The third box

As the upcoming United States of America presidential elections have now descended into a farcical face-off between a narcissistic sociopath exploiting fascist hate for personal glory and a Machiavellian schemer controlled by corporate greed intent on meddling in other countries, the electoral commission has finally slapped itself in the face with a wet fish, come to their senses, and realised that a third candidate is essential to hold the country together.

It has been announced that Mad magazine’s mysterious and iconic mascot Alfred E Neuman will appear as a third option on the ballot papers in November.

“He may be not be a real person, but he’s just what America needs right now,” said Clarence Wellesby, CEO of the EAC, clearly exhausted after a stressful weekend arguing the toss for a string of popular fictional icons that made up the long list for additional candidate.

“There was obviously a lot of heat for Jon Snow from the kids in the group, while the old-timers favoured Atticus Finch, who was at least American. Ultimately, it was agreed that the best option would be someone who wasn’t even attempting to be a character. We’ve all just had enough of personalities.”

“We just need to get on with running the country, making sure the streets are swept, the garbage collected and the phones work. Us civil servants and bureaucrats can get on with doing that as we always have, and we don’t need some megalomaniacal demagogue screaming at us over our mid-morning coffee and donut. We certainly don’t want any more wars to bother us. The paperwork is a nightmare.”

Early audience reactions to the news of an America under Alf have been overwhelmingly positive, with supporters of both Republican and Democrat candidates breathing a collective sigh of relief, both sides feeling that they had all taken it way too far, and it was nice to step back from the brink. “Just look at what happened with England and Brexit, that’s a big warning to us all. No-one wants to be that stupid.”

Queries over whether a stand-in would be used for appearances and speeches were met with a shrug and a chuckle. “We’ll just show his adorable cute face and play some music until people change the channel. That always worked for Reagan.”