Thursday, February 14, 2008

sufferage

This is what democracy looks like.
Dozens of classic yellow post-it notes tracking votes or maybe pledges. A woman with a baby on her back ticks names off a sign in sheet. She writes, scratches, counts and writes again. One sticky on top another, lining the ones, tens, hundreds columns. She counts in her head, on her fingers. It's Obama 4:1 and the baby doesn't cry.

But what about experience? And all that was swept under the rug? It's the health care plan. Remember the economic boom, budget surplus? Who can beat McCain?We're ready for change. The end of the war. Pro choice. Tell me why.

My neighbors talk. Argue. Implore. I look for the 6 who held who held our precinct for last election cycle. Are they glad to have our company? Do they puzzle why we left them, alone, to determine the second WBush challenger? Do they fault us, blame themselves?

There'd be more conversation. Maybe answers and surely tears. But the elementary school is filled. Beyond capacity. In violation of fire codes. The line outside circles the block. We're running out of sign in sheets. There aren't enough chairs. The babies will grow tired and the sticky won't hold my vote to the clip board forever. We've exceeded the space allocated our democracy. After pledging the flag, naming a candidate, and possibly making a donation to the party, we are welcome to leave.

I drag my feet. It's a flawed system of broken pencils and too few volunteers. A charming, near hypnotic chaos with errors more personal, more public, more likely to be corrected, than those of the machines,.

(I suppose lack of timeliness is just one of the issues preventing my successful career in journalism. Happy Valentine's Day!)

2 comments:

T A Delmore said...

about George Washington
Ten Things You Never Knew about George Washington, born on this day in 1732:

His dentures carved from a hippopotamus tusk. They were drilled with a hole to fit over Washington's one remaining tooth, and they rubbed against his natural tooth in such a way that Washington was in constant pain, and so he used an alcoholic solution infused with opium.

By the time he reached 30, he had survived malaria, smallpox, pleurisy, dysentery. He was fired at on two separate occasions — and in one of them, his horse was shot out from under him and four bullets punctured his coat. He also fell off a raft into an icy river and nearly drowned.

During the last night of his life, a doctor friend came over to perform an emergency tracheotomy on Washington. Arriving too late, the doctor tried to resurrect Washington by thawing him in cold water, then wrapping him in blankets and rubbing him in order to activate blood vessels, then opening his trachea to inflate his lungs with air, and then transfusing blood from a lamb into him.

He enjoyed playing cards, hunting foxes and ducks, fishing, cockfighting, horse racing, boat racing, and dancing. He bred hound dogs and gave them names like "Sweet Lips" and "Tarter."

His favorite foods included mashed potatoes with coconut, string beans with mushrooms, cream of peanut soup, salt cod, and pineapples.

He snored very loudly.

He did not wear a powdered wig, as was fashionable at the time. Instead, he powdered his own red-brown hair.

Washington had a speech impediment and was not good at spelling. He would often mix up i's and e's when speaking and in writing.

There are 33 counties, seven mountains, nine colleges, and 121 post offices named after Washington.

He delivered the shortest inaugural address ever. It was only 133 words long and took 90 seconds to deliver.


I thought since your theme was elections this list was perfect. Tom

Celular said...
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