The presidential elections in Honduras were free and fair. Just like TCOB.
The next step in the process was to have each vote announced, going around the room one and a half times to make sure that each person's vote was counted, either once or twice. But El Jefe is confident of the results, which gave the book an average score of 8.5 and a 95% rate of completion (you know who you are!). The secret ballot process caused the Doctor much consternation: like a dangling chad, she typically likes to throw a little uncertainty into the mix by changing her vote depending on which way the wind is blowing. Knowing that a last-minute switch-up would be impossible under the keen eye of The 10th Member, she and Diggity-D both went for broke with an unusual couples' vote of matching 10s. There might have been some other 10s, but it was shortly after that point that El Jefe began to slide into a narcotics-induced fog, and the details get a bit hazy.
There is no question, however, that Dave Egger's Zeitoun garnered the most enthusiasm and genuine discussion of any holiday BC book to date. El Jefe vaguely recalls more than one person saying that this book was life changing. Like the Glass Castle, it was one of those stories that opens your eyes--and wide-- to the crazy shit that goes on right here at home, things you imagine happen only in third world countries. There were so many sad and despicable scenes in this book: elderly people trapped on rooftops, dogs shot to death on a highway overpass, a mentally retarded person hosed down with pepper spray in a makeshift jail, a FEMA trailer lying locked and useless in the yard for over a year. The scenes from "Camp Greyhound" were some of the most painful to read, not to mention the utter trampling on the due process rights of American citizens. It was terrifying and depressing to see how easily both legal and ethical standards went out the window, and with no apology or restitution.
"Prisoners" being led into Camp Greyhound.
It's always a relief to segue from dwelling over the misfortunes of others to a filet mignon roast with creamy gorgonzola sauce. And rosemary-Parmesan mashed potatoes. And a leafy green salad garnished with slivered red onion and mandarin oranges. And cheesy garlic bread. And paper party crowns. Thank goodness for a delicious dinner and for our many blessings. At this point, El Jefe did make her exit, longingly eyeing the annual bounty of Heath Bar cookies and the divine-smelling fruit cobbler. Unfortunately, there were no leftovers the next day.
Please let this book be a reminder to all of us during the holidays how lucky we are to have friends, family, and a roof over our head, and to be generous to those in need. Merry Christmas, and see you in the New Year! xoEJ