In bygone years, citizens of some republics registered their discontent with elected (and often not-so-elected) leaders and civil servants by hurling rotten fruits and vegetables at them.
I propose we bring back this practice, however we give it a bit more legitimacy with an indexing system. The
Rotten Fruit Index, or "RFI" if you will, is a system by which elected officials can instantly gauge their approval/disapproval by the masses.
The RFI would be based on a measurement of average projectiles-per-minute, as the window for fruit hurling is usually small. Most public officials address the masses in short press conferences or quick trips from their building to their limo or other ground transportation. If someone gives a five minute interview on the capital steps and during that interview, they are pelted with ten items, the PPM is 2-to-1 and thus the RFI is considered to be high. Pollsters and statisticians (folks far smarter than I) can work out exactly where the lines are drawn. Even then, the RFI would be FAR less nebulous than the usual poll data we endure.
The Dali Lama, low RFI. People like former FEMA director Michael "Brownie" Brown would have a rather high RFI, especially given the amount of inoperable refrigerators in the flood damaged areas.
Imagine how DC spin doctors and campaign managers would have to pay attention to this new, instant feedback system. They would hire interns to analyze the RFI data. White shirts would be out, in favor of loud patterns capable of hiding stains. TV news pundits would shape the data according to sub-averages in the index, like the RFIr, which takes into account the rottenness of the pelting:
"Yes, Bill, I admit the RFI was low, but what a lot of people aren't looking at is the RFIr, which in this case was quite high. He was speaking in California, not one of his base states, not a place where rancid avocados are hard to come by."
"Oh Come on, Steve. Nobody looks at the RFIr! We all know its as meaningless as golf handicaps at retirement communities. So what if it was high? It only means that the people who hate him, hate him a lot, and that goes without saying. I think you're way off base here."
At any rate, if you're gonna sling mud on television, why not sling fruit in public?