The Nation's Pulse

The Maven

A special tribute to the infernal Pollster.

By 11.7.06

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Once upon a midnight tickin', while I munched upon some chicken
Scavenged from the remains of campaign fare the week before
While I murmured, gently swaying, not knowing what I was saying,
Suddenly I heard a braying, a braying like some loud uproar
" 'Tis a pollster," I muttered, "out upon a late night tour."
"I have one opinion -- nothing more."

Oy, I do recall the mood, that heartburn born of stale food
The thought of Bromo or Alka Seltzer held so much allure
Vainly had I with that chicken, sought emotional hide to thicken
Against the memory that did sicken -- memory of voting for that bore
For the bold holding of nose whilst I voted for that bore
Colorless he for evermore.

And each sour, savage belch, I was not able to squelch
Chafed me -- strafed me with a bellyful of caustic hydrochlor --
So to relieve the awful gas it, was cooking up from the acid
I said "It's surely just a placid pollster out upon a late-night tour
Musty, dusty and placid, out to try a late-night tour
"Okay, two views -- but nothing more."

Then there came a steely calm, soothing my stomach like a balm
To face the caller I could no longer charitably ignore
Tho the bell had not yet rung, the door open wide I flung
To an apology I gave tongue, lest I be thought hostile to the poor
I saw no face in the dusk yet I did smell the cologne he wore
'twas the musk they call LeFleur

Grimness wielded by sheerest whiff, as dimness yielded the merest sniff
Sent twinges of foreboding down channels tunneling to my very core
My inner tranquility was shattered, my thoughts too were scattered
Until all that now still mattered, was to dispense of this little chore
I bid a welcome sight unseen to he who bore that arch odour
"A cup of coffee I will pour."

Yet I failed in that mission, as he would not accept admission
Merely seeking my permission, to know the vote I cast before
He was minding my own business, driving me soon to dizziness
Prying to learn what my position is, on the matter of the war.
Am I fraught with second thought on this matter of the war?
'Tis not what they said before.

Suddenly I began to stutter, with many a cough and mutter
As the knowing polling maven, began to scribble notes galore
Serenely in his slathered musk, hiding in the gathered dusk
With mien so curt and brusque, he marked me with a score.
Judging my view of life and law, marking me with a score.
Judged, and marked, and knew the score.

Then this odd, motley creature, having noted my every feature,
In a plush and weighty volume lushly covered in velour.
Completed work as pollster, and my hand released the holster
Which had helped to bolster me in my confusion and dolour.
Thus I did forever ensconce, my rambled, scrambled response,
Leading me to vow right then: “Nevermore.â€

Now when Israelite fights Jebusite, in some backwoods plebiscite
I do my studious best to turn away, its very outcome to ignore
Let them with countenance cheery, push and pull me with a query
They'll find me always leery, recalling questioners who came before
And the bottled, mottled answers, making a muddle of my core.
I had the fettle and the mettle to truly say: “Nevermore.â€

Dedicated to America's Sweetheart on the occasion of her birthday.

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About the Author

Jay D. Homnick, commentator and humorist, is a frequent contributor to The American Spectator.