Dear Reader:

Voting may be our most cherished civic institution, and the very framework upon which our government is built, but it’s also a colossal pain in the ass. Don’t fret, however. Your good friends at Supermasterpiece Industries have compiled the following list of Heloise-style hints, designed to make our civic chore at least a little bit more bearable.

* Voting is time consuming, and can take up a massive chunk of your valuable work day. To save time, have your personal assistant take everyone in your office’s voting order, then send her down to the polls to cast everyone’s vote for them. Also, have her pick up lunch on the way back.

* These days, it seems like every major political party has an endearing nickname. To avoid confusion, remember this: The “G.O.P” is the Republican Party. The “Commie Tree Hugging Faggots” are the Democrats.

* The lines at your polling place are probably going to be pretty long. It makes sense to wait until the second or third day of voting to head down there.

* You may not be required to vote at all. Find one of those color-coded maps on the Internet. If you live in a state that’s either red or blue, your state is already settled, so you might as well not waste your time. If you still want to perform your civic obligation, why not show up for jury duty instead?

* Not as informed about the candidates as you’d like to be? A “straight party ticket” is probably the way to go. On the other hand, a “gay party ticket” is your all access pass to the hottest Gay/Bi/Curious event of the season.

* I don’t care what you say, you aren’t moving to Canada if Bush wins so stop claiming you are. Okay? Okay.

* If you live in California, have fun slogging through all those stupid referendums, dipshit. You guys are nuts.

* Terrorists MAY try to disrupt the election, so if your going to the polls, make sure you go strapped. Capice?

* Although the candidates for the most important races (such as President, Senator, and Supreme Court Justice) have strong, serious names, by the time you get to the dinky ones at the end, it’s fun to vote for someone who has a hilarious name.

* What’s with the “Natural Law Party”? I always seem them on the ballot, but I never hear about them anywhere else. What’s their deal?

I hope these tips help make your voting experience a pleasurable one. I’m kidding, of course. There is no way it’s going to be pleasurable to wait in line for 45 minutes in an elementary school gymnasium, then try to figure out how to work whatever new-fangled election equipment your district has recently bought.

Still, it will be fulfilling to take part in deciding who our next president will be. Ha! Got you again. Chances are it will be the Supreme Court’s decision again this time around. In all seriousness, I have to point out that as far as civic duties go, voting sure beats slaving for the government in a forced labor camp, or mandatory stints in the armed services like other countries have.

I guess the best reason to vote is so you can feel slightly less guilty when you weasel out of jury duty later on this year.

In the end, isn’t that what Democracy is all about?

Chris Messick
Chief Executive Officer
Supermasterpiece Industries

Chris Messick is the C.E.O. of