Mudslinging

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Election year is here again, and an elephant saw his shadow. According to political climatologists, that means Americans can expect nine more months of campaign mudslinging.

“Gear up for a rough electoral season,” says Ree Publickin, the elephant’s handler. “We’re predicting huge dirt storms.”

The shadow-spotting is a quadrennial tradition in the United States, and has been part of governmental lore since the founding of the country. Like many other political customs, historians say the practice actually began centuries ago, and arrived in America with the first settlers.

Though the costumes have changed over the years, the ground rules remain consistent. Shadow-spotting duties alternate between a donkey and an elephant. When either casts a shadow, the outlook for political rhetoric is forecast as muddy for the foreseeable future. No one knows what happens when the shadow fails to appear, as that has never occurred.

This year’s shadow was especially long, which means the mudslinging season will be severe.

“Dirt will be flying in all directions,” says Ms. Publickin. “Since some is bound to stick, Americans are advised to take refuge in early voting precincts located throughout the country.”

There’s one bright note for those dreading the extended mudslinging season: A nation-wide lottery is scheduled for November 6, the last day, when one mud-splattered person will hit pay dirt.

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