I'm Kevin Frisch, and I approved this column.
OPENING PHOTO MONTAGE: The sun rising over a farmhouse, happy children sharing ice cream cones, a retired couple holding hands, puppies fumbling over one another in a picnic basket...
MUSIC: A sunny piano movement, optimistic but not too bouncy, with a touch of patriotism, played in a major key.
VOICEOVER: (Female voice, warm, sincere, mid-range and smooth.) America. Optimistic. Inspiring. Growing. The greatest country on Earth. The Candidate wants to keep it that way... Whether it’s sharing the promise of a brighter tomorrow with the next generation ...
CUT TO PHOTO: (All photos have vibrant colors and a soft focus.) The Candidate, at a public event, holding a baby (adorable, happy, smiling at The Candidate) who is waving a small American flag.
VOICEOVER: ...building for the future of our district...
CUT TO PHOTO: The Candidate, in a hard hat with sleeves rolled up, surrounded by sturdy workers in plaid shirts, pointing to something off camera at a construction site in a manner that indicates he just prevented a major design flaw and saved countless lives.
VOICEOVER: ...and strengthening bonds with those who made our nation great.
CUT TO PHOTO: The Candidate, in close company with three older military veterans who, for some reason, are saluting him. American flag flies prominently in background.
VOICEOVER: The Candidate knows the only thing greater than America, is America’s future — but only if The Candidate has a hand in guiding it.
CUT TO PHOTO: The Candidate shaking hands and offering a diploma to an attractive, gown-clad graduate, who smiles admiringly (not quitefawningly) at The Candidate.
VOICEOVER: (Voice suddenly harsher, half an octave lower, sounds like heavy smoker.) But The Opponent has different ideas.
MUSIC: Dark, ominous synthesizer, low notes, in minor key.
CUT TO PHOTO: Grainy, black-and-white image of The Opponent, looking as if A) he is in an argument, B) he is half asleep, or C) he has gas.
VOICEOVER: The Opponent wants to cut spending on schools...
PHOTO: Slowly zoom in on previous unflattering photo.
VOICEOVER: ...and nursing homes...
PHOTO: Keep zooming.
VOICEOVER: ...and animal shelters.
CUT TO PHOTO: Grainy, black-and-white image of malnourished dog on short leash next to empty bowl.
VOICEOVER: And when asked during a recent debate what his SAT scores were, he said this:
SOUND BITE: (Recording of The Opponent’s response, add static and hiss to make it sound dated and ominous. Think Hitler addressing the Reichstag) “I honestly don’t remember.”
VOICEOVER: He. Doesn’t. Remember... The Candidate remembers.
MUSIC: Shift back to sunny, major-key piano.
PHOTO: The Candidate, surrounded by schoolchildren, the elderly and more puppies. They all appear grateful and awed to be in his company.
VOICEOVER: He remembers the children. And our seniors. And family pets.
CUT TO VIDEO: (The Candidate is surrounded by attractive an woman and children actors who resemble his real family. He looks into the camera.) And I’ll remember you!
VOICEOVER (As candidate tousles son’s hair, he receives warm, but not passionate, embrace from wife.) So remember The Candidate this Election Day.
VIDEO: I’m The Candidate, and I approved this message.
VOICEOVER: (Fast-talking male.) Paidforbythecommitteetoelectthecandidate whichmayormaynotincludeanyonewhowilldirectlybenefitfromhiselection butwhoseidentitiesyouwillneverknow.
Messenger managing editor Kevin Frisch’s column, Funny Thing ..., appears each Sunday in the Daily Messenger. Contact him at (585) 394-0770, ext. 257, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.