Politics is never easy. In an election year, when you ask, Which is better? Number one or number two? a given patient thoughtfully goes into an explanation/excuse about why he thinks it should be Obama or why it should be McCain. I have always felt that, if you are a smart eye doctor, it is sensible to spend your time with a patient speaking about oh, I dont knowhow about EYES?

But, I know how it is. When these elections come along, we all spend half the day trying not to scare off patients by favoring one party or another. When a patient asks, Who you going to vote for? its important to respond with intelligence and insight. So, here are a few good answers to that question:

1. Im writing YOU in.

2. Whos running?

3. I remember when Johnson was President Andrew Johnson. (Cue rim shot.)

4. Uh, did you see Iron Man?

5. Whats the name of the honest one?

6. My father told me I should never discuss politics, religion or warranties for scratch-resistant coating.

7. My foolproof plan involves flipping a coin.

8. I thought American Idol was over.

9. YOU cant decide if its number one or number two, and you want ME to decide who should be the leader of the free world?

10. You know, that guy with thewhats-it-called?

11. Im voting for Irvin Borish.

12. Neither one is my patient, so who cares?

Ive done some polling on my own and determined that there are four kinds of voters out there:

The Party Liners. The Party Liners wouldnt vote for the other party even if their own party runs Pee-Wee Herman or a trash can. They only vote for change when they can do that without actually changing.

The Floaters. These folks just vote randomly. They actually like to vote for the candidates who have zero chance of winning. Hey, dont blame me. I voted for Engelbert Humperdinck!
I see these patients every 46 years. Thats because there are 46 O.D.s in the phone book, and they are back to the Vs.

The Arithmetickers. These clever citizens have noted that one can typically predict the winner of a presidential election by simply determining the square root of the number of pennies they find in their couch cushions, or some equivalent formula. So, since they already know the outcome, why bother to vote? For that matter, why should anyone vote? The Supreme Court should just call this patient and then swear in the next Prez. Done!

The End-Is-Near types. Their premise is that the world is now in such horrific shape that all is lost, so we may as well all just give up in abject terror. Oh, Im certain that the world was a much better place in The Good Old Days, such as way back when Cain slew Abel, or maybe during The Plague. Yeah, that was a fine time!
So, who will this person vote for? Why vote? Were in that darn war, and the kids all look weird and take drugs. Sounds like 1967! Tell me, if the end is near, why does this patient spend three hours with my office manager arguing about a $3 co-pay?

Me? I vote the Chinese restaurant ticket: one from column A, two from column B ... I like a touch of conservative blended well with some fiery liberals, sauted with just a whisper of anarchist. Works for meI havent seen a case of The Plague in my office for years now.

Vol. No: 145:08Issue: 8/15/2008