USA '08 It's official: US election fever has finally infected the remote Spanish outpost which houses El Reg's Iberian Bureau.
Here amid the ruined stone buildings nestled between oak-clad mountains, where the silence is broken only by the occasional hack swearing furiously at the broadband connection's daily siesta, local comment on the Day Which Will Change The World Forever™ was until today restricted to the odd old boy wondering just when Sarah Palin might drop in to pop a cap in some poor wild boar's ass from an Apache helicopter gunship.
However, when I this morning braved the unseasonally inclement weather to minister to my trio of donkeys' fodder needs, I found them gathered together under the walnut tree, wistfully looking heavenward and showing not the slightest interest in their daily nosh.
My first instinct was that they'd been at the fly agaric again - a habit they undoubtedly picked up from the endangered Castillian mountain reindeer. Not so, I quickly decided, when I spotted a discarded copy of yesterday's El País outside the stable. Its cover carried a huge picture of Obama the Prophet, and since donkeys are by nature Democrats - a fact acknowledged by the party's symbol - I realised the touching truth.
For donkeys, the difference between McCain and Obama in the White House is the difference between mine-clearing duties in Afghanistan and gamboling forever in sunlit meadows while laughing small children bring forth endless supplies of apples and sugar cubes.
Unsurprisingly, then, my trio of equines are, eight hours later, still holding their vigil of hope despite my best efforts to persuade them that, whatever the outcome of the vote, they will still be pulling cartloads of firewood on Saturday. Like millions of other wretched souls across the planet, they sincerely believe today heralds a new age of enlightenment and emancipation.
The weather forecast, sadly, says Wednesday's weather will be just as crap as today's and a quick review of the donkey feed situation reveals it's hay as usual, barring some Obama-provoked spontaneous winter alfalfa crop miracle. We can only hope. ®