Opinion » Bill Cope

The Secret

To getting through yesterday


As I have explained many times before, if it happens on a Tuesday, you're not going to hear anything about it from me. Not for another week, at least. By any given Tuesday, my Wednesday column has been incubating in Boise Weekly's mighty master computer for four days. And since America has designated Tuesday as the day it holds its elections, there can be not the slightest hint herein as to who was picked to be president last night.

Not unless I chose to pretend ahead of time who was picked to be president, that is.

Which is what I'm going to do for today's column. I'm going to pretend I know who was declared—just last night, about 9:15 p.m. MST, I'm pre-guessing—to be the 45th president of the United States of America. I've been setting myself up for this in the previous three columns (regular readers may have noticed), all of which were written on the pretense that I knew well over a month ago how it was going to turn out. It's a new technique I've been trying, you see. I visualize the outcome to certain situations, concentrate on that outcome really, really hard, and it happens exactly the way I see it in my head.

At any rate, that's the way it's supposed to work. I heard about it from a friend of a friend who knows someone who has a cousin who read that book, The Secret. If you haven't heard, The Secret is a super-duper mega-seller by Rhonda Byrne and has made almost as much money as the stock market has lost. The minute I heard about the book, I realized it was not something I would ever read myself. Seriously, there are just too many good books I could be reading to waste precious moments of my remaining life reading anything that desperate housewives and lonely men believe will transform their lives into a rich experience overflowing with fulfillment and success, especially when complete synopses of such a best-selling book can be found in quantity with just a click or two of the trusty mouse.

After examining a number of such synopses, I found nothing in any of them that indicated I absolutely had to read the book before I could make this allegedly ancient and arcane secret work for my benefit. And on the basis of a separate bit of ancient and arcane knowledge—i.e., "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?"—I decided What the heck, and began visualizing the results of last night's election in a way that would make me one happy, happy Democrat.

I have used this technique for other things, too. For instance, this last weekend, I had occasion to attend a University of Idaho Vandals football game. Normally, I don't attend football games. Normally, I would rather lose a finger than attend a football game—Vandals or anyone else's. But we all do the most foolish things for those we love, is that not the truth? And our daughter—whom I love far beyond the boundaries to foolishness—wanted in the worst way for Mom and Dad to see her march with the U of I band in the half-time show. It's not her fault or the band's that the half-time show came indivisibly attached to a football game.

So there I was, sitting in the Kibbie Dome on the hardest surface my poor butt has ever come cheek-to-cheek with, watching a team that, as I understand it, had lost something like 4,000 games in a row. I could not even distract myself in conversation with my wife, because we were seated not 6 feet from a 100-piece marching band, of which at any given moment, at least half were either practicing their parts on "Louie, Louie" or were playing the fight song with all the volume their young, healthy lungs could provide. I thought to myself, Well hell, as long as I'm here and as long as I have to watch this damn thing, I guess I will try out my secret technique and see if I can help the Vandals win this football game.

Yes. To pass the time, I visualized them winning, and guess what? They won!

Actually, I didn't find out they won until sometime later that evening because when the half-time show was over, my poor butt said, Bill, I've had all I can take of this, and we left.

But I am convinced. Because I was using the ancient and arcane secret that I learned from Googling those book summaries, I was responsible for the Vandals winning. What else could explain such a thing happening?

What's more important, I knew in my gut that all those weeks of visualizing and thinking positive thoughts and writing premature victory columns would pay off, and that Barack Obama was going to be elected president. It had to, especially since the fervor and energy I dedicated to the outcome of the presidential race was so far beyond the half-hearted effort I put into the outcome of the football game. I hadn't just visualized the outcome of the election; I had visualized each detail, each increment, of Obama's victory. Starting way back in the summer, I had repeatedly visualized being at the Democratic Election Day party, nervously nursing a plastic cup of Fat Tire, when someone I know who is not given to premature exuberance approaches and says, "Have you heard? They just declared Florida for Obama." Then Virginia. Then Pennsylvania. North Carolina. Missouri. Finally ... Ohio.

I had even visualized me taking the first relaxed breath I will have taken since February, and saying, It's over ... we won.

I must tell you it is—this very moment—10:32 a.m. (MDST) on the 27th of October that I'm adding these final words to this column. It is eight days before the election. Nine days before you read them.

I am so confident in the effectiveness of this technique, I am already planning next week's column. It's going to be about how I, too, will eventually come together with all Americans in the spirit of unity and change, as I'm sure President-elect Obama will ask us to do in his Inauguration Address. But mostly, before I get all nonpartisan and magnanimous, it will be about how we must stomp the despicable Republican Party out of existence while they are weak from defeat. If I don't get it off my chest, it could fester in my system and end up being bad for my health—like putting off going to the bathroom can mess up one's kidneys or something. I already have a title for it: "Looooosers, Despair!!!!!"

Oh dear. Something awful just occurred to me and I have to rush away. For the next eight days, I will be intensely, continuously, visualizing that it has never, ever occurred to any John McCain supporters to visualize Obama losing. I hope I thought of it in time. Crap, that's what I could have been doing at that damn football game.