Thursday, October 28, 2010

I Already Made Up My Mind

I exercised my rights as an American today. I voted. I had this brilliant idea that if I did early voting, I could avoid the crowd on Tuesday.  Well, not so much... But, it wasn't the crowd I was expecting.

I arrived at the polling site.  I knew I was at the right place because of all the placards littering the grass on my way in.  Actually, you couldn't tell there was grass because of all the campaign signs.  Seriously?  Even if I didn't already know who I was voting for, how would a sign with an annonymous name on it help me?  Do people, on their way to vote, get out a pen and write the names of candidates on their hands so they know who to vote for? How do they decide?  Whomever has the best sign wins? Really?

As I started walking toward the polling place, I was confronted with a wall of people.  Everyone was smiling and waving at me.  I looked behind me to see if George Clooney had somehow appeared behind me.  Nope, it was just me.  So what are all these people doing?  Did I win some contest and this was a hidden camera segment?  As I got closer, everyone was asking me if I was on my way to cast my ballot.  Well, duh, I do seem to be at the voting place so that would be a reasonable deduction.

As soon as I admitted I was there to vote, I was surrounded by people waving leaflets in my face.  Let me get this straight... I am here to vote, you think I have no idea who I am voting for and if I read this leaflet, I will vote for your candidate.  Seriously?  As politely as I could, I informed them that I knew who I was voting for and none of them were from the political party I was going to support.  Okay, I wasn't polite.  But still, is this legal?  Why do I have to run a gauntlet to get to my polling center?   I kept walking until an actual candidate caught my eye.  Actually, she planted herself in front of me, hand outstretched for me to shake and asking for my vote.  I lost it.  I told her I wouldn't vote for her nor her party even if someone was holding a gun to my head.  Magic words... the sea of people parted and I was all alone on the sidewalk.  Like a swarm of lemmings, the campaign workers had rushed over to another likely voter asking the same stupid  'are you here to vote' question. 

As I entered the building, a security guard was sitting near the open doorway, shaking his head.  I looked at him, he looked at me and we both started laughing.  'That's the best one I've seen all day', he said.  Cool, glad I could brighten your day.  Now, if I can just get my ballot before the ink on my hand runs and I can't see what names I wrote down...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hit By A Hummer

Today I was in a car accident. With a Hummer. On my street.  With a 5 year old.

On my way to work, I am just leaving my house, when I slow to drive over those ridiculous speed bumps the HOA put in to keep drivers from zooming through our quiet residential area.  Next to me are 2 small children in one of those horrid battery-operated cars that empty-headed parents buy for their 'need for speed' toddlers.  As I am easing over the speed bumps, BAM! 

I look down and there is the 5 year old offending driver smiling up at me as he puts his vehicle in reverse so he can drive around me. Seriously?   I power-down my window, giving him my best 'MOM' look and ask, 'where is your mother?'  The child stops, waves his arm and says, 'over there'.  I look up the street.  Deserted.  No responsible adult anywhere in sight.  Why am I surprised?

I ease down the street a few houses and find a garage door up. Ahha, surely this is the irresponsible parent lair.  Still no one over the age of consent anywhere in sight.  I get out of the car, and head up the driveway.  Finally, a door opens into the garage and a man with an armful of clothes heads for the washer on the back wall of the garage.  He turns when he hears me coming ... or maybe he heard the steam hissing out of my ears.  Either way, he walks toward me.  Just then, the 5 year old drives by, honking and waving his hand as he continues down the middle of the street.  The man smiles and waves back. Seriously?  I launch into my 'do you know what your son just did' speech, followed quickly by my 'shouldn't you be watching your children' speech.  The man just stares at me.  The 5 year old drives by again, honking and waving his hand as he continues down the middle of the street.  The man smiles, waves.  Seriously?  Has he not heard a word I just said about the dangers of letting your rugrats terrorize the roadways?  After I run out of words, the man calls the delinquient driver over.  He exchanges a few words with him in a language I cannot identify.  The child looks at me, looks at dad and smiles. Then he pulls his little hummer into the garage.  The dad nods his head at me and turns to walk back up the drive.

Okaaay.   It is then I realize that he did not understand a single word I had said.  But, at least I feel virtuous.  I saved the lives of two small children who were sure to be hit by a real car which would do some real damage.  Smiling, I get back in my car and pull away.  Just as I turn the corner of our street, I glance back down the block.  Yep,  there are the 2 pint-sized Andrettis heading down their drive and back out into the street.  Apparently, the Hummer just needed a potty run.