Feathered Shaggy Dog Redux

A timely little tale I thought of for the British general election. It contains a commonly (re)used punch line.

British prime minister Gordon Brown recently had what many of us would consider a bad week. He had just finished a tense conversation with a Labour Party support who had railed about the economy and immigration to him.

Walking away, he made a common, but unforgivable mistake for a politician; he forgot his mic was on. “That was a disaster – they should never have put me with that woman,” he said to a senior aide. “Whose idea was that? Ridiculous.”

When asked what she had said, he replied, “Everything, she was just a bigoted woman.”

In approximately 0.58 seconds, this video had spread all over the internet. And Labour’s chances in the election were severely hurt.

But actually, this was just the latest blow for Labour. Brown’s party has been second and sometimes third in opinion polls throughout the campaign. The Conservative Party stands to make big gains in the election.

Although it has never been revealed publicly before, Brown actually considered dropping out of the campaign and politics entirely several times. He would get depressed, and the prospect of facing a bleak campaign trail would seem too much for him.

Fortunately for the Labour Party, Brown’s senior advisor knew just how much pride Brown has. If he questioned Brown’s bravery and gave him a very specific challenge, Brown would get back in the game.

What would he say to Brown? Simple:

Chicken! Catch a Tory!

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