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I'm Taking Back Tuesday: 5 Rituals for a Work-Free Election Day I'm Taking Back Tuesday: 5 Rituals for a Work-Free Election Day

I'm Taking Back Tuesday: 5 Rituals for a Work-Free Election Day

by Allen Salkin
October 17, 2012

If I were king, Election Day would be a national holiday and there were would be special rituals. Of course, if I were king, we wouldn't really need national elections anymore because I would be the best damn king this country ever had and the first Tuesday in November might just be reserved for parades celebrating me, the king! 
However, subjects, allow me, currently not the king but merely the lowly author of a book about an unusual holiday called Festivus, suggest some rituals to be observed should Election Day become, as it ought to, a national work-free holiday.
Ritual 1:
The Cooking of Dinner for Poll-Workers Competition. Those who must work on this day will be feted after 8 p.m. as flocks of amateur chefs inspired by watching Election Day marathons on the Food Network of Iron Chef (the original Japanese version, dubbed) engage in cooking contests. Poll workers eat first and vote for the winners in two categories: taste and tastelessness. They honor the best chefs with crowns made of unused paper ballots, all chads left hanging.
Ritual 2:
The Bonfire of the Inanities. At noon on Election Day everyone burns everything campaign related they have been mailed, handed, or forced to read in the newspaper. No permits are needed on this day to light fires on the beach and on lawns in public parks with bumper stickers, pins, op-eds, and computers choked with videos of campaign ads that never ran.
Ritual 3:
Super Pac Man. Gather with your friends and engage in a charades-like contest in which teams of two enact which country they are thinking of moving to if the candidate of their choice does not win. Assume you have as much money as you need to enact this move and set up the life you've always dreamed of. No one is allowed to use Chad. Or Canada—because seriously... been there, done that. 
Ritual 4:
The Setting of the DVR and the Watching of the DVR the Next Morning. Rather than stay up late watching returns and listening to David Gergen's opinion about everything or Tom Brokaw's incoherent throat-clearing, set the DVR, wake up the next morning and spend just a half-hour fast forwarding using the 30-second advance button until actual results are read. You are allowed four pauses in the forwarding to listen to the pundits of your choice. But only four.
Ritual 5:
The Actually Don't Work Thing. Unlike every other holiday in which the really badass people brag that they are so badass they worked that day, this is the one day in which really, you don't work unless you are running the election in some way. If anyone is found to be working, the penalty is that they are immediately entered into the next election and forced to run for office. 
Come on, the rituals sound fun, no? Better than slaughtering flightless birds by the millions yes? Let's do it


This post is part of the Take Back Tuesday campaign to make Voting Day a national holiday. Sign up or encourage your company to join in at

Illustration by Tyler Hoehne
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