Hey, Bartender

I wish I were smarter. Then I might be able to understand why, in their interactive, self-updating map of America and her electoral votes, the Associated Press has Utah, with 0% of precincts reporting, is a lock for Bush, yet Pennsylvania, with 41% of precincts voting and showing a decisive Kerry victory, remains “undecided”.

I’m not espousing any conspiracy theories, I’d just like to know why. Cynically, I could think that it’s because CNN has predicted that Bush will take Utah, and AP doesn’t want to be left behind. However, I still want to hold onto some shred of optimism, and believe that surely someone out there is still interested in actual journalism.

I want a drink very badly, and will go to remedy this need soon. I suspect a lot of Americans feel the same way, and it’s likely to be a nation of hangover sufferers tomorrow. In fact, Big_Sexy over at Fark has posted this potentially lethal Election Drinking Game:

1. Any time a state is declared for a candidate with less than 1% of precincts reporting – 2 drinks

2. Someone says “Palm Beach,” “Dangling Chads,” or “2000 Election debacle” – 2 drinks.

3. Any report of voter fraud – 1 drink.

4. Geraldo Rivera – 3 drinks

5. Someone refers to Ralph Nader in a negative way – 1 drink.

6. Anyone mentions Michael Badnarik – 2 drinks.

7. 2 networks call a state for different candidates – 3 drinks.

8. Al Gore interviews – 2 drinks.

9. Tim Russert gets out a dry erase board – 2 drinks.

10. “Flip flop” – 1 drink.

11. Someone mentions the possibility of an electoral tie resulting in a Bush-Edwards administration – 3 drinks.

12. Someone references Michael Moore or Swift Boat Veterans For Truth – 2 drinks.

13. Karl Rove is referred to as a political genius – 3 drinks.

14. “Mekong Delta” – 2 drinks.

15. “Falafel” and “O’Reilly” come up in the same conversation – 4 drinks.

16. “Dixville Notch” – 1 drink

17. Someone refers to a poll from The Christian Science Monitor.

18. “Liberal media” – 3 drinks.

19. Gideon Yago pretends to be a real journalist – 1 drink.

20. Jon Stewart calls someone a dick – 2 drinks.

21. A swing state is called for a candidate – 3 drinks.

22. “Fair and Balanced” – 1 drink.

23. A shot of John Kerry “playing” a sport – 2 drinks.

24. A shot of George Bush wearing a cowboy hat – 2 drinks.

25. “Osama Bin Laden” or “The War on Terror” – 1 drink.

26. “The most important election in our lifetime” – 2 drinks.

27. Teresa Heinz Kerry appears to have played her own special drinking game – 1 drink.

28. “Partisan Hackery” – 2 drinks.

29. John Edwards appears with his perfect hair – 1 drink.

30. Dick Cheney appears with his lesbian daughter. Did I mention she was a lesbian? – 2 drinks.

31. “Married up” – 2 drinks.

32. Al Sharpton seems to be the voice of reason in a conversation – 1 drink.

33. Florida goes for your candidate – finish the bottle.

He then finishes with “Can’t wait for the “2004 Presidential Election Recount Drinking Game!”

Anyone playing this game was royally smashed by 8pm, just on the strength of #1, above.

I’m going to stick with the AP map, as unlike the CNN map, it allows me to mouse over the states and see the actual popular vote, and how many precincts have reported. Strange calls and all.

The desire to drink until I vomit and spend the next day feeling like the floor of a mosh pit was burned out of me in college. Instead of following Big_Sexy’s fiendish (but nonetheless perceptive) path of destruction, I think I’ll just shake myself a single martini, to ease the dismay and prompt the depression. I’ll indulge in extras olives, because dammit, I’m going to end up on the plus side of something tonight.