Sympathy for the Loser: A Greeting Card Emergency

Interview

Friday, November 02, 2012

For the candidate who loses a presidential election, it’s got to be humbling. What would you say to a friend who’s America's #1 loser?

“The last thing you want is something snarky,” says David Ellis Dickerson, a former Hallmark writer (true!) who has a project called Greeting Card Emergency. He takes special requests for unusual circumstances: an apology card for breaking someone’s toilet; a birthday card for someone born on September 11th; or a sympathy card for the loser of an election. We asked him to tackle this emergency.

“At first I thought I could do two cards — one card for Obama, one card for Romney — and do jokes about their character, or the media narrative surrounding them,” Dickerson says. “But it occurred to me immediately that would be mean. The interesting challenge, particularly in a time that has been this rancorous and divisive, is if I could write a card that could be used for either candidate.” If you did that, he adds, “You know that you’ve tapped into a universal theme, a universal emotion. And not just for either candidate but any candidate, anyone who ever loses an election.”

 

 

 

Dickerson presents five possibilities in this video:

One card is a long poem, with spot illustrations. The outside reads:

It’s over and done, and the other guy won
He’ll get blamed for whatever goes wrong.
While you’re home with your wife, just be glad that your life
Isn’t mocked every day all year long.
No more nagging by crews from the national news,
Asking questions that bring their own spin,
No more polls, no more fuss, no more big smelly bus...

And on the inside:

Are you sure that you didn’t just win?
Congratulations on your bright future.

But Dickerson’s favorite of the five cards shows Olympic runners on the outside with the text "If this were a real race..." And inside, "you’d have won a silver medal. Thank you for running."  At first he had written “Thank you for running for me.” But he changed it, “so that your opponent can send this, anyone from any party can send this.”

Feel free to make your own versions of Dickerson’s cards; the rights are not an issue. “There’s no chance in hell of my making money off these cards,” he feels. “I just want people to have fun with them.”

    Music Playlist
  • Star Fire (Jet Plane)
    Artist: Bob Thompson
    Album: The Sound of Speed
    Label: Spunky Monkey Music
    Purchase: Amazon

Guests:

David Ellis Dickerson

Produced by:

David Krasnow

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