Television viewers will tune in by the millions to watch combatants defame and tell lies about each other.
But as the nation girds its loins for Clinton/Trump II (aka “The Hooey in St. Louis”) on Oct. 9, a thought came to mind.
There are a lot of other great debates that I’d pay good money to see. Take, for example, these national and local matchups.
BOUT 1: Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson vs. a fifth-grade geography student.
STUDENT – “My opponent’s so dumb he probably can’t name which country has the Great Wall of China.”
JOHNSON – “Ooh. That’s a tough one. Great Wall. Great Wall. Don’t tell me. It’s, um …”
FIFTH-GRADER – “Told ya.”
JOHNSON – “No, really. I’m just having another brain freeze.”
FIFTH-GRADER – “More like a cerebral ice storm if you ask me, Gary.”
BOUT 2: WSU football coach Mike Leach vs. Pullman cops.
LEACH – “So if you guys aren’t profiling, why do my poor Cougs keep getting busted?”
COP – “Well, being 6-foot-8 and weighing 400 pounds does tend to stand out in a surveillance video.”
LEACH – “Aw, you sound like a dang buncha Husky fans.”
COP – “Coach, you should try getting your players to be as mean and nasty on the field as they are during happy hour. You’d win a lot more games that way.”
BOUT 3: Angelina Jolie vs. Brad Pitt vs. Jennifer Aniston.
JOLIE – Brad, you are a philandering drunk stoner. Really, how could you cheat on a smoking hot babe like me?
PITT – Well, you know. Things happen.”
ANISTON – “Hello kettle. Pot calling.”
BOUT 4: New Spokane police Chief Craig Meidl vs. ex-Chief Frank Straub.
MEIDL – “The SPD is a phenomenal organization. And I can’t tell you how excited I am to be leading our phenomenal officers to a phenomenal future.”
STRAUB – “I think he means phenomenal union cronies. Just wait, Craig. One day the mayor will love you. Next day you’re lower than a puddle of puke in a holding cell.”
BOUT 5: First-term Spokane Mayor David Condon vs. second-term Mayor David Condon.
BOY MAYOR – “I have so much love for Spokane. I know I can make such a difference in this wonderful City of Choice.”
SECOND-TERM MAYOR – “Davey, stop being an idealistic little twerp. Just wait ’til they try to recall you and hit you with an ethics complaint. Then you’ll learn.”
BOY MAYOR – “Don’t be bitter old David. Here, have a Condon Coin.”
SECOND-TERM MAYOR – “How ’bout you take your Condon Coins and stick ’em where the sun don’t shine?”
BOUT 6: Anthony Weiner vs. Apple CEO Tim Cook.
WEINER – “Your cellphone cameras make it simply too easy for individuals who share my, um, photographic proclivities.”
COOK – “Our wonderful devices are for preserving a spectacular sunset or capturing a toddler’s smile. Nobody wants to see your wiener, Weiner.”
BOUT 7: Dr. Cliff Huxtable vs. Bill Cosby.
DR. HUXTABLE – “Oh, Bill. What have you done to our sterling reputations?”
COSBY – “On the advice of our attorney, we can’t answer that question.”
DR. HUXTABLE – “But you’ve ruined us, Bill. Don’t you have anything to say?”
COSBY – “ ‘Hey. Hey. Heeeyyy!!’ That used to work for Fat Albert.”
BOUT 8: Avista vs. ratepayers.
AVISTA – “Our latest energy report card shows that you’re not keeping up with your more environmentally concerned neighbors.”
RATEPAYERS – “What? I’m barely keeping my house warm. Who are these mysterious neighbors, anyway?”
AVISTA – “Sounds like somebody’s cruising for another rate increase.”
BOUT 9: Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich vs. state Rep. Matt Shea.
OZZIE – “On what evidence did you try to link my department to a triple murder?”
SHEA – “Evidence? I don’t deal in evidence. Like just about everything that comes out of my mouth, this was a completely unfounded rumor that somebody told somebody who eventually told me.”
OZZIE – (Thwaapp!!) “Speculate on my knuckle sandwich, you wing-nut.”
MODERATOR – “Mr. Shea is out cold. Looks like this great debate is over.”
Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by email at email@example.com.
Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter
Get the day's top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter