Editor’s note: The author’s instructions, hand-scrawled on an unnervingly legibly faxed sheet of stationary from the Hotel Palomar (Arlington), urge the following to be read in a voice “combining the bitterness of F. Murray Abraham’s Salieri with the enthusiasm of Jack Hawkins’ drunken missionary priest Otto Witt.” Caveat emptor.
Of course do-over. How could we have ever thought it different? This is the Era of Do-Overs. Ours is the cult of doing over. Rules — the unforgivable, the final, the no give-backs — are every day seeming more and more an injustice on principle. “But-but-but…!” Blubbering exceptions everywhere, Appease the Child, each outstretched hand and trembling lip justified by one or another feeling. They wanted to count, those voters in Florida and Michigan; who are you to dare to deny them? Getting our cathartic frisson and malicious jollies out of irrevocable disses is for television, not really-real life. Not politics, where — with the quadrennial vote for President the lone last twig on the tree of citizenship — no end of gross piety is too much fawning before the altar of Every Voice Heard! The Democratic Party, fool that it was, tried to stifle the vox populi with the audacity of command. And what could be more Democratic than enjoying one’s own sloppy seconds of repentant publicity? We absolve us, we absolve us! God loves a sinner come to his understanding…!
UPDATE [by Peter Suderman]: For your aural edification, a dramatic reading.
Note: no endorsement is implied by James, the TAS board, or anyone sane.