Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Nov 8: I Vote for a Return of the Hour I Lost

I hope all you morning people are happy. You got one of my evening hours just when I need it most--as the days get shorter. I voted, rehearsed music with some Scrooge peeps, and spent the afternoon and evening with Elvira and my 3-month-old granddaughter, Coraline. It's almost 10:00pm and I still have 3-4 hours of grading to do before I can call it a day. Oh, and Elvira baked a cake here today so there's this.

Elvira must have been in my kitchen.

So for my eighth NaBloPoMo post, here are two snippets from today's adventures in voting.

1. Delighted to enjoy a sunny, 70-degree fall day, I hopped on my bicycle this morning to ride to my voting place. Two blocks from home I realized that bumpety bump I felt under my ass was too regular to be the street. I stopped to check and found my back tire almost flat. Hoping it was just a penis presta valve stem malfunction, I whipped out my CO2 canister and pumped that baby up nice and hard .... because that's just the way I roll.

I rode on down to the Greek Orthodox church and chained my bike to a sign that read "Minister Parking Only." I grabbed my ID and my League of Women's Voters guide and went inside to protect my right to collectively bargain, should the university ever choose to give me a real job there. And I voted on some other stuff too.

2. I know it will shock no one all of you to read that as I was leaving two poll workers surrounded me and spanked reprimanded me because I committed a felony handed my League of Women Voters voting guide to an elderly woman who wasn't sure how she wanted to vote. She was there with her even more elderly mother, who was in a wheel chair and looked to be around 113 years old. The woman put her card in, took one look at the ballot and said, "Where's the real information? How am I supposed to figure out how to choose?"

Now, OK, most of us gave these issues some consideration before today, but even my learned friends have been complaining on Facebook about how unusually abstruse the ballot language was this year. And anyway, who am I to judge? She wanted to make an informed decision, so I handed her my dog-eared League of Women Voters voting guide. One of the poll workers said in a loud voice, "Wait just a minute! I'll have to get a manager over there to see if you can do that."

The elderly woman looked up at me--she was not even 5 feet tall--and asked, "What is she talking about?"
I said, "Obviously we look like two escapees from the prison in Lebanon and she wants to slow us down while she calls the cops. I'll distract her by setting the paper on fire and throwing it under this voting booth. You jump on Grandma's lap and hang on. I'll push.... I don't think I'm supposed to give you any election literature in here. They think I might try to tell you how to vote."
The poll worker, who was hurrying across the room to get the gestapo said, "You wait right there! I don't think you're allowed to give her that paper in here!"
The elderly woman said, "I don't understand this. It's none of their fucking business what you give me....Oh, I'm sorry, honey. I didn't mean to say fuck."
"That's OK," I said. "I say fuck all the time. Here they come."

The poll worker and another more important woman came over and surrounded us. The manager told me I couldn't give the elderly woman the League of Women Voters voting guide. I said it was just the League of Women Voters voting guide and they don't.....But she interrupted me and said it was against the law. I asked if I could give it to her outside, but she said it had to be at least 100 feet away and then they wouldn't let her take her card out of the booth and go outside with me. Checkmate.

The elderly woman and I stood there and looked at each other. I imagine she was thinking what I was thinking: What the fuck are they going to do about it? Are they going to confiscate the little newspaper and call the police? Grab it out of her hand? I was thinking, What can they do if I just walk away without taking it? Just truck on out the door and keep going? But then I remembered I was on my bike and would be pretty easy to catch if they called the police, and that I had other things to do today besides going to jail. So I took the paper and walked toward the door ..... where I saw a big plastic garbage can with no lid.

I threw the League of Women Voters voting guide on top of some other papers, turned around and sidled unobtrusively back to the elderly woman. The two poll workers, who had walked a few yards away, hurried back over to surround us again, but I managed to whisper that I'd put the paper in the trash can if she wanted to go over and get it. I flipped the two poll workers the bird smiled sweetly and backed away from the elderly woman and her even more elderly mother.

And then I hurried out the door. I got to the minister's parking sign and found my fucking tire was flat again and my CO2 canister was empty. Guess it's a good thing I wasn't trying to outrun the police because I certainly wasn't going to win the race on foot. I walked home and then picked up my bike in my van later. Issue 2 and I were both soundly defeated.


  1. Walking your bike with a flat is a really great way to meet other cyclists.

  2. If I'd been on the bike path, I probably could have expected some help with it, Pleased, and maybe met somebody new. I know for a fact some cyclists will stop to help change a tube.

    Sounds like you have a story though. Care to share it?

  3. That will be my gratitude check for the gratitude month of November. I'm grateful I still have my nose.

  4. Very clever of you to tell her you had laid it in the trashcan. Hopefully, she walked over and got it!
    Blog on, sista! I love your writing!

  5. Thanks! I actually agree with the law, but in this case....eh. Look the other way.

    Blog away!