The Election; The Man Is Father To the Boieses

By RICK MORANIS (NYT) 457 words

I WAS deposing my kids last night after they put forth allegations with respect to what they deem has been a breach of my obligation to perform substantial compliance of parental responsibilities. Though prima facie, they proffered a reasonable complaint, I deemed their accusations to be defamatory and admonished them for adopting a course of vexatious comment bordering on libel without what I considered sufficient evidentiary support.

Their claim was a ''tort of misfeasance, that per stirpes, they had been disenfranchised of their rights as minors due to a preponderant necessity on the part of the respondent (me) to watch all televised coverage of all proceedings in the Florida recount decision and all supporting opinion and commentary thereof, every day, all day, since November 7th.''

This was a de facto embarrassment.

I reserved the right to rebut all claims and retired to my chambers. There, in the blue glow of another Tallahassee cable night, under the beguiling eyes of my Ashley Banfield/Girls of MSNBC poster, I deliberated on their position.

Perhaps I had violated an implied trust, but could they prove damages? Was theirs not too literal an interpretation of family statutory construction? Was there demonstrable negligence? And were they not the beneficiaries of all knowledge and insight brought forth by the defendant (me) at all and every meal, snack-time and car ride with respect to my opinions and understanding, albeit limited, of the proceedings in the Florida case? Besides, didn't I just buy and let them watch the whole ''Wizard of Oz'' DVD in toto?

I straightened my tie, brushed the lint off my suit and returned to the kitchen. And there, in an historic moment of American jurisprudence, we settled all claims. They rescinded their charges in exchange for a plea of nolo contendere. Having stipulated in voir dire on a prevailing condition of force majeure, that ceteris paribus the Florida debacle would end someday soon, and notwithstanding any future appeal, we agreed pari passu on remedy.

The affidavits were drawn. I would turn the TV off, if they accepted a writ of mandamus to study Latin through high school.

The case was closed. I put on my sweatpants and together we downloaded some music on Napster.

Myself, I'm very pro Bono.