No clown car for the Three Stooges. Larry, Moe and Curly pull up to the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in a 1937 DeSoto.
They’re in Phoenix to help Cyber Ninjas audit Maricopa County’s 2.1 million 2020 ballots. State Senate President Karen Fann wanted somebody she could count on.
Larry’s driving. He hits a dumpster parked out in the back. Moe slaps him.
The Cyber Ninjas’ boss runs up. He’s wearing a “Stop the Steal” lapel pin.
“Hey, watch where you’re going!” he yells. “That’s where we store the ballots for Biden.”
Curly jumps out. “Oh, yeah? And who are you, a wise guy?”
“I run this operation, see? When we get finished counting all these ballots — sometime after Christmas — we’ll know who our real president is. By the way, who’d you guys vote for? Our orange leader, or that pinko loser Joe Biden? We ask everybody that question.”
“Neither,” Moe says. “I voted for Betty Boop. What-a-dame.”
Curly looks quizzical. “But Moe, she’s a cartoon.”
Moe slaps Curly. “A guy can dream.”
Curly waves his hands in front of his face, in a display of Stooge rage. He runs at Moe. Moe steps aside and Curly goes flying into the dumpster.
Curly stands up, now stuck inside.
“You numbskull,” Moe says. He slams the dumpster lid down on Curly’s head.
“Ow!” Curly yells. “Hey, it’s dark in here! I’ll just light a match, nyuk, nyuk, nyuk. Hey, that burns!” He drops the match.
He lifts the dumpster lid, peeks out.
“Get out of there,” Moe says.
Larry and Moe help Curly from the dumpster.
“You imbecile,” Moe says. “Now count this.”
“You mean ballot.”
“I mean mallet.”
“You only get one vote.”
“Wrong. I get two.”
He brains Curly with the mallet. Two times. Larry steps in.
“Hey, Moe, the dumpster’s on fire!”
“Who asked you,” Moe says. He gives Larry a triple-braining with the mallet. Each one with a resounding “bonk!”
“Hey, that hurt!”
“Politics ain’t beanbag.” Moe bonks Larry again.
The “Stop the Steal” man nods. “You guys seem to know what you’re doing. Here, try these on for size.” He tosses the Stooges T-shirts the color of green food dye No. 3. The Stooges put them on over their clothes. They fit like bedsheets with sleeves.
“Poifect!” Curly says.
“You’ll blend right in with the rest of the stooges,” the boss says.
The genuine Stooges stumble onto the coliseum floor. Somebody hands them a box.
“Here, audit these.”
“Soy-ten-ly!” Curly says.
Larry opens the box and shakes out the contents. Ballots flutter out and float about the coliseum. Most get sucked into the ventilation system. The Three Stooges run around for the rest. They wave their hands. They fall down. They get up. They knock over half the blue team.
“I almost got one, Moe!” Larry yells, as he falls onto a rotating ballot table. He spins around twice and jumps up, going round and round with arms raised. “Woo! Woo! Woo! I’m an auditor!”
“Hey, watch this!” Curly gives the table an extra spin. Larry flies off and into the red team, made up of ex-members of Joe Arpaio’s sheriff’s posse. They’re busy scanning ballots with ultraviolet lights, looking for secret messages, like “fake ballot” or “pick up milk on the way home.”
Larry knocks over their table.
“Watch where you’re going, you moron!” they shout at him.
Moe bonks them all with the mallet. “You can’t talk to him like that!” He bonks Larry for good measure. “We have work to do.”
Larry, Moe and Curly start auditing, in earnest. Moe counts: “One for Biden. Two for Trump. Another one for Biden. Four for Trump.”
“Wait a minute,” Larry says. “How come Trump gets four?”
“That’s why it’s called an audit.”
Moe slaps Larry. Curly is at the lazy Susan. He puts a ballot on it, spins it around. He pulls off the ballot and holds it up to the light.
Moe brains Curly with the mallet. “What are you doing, moron?”
“Looking for bamboo.”
“That won’t work. You have to get a panda bear, see if he’ll eat it.”
“Hey, it’s lunch time,” Larry says.
“So how many have we audited?” Moe asks.
Larry starts counting on his fingers. “Let’s see. One, two, three … no, one, two … three, four … Hey, I’m out of fingers. I’ll start on my toes.” Larry takes his shoes off.
“Numbskull,” Moe says. He brains Larry, then stares at the ballots. “We’ll never finish these.”
“What do we do, Moe?” Curly asks.
“I know!” Moe says. He snaps his fingers. “We’ll toss them in the dumpster! Better hurry before the fire goes out!”
They grab ballots and race for the alley. They throw them in the dumpster fire just as the “Stop the Steal” boss steps up. He shakes their hands.
“Good job, Stooges. We could use more like you.”
Reach contributing writer Bill Coates at email@example.com.