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by Dale Connelly, 11/17/00

Dc: Senator Spleen is not the only one suffering. There are lingering election related side effects for almost everyone. Joining us on the phone from a place called "Voter's Rest," is Flo Larkin, a registered nurse. Thanks for joining us.

(sfx: tv yabber jabber in bg)

Flo: (on phone) (soothing) Thank you for calling.

Dc: What kind of day is it at Voter's Rest?

Flo: It's a good day. We turned the television back on today. Many of our guests were happy to see that. We couldn't use it for a while because of all the provocative political ads.

Dc: I suppose. How long was it off?

Flo: A year.

Dc: Wow. So is that it? Voter's Rest is a place with the TV turned off?

Flo: Oh it's more than that. It's a place where voters can get over...

Dwight: (off mic) He's going negative! Make him stop being negative.

Flo: Excuse me a moment. (call off) What's the problem?

Carl: (off mic) All I said was "I'm cold."

Dwight: That's negative!

Flo: Don't complain, Dwight. Get a blanket out of the cupboard.

Dwight: Why do we have to subsidize him?

Flo: I'm on a phone call right now. Why don't you go watch the television. I think this is one of the episodes with the monkey in it.

Dwight: Monkeys are dirty.

Carl: See? Nothing's good enough for him!

Dwight: Whiner!

Carl: Liberal!

Flo: Please, please! A little bi-partisan understanding? Come on, you're not gonna get anywhere if you keep bickering! (on mic) OK, I'm back.

Dc: A little dispute there?

Flo: Voters come in physically exhausted and emotionally drained. We expect them to be cranky at first, but then the program kicks in and they find out that there are NO CHOICES. Everything is decided. No judgments. No recounts. And that helps them relax.

Dc: Even the meals?

Flo: The meals AND the order in which they'll be eaten. There's only one of each thing on the plate... Vegetables, starch, meat, dessert in that order. There's no "machine processed" section as opposed to a "hand cooked" or "home cooked" section. Nothing is left for these frazzled citizens to deliberate over. The goal is to create a thought-free, conflict free environment.

Dc: That's tough to do.

Flo: Especially when you don't have the TV. But now the political ads have cleared and we've got it back on, we're going to leave it on reruns of "Friends" and let all the anxiety drain away.

Dc: It sounds like you're providing a very useful public service.

(sfx: off mic shouting, hubub)

Flo: Oops. It's another live shot of people counting ballots.

Dc: Sounds like pretty incendiary programming.

Flo: Gotta go!

Dc: Flo Larkin is a caregiver at Voter's Rest.


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