Fifth Column

31st December2000

He loses again as she is more popular

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It was the contest to select the 'Unluckiest Man of the Year'. The final contest was between Al of America and Ranil of Paradise. Each contestant was asked to make a speech as to why he should be selected for the 'Unluckiest Man of the Year' before the judges came to a final decision.

Al spoke first.

"My boss was the most powerful man on earth but he could not get me his job after his retirement. In fact, I should have been really declared the winner because I won the popular vote but our election system is such that my opponent was declared the winner."

"And what's more, the election in Florida was rigged by my opponent's brother. And when we went to courts to fight that, the Supreme Court rejected the case saying they did not have enough time to count all the ballots by hand."

"Now, when they count those uncounted ballots, it is very obvious that I would have won the election but there is nothing I can do about it because the Supreme Court has already declared the winner."

"And while all this was happening, my boss was happily wandering in the Middle East and Palestine without staying at home and giving a phone call or two to the judges of the Supreme Court."

"So, all that I have worked for in life for the past thirty years was lost because of one single vote in the Supreme Court and therefore I think I am more than qualified to become the Unluckiest Man of the Year."

Next, it was Ranil's turn to speak.

"I too lost elections that I was supposed to win. I was all set to win our own Presidential election when a bomb exploded at my rival's last rally and people, especially the women, were moved by seeing pictures of my opponent injured and they went and voted for her and she won that election."

"Then, when we thought we would lose the next election, my rivals proposed a new constitution that was very unpopular. That gave us more than a good chance of winning the general election and we thought we would win but they rigged the seats we were supposed to win and we lost that election narrowly."

"May be we could have formed a government still but a powerful person whom I could have convinced to support me had already died in a plane crash and the fellow who replaced him was easily charmed by my rival with the promise of a few jobs here and there."

"Even after all that, we could have given a good fight in electing a Speaker to the new House but my rival proposed her brother's name and since their mother had passed away only recently, I couldn't reject that. Now, he has been given a new residence and he is more with them than me, I think."

"Despite all this, my rival has raised the prices of every conceivable item, swore in the largest cabinet in the world and has been wandering in European capitals and has been unable to reach a truce in the war but still I believe she is more popular than me."

"We have tried going to Parliament first by bullock cart and then on bicycles but nothing seems to work. I have replaced all my party office-bearers except myself and still our rivals appear to be ahead of us. So, I think I am the most qualified for the 'Unluckiest Man of the Year' award."

The judges began to confer among themselves when a message was conveyed to them. The judges then made their decision. They declared Al the 'Unluckiest Man of the Year'.

After the announcement, Ranil went to the judges and asked them what the message conveyed to them was. "The message said that Diesel, Kerosene oil and gas prices in Paradise have been increased yet again by Ranil's rival, but, she was still more popular than him." the judges told Ranil.

"Oh, it's alright," Ranil said, "losing is nothing new to me. Maybe if I lose the next election, I can win the 'Unluckiest Man of the Year' title."

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