As you might recall, at a certain point during the presidential campaign of 2000 we were informed by the people who inform us of such things that Soccer Moms, a newly identified voting bloc, would determine the election's outcome. This time around, however, it's generally accepted that the race for the White House will hinge on the votes of so-called NASCAR Dads.
OK. Let me get this straight: Last time around, the decision on who would be the single most powerful individual on planet Earth was ultimately made by a group affiliated with a sport no American adult understands and now, this go round, it'll be made by a group affiliated with a sport that's not even a real sport.
Is anyone else dispirited?
If so, here's some not-quite-good news: It could be worse. That is, our collective elective fate could be in the hands of other recently classified, even less qualified sport-specific voting blocs. Like:
Frisbee Golf Uncles: Caucasian men, 25-45, single, childless, largely dateless, with lots and lots of free time on their hands. As Frisbee golfers, they smoke a little too much pot, drink a little too much beer; as uncles, when asked to babysit their nieces and nephews, they don't always return the same number of children originally left in their charge. Politics: Staunchly Independent but rarely remember to register and/or bother to vote. Position statement: "Fucking politicians are all the fucking same, man."
Jogging Grandmas: Women 59-plus, with high concentrations in the suburbs. This group of like-minded ladies dresses almost exclusively in brightly patterned, color-coordinated, shiny nylon "active wear." By virtue of their togs, these women always look like they're ready to go for a run but, having just had their hair done, never do. They love to travel and are often encountered obliviously blocking the aisles of commercial airliners while trying to stuff their overlarge carry-on bags into overhead compartments.
Politics: Solidly Republican, especially since the addition of the new party plank calling for deregulation of Red Lobster's menu. Position statement: "Those new touch screen voting machines better not chip my nail polish."
Diving Former Sons: Women 18-34 who, not so long ago, used to be men 18-34 but who somehow got the money for the operation that finally, fully let them become who they always knew they were. Since their transformations, they've been disowned by their mortified fathers and asked where they found such darling open-toed pumps in a size 12 by their bewildered mothers. High Diving Former Sons spend long hours lounging around both public and private swimming pools, wearing tankinis and full make-up (face and body), sipping rum drinks and watching trim, muscular young men plunge headlong off the high board. Politics: Vote Democratic, date Republicans. Position statement: "What this country needs is a good 5-cent 'cigar-taker-offer,' if you get my meaning, doll."
WWE Fiancées: Women 18-35 with low self-esteem. These women are so desperate to get married they actually attend and pretend to be interested in/enjoy professional wrestling with their moronic boyfriends. Politics: They vote how they're told. Defining quote: "I feel sorry for that poor Monica Lewinsky."
Bush League Brothers: White males, 49-50 (aka Jim Belushi). This group of one displays a singular lack of humor, talent and shame and has spent a lifetime riding the coattails of his dead brother. Politics: It's suspected he blows with the wind, but that's probably based on the fact that he just generally blows. Position statement: "Hey, Jeb Bush isn't nearly as funny as his older, more successful brother, either."
Women's Beach Volleyball Ex-Husbands: Men 49-64, white collar, annual earnings of $75,000 to $5 billion, divorced as a result of a mid-life crisis. "Exes" drive expensive sports cars; half-assed-ly work with a personal trainer to get rid of their paunches but are thinking more and more that lipo might be the way to go; eat every meal in a restaurant, either depressingly alone or in the company of a young babe they know wouldn't look twice at them without the car and the deep pockets. Religiously attends Women's Beach Volleyball "for the skin and jiggle." Politics: Tells women he's a Democrat because they like that caring, sensitive crapola but votes the straight Republican ticket. Position statement: "Maybe I'll run for senator. I bet they get lots of tail."
Owner's Box Heirs: Men and women 18-65, the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of professional sports franchise owners. Typically congregate in stadia skyboxes during home games waiting for Dad, Granddad or Great-Granddad to die so the bequesting can begin. Politics: 110 percent Republican, unless the inheritance tax isn't permanently repealed, then we'll see. Position statement: "I think the President gets a bad rap. You try being a child of privilege."
SEC Basketball "Spouse-a-tives:" Couples (Women 13-34, Men 18-65) residing throughout the Deep South and Southeastern U.S. who are not only married but also blood relatives. They tend to live in cheap manufactured housing, can't afford health insurance, are often unemployed but can always find the jack for two season tickets for the nearest SEC basketball team. Politics: Since 1992, spouse-a-tives have voted for Ross Perot, primarily because the diminutive billionaire bears an uncanny resemblance to their own inbred offspring. Position statement: "Go, Big Blue."
Bob's column appears here the last issue of each month.