Rick Nelson and Claude Peck dispense unasked-for advice about clothing, etiquette, relationships, grooming and more.
RN: What time are you planning on visiting your designated polling place on Tuesday?
CP: Bug off, nosy-man. Voting is personal. Besides, thanks to ACORN's hyperactive canvassers, I'm registered at several locations, so I'll be voting throughout the day.
RN: That's right, you grew up in Chicago, one of the nation's voter-fraud capitals. I just read that the state's voter-turnout rate in the 2004 presidential election was 78 percent, the highest in the country and 18 percentage points above our shameful national average. Bully for Minnesota, right? But it makes me wonder: Where were the other 22 percent of our fellow eligible voters?
CP: Probably staying home in disgust, using a Clorox wipe to disinfect themselves after an unrelentingly nasty campaign season. Are parents letting their children watch this stuff? Nasty and expensive. The candidates talk about how we're flushing money down Iraq and failing to insure millions of Americans. Then they spend hundreds of millions to enrich Stanley Hubbard and his broadcast brethren with here-today, gone-tomorrow TV ads that make my skin crawl.
RN: I know. A few days ago I was watching the predawn edition of some morning show, and the commercial breaks were one campaign smear after another. But vile ad campaigns -- and those partisan catfights on "The View" -- are no reason not to vote. My solution: Unplug the cable outlet until Wednesday and read a trashy novel. Or do Pilates. Or bake cookies. Or take the dog for a walk.
CP: Or go to the MyVote thingie on StarTribune.com. It's like a goody-goody's guide to all things electoral and democratic.
RN: Smell you, shilling for the company, although MyVote is totally cool. Anyway, I'm sure Gov. Palin's fashion handlers would agree when I say that the smartest accessory to wear this Tuesday will be those Escada-red "I Voted" stickers.
CP: What are you now, Deputy Secretary of State?
RN: No public office for this one. I don't want to have reporters like you digging into my past, snowy white as it is. But have I reminded you about how simple it is for eligible Minnesota voters to register at their polling place on Tuesday? I encourage you to send all your unregistered pals to www.sos.state.mn.us for the 411.
CP: I just know that after you retire you are going to sign on as a polling-place volunteer at the Ebenezer Towers. You probably already have your red-white-and-blue vest at the ready.
RN: It's the people, Claude, that make this country of ours so great.