graphic artist interns at television stations all over the world have been fattened like Wisconsin Provimi veal calves with the feed chute stuck open, but enough already. How much cable news saturation can one poor post-votal nation be expected to endure? If I see Brian Williams smirk in his smug blue shirt with sassy white collars one more time, I'm going to hunt him down, stick a fork in his right thigh and call it macaroni.

Flip a coin. Do eenie meenie. Or put two names in a hat and let Elian pick one. Include the names of Cheney and Lieberman as well. What the hell, throw in Nader and Buchanan while you're at it. OK, you're right. Went a wee tad around the bend there. After all, four is such a nice round number.

Although you can't blame Al Gore for not conceding. This isn't a contest for junior high school hall monitor, this is for president of the United States of America. Leader of the Free World. We're talking King of the Planet here. Power. Domination. Babes. Think Leonardo DiCaprio with a nuclear football.

Besides, it doesn't really matter who wins, they won't be able to govern. No mandate to speak of. Deadlocked Senate. "I don't have to listen to you. You're not the REAL president. You are not the boss of me." Less effectual than a compass in an electromagnetic power plant.

And as in any media slam overdose spinfest, there have been real winners and losers aplenty -- people tangential to the action whose careers and reputations will either skyrocket into the stratosphere or sink into a swirling morass of shame and guilt like a garbage scow catapulted off the side of a cliff.

Who are those winners and losers? Funny you should ask, because it is my job, my duty and may I say my pleasure to come up this humble list of them for your edification. No need to thank me, I'm here to help.

Winner: Katherine Harris. Does the term Mrs. Ambassador have any meaning here?

Winner: Castro. Proved he possesses a sense of humor by offering to fly over Cuban election officials to oversee recount.

Winner: U.S. Supreme Court. Aaron Spelling rumored preparing hot new series on Fox, "Beneath the Robes," starring Darva Conger as Sandra Day O'Connor, Jude Law as David Souter and Delroy Lindo as Clarence Thomas.

Winner: MSNBC's Campbell Brown. If Arthur Kent was the Scud Stud, she's become the Rad Chad.

Winner: Richard Nixon. People talking about grace he exhibited by not demanding a recount in 1960.

Winner: Bill Clinton. Verbatim: "Well, the American people have spoken, we just don't know what they said yet."

Winner: The city of Chicago. Eternally supplanted as butt of voting irregularity jokes. At least when they vote more than once in Cook County, they know enough to use two separate ballots.

Winner: Pat Buchanan. Verbatim: "These are not my people."

Winner: Ryder Trucks. Publicity algebra: Two times Tallahassee plus three times Oklahoma City equals zero.

Winner: Dan Rather. True Texas colors bled through marathon election night. Favorite line: "Tighter than the lug nuts on a 57 Ford." Second place goes to: "More sore than a squatting cowboy wearing spurs."

Winner: Ralph Nader. Verbatim: "What are you talking about, Al Gore kept me from becoming president."

Winner: Dick Cheney. Unbreakable.

Loser: Jeb Bush. Barbara's undying affection or re-election? Got to go with Mom.

Loser: New Mexico. "Hey, we're close, too. We've only got a nine vote difference here. Hello? We're over here in the corner. Is anybody listening? We have turquoise."

Loser: Elian Gonzales. Elian who?

Loser: Bush spokesperson Karen Hughes. May have worn out welcome mat before entering house.

Loser: George W. Bush. What was that band aid on his face? Did he get in a slap fight with Dad? "You promised!"

Loser: Al Gore. Runs like a girl.

Loser: CNN Showbiz Today. Who cares?

Loser: George Herbert Walker Bush. Tainted. Try as he would to stay above the fray, the guy is the former head of the CIA. Rigging elections was his job. That's what he did. It's on his resume.

Loser: Residents of West Palm Beach. Bingo skills desert them at precisely wrong time.

Loser: Florida. Sunstroke capital of country. New movement to cut it off at Georgia border and kick it into Caribbean where it shall heretofore be known as North Cuba.

Loser: NBC's "West Wing." Will be hard pressed to devise fictional scenarios to rival reality.

Loser: The boy's name Chad.

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