Due to the horrors of last week's HUMP!-viewing debacle, my eyes cannot currently focus on anything smaller than a bread box. This means I am, mercifully, unable to read this week's issue—and I submitted the required doctor's note to Mr. Keck informing him of the situation. With the managerial ruthlessness for which I have long admired him, Mr. Keck responded by telling me to stay at my desk. He is now providing me with an unpaid intern who will be reading the paper aloud to me each week until I recover, and it is in this manner that I learned that this week's Stranger mocks the homes and seasonal decorations of the citizens of Bellevue. I am stifling a yawn and taking profound solace in the fact that the good, Rossi-loving people on the Eastside will never even know about this shameful ridicule because nobody beyond the pickled clientele of a few homosexual watering holes on Capitol Hill ever peruses this rag anyway.

Elsewhere in the issue, a "feature" about how the current economic woes will affect Seattle's arts scene. I made Julio (the reading-aloud intern, whose immigration status I am quite afraid to check) stop after a few scant paragraphs for two reasons: 1. My heart refuses to bleed for any art form that is unable to financially take care of itself, and 2. Julio's damnable Hispanic accent is so thick I was able to understand nary a word of the piece.

But, frankly, I'm almost glad that last week's sodomy has scorched my retinas to a crisp and delivered Julio unto me. The situation allows me to make like Dan Savage and shirk most of my duties and responsibilities (while pawning the rest of them off on frightfully eager and woefully underpaid others). Only I am going to do my shirking in the name of a good cause: I will now make election endorsements for the benefit of Stranger readers who might have been momentarily hypnotized by the wrong side (read: this paper's so-called "Election Control Board").

There is no contest in the presidential election: John McCain is a war hero, a noted maverick, and also, most importantly, a hoot around the canasta table. The fact that he has made the second coming of Ronald Reagan his vice presidential choice, and that Mr. Reagan happens to have taken the form of a shapely woman and mother of five, is merely the icing on the cake.

In the governor's race, Republican Dino Rossi is the only sane choice. Casino Chris has done too much damage to this state already. As for the rest of the initiatives and issues, use your common sense. Why would a man vote for parks when he has his own carefully landscaped backyard? Why would someone vote for public transportation when the only people who use said buses and "mono-rails" are the homeless and criminally insane? Vote with your brains, dear readers, and we will see a day of Newt Gingrichian reckoning that will be written about for decades to come. Perhaps the coming red wave will even put The Stranger out of business, freeing me at last from this awful, blinding burden. recommended