I couldn’t watch Thursday night. Turned on classical music on WQXR.
However, I am vastly reassured by the latest reckoning by the Ouija Board people at the Times who have come up with odds on the presidential election.
Hillary Clinton – we are told – has a three-quarters chance of winning the election.
That sounds great.
Then I read that this is the equivalent of the foul-shooting percentage in the National Basketball Association.
I did not know that numbers people had a sense of humor and could drop a sly line like that in the middle of a story.
We do use a lot of sports metaphors in this country, our brains perhaps terminally addled by reality shows and sports broadcasting.
- Remember President Nixon, when anti-war protesters flocked to Washington, how he slipped down to the encampments to talk to them, using sports nicknames to relate to the young crowd: What college do you attend? Syracuse? Oh, the Orangemen. Seriously. It really happened.
- Back in May, when this still seemed vaguely amusing, the Washington Post described a ploy by Trump as a Hail-Mary pass.
- Trump’s opinion that the NFL was getting too soft seemed to be big news. (Ridiculous. The NFL only needed a decade to get rid of a thoroughly unqualified doctor.)
- And the other day, when Trump talked about brow-beating NATO allies as if they were business partners he could scalp, old Mush-Mouth McConnell called it “a rookie mistake.” No, a rookie mistake is when a kid pinch-runner gets picked off first base.
Now there is the NY Times observation comparing Hillary Clinton’s chances with the NBA’s overall foul-shooting percentage -- .757 on this recently-concluded season.
I was of course reassured by the prospect of Hillary Clinton, steely-eyed survivor of spurious charges, strong-minded debater who dribbled rings around Congressional pinheads like Trey Gowdy, fierce rebounder who held off Bernie (Mr. Elbows) Sanders in the primaries, now saving the day for humanity.
In my fevered brain, in the championship final, Clinton gets fouled by Mad Dog Trump, the designated hacker from the Dark Side, who mysteriously never fouls out of games despite the dirty fouls he constantly commits.
The ref signals: one shot.
To let her think a bit, the Dark Side calls time out. Both teams repair to their benches. The joint is going nuts.
Her supporters keep telling us that in the clutch Hillary never misses. (“You should have seen the time she threw the vase at me,” her husband often brags.)
Coach looks at her and says, “Nothing to it, Big Lady. Over and in. Then we pop the Champagne.” In the stands, my knees start knocking like castanets.
When do we wake up?