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Leslie: Here now the news, I'm Leslie Generic. A new survey indicates that with the outcome of the presidential election now more certain than ever, most Americans who voted on November 7th can no longer remember who they voted for. George Shakey of the Shakey Poll says this is a first in American Electoral History.
Shakey: Never before have so many forgotten who got their vote BEFORE the results were known. And a significant number … 35 per cent … can't remember whether they voted AT ALL.
Leslie: The Shakey Poll also revealed that 72% of the American public would rather not know who has won the election until inaugural day itself, so the identity of the new president can be "a surprise." Voting machine manufacturers announced at their annual convention this week that they "stand ready" to profit enormously as frightened state legislatures move to modernize their voting technology. Lyle Chadlever is president of the Voting Mechanism Manufacturer's Association.
Chadlever: (used car salesman) We've got some real beauties on the show floor this year … for all the finest precincts. Machines with optical scanners, breathalyzers, DNA testers … big high speed tabulators and built in checks, cross checks, double cross checks and voter ID. Now … if you come from a poor district, we've got our underclass budget voting machine. Still a solid performer. (sfx: paper rustle) Just mark this with an "X" and stuff it in the shoe box.
Leslie: Now that there will be a new administration, some of the top secret agencies that service the president are getting a start on work that has been delayed too long. Spook Harris is head of the Agency That Cannot Be Named.
Harris: (nervous) I can't tell you anything of course because we don't exist and we don't do anything, but if, for instance, we had the job of finding a convict in a Federal pen with the same size and weight and body type as the new president so he could undergo extensive cosmetic surgery to serve as a decoy in exchange for his freedom four years from now, why, that process would have to be underway already and it's not. Or it wouldn't be. If we did that sort of thing.
Leslie: Harris also suggested that if his non existent agency was engaged in the practice of taking a blood sample from the new president so DNA may be extracted to farm clones of valuable organs in case they're needed for emergency transplant, that THAT process would also be getting a very late start by now. Shuttle astronauts returning this week from the International Space Station were upbeat about the results of their successful mission, and full of praise for the three man crew of the orbiting outpost. The shuttle crew told reporters it felt like a typical holiday visit to the home of a friend.
Astronaut 1: Wonderful hospitality.
Astronaut 2: What a nice place.
Astronaut 3: Lovely place. Just gorgeous, the space station.
Astronaut 2: They've done such nice things with it.
Astronaut 1: What did YOU think of the curtains?
Astronaut 2: I would NOT have chosen that color. Against a black background …? Not good.
Astronaut 3: And what about the throw rug by the airlock?
Astronaut 1: OH! Why didn't they throw that into space?
Astronaut 2: Really! Even at 17 thousand miles per hour, that would not be moving away from me FAST enough.
Leslie: A new shuttle crew will visit the space station next month. They'll bring a new living module, china, and flatware.
General Motors announced this week that it will phase out it's Oldsmobile division over the next several years. The 103 year old brand name had fallen on hard times lately. Tamara Henry is a media marketing expert.
Tamara: Branding experts agree Oldsmobile could not overcome the word "Old" in it's name. It was coined at a time when "old" was good, but that was over a hundred years ago. All the old people who liked it are dead now and have stopped consuming. New consumers reject everything associated with the word "old." Unless it's "Old Navy." They like that. Odd.
Leslie: The demise of Oldsmobile follows Daimler Chrysler's decision to phase out the Plymouth brand. Executives of the Buick Motor Company have claimed sole ownership of what they call "the grampa market."
Low November retail sales figures and "soft" holiday numbers at the malls have led economists to predict a disappointing end-of-the-year shopping season. And the disappointment is palpable. Marlene Lenya is Administrator of Detachment with the National Mood Administration.
Marlene: (resigned) I have been in the stores. Never have I seen so many long faces. They are like zombies. When money was new and people didn't have much, they were gleeful about having it and spending it. Now … in so many of the stores the shoppers are rich and bored. (sigh) I guess our dreams really have come true. Hurray for us. Aren't we awful?
Leslie: On the heels of the Texas Rangers' decision to pay 25 year old shortstop Alex Rodriguez $252 million dollars over 10 years, major league baseball has disbanded. Officials with the league say the sport is now "too ridiculous to continue". The thirty teams will be sold to … Alex Rodriquez, who says the sport will continue under his own name. And that's the news. I'm Leslie Generic.