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Popularity 101

Bikini Contest by Rolfe MacDougall

By Amil Niazi

Friday November 5, 2004


LET’S all stop playing games with my self-esteem and put my imagined popularity to the test. November is election month, an official holiday for everyone to appreciate even north of the border. If winning office in any sort of political or social pool is a genuine determination of peer redemption, I’m going for it. There is always something to vote against and reject; slot machines, charter schools, candy. Someone will always be too extreme for Washington. I think I can be that person. I haven’t decided where or how I’ll run, but I’ll tell you why I deserve your vote.

1. Humanity
I’m relatable. When you cry, I cry. I profess my undying devotion to all principles of human emotion. People want someone they can run to in times of crises. I’ll stare at you while you recount your latest personal misfortune and nod appropriately. Then when you feel better I’ll bring up all of the other horrible things about your existence you’d misplaced while focused on your current plight. That will help level the conversation and bring us eye to eye.

2. Accessibility
I’m around. I don’t have a fancy office on an unnamed street you’ll never be able to find. I live in the neighbourhood. I walk. I will make eye contact with you on the bus and I will stop screening your calls. In those dark, seedy pubs and clubs I will be the approachable one gazing at my shoes in an effort to help you over come your social inadequacies.

3. Dependability
I don’t have a job. I have nothing better to do than serve you. It’s in my best interest to feel a sense of responsibility towards you. If you promise to support me financially in my efforts to raise our communal standard of living, I will always be here. For you. Rely on that.

4. Morality
I have standards. I will not uncross my legs in public. I will take a majority consensus on any contentious issues and then go with the loudest extremists. I will be committed to preserving the purity of ignorance and the sanctity of oppression. I believe Jesus will save me.

5. Friendship
I will lie. But only to make you feel better about yourself. I will be your friend. When you don’t believe in yourself I will make you tea. I always think you’re prettier than her and I will vouch for the fact that he is probably, most likely, definitely gay. I will also talk about you behind your back so that people will think you’re popular too. And slutty. Which will make you more popular.

6. Superficiality
I’m pretty. If you vote for me, people will think you’re pretty too. If you can recognise and appreciate beauty you must be beautiful. If you can’t, you’re just jealous.

7. Health Care
I’m sick. I’m always sick, which means I exploit the health care system at all times. I self-medicate to keep our position in the world as leaders in public Medicare. I will never change that. I will also act as a personal guinea pig for all of the pharmaceutical companies in order to guarantee the utmost in pill-safety. I will carry extra Ambien and Ativan in my purse for you.

8. Education
I’m smart. When teachers get fired I will take over the education of students myself. I will implement revolutionary teaching practices and costumes. Your children and I will put on a musical benefit every month featuring such monumental shows as Annie Hall, Ishtar and Moon over Parador. The proceeds will go directly towards the purchase of new portables.

If loose cannons can consistently plague the municipal elections with their paper horns and legal marijuana, then it’s without hesitation that I nominate myself for everything. With a strong, community-oriented platform I believe I can propel us further along the status quo. I will help normalise, institutionalise and cannibalise. I will be the leader you need, not want. Won’t you let me?