Sunday, October 29, 2006

The October Surprise Contest

UPDATE: I'm using my awesome site administrator powers to bubble this one back to the top, because, what the heck, October ain't over yet. While October Surprises traditionally appear in the month of the same name, in recent years the final chance for an October Surprise has shifted to become the time at which 60 Minutes airs on the last Sunday before the election, and that falls on November 5 this year. So don't despair just because you haven't been playing all along; there's still time to get your entry into the contest!

It's October 1st in an election year, which means it's time once again for that grand old American trick-or-treat tradition, The October Surprise!

What will it be this year? A network anchor risking his career over a story based on a clumsy and obvious forgery? An administration official coming up with a signed and dated photo inscribed, "Saddam, Thanks for the WMDs, we'll put 'em to good use! Hugs, Osama" ? Who knows? All we know for certain is that it will happen, and that there is no limit to the self-serving silliness that politicians will attempt to pass off as news in the next 31 days. And, crazy as it sounds, some of these stories might even turn out to be true!

Ergo, to help you develop the properly jaundiced and cynical attitude about all this, I hereby announce The October Surprise Contest. They're all fair game; any race, any candidate, any party. What is your idea for the most effective, outlandish, or downright ludicrous October Surprise that will be unleashed in the next 31 days? Let it rip, and remember, politics is a full-contact sport!

As usual, the prizes are books. (I'm a writer, my wife runs a bookstore, got nothin' but books around here. I don't tell cute cat stories 'cause the cat choked to death on a book.) In this case, there are TWO Grand Prize categories: one for the story that's just plain the most entertaining, and another for the most outlandish story that actually turns out to be true!

Ready? Set? Go!