Ever play the game of Rock, Paper, Scissors? A lot of fun, but sometimes confusing.

Scissors beats paper. Clip clip! Understood.

But rock beats scissors; the rock can smash the scissors and damage them? Yikes.

And paper can beat rock, by covering up the rock like a towel. Man. Rules!

This is kind of like what the current controversy is like with the candidates for governor, and their attempts to put together debates, or not.

Democratic candidate Mike Michaud will debate Gov. Paul LePage one on one? But he won’t debate so-called independent candidate Eliot Cutler with just the two of them there?

And Gov. LePage would really prefer not to debate anyone, but if he must debate, he would like a crowd, all three candidates there.

As for Cutler, he would debate anyone, anywhere, anytime, I think. He perhaps never met a microphone, nor mirror, he didn’t like. Plus, his campaign needs the exposure.

You will hear a lot of reasons why each candidate believes what he says about debates. Here, as a public service, is the REAL reason for each of their stances on debates, when they would show up, when they refuse to debate, etc.

(You’re welcomed in advance….).

Michaud would gladly debate LePage one on one. Michaud is polite and thinks LePage is a boorish slob. Michaud looks at various social gaffes over the past four years and expects LePage is about two weeks away, at any time, of burping and farting in public. Michaud believes the governor is like your crazy Uncle Larry at the family BBQ – put a whoopee cushion under the derriere of Aunt Mabel, then howling uproariously when she sits on it; chugging two quick Pabst Blue Ribbons (12 oz. cans, always), and then burping the first two verses of the Star Spangled Banner.

Cutler, meanwhile, would love to mix it up on a stage with Michaud.

Cutler thinks Michaud is akin to the local paperboy – nice kid, dutiful, shows up every day at 4:30 a.m. with your newspaper on the front porch, but not a rocket scientist, not a leader, not about to come up with much-needed creative, energetic, pioneering solutions for some big local and national problems.

(Former hard-right GOP gubernatorial candidate Porter Leighton published a stinging letter to the editor recently. Of Michaud: “He spent 29 years with a major paper company as a forklift operator. Voters should ask why, in 29 years, his employer never saw any potential in Michaud other than as a forklift operator.” Ouch! Expect LePage to borrow this theme.)

What soft spots do the other candidates see in Eliot Cutler?

Porter Leighton’s letter gives a glimpse: “Eliot Cutler, a lawyer, peddles his plentiful platitudes, but says nothing of substance.” “Washington lawyer” probably as devastating a slam as “ebola virus” in Maine politics.

Michaud would hope that a debate would result in Cutler having the public image of your know-it-all, next-door neighbor – the one who likes to come over and critique your garden hose and tell you why it is not the best one you could have purchased, and that the device you have on the side of the house to roll the hose up is harmful. You want to ice-bucket-challenge him to benefit your own “charity.”

Rock, paper, scissors.

What debate rules will develop – fart jokes trump forklift operator slams? Smartest-guy-in-the-room approach trumps what-have-you-done-in-Congress-in-12-years? Both get smothered by I’m-a-blunt-man-of-action sound bites in eyes of 39 percent of voters?

Popcorn please.

Dan Warren is a Scarborough lawyer. He can be reached by private Facebook message at the Jones & Warren Attorneys at Law page. Or by email at [email protected].

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