Well, I must admit that we in Popland pretty much wrote off what had been Wireland after the fall of the Saturnian government. It would become part of Chart Topperland, and that’d be that. So imagine my surprise when I picked up a newspaper from a shop in Zooropa Boulevard and the headlines screamed "Decision time in Wireland: the people have their say". As it turned out, the residents of the land had decided to take things into their hands and hold democratic elections. Now it was a matter of what the people wanted from their elected officials.

The candidates, who planned to lead their parties in parliament, came from a dizzying array of political views. There was the of the Cake Party, who wanted to repeal sales taxes on all cakes sold in Wireland. The party also called for repeal of sales taxes on chocolate, vanilla, and sugar. "These taxes just get in the way of great cakes", complained the Party leader. "We think all citizens are entitled to great cakes on their birthdays and other special days".

Not to be outdone was the leader of the Velvet Party. She wanted sales taxes on velvet abolished. She also called for the abolition of property taxes on businesses that sold velvet. "The prices on velvet are absolutely outrageous", she complained. "They’re keeping talented people from making great costumes and beautiful clothes. We think a massive sartorial crime is being committed!"

Other parties included the Courtesy Party, who wanted to post signs all over the land encouraging courteous and pleasant behavior. They also planned to circulate polite leaflets around Wireland delineating their ideas of courtesy. It was based on mutual respect of all human beings. It was pretty tough not to like these people! There was also the Sex Kitten Party who wanted the right to post sexy pictures in public buildings. Their opponents called them the "PG-13" Party. They may have had their detractors but they had all of the rights of the other parties.

The elections were set for 14 December. The day all of the parties met to set the election dates, they also decided to give the vote to citizens of Popland, as we were all originally Wireland citizens. Several of us decided to go back and work to help restore democracy to Wireland. Supporters of all of the parties worked hard in their headquarters, garnering votes for their candidates. All was going well until……

I had decided to support the Courtesy Party, even though I had nothing against the Velvet Party and certainly nothing against the Cake Party! I didn’t like some of the Sex Kitten Party’s posters so I decided I didn’t like them. One morning at party headquarters my Interplanetary Cellular rang.

"I’ve got some bad news for you guys", said the Commander of the Venusian UFO Force. "Believe it or not, Saturn has some new UFO’s. We don’t know how they got them, but they’re coming in on your Election Day. They’re not liking this democratic stuff. We have our de-activators but a fight on Election Day would be a terrible distraction, would it not?"

"It sure would be", I said. "I don’t understand. Why do they have to meddle in our affairs the way they do?"

"Insecurity", answered the Commander. "That’s what drives all control freaks. They’re just angry that they no longer rule Wireland".

"Screw them", I said. "That’s certainly no way to gain respect. And let me tell you something. Real respect is a value that’s really underrated in this society. We want to bring it back and make it mean something. In a way I think that’s what the Courtesy Party wants. You want to hear something cool? This morning the people from the Cake Party brought us a cake. They’re really cool people. We understand why they want those taxes abolished, and they understand why we are promoting respect for others. But darnit, they’re murder on my diet".

14 December dawned bright and blue, but cold. I put on my coat and went to my polling place, the place I’d always voted before the Saturnian dictators took over Wireland. And what a terrific campaign we’d had! I’d gotten velvet from the Velvet Party for a new costume the week before. They understood where we were coming from, and we understood where they were coming from. What’s the sense in making fun and beauty prohibitively expensive?

I looked up at the sky as I walked towards the old Zoo Station bank. The polling place was in the fire department building right next to it. There were no less than six Saturnian UFO’s in the sky, heading toward the old clandestine UFO landing pad near October Square. After I voted I made off for October Square, just to see what these idiots had planned.

The Saturnians rounded up people headed towards their polling places. "You idiots shouldn’t be voting", said one of the aliens. "You people are too stupid to rule yourselves. You need us to run your show".

"Shut up, sour grapes", I retorted. "You guys blew it. We’re getting our act together".

"Hey, I remember you", said the Saturnian. "You’re from Popland. Why are you here voting in Wireland elections?"

"We’re allowed to have dual citizenship because we are originally from here and we have common ideals", I said. "We respect the individual and their feelings about things".

Just then some Venusians walked into October Square. "How did you guys know we were here?" asked the Saturnian.

"I can’t believe how stupid you guys are", answered a Venusian. "Look, this stuff was on the Interplanetary News Network yesterday. The day you made that nasty call to the Cake Party Headquarters you guys were toast. Of course they told us. They weren’t at all intimidated. Now let these people go vote, and get the hell out of here or we’ll use our de-activators".

"Oh, thank you so much", said one of the Wirelings who was rescued by the Venusians. "I’m from the Cake Party. We want to give you the cake of your choice, if you don’t mind going back to headquarters with us after we vote".

"Certainly not’, said the Venusian. "My wife is going to love having one of those chocolate cakes we bought here at Surrender Bakery".

In the end the Courtesy Party received the most votes, followed by the Cake and Velvet Parties. The Sex Kittens, who were a little too controversial to some, finished fourth. Still, their members were welcomed into the new Wireland Parliament. The new government began to promote civility, and abolished sales taxes on chocolate, vanilla, sugar, and velvet. The Sex Kittens avoided useless disputes by putting up their sexy posters only in their homes and offices. The Wirelings had their country back, and we went back to Popland happy that we’d helped them do it.

Now, why can’t it be more like this in real life—at least in the civility department?

Patricia Hefner, 10 October, 2000.