It is day four of my campaign embussment. Any optimism I had once mustered towards the adventure is now entirely gone. The road is a blur of gas stations and local eating establishments, all of which I have no doubt are rancid, disgusting places, but all of which I must praise regardless.
I have begun to suspect I am coming down with Stockholm Syndrome. I briefly left the bus to stretch my legs while we were filling up on gasoline—I like to watch the little numbers go up, on the pump mechanism, because it reminds me of the Caymans—but the urge to flee back into the security of the large, comfortable bus with my name emblazoned upon it was nearly too much to bear. The cold metal, the droning sounds, the ability to push staffers out while at highway speeds, if they become irritating: I believe from now on I shall use a moving bus in place of a desk, in my next office.
As agonizing as it was to momentarily leave my new metal friend, however, I was determined to make a larger mark on the area than a mere leg-stretching exercise would accomplish. I persevered, eventually ambulating my way inside the local foodery.
What I saw there, Mr. Diary, will change me forever. There, taking sandwich orders, was a robot. Or, at least, the severed electronic head of a robot, smiling brightly up at me, none the worse for its decapitation. I found myself compelled to order a sandwich, so eager was I to bond with my little square-headed friend. Mere finger-touches were all it took; a dizzying array of potential sandwich ingredients were unfurled before my eyes.
I believe I made more decisions about my personal preferences during those three minutes, Mr. Diary, than during the entire non-sandwich-related campaign to date.
It is difficult to capture or explain the significance of the moment. The efficiency of the experience; the way it encapsulated entire worlds of possible choices. I attempted to describe it to campaign crowds afterwards, but they seemed oddly unimpressed. I was unable to do it justice.
My staff mentioned to me that my opponent has chosen that John Kerry fellow to be his debate sparring partner, a sort of "practice" version of me. This is vaguely offensive, somehow. John Kerry is not nearly as wealthy. He apparently partakes of sports such as windsurfing; everybody knows that I prefer waterskiing. They are two entirely different things, Mr. Diary. It has caused me to start considering who I might prefer as my own practice debate partner, however.
I am tempted to inquire as to the availability of my decapitated sandwich-ordering friend. While it probably has little foreign policy expertise, I must say that that little machine managed to put me on the spot more times during our brief encounter than any one of my primary rivals. A formidable opponent, indeed.