Northern Exposure s03e15 Episode Script

Democracy in America

Ed, it was three on his right and two on his left.
No, Chris, it was definitely one on his left.
Holling, how many toes did Marty Sorenson lose that time he got frostbite? Well, let's see.
It was one on his left and two on his right, wasn't it? Well, I don't believe it.
- Hello, Edna.
- Holling.
Been a while.
Yes, it has.
Fellas, you know Edna Hancock.
Lives over next to Maurice.
Well, almost next to him.
What is it, four miles from door to door? Five.
Maurice has his 15,000 acres, - and you have what, Edna, 10? - Twelve.
12,000 acres.
My gosh.
It's good to see ya.
I think I still have some of that single malt you like.
Nobody calls for this very often.
Make it a double? Too late for that.
I beg your pardon? Too late for single malt, Holling.
Too late for a lot of things.
l-I don't follow you.
I'm running for mayor, Holling, against you.
Why? Why? Five years ago, you could have given me a stop sign.
Now it's too late for that too.
Five years ago? I was sitting right here.
You said you'd look into it.
But you didn't now, did you? Well, l-I must have forgotten is all, Edna.
Well, it won't happen again.
See you on election day.
Friends, Romans, registered voters, lend me your ears.
Holling Vincoeur has picked up the gauntlet thrown down by Edna Hancock.
We have a mayoralty race, folks.
To which I can only add, alea jacta est.
The die is cast, the battle is joined.
Hold on to your hats, Cicely.
We're about to bear witness to that sacred rite, when each and every one of us become acolytes before the altar of the ballot box, our secular shrine.
Fellow Cicelians, my heart is pounding, dancing to the drum of a free people, a city on a hill, e pluribus unum.
I feel at one with Whitman, shepherd of the great unwashed: "O democracy, near at hand to you a throat is now inflating itself and joyfully singing.
" What exactly am I supposed to be looking for? It's not jumping up and down? Not presently.
Well, this morning when I woke up and looked in the mirror, it was like I just killed this deerfly, you know, but it wasn't dead yet, and its wings were still flapping around.
l-I believe what you've just described is a facial tic.
Watch my finger.
Okay, a facial tic is a brief, involuntary contraction of a muscle group.
You ever have one before? Never.
It's usually the result of nervous tension.
Have you been experiencing any unusual stress lately? A lot.
Yeah? The stress is related to? Oh, the election.
The election? Yep.
This election? Yeah.
You see, I've never had a chance to vote before, Dr.
It's a pretty big responsibility.
Well, normally I'd agree with you, Ed, but in this case, I mean, it's nothing more than a grudge match over a stop sign.
Two stop signs.
Two? Yeah, you see, Edna wants a stop sign to slow down those lumber trucks as they come around the curve near her house.
See, they hit the brakes, then they work through all the gears.
It's noisy and keeps her awake.
Wait a minute.
There's no intersection? She wants a stop sign where there's no intersection? Yeah, but she needs two.
You see, last night I was thinking- a "Prepare To Stop" and then a "Stop.
" I couldn't get back to sleep.
I can see where that might keep a person awake.
Oh, yeah.
Look, Ed.
Until yesterday, I didn't know Holling was mayor.
I didn't even know there was a mayor.
How important can a job be if no one knows it exists? Well, there's a special parking place.
A what? You know, the reserved sign out in front of Ruth-Anne's store.
Oh, that's what that's for? Yeah, it's for the mayor.
But everyone parks there.
Well, yeah, but they all know it's for the mayor.
And that doesn't even include all the other special perks.
Like what? Well, like the annual date book, the stamp, the official stationery.
Oh, it's pretty intoxicating stuff.
Holling has been the mayor of Cicely, well, ever since I was born.
Well, look, I appreciate the history involved here, but, um, it's not like an election is a once-in-a-lifetime event.
Well, there's never been one here before.
What do you mean? Well, everyone's just always wanted Holling to be mayor, so, well, Holling's always just been mayor.
You mean there's never been a vote? Uh-uh.
Ever? Nope.
I've discovered the Brigadoon of electoral politics.
So what am I gonna do now, Dr.
Fleischman? About what? My tic.
Well, vote.
It should clear up Tuesday.
Hell, I never asked for the job.
I never asked to be mayor.
I know.
People asked me.
I wasn't looking for power and glory.
I couldn't have cared less.
But still, all in all, I think I did a pretty decent job.
You've done a dynamite job, babe.
Did I ask Edna Hancock to build her house near a major thoroughfare? I've known the woman since the first day she set foot here 25 years ago.
Never in all of that time has an unkind word passed between us.
But let me forget one thing, she turns on me, like a grizzly smelling blood on the wind.
Holling? What? I know you've got power and greed and ambition on your mind, and that's cool.
It's more than cool.
It's a total turn-on.
But see if you can't fit some time for you and me to slide around.
All this wheeling and dealing is making my knees likeJell-O.
One-eyed jack.
Excuse me, Shelly.
May I ask you something, Maggie? Fire away, Ed.
In an election, how do you know who to vote for? Hmm.
Well, it's kind of complicated.
First, read the literature.
Then listen to the speeches.
But eventually, you just have to go with your gut.
My gut.
Look each candidate in the eye, you know, and try to figure out which one is least likely to become an unprincipled sleaze bucket.
That's totally ridiculous, O'Connell.
You vote for a strong leader, someone who represents your views.
Excuse me? I don't have any views.
Well, in that case, you fall back on your candidate's party affiliations.
What are they? Well, are you a Democrat or a Republican, Ed? I don't know.
What are you, Dr.
Fleischman? Well, I like to think of myself as a guilt-free thinker, but, in fact, I mostly vote Republican.
- Figures.
- What is that supposed to mean? Oh, nothing.
Just another in a long line of disappointments, I suppose.
But I guess it goes along with argyle socks and the golf clubs.
Oh, great.
Nothing like getting beneath the surface, O'Connell.
You sound a little defensive, Fleischman.
What's the problem? I touched a nerve? I'm not defensive.
I happen to be very proud of my political position.
I think it takes a lot of guts to voice the unfashionable, to go against the tide of one's peers.
Do you realize how many Republicans live on the Upper West Side? Yeah, you're lookin' at him.
Yeah, well, it takes a lot of guts to cut programs for the poor and give tax breaks to the rich.
Oh, spare me the bleeding heart.
At least I don't vote out of some misplaced sense of guilt over growing up with money.
Fleischman, you don't even know what you're talking about.
My parents are Democrats.
We are very pro-labor.
I'm sure you spent your weekends at the Grosse Point Country Club discussing minimum wage.
Well, you know, it's obvious you're running from your- your working-class background and trying to pass yourself off as something you're not.
I'm not running from anything.
But I got news for you and your liberal suburban friends.
There's nothing special or particularly ennobling about not having money.
Me, me, me.
My, my, my.
Self-interest isn't a crime, O'Connell.
I worked my butt off to be a doctor.
I didn't spend four years in medical school, one year in internship and two years in residency just to be plugged into some system of socialized medicine that tells me what I can and cannot charge.
Yeah, when my sentence is up, I plan to go home and charge whatever the market will bear.
Yeah, I want my piece of the pie.
I want my money.
Yeah, a self-serving, materialistic pig.
Self-serving Republican pig.
Thank you very much.
Edna? Edna, I'd like to speak with you a minute if you don't mind.
What is it? You and I have known each other a long time, Edna.
I think it'd be a shame to let a friendship fall apart over a silly thing like a stop sign.
There's a principle involved.
I know that.
But don't you think you're taking it a little too far? Nope.
What, you think I haven't been a good mayor then? Generally I'd say the town is no better or worse off than the day I arrived.
What do you want then? You lied to me, Holling.
I did not lie, Edna.
I forgot.
When your freezer broke, and you needed an emergency generator, did I forget? Worst rainstorm 1976, roads washed out, did I forget? Edna, that was 16 years ago.
That's right, it was, and I still remember.
I remember.
All right, all right.
I admit I may have exhibited a lapse in character- a minor, temporary lapse- but a lapse.
And although your request for a stop sign is peculiar without a question, I'm willing to face up to my mistake and make amends.
I apologize, Edna, and I promise you I'll get you that stop sign.
Too late.
I said I was sorry.
You had your chance.
Well, now, Edna, hold on.
Now, Holling, if you've finished your whelping, I've got a race to run.
I'm the mayor, Edna.
Me, not you.
People like me.
They trust me.
I guess we'll find out on Tuesday, won't we? This is Chris in the Morning, continuing the K-Bear Election Countdown to Mayor with some special announcements.
Bea Gormley is holding a candidate's tea for Edna Hancock this afternoon at her house at 2:00.
The public is welcome.
And Holling Vincoeur will be special guest of the Vikings'Eating Club tonight at 8:00 p.
over at the Moose Hall.
There's a change in the scheduled program, so call Dennis Lundgren for more info.
And keep that radio tuned right where it is on K-Bear 570 on your A.
The radio station of the people, by the people and for the people.
You know, Chris does have a tendency to wrap himself in the flag.
I think he's overcompensating for his criminal past.
Well, it's not just Chris, Ruth-Anne.
It's everyone.
I can't believe the amount of time and energy being wasted on a two-bit election over a two-bit issue in a two-bit town.
How many bits is that? Uh, it's all relative, Joel.
I'm sure that this pales compared with the Tammany Hall antics that you're accustomed to, but it's all we've got.
Boss Tweed was a little before my time, Ruth-Anne.
Al D'Amato's more like it.
In fact, I, uh- I worked on his campaign.
Oh, you did? I certainly did.
Yeah, it was a blast.
Someone got a hold of the Democratic election schedule, right? We'd go around, rip down their stuff, put up ours, killed them.
Totally destroyed 'em.
Um, Joel, after careful consideration, I'm naming you election commissioner.
What? As town clerk, one of my jobs is to appoint election officials, so I've just made you election commissioner.
I don't wanna be election commissioner.
What does election commissioner do? You make sure that everything is done properly and above board.
- Thanks.
I decline.
- You can't.
- What do you mean? I just did.
- You can't.
It's your civic duty.
Ruth-Anne, I'm busy.
I happen to be very, very busy.
Okay, fine.
That'll be $243.
For a package of dental floss? That and the balance on your account comes to $243.
Cash on the barrelhead.
What happened to my credit line? It just ran out.
You're joking.
Ruth-Anne, this is extortion.
All right, all right, fine, look.
Okay, Ruth-Anne, look.
Yes, all right, I will be election whatchmacallit if it means that much to you.
Only if I can do the minimum possible.
I knew you'd come around.
Ruth-Anne, I don't understand this campaign bylaw, do you? Excuse me? Oh, you.
If you have any questions about protocol, Maggie, askJoel.
- Why him? - He's our new election commissioner.
You're kidding.
That's what I said, and she took away my credit line.
Maggie is the chairman of the election committee.
Wh-What's the difference between election commissioner and chairman of the election committee? The charter's a little obscure on that point.
But as far as I can make out, the chairman makes the arrangements, and the commissioner oversees those arrangements.
You mean I have to submit everything for his approval? Absolutely not.
- Why not? - She wouldn't stand for it, and neither would I.
Oh, good.
I'm glad to see we're going by the book here.
That's right.
So, I go over there.
She's the one who owes me an apology.
But I extend the olive branch, tell her she can have her stop sign.
What does she do? Throws the whole thing back in my face.
Yeah, that sounds like Edna.
You can laugh, George, but the woman is assassinating my character.
Oh, come on, Holling.
Everyone knows that Edna just sets her jaw now and again.
No one takes her too serious.
You don't think so? Hell no.
You're a shoo-in.
You think? You got everyone's vote.
Not mine, but everyone else's I'm sure.
Why not yours? I think I'll go for the little lady.
But why? I just can't get worked up about voting for you.
Worked up? What's getting into a lather got to do with you voting for me? Well, you remember that Dodge I used to drive with the simulated-wood trim? Yeah.
I loved that car.
Had it for 17 years.
When it finally gave up the ghost, I said, "I'm gonna get me another Dodge.
" I went to the dealer, had an almost-good-as-new one all picked out.
But somehow I just couldn't get excited about it.
So I went with a Chevy.
Well, that's how it is with me, with you and Edna.
You got the wife's vote though.
How come? She says you can't trust women.
Look, Fleischman, you don't wanna do this.
I don't wanna do this.
So let's just do it, okay? Fine with me.
I am amazed at the bureaucratic machinery required to stage such a totally meaningless event.
It's a joke.
You don't think who's mayor is important? No, I don't.
The town charter clearly gives the city council all the power.
And from what I can determine, all they do is argue over taxes once a year, get drunk and go home.
You're the election commissioner, and you think the whole thing is pointless.
The election is pointless.
I mean, the outcome anyway.
The election itself may actually be quite fascinating.
What are you talking about? Demographics.
What? Gender, race, age, income, religious beliefs, all those little hash marks on the game board of society.
Look, the person who panders to the right cross section of voters walks away with the pork barrel.
What? You know, elections have always fascinated me.
As a kid, I used to memorize election results the way other kids memorized batting averages.
Ask me about any presidential election in the last 50 years.
Go ahead.
Don't be ridiculous.
Come on.
Don't be childish.
Fifty bucks.
Kennedy versus Nixon.
Uh, let's see.
Kennedy, 303 electoral votes, Nixon, 219.
Popular vote? Kennedy, 49.
9%, Nixon, 49.
Thank you.
For your information, Fleischman, elections are more than just statistics.
It's- It's emotions, people, ceremony.
You make it sound like a wedding.
Well, it is like a wedding.
Sort of.
Well, look, we come together in the sight of God to commemorate an important event.
And in that respect it's like a wedding.
And like a wedding, there should be a certain decorum.
I mean, Mother said the appearance should always be memorable.
Let me guess.
Mother was very big in the League of Women Voters.
I don't have to take abuse from someone who spent his entire childhood memorizing the electoral college.
No, it was not my entire childhood.
The way a polling place looks is important, whether you think so or not.
- Why do you wear a tie, smart guy? - I happen to like ties.
It's a symbol, Fleischman.
Your glasses, your tie.
It's all to promote a certain image, that of someone who's serious, mature, professional so that people don't see the immature, spoiled creep lurking inside the outer garment.
Another deep thought from a woman who thinks an election should be conducted like a fashion layout.
I am not a shallow, insubstantial person just because I think appearances matter.
They do matter.
You order the dinner napkins, and I'll handle the ballots.
Don't forget the lace doilies.
Hello, Maggie.
Hey, Holling, what's up? Just came to talk a little politics, Joel.
Oh, look.
Um, I understand your need to lobby for my vote.
After all, the town doctor is an influential figure.
But, um, being election commissioner, I'm afraid I have to remain above the fray.
Actually, Joel, I was hoping to talk with Marilyn.
In private, if you don't mind.
Yeah, no problem.
Thank you, Joel.
I'll only be a minute.
Marilyn? Yes.
I have been doing some unofficial polling, and it appears that a considerable number of people are thinking of voting for Edna.
I know.
You do? Well, it has crossed my mind that this election actually may be closer than one might have reasonably expected.
I know.
Marilyn, I have always considered myself to be a friend of the Indian people.
Now, what I was wondering was whether the, uh, Indian people consider themselves to be friends to me.
Uh, what I mean is- Will we vote for you? Yes.
Some of us.
Could you be a bit more specific? Well, is there anything that the, uh - the tribes would like to discuss with me? I mean, some sort of problem or other? I'll think about it.
Well, um, let me just ask, Marilyn.
Um, as far as you yourself are concerned, have you made up your mind as to how you are going to vote? Yes.
And? It's personal.
My friends, today when I look out over Cicely, I see not a town, but a nation's history written in miniature.
Inscribed in the cracked pavement, reverberating from every passing flatbed.
Today, every runny nose I see says "America" to me.
We were outcasts, scum, the wretched debris of a hostile, aging world.
But we came here, we paved roads, we built industries, powerful institutions.
Of course, along the way, we exterminated untold indigenous cultures and enslaved generations of Africans.
We basically stained our star-spangled banner with a host of sins that can never be washed clean.
But today, we're here to celebrate the glorious aspects of our past.
A tribute to a nation of free people, the country that Whitman exalted.
"The genius of the United States "is not best or most in its executives or legislators, "nor in its ambassadors or authors "or colleges or churches or parlors, "nor even in its newspapers or inventors, but always most in the common people.
" I've never been so proud to be a Cicelian.
I must go out now and fill my lungs with the deep clean air of democracy.
Eduardo, my friend.
Hello, Chris.
Something wrong? Well, I'm a little troubled.
I've been reading up.
And you know, like, the Declaration of Independence, okay? It says, "The government shall derive its just powers from the consent of the governed.
" That's a pretty basic concept, uh, majority rules.
Okay, okay, now.
De Tocqueville says, "The greatest danger to the American republic comes from the omnipotence of the majority.
" Yeah, pretty interesting Frog, that Alexis, huh? Yeah, okay, okay, okay.
Thoreau- Now Thoreau says, "Any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one.
" Civil disobedience.
Man's last refuge against the state.
So, who's right? Well, they all are.
Really? Yeah.
So who are you gonna vote for? Well, as an on-air personality, I've pledged neutrality.
You know, but an election's more of an abstract, noncompetitive thing for me anyway.
Why? Well, Ed, the idea of an election is much more interesting to me than the election itself.
You see, the act of voting is in itself the defining moment.
You know what I mean, Ed? But to answer your question, I'm not gonna vote.
I can't.
You can't vote? No.
Why? I'm a convicted felon, Ed.
I jumped parole in '87, so they kind of closed the book on me.
Oh, I'm sorry, Chris.
That's all right.
Free beer, fellas.
On the house.
Step right up.
Just don't forget where you got it on Tuesday.
Holling, I can't stand it anymore.
You gotta take me.
Take you where? Upstairs.
Here, on the bar, anywhere.
I don't care.
Just take me.
Shelly, pull yourself together.
I can't think about sex with a bar full of registered voters.
Oh, I'm dying, babe.
Shelly, this is the political fight of my life.
l-There is no way that I can think about hanky-panky at this point in time.
Oh, hello, Ruth-Anne.
How about a free beer? It's on the house.
No, no, no more, Holling.
- There's been a complaint.
- Complaint? By who? Me.
You can't give away free beer.
- Oh, hang on.
- Look at the charter, Holling.
Of course, the word of law doesn't mean much to a man who's evaded taxes for 32 years.
Now just slow down a minute, Edna.
Nobody is evading anything.
It was- It was just a misunderstanding between me and the I.
is all.
Which, by the way, will be paid in full.
Naturally, I respect the law like everybody else.
Just didn't know there was some stupid rule about not letting people have a good time at elections.
Thank you for enlightening me.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got a business to run.
Here you go.
Tell me something.
I'm not a vengeful person, am I, Maurice? You have your bellicose moments, Holling, but, uh, on the whole, I'd say you exhibit a mild-mannered demeanor.
Why? Maurice.
Two days ago, if Edna Hancock had been elected mayor, I might have been able to live with it.
Today, I'd rather be treed by hounds.
I don't just want to beat Edna Hancock, I want to destroy her.
I want to fold her in two.
I want to make her suffer.
Can I get you anything else? No.
Okay, uh, move it to the right.
What? Left.
All right.
Uh, too much.
Okay, up.
Up? More up? Yeah, over a little.
Where? Um, down.
It was down.
Okay, okay, hold it there.
Let me look.
O'Connell, my arms are killing me! All right, move it over a little.
Over is a preposition.
It is not a direction.
Hey, what are you doing? It's done.
I'm finished.
It's not level.
It's not supposed to be level.
It's bunting.
It's supposed to drape.
It's bunting drapes.
All right, all right.
Okay, what do you think for the podium, huh? Royal blue or aquamarine? You know, I think you've lost your mind.
It's a debate, not a cotillion.
Fleischman, for once in your life, can you just pretend to be a human being? Do you think anyone actually cares what color crepe paper you use? Yes.
They may not realize it, but color creates a mood, a feeling.
Oh, well, maybe we should have piped in music.
Maybe we should.
What's color anyway, huh, Fleischman? Look.
Are we seriously gonna have an argument over the nature of the color spectrum? Light.
Color is light.
I'll take your word for it.
And light is energy.
Different colors are light traveling at different frequencies.
You change the color of the room, you change the mood.
Wait, I'll go and get my crystals.
You can't admit I'm right just because I'm a woman.
Right about what? It's not like everything can be reduced to a question of glands, O'Connell.
No? No.
Let me tell you something.
If a man had asked for that stop sign, it would have been done a long time ago.
What? Why do you think we're here, Fleischman? What do you think this is all about? Empowerment.
Empowerment? And the more Edna Hancocks we have, the fewerJoel Fleischmans we have to listen to.
"Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history.
"The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the last generation.
" Abe Lincoln, ladies and gentlemen.
But the sentiment goes ditto for your K-Bear correspondent.
Democracy is not a spectator sport.
That means your presence is gonna be required tonight at the candidates' debate.
Be worthy of your heritage.
It's likeJustice Holmes said, "It is required that a man "shall share in the passion and action of his time, at peril of being judged not to have lived.
" Enough said.
Debate, 7:30.
Be there.
We have heard opening statements from both candidates.
Now we turn to questions and answers.
The chair will recognize questions from the floor.
Dorothy? I've lived here 10 years, Edna.
You've never given me the time of day.
Why should I vote for you? You have one minute to respond, Edna.
I'm a private person by nature, Dorothy.
And by choice.
People bore me as a rule.
To tell you the truth, the thought of having to make small talk with most of the people in this room nauseates me, and that includes you, Dorothy.
About the last place any of us thought I'd end up is here tonight asking for your vote.
But we can all thank Holling Vincoeur for that.
Given my generally dim view of civilization, it took an unusual, powerful display of incompetence for me to be forced to seek public office.
Now hold on.
You're out of order, Holling.
She keeps taking cheap shots.
We all know that if you want something in this society, you have to go after it.
I want a stop sign.
I don't know what the hell all you people want, but if you make me mayor and let me know your heart's desire, I guarantee it won't take me five years to get my yea or nay on it.
But once you do, you can be damn sure I'll abide by my word.
Holling, you have 30 seconds to respond.
I say just because one person has a bee in her bonnet is no reason to make a sudden change in the way things run.
I was married for 12 years, Holling.
That was a lifetime.
You don't think I think it shows the people know a good thing when they've got one.
The mayor has to consider everyone, not just a few cranks looking for special favors.
Time's up.
Next question.
You there in the back.
Uh, I was wondering if the candidates saw the stop sign as a Jeffersonian or Hamiltonian expression of democracy in action? What kind of a stupid question is that? Sit! Chris.
Well, I just wanna applaud y'all for plunging headfirst into the great river of democracy.
I mean, our election is just a small tributary.
You know, a singular thread in the greater fabric, linked by tradition, love and honor to the swift, clear bracing waters from which our traditions are founded.
But I'm just saying, let's take a little time out here to slap ourselves on the back, give a kiss on the cheek, a hale and hearty fare-thee-well to all our fine noble Cicelian citizens.
Ruth-Anne, candidates, you're happening.
Thank you, Chris.
Did you have a question? Well, actually, Edna, what I had in mind were some lines from Basho: "On a withered branch, a crow has alighted: Nightfall in autumn.
" Uh, Holling, you have 60 seconds to respond to that.
Uh, for the life of me, Chris, I haven't a clue what you're talking about.
Hold it.
! There's something wrong here.
Something terribly, terribly wrong.
It's getting away from us.
Maurice, do you have a question? I have to go now.
If my stop sign's such a bad idea, Holling, how come you offered to give me one if I'd pull out of the race? I did no such thing.
I merely suggested that we call off the election, save everybody a lot of time and trouble.
- You said you'd give me a stop sign.
- For crying out loud, Edna.
That was a peace offering, not a bribe.
Good evening, Edna.
You people put on quite a show tonight.
You left early.
Yeah, I kinda lost my bearings.
You know, Edna, I remember when there was just you and me out here.
You on your 12,000 acres, me on my 15,000 and just that rickety old fence over there between us.
There wasn't any fence till I made you put one in.
That's true.
But I wasn't aware you were my neighbor until you drew my attention to that fact.
I remember when you shot at me with that beautiful Remington Over-And-Under.
I knew we were gonna get along just fine.
And when I heard you laid bare the tundra with your drilling and logging operation, I knew I'd found a kindred spirit.
It takes big people to tame a big land.
No one seems to understand that anymore.
That's right.
We came here with nothing but our dreams and investment capital.
And now look at it.
We've got free enterprise blooming where there was nothing but virgin wilderness.
We came here to live large, to breathe free.
And, by God, we did it.
But our dream was flawed, Edna.
How's that? Two trappers, arguing about beaver pelts in St.
Botolph's Town.
The next day, there's busing in Boston.
You lost me.
I looked to the future, and I saw tract housing, shopping malls, a covered sports arena.
But what I failed to see was the baggage that goes with it.
I had a vision of the future tonight, Edna.
With bureaucrats, planning commissions, zoning boards, special interest groups, people telling us what we can and cannot do.
And it all starts with one single stop sign.
You want me to pull out of the race? No.
I thought I did, but I don't.
If it's not you today, it'll be somebody else tomorrow.
Once I get my stop sign, this whole thing ends as far as I'm concerned, Maurice.
You let the genie out of the bottle, Edna.
You can't put him back in.
Come on, O'Connell.
They're all out there waiting.
Ready? Not yet.
Not yet? Not yet.
Something's missing.
What's missing? O'Connell, these people have six hours to vote.
What? Flowers.
Go get some, will you? Not formal.
Some daisies maybe.
A splash of something.
I'll get a vase.
Where am I gonna get flowers? It's 20 degrees out.
In a minute! Okay.
How do I look? How do you look? Mm-hmm.
You look beautiful.
Just like you always do.
Really? Yes.
Can I let them in now? Yes.
No, wait, wait, wait.
You look handsome.
I do? Mm-hmm.
Let's go ahead.
Open the door.
It's cold outside.
When I was nine, I was fishing with my Uncle Roy Bower, when he suddenly smacked his forehead.
Told me to cut my line.
Hejust remembered it was election day.
That was '72, Nixon versus McGovern.
No contest, really, but Roy had been to Vietnam.
He hated Nixon.
After he voted, he put his arm around my shoulder.
"Well, '"he said, "guess I showed him.
'" Chris.
"Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.
" Oh, I wish I could give you a ballot.
I can only gaze upon the promised land, Ruth-Anne, never enter.
Anyway, I was wondering if I could hang out a while and catch the vibes of democracy doing its thing? Feel free to graze.
And then come sit by me.
What is that all about? Luke, chapter 15: "For this my son was dead, and he is alive again; he was lost, and he is found.
" Hmm.
The return of the prodigal voter.
I'm wasted, people.
I'm drained.
A good drain though, you know.
Like a wedding that's boogied on till the early morning light.
Whew! Well, I guess it's time for the official results, huh? In-studio guest, special courier Ed Chigliak, ladies and gentlemen.
The moment we've all been waiting for.
For Holling Vincoeur, 247 votes.
For Edna Hancock, 255 votes.
The winner by eight votes, Edna Hancock.
Pax vobiscum.
Congratulations, Edna.
We did it, Ed.
It worked.
We did? Absolutely.
What worked? The grand idea, buddy.
The process.
Ed, we've just witnessed a peaceful transition in government.
Do you realize how miraculous that is? I think so.
You think so? Listen to me.
Despite Russia, despite Germany, the mass of people on this planet still live under the yoke of some autocratic or totalitarian regime.
Do you hear me? Today, tiny Cicely, Alaska stood up and put another "W" in the win category for democracy.
Well, all right! Hey! Well, all right.
Let me take that, Holling.
I can manage it, Dave.
Thanks, Holling.
All right, listen to me, everybody.
I've hadjust about enough of this moping and carrying on.
Nobody died.
It was an election.
I lost.
Now let's hear some music out of that jukebox.
I'm so proud of you, babe.
Folks over there need a pitcher, Shelly.
Don't hold it in, Holling.
You don't have to be brave for me.
Shelly, I'm fine.
Cross your heart? American eagle over and out? Uh-huh.
Well, at least my hormones are no longer raging.
For a while there, my work was really suffering.
Here you go, Jake.
Well, I took one on the chin today, Maurice.
But don't salt your scotch with tears on my account.
Truth is, I'm kind of relieved.
The burdens of office can get awful heavy after 23 years.
Doesn't it bother you at all that 255 of your countrymen elected to stab you in the back today? I never thought about it like that.
What is happening to us? Why didn't they stay home? People want change, I guess.
Why? This town, as we've known it, is fading away.
It's only a matter of time till you and I are memories.
Maurice, why haven't you ever run for office? Well, I like to be behind the scenes, pushing buttons, pulling strings.
Truth of the matter is people don't like me.
Oh, they respect me.
Some even fear me.
But they don't like me.
Excuse me, Maurice.
Congratulations, Edna.
Can I buy you a drink? All right.
Another week and I'd have wiped the floor with you.
Like hell.
You haven't said anything for quite a while, Ed.
Ruth-Anne, do you realize that the mass of people still live under some autocratic or totalitarian type of regime? Well, I suppose that's true.
It'll make you think.
Ed, are you all right? Oh, yeah, I'm fine.
You sure? Yeah.
I feel- What? Well, manly.
Like a man.
Ruth-Anne, do you realize I did something today, well, that I've never done before.
And it was kinda like the first time I was with Lightfeather.
Well, only that was just between me and her.
But afterwards I felt, well, light.
And this, well, this was between me and Cicely.
But I don't feel light at all.
I feel bigger.
So, I'd say we did pretty well tonight.
Yeah? Yeah.
You all right? Yeah.
I just always worry about things when they're over, you know? Was everything all right? Did people have a good time? I guess it's just a female thing.
Hey, 87% turnout.
No, uh, late precinct returns.
No disputed ballots.
Yeah, I'd say we did pretty well.
Hey, how about if I buy you dinner? Uh, well, I'm kind of tired.
Come on.
Mm, really? Your treat? My treat.
Well, I can't pass that up.
"We are not enemies, but friends.
"We must not be enemies.
Though passion may have strained, it must not break the bonds of our affection.
" Lincoln's words to a divided nation.
My counsel to a divided Cicely.
Holling Vincoeur, you know you're still first in the hearts of your fellow Cicelians.
Today, people simply said they just want Edna to run things for a while.
Hey, that's cool.
I mean, if it doesn't work out, we'll have another election, right? It's not perfect, but it's the best system anybody's come up with.
It's likeJustice Holmes said, "The Constitution's an experiment like life's an experiment.
" Apropos of that, the final words tonight belong to Thomas Jefferson, third president of these United States, who gave us this to chew on, "Sometimes it is said that a man cannot be trusted with the government ofhimself.
"Can he then be trusted with the government of others? "Or have we found angels in the forms ofkings to govern him? Let history answer this question.
'" You're listening to K-Bear, the voice of the borough of Arrowhead County.