We Have Two Winners

July 4th, 2011

I’m certain it’ll surprise no one who played along that covers 1 and 2 more or less swept the field.  What surprised me, when I finished running the total, is how close it was.

For the cynics among you, the ones who think every election is fixed, here’s how I did it.  I counted every vote cast here, plus half a dozen on Facebook and two from people who were defeated by Captcha and e-mailed me. If a participant voted for only one cover, I put a one in the column for that cover. Following me so far?

If he or she liked two covers equally, I gave each cover one vote. If he/she (how about my proposed  “se,” everyone?) preferred one cover over another but not by much, I gave one vote to the cover se liked best and half a vote to the other one.

I know, I know.  This gives some people as many as two votes, or one and a half.  I figured that these people have split personalities and I wanted to allow each personality to express itself fully.  At least I didn’t give extra votes to the people I like best or the people, like Everett, I’m afraid of.

Besides, I’m torn myself, and I wanted to give both of the covers I preferred every chance to win.

This somewhat questionable method produced the following results:

31 votes

29.5 votes

1.5 votes

5 votes, including Gary

Sorry about how the covers are truncated in thumbnail format.  Amazon thumbnails them differently, so the original proportions and details will be preserved.

I’m talking with the cover artist about making a few changes (some of which you suggested) to One and Two, and then we’ll have a cover, although I really hate to let go of any of them.

Two other notes.

First, my brother Mike reminds me that our dentist, when we were kids in Washington, D.C. was named Dr. Macavity.  He swears it’s true.

And second, Yingluck Shinawatra, the remarkably attractive younger sister of the remarkably unattractive Thaksin Shinawatra — the billionaire who was elected prime minister of Thailand in 2001 and deposed in a military coup in 2005 — was just elected prime minister in a modest landslide.  Her brother, who is not an endearing man, refers to her publicly as “his clone.”  This is a victory for the common people over the power elite, for the countryside over Bangkok, and for the Red Shirts over the Yellow shirts.

Now the question is whether she’ll ever be allowed to govern.  There are already charges of vote-buying (Heavens! In Thailand??), and then there’s the brooding gray mass of the Army.  Interesting times to follow.  And how I wish I were there.

17 Responses to “We Have Two Winners”

  1. Suzanna Says:

    So you’ll have two covers and then decide which one after your artist works with the suggestions? I’m CORN-fused!

    Also, I think it’s really funny that your dentist was named Macavity.

    Isn’t it wonderful to have family to remind us of the bits and pieces from our past that would otherwise be lost somewhere deep in the recesses of our noggins?

    By the way, I had a statistics teacher named Dr. Payne. Although he wasn’t a pain at all, in fact he was the only math teacher I ever had who made it all make sense.

    Well, I hope the newly elected PM can bring better times ahead for the Thai people and keep the military at bay. Tall order I’m sure. It would be interesting to hear your impressions of how things are going there when you do finally get back to Thailand.

    Good luck with the cover!

  2. Vena Says:

    Ms Shinawatra has “luck” in her name. I like that. I hope she’s a force to be reckoned with.

    I knew a real life Captain America once. He didn’t look anything like Chris Evans, though.

    Tim, you know Everett’s going to talk about your tallying abilities anyway, so an extra point might not have hurt in the long run 🙂

    Mad props to the cover artist, whoever se is!

  3. Debbi Says:

    I’m sorry, did you really say a dentist named Dr. Ma-cavity? That’s almost as bad as Dr. Bonebreak, the actual name of an actual dentist in my area. I’ve seen the advertising. Really!

  4. Gary Says:

    Your tallying method is mathematically unsound. Unequal representation leads to revolution, and harbors choked with tea – you should know that!

    What you should have done was give 0.5 + 0.5 when someone liked two covers equally, and 0.6 + 0.4 when someone liked one cover a little more than another.

    If this had been done, it’s totally clear that the fourth cover would have won by a landslide.

  5. Lil Gluckstern Says:

    The math overwhelms me, but I will be happy with whatever you choose. @Debbi-Ma-cavity? I didn’t even see that 😉
    As for Thailand, the vote sounds like a start for the good guys. Now, if they can keep it going-that would be nice.

  6. EverettK Says:

    oooh, you should be afwaid, vewy, vewy afwaid…

    But at least the rest of the people, on average (according your twisted math scheme) matched my opinion exactly. So it must have worked out in spite of you.

  7. Mike Schimmer Says:

    As a Florida resident, I can say with certainty that BOTH vote counts will be protested, gamed and second-guessed.
    Revolving governments are a Thai tradition, but the stakes are very high. Thailand has had too many shocks to the system already. I hope that the new PM will be effective and that she will be accepted as legitimate.

  8. Usman Says:

    As always I’m late to the party. Now, it should be evidently clear that I would have voted for cover no 1. I say this with a clear conscience.
    Oh, and congratulations on the Macavity award. See, when you tempt us plebeians with awards we forget all about the better things in life.

  9. Robb Royer Says:

    Dentist McCavity, huh? Or.. . Don’t forget the acupuncturist on Western Avenue, Dr. Ow. But hell, in a world with a rapist named Luster, a guy who gets his dick cut off named Bobbit, and Bernie Madoff with the money, to say nothing of an amorous Nashville mayor named Boner…. a new proof of an ironic god emerges: Dickensio ergo The Big Guy… or, who writes this shit?

  10. michael hallinan Says:

    Hi Suzanna, What Tim has forgotten is that not only was his last name Macavity his full name was Phil Macavity

  11. Gary Says:

    So… the person who had already decided which cover should win, and the person who designed the vote weighting system, and the person who tallied the votes… are all one and the same!

    Where were the international observers during the poll? Where were they, eh? We should be grateful we were spared the travesty of the winner getting 99 percent.

    And was Munyin released from house arrest during the election? Or did she and her democratic colleagues decide to boycott it?

    The world is not fooled, Tim!

    (Actually they’re all great covers – for a great book. I hope it does really well.)

  12. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Vot a Bunch. I seem to draw an eccentric crowd, wouldn’t you say? (For the full hilariousness of that line, read it in a clipped British accent. Then go do something interesting and come back and tell us about it.)

    One at a time, although I’m sharpening knives for my brother Mike.

    Suzanna, THANKS for the touch of Minnie Pearl. That’s what this site has always needed, a little more backwoods humor, a hat with the price tag on it. What’s happening re: the covers is that y’all have weeded out two and made suggestions about two others, and those chosen two, plus some of your suggestions and a few of my own, have been sent back to the designer. After he makes the changes (and they’re really not major), I’ll choose a cover. I know this is kind of complicated for someone who grew up in Chickpea Holler, but it’ll work. OH, and MORGAN’S PHOTO of me is all over the place — on Fbook and accompanying a bunch of guest blogs, and it’s getting great reactions, even though it’s of me. I might put it up here, once I’ve settled things with Mike.

    Vena, thanks for the artist praise — he really is amazing, and thanks for taking part in the decision process. Let’s see — you knew a Captain America, Soozie knew a Dr. Pain. I should have mentioned that there’s a surgeon in Venice (CA) named Dr. Fillet. And these are all real, unlike a certain Washington, D.C. dentist whose name I put in this blog because, despite decades of being Mike’s brother, I still believed him when he e-mailed me that information.

    And with thanks to Debbi, we add Dr. Bonebreak to the list of REAL oddly-named medical practitioners. Debbi, how come funny names in novels fall so flat? Dickens is the only writer I know who could get away with it.

    Gary, as one who believes that ALL tea should be floating in harbors, all I can say is, I wish. And regarding the tallying method, what with some people getting two votes and one person managing the whole process, all I can say is that some people are more equal than others, to paraphrase Orwell. Also, I had lined up Ratko Mladic to supervise the voting, but he’s not answering his phone. And I have to say, if Casey Anthony can get off because her father might/might not have abused her, Ratko Mladic has a great defense. What could I do, your honor? They named me Ratko.

    Ratko Mladic, I might point out, is ALSO a real name.

    Lil, if she is allowed to rule for any length of time, it might get interesting. The problems are (1) the possible death of the King and the chaos that will break out over who’s to succeed him, (2) the Army, which loathes everything Shinawatra and is vehemently pro-monarchy; and (3) her almost certain move to pardon her brother, which will probably bring in #2, the Army, unless she pairs Thaksin’s pardon with an amnesty for the officers and troops who killed 90 people in Bangkok during the Red Shirt/White Shirt riots.

    And “Yingluck” is also a real name.

    Everett, I’m so happy to learn that my jiggering of the voting produced the results you would have wanted. WHEW! And will you still be happy if it turns out to be #2?

    Michael, your Florida perspective gives you unique qualifications to judge the effectiveness of the vote. I tried to get Katherine Harris to work alongside Ratko Mladic, but she was too busy designing a new triple-fold, enhanced-chad-hanging, butterfly ballot paired with a patented stuffable ballot box for 2012.

    Usman, I hardly think of you as a plebeian, and your vote has been dutifully registered with the Commissioner of Elections, Tomas Torquemada, who generously stepped in at the last moment. One thing’s sure — it’ll be either #1 or #2.

    Robb, your spotting of Dr. Ow all those years ago was what started me on this lifelong (if part-time) hunt for equivalently inappropriate names. (REAL NAMES, it goes without saying.) In addition to your Mayor Boner, we have John Boehner and, of course, Anthony Wiener, both of whom are dicks by anyone’s standards. More proof of an Ironic Greater Power. Probably wears sunglasses to shield itself from its own blinding glory.

    And now we come to my own flesh and blood, the viper who suckered me into putting Dr Macavity on my site, turning what should have been a moment of triumph into the bitterness of wormwood and gall, whatever those are. I thought “gall” was a plant that was ground up and used to make Medieval ink black, but it’s much more than that, as is revealed in this quote from the aptly named Old Testament Book of Lamentations: “Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall.” Or something like that. My own brother. I had as lief be twinned with a serpent. You can see the Biblical heights of fury this arouses in me.

    Gary, Munyin continues under house arrest. Where would she want to go in a world such as this?

    Dr. Phil Macavity, indeed.

  13. Suzanna Says:

    Timmy, real glad you’re putting the photo to good use and that your readers like it.

    Now, Mike, it ain’t polite ta tease yer brother ’bout y’alls ol’ dentist, Macavity. ‘Fraid I’m gonna have ta keep a slanty eyeball turned yer way ’cause well, I jes cain’t trust ya is all.


  14. EverettK Says:

    And will you still be happy if it turns out to be #2?

    Oh, hell yes. I’ll just be happy to see a book I read in middle school FINALLY released into the wild. It’s been a LONGGGGG wait. I’ve grown up, gotten married, had children, watched THEM grow up, I’ve grown old — all while waiting for this book to be released.

    That, and waiting to get this hole in my head fixed. Do you know a good dentist?

  15. Gary Says:

    If we can’t decide which cover goes with the book, how about Tim rewrites the entire book to fit one of the covers?

  16. Stefan Hammon Says:

    Yingluck is the most attractive woman ever elected to any office, anywhere, ever. which is ironic because no one ever comments on the looks of MALE candidates (do you think Mitt Romney or John Edwards would get anywhere if they weren’t handsome?). it’s a shame that Thai government-officials don’t actually GOVERN, but that’s another story. also, if her last name wasn’t Shinawatra…well the next year or so will be interesting in Thailand.

    here in Hong Kong i continue to push sales via word of mouth, getting some interesting feedback. many Hong Kongers have already contributed via the usual channels, but four bucks for SHAKEN–not a problem. kudos to Amazon for waiving their fee.


  17. Stefan Hammond Says:

    arrgh, left the “d” off my own dadburn NAME!

    anyway, the Tox was deposed in ’06 not ’05, and so far it seems the Army is adopting a wait-and-see attitude. Yingluck, like all Thai PMs, has to balance water droplets on a straight-razor. it wd be unwise to bring her brother back before year’s end. there’s another unscheduled event which may change everything–those who know Thailand know what i mean. Tim certainly does.

    it’s always been a nation of the finest people, ruled by individuals in various factions who are considerably less-than. in this respect it’s more like Japan than anywhere else…except Tokyo doesn’t erupt into psychotic street violence.

    more is explained here:

    read the last graf on the first page. THAT’S what the country is dealing with

    MUCH more is explained here:

    “A few months ago, through my work as a senior Reuters editor, I gained access to the “Cablegate” database of U.S. diplomatic communications believed to have been leaked by U.S. soldier Bradley Manning. The cables revolutionize the understanding of 21st-century Thailand because unlike almost all journalistic and academic coverage of the country, they do not mince words when it comes to the monarchy. As I began work on an extensive article about the cables, I realized that because it represented an epic breach of the lèse-majesté law, it could never be published by Reuters, and I would be unable to visit Thailand again for many years. I took the decision to publish the article anyway, and resigned from Reuters on June 3 to do so. That I had to leave my job and become a criminal in Thailand just to report on the cables says all that needs to be said about the lack of freedom of information that is stifling important debate on Thailand’s future.”

    and YES, there are clickable links to the cables themselves in the story.


Leave a Reply