gall and gumption

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Thank You, Lord

The best election gloating site, I think, is over at Tbogg. He is in San Diego. And to all my California readers I hope you were dancing in the street to learn that the egregious Richard Pombo (R-Tracy) has been given his walking papers.

I went to the polls last night, at the high school. My dad was registered over in Anne Arundel County, where he was living before we took up housekeeping together here in Montgomery County. He had neglected (what with having a lot on his mind the last few months) to change his registration. But I found out when I got there that he could use a provisional ballot. So I sort of removed all the other mental obstacles one by one -- he is like me, he gets discouraged easily -- and drove him there. He got it done, which took much longer than I expected. (The building was broiling hot and dreary. I forgot to bring anything to read and see? See? What happened? I had to spend 40 minutes mooching about the hallways reading all the photocopied uplifting mottos taped on the walls. Let this be a warning.

The only motto that didn't depress me was one that had been slightly modified by some wag with a ballpoint pen. It was something to the effect of "When I was young I cared only for Intelligent People: Now that I am older I care only for Kind People. This student had modified the last three words so that now they read "Kinds of Poop." But I didn't get enough amusement out of it to last me the whole time, so there was nothing to do but gawk at this South Asian woman who was wearing a sort of coverup I have seen around here from time to time. It is a three-piece affair; a head covering, then the top that is like a poncho-- fitting rather close around the shoulders and then poofing out and covering her down to her wrists. Then a full skirt all the way to her ankles. All three pieces are made of some sort of bright cheerful bland pattern and I guess that is a nice touch. And the decoration at the hems (six different types of rickrack) is a nice touch too, suggestive at the very least of some wish to make it not quite The Most Hideous Garment On Earth. Not succeeding, but meriting an A for effort, nonetheless.

There was a big fat white guy about my age and it became clear that he had somehow been encouraged to believe he was managing everything because he is the big white guy. I have a cousin like that. And he had been doing a lot of work. He came and told me all about the crazy people -- no details, just how he managed them. Apparently he had seen a lot of crazy people that day, and he'd call and say, "You'd better come get this one -- she's flippin' out." Well then of course I began to suspect that he was possibly a bit tetched too. And that probably throughout the day the other poll workers had gone through the Five Stages of Dealing With Slightly Batty Blowhards Who Think They Run Everything: impressed, horrified, bored, wearily indulgent, and at last grateful and forgiving. You can forgive everything, and appreciate their genuine good qualities, if you just don't have to listen to them for 14 hours straight.

But there were lots of other people doing work too, just that they weren't making quite so much noise about it. They were all making an effort to be nice and polite. I've worked a precinct and it's a long, tedious day. The woman in the strange garment was older than I am, the garment made her look even older. Oh lord the headpiece had some sort of flap that was evidently supposed to be a daring bit of flourish. But she had this wonderful elegance and birdlike alertness. She used her hands really intelligently, like a person who really used her hands. And from time to time she'd sort of stand up straight and look about her, evidently assessing the condition of her provisional voters (the provisional ballot had a lot of other stuff you had to fill out, it was a bit of a pain). You watched this woman and you knew she was smart and you knew she knew she was smart.

I am sure my dad was glad to have the little adventure of voting, and now he can share in the gloating.

When you are discouraged easily from doing things and you actually manage to bring yourself to do the thing you thought it wasn't worth your trying to do, you always feel relieved, I think.

Except job letters.


At 12:47 PM, Anonymous leslie said...

Sure, we are gloating, which is always fun, but who the hell voted for Schwarzenegger?

At 12:53 PM, Anonymous Norman said...

"Gloating" is not quite the right word. I'm just relieved that our movement toward theocracy has hit a speed bump.

At 2:11 PM, Blogger Kia said...

...who the hell voted for Schwarzenegger?

Not me. I was nowhere near the scene of the crime. But he worries me less than he used to since the nurses and firefighters gave him such a pasting last year.

At 9:28 PM, Anonymous leslie said...

"Gloating" may not be the right word for Norman, but it is for me, as I am hopeful that some semblance of reason may return to the legislature and I might resume watching the news once in a while, a practice I had discontinued long ago because those people and their ridiculous moronic (usually fundamentalist) rhetoric nauseated me no end. So yes, I do feel a bit of the "ha, ha, ha."

At 2:00 AM, Anonymous caroline said...

Dis news make me heart go boom boom.


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