DURST: First, Make All the Lawyers Do Karaoke

This is another fine mess. A couple of old Jews accidentally vote for a Nazi and the Republic falls apart like a five dollar wool coat hung on a fence post at a corporate moth farm. Third world banana Republics mock us. We're forced to view the grisly spectacle of Chris Mathews' near nightly aneurism. Not to mention Bill Clinton dropping heavy hints he wouldn't mind sticking around. All we have to do is ask. Somebody go find a fat lady, drag her to Florida and force her to sing. Bring a cattle prod if need be.

The amazing thing is a month later and we still don't know whether to order donkey or elephant frosting for the Inaugural Ball cakes. As a matter of fact, ennui seems to be the overriding emotion. "Yeah, whatever. Wake me up when you guys decide, or when pitchers and catchers report, whichever comes first."

It's still closer than Mississippi first cousins. The fate of the nation has boiled down to 537 votes out of 6 million cast. That's like 537 out of 6 million. To get a hold on this, think of it as almost the exact same ratio of teachers to students in California. You'd get better odds in a lottery, except Gore and Bush are holding all the tickets. And all but one are counterfeit.

Which is why it is now, oozing their way onto the playing field, the legions of end game specialists advance. I'm talking about the only real winners in this case. The ones with a warranty. The lawyers. The matter of who got the most votes is moot: now it comes down to which side is able to employ the most efficient anonymous looking blue suited balding white men with glasses, with the smile of a fat bellied jackal playing about their lips. And perhaps the smallest drop of blood lingering as well. Is that a handkerchief dabbing at it or a napkin? These ones always get fed.

Isn't this great? Politicians, lawyers and the American attention span. Together again. Mmmm boy, the best of all worlds. Just like the Impeachment trial. Just like OJ. Court TV isn't a channel in this country, its a way of life. Making up with volume what we lack in substance.

Don't get me wrong, its not that I don't think lawyers have a place in society, of course they do. When properly prepared they can be an important source of protein. Its just if you've seen one honest lawyer, you've seen them both. Lawyers are to justice what Gallagher is to fruit. What Tori Spelling is to the Emmies. What Stinger heat seeking missiles are to basement furnaces.

Even when its all over, it still won't be over. There will be appeals and injunctions and briefs filed questioning the legal parameters of the definition of the word "dimple." "Your Honor, we maintain the previous judge erred when he based his determination on whether a clear abuse of discretion existed solely on the basis of reasonable probability when no credible evidence has been presented that a dimple cannot also be accompanied by a wrinkle or a cute little twist of a nose."

My theory is the loser will keep filing until every last avenue for appeal has been exhausted or the money runs out, whichever comes first. But just in case they run dry of litigant targets, I'm here to fill their quiver.

10 Florida Lawsuits That Have Fallen Through the Cracks

* Sue all Northern Yankee States for forcing snowbirds to leave by criminal tacit encouragement of bad weather.

* Slap a gag order on Bill Clinton. Just for fun.

* Sue the State of Florida Highway Department for allowing thousands of Chryslers doing thirty in the fast lane with their left blinkers on to delay all interested participants.

* Sue the Gonzalez Family in Miami. If it hadn't been for them, Florida would have escaped the spotlight earlier this year and none of this would have ever happened.

* Sue Disney World. I don't know how either, but we're talking deep pockets here. Besides, Mickey Mouse has been an implicit factor in this sordid mess all along.

* Sue Katherine Harris' hairdresser for an irrepressible fascination with the Eisenhower administration. Investigate his or her possible conspiratorial involvement in Jimmy Johnson's hair as well.

* Throw restraining orders on anyone uttering the word "bipartisanship."

* Sue Carl Hiassen for writing wild Floridian fantasies that fail to even come close to approaching the level of mad insanity that marinates this state like sweat on a Sumo wrestler.

* Sue the Florida Legislature for an unblemished record of never rising above the status of party hacks.

* Sue Ricky Martin for being such a sexy mofo. Use only when ratings are in genuine free fall.

Sue Will Durst. Hey, no such thing as bad publicity, right?


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