A primary voter speaks to Cheshire Cain

An online version of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with illustrations by Sir John Tenniel can be found at http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/c/carroll/lewis/alice.

The Cain only grinned when he saw the primary voter.

“He looks good-natured,” the voter thought. Still, he had very smooth words and a great many teeth, so she felt he ought to be treated with respect.

“Cheshire Cain,” she began, rather timidly, as she did not at all know whether he would like the name. However, he only grinned a little wider. “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cain.

“I don’t much care, as long as we can beat Obama,” said the primary voter.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cain.

“So long as we choose a real conservative candidate, not a RINO,” the primary voter added as an explanation.

“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cain, “if you only listen to talk radio long enough.”

The primary voter felt that this could not be denied, so she tried another question: “What should we do to nominate a real conservative?”

“In that direction,” the Cain said, waving his right hand round, “lives a Gingrich, and in that direction,” waving the other hand, “lives a Romney. Visit either you like; they’re both mad.”

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” the voter remarked.

“Then vote for me,” said the Cain. “I have 9-9-9.”

“The Lamestream Media tells me I’m mad for considering your tax plan,” said the voter.

“Don’t listen to them,” said the Cain, “they are just out to get me because they are afraid of 9-9-9.”

The voter didn’t think that proved it at all; however, she went on, “And how do you know they are out to get you?”

“To begin with,” said the Cain, “you heard about those women, right?”

“I suppose so,” said the voter.

“Well, then,” the Cain went on, “you see, a woman growls when she’s angry and smiles coyly when she’s pleased. Now I growl when I’m pleased and smile coyly when I’m angry. Therefore I’m not guilty of anything, regardless of how many women hire Gloria Allred.”

“I call that the lamest excuse ever,” said the voter.

“Call it what you like,” said the Cain. “Do you plan to watch the Republican presidential debate today?”

“I should like to very much,” said the voter, “but I haven’t yet.”

“You’ll see me there. Remember 9-9-9. Forget Ginger, Sharon and Karen,” said the Cain and vanished.

The voter was not much surprised at this; she was getting so used to queer things happening. While she was looking at the place where he had been, he suddenly appeared again.

“Bye-the-bye, what became of the economy?” said the Cain. “I’d nearly forgotten to ask.”

“It sank into a pit,” the voter quietly said.

“I thought it would,” said the Cain and vanished again.

The voter waited a little, half expecting to see him again, but he did not appear, and after a minute or two she walked on in the direction in which the Romney was said to live. “I’ve seen Gingriches before,” she said to herself. “The Romney will be much the most electable, and perhaps, as this is almost January, he won’t be flip-flopping—at least not so much as he was in past years.” As she said this, she looked up, and there was the Cain again, standing in a New Hampshire town hall meeting, deflecting foreign policy questions and charming the crowd with 9-9-9.

“Did you say Libya, or Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan?” said the Cain.

“I said 13-year affair,” replied the voter, “and I wish you wouldn’t keep changing your story so suddenly. You make one quite giddy.”

“All right,” said the Cain; and this time he vanished slowly, beginning with the end of his tail and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of him had gone.