It was an evil plan, a plan to subvert the very nature of our democracy, a plan that should have worked.
I was going to singlehandedly get John McCain elected President of the United States.
Yep, just me. The plan was genius in its simplicity – in fact, it required only one thing in order to work: it required me to be wrong. Very wrong.
Hey, I can do that.
You see, sports teams have been paying me to root for the other team for years. Murphy’s Law of Mark Rooting states: “Any contest in which Mark Hunter actually becomes interested in the outcome will automatically result in the success of the other side”. It’s been proven by three independent, scientific, government funded studies.
When I was in school it didn’t make much of a difference, because I wasn’t interested in who won anything. Central Noble’s going to sectionals! My reply: “What’s a sectional? Isn’t that furniture?” (Turns out it’s some kind of playoff thing.)
Every now and then things around school would get to a fever pitch, and I’d start paying a little more attention to the cheerlead – um, to what was going on. Sometimes I’d even show up to a football game, although I avoided basketball because dribbling is icky. Me having some small amount of school spirit, I’d want our football team to hit a home run into the net, or whatever they did, so sometimes I’d look away from the cheerlead – um, crowd, to focus on whether our guys would hit the ball thing into the scoreboard.
It wasn’t until years later that I realized every time I rooted for the Cougars – every time – they lost. Luckily, I didn’t go to too many games.
On holidays, my family would gather around for the traditional meal and football game – this was before NASCAR, you understand. Since my parents wouldn’t let me bring a book, I’d watch the game and root for the guys in white, because they had to be the good guys, didn’t they? Sometimes I’d root for a name that caught my eye, like Indians, Patriots, or Colts. Then they’d lose.
After awhile I decided that, over on the baseball side, it would be neat to cheer on the Chicago Cubs, because they were underdogs and I dug that concept. (Do people still say dug?) Now, you can’t blame me for the entire Cubs losing streak, what with it going on for a century. Just the same, I noticed after awhile that not only did they lose the games I watched, they would go on a long losing streak whenever I paid attention to how they were doing through the whole season. It really got my goat. (Little Cubbies inside joke, there.)
Then there were the Colts, now in Indianapolis and so My Team. Mostly I didn’t care. I watch one football game a year, now that I’m old enough to bring a book to the gatherings if I darn well please, and that’s the Superbowl. When the colts got to the Superbowl, I had a huge decision to make.
I wanted to watch the game, darn it – love those commercials. What to do? If I watched, my beloved Colts (okay, maybe I’m exaggerating about the beloved part) would go down in flames. I compromised by being in the room while the game was on, but not actually watching.
Every time I happened to look up, the Colt dropped the ball, or threw an interception, or stepped on each other’s faces. Every time I looked away, they scored, and I’m not talking cheerleaders.
Clearly I had to use my newfound power for good.
Fast forward to the recent Presidential election, which started in – what – 2005? I made my decision on who to support, and he lost. So I chose another, and he dropped out. Then I chose a third, and he got indicted. My fourth choice simply vanished, and no one but me ever remembers he existed.
So it got toward the end, and by now I’d decided McCain was the preferred candidate over Obama. How could I show my support? Well, the answer to that was pretty clear.
For starters, way back in 2006 I wrote a column in which I predicted that the Democratic nominee would win the Presidency. Sure, I expected that nominee to be Hillary Clinton, but we can’t be perfect.
After that my evil plan went methodically along:
I predicted, publically, an Obama victory.
I put that prediction in writing, so no way could I deny I’d made it. (I call this the anti-politician tactic.)
I made sure absolutely everyone knew about that prediction, by repeating it in real life and on the internet whenever possible.
I put my money where my mouth was, betting a coworker ten bucks that Obama would win. Later we went double or nothing -- $20. So I’d put into my evil plan my life, my fortune, and my sacred honor, to coin a phrase.
Finally, and most ingenious of all, I wrote a column acknowledging Obama’s victory – and submitted it to both the paper and my blog before Election Day.
Where did I go wrong?
I can only conclude that I got too smug about it. After all, the Murphy’s Law of Hunter Rooting Corollary states clearly: “Murphy can’t be fooled by fake rooting”. In other words, the fates somehow knew of my evil plan. Perhaps they were tipped off by the cats, who often heard me repeating The Plan over and over as I stalked around the house, rubbing my hands together and cackling. It takes practice to do a good cackle while walking.
Whatever the cause, I was clearly found out. Instead of being the cause of McCain’s victory, I’m forced to take a large amount of the blame for his defeat. Stupid cats.
Also, things aren’t looking good for the Cubs next year.