No, I’m not talking about getting people liquored up to procure their votes (a grand American tradition, which may have helped kill Edgar Allan Poe), but about the way my back felt after standing at the polling place for a couple hours and a stitch, passing out leaflets for the local Green Party suicide candidate for county supervisor.
I do this every year just to piss people off. The Greens tend to run educated, sober people with fatalistic attitudes and a genuine sense of community responsibility, leavened every so often by someone who is just angry and wants to prove that the rest of the world is made up of fools and vultures. Lately we have been mostly getting the responsible ones. Like Unitarians, they have good hearts and willing hands and not nearly enough of the Old Nick in ’em.
The current lady needs a better campaign picture (the one on her palm card suggests that she is gazing winsomely up at the voter from the angle and distance of a woman about to deliver a blow job, never a dignified image) and perhaps a sense of theatre to make up for her lack of traction and funding. If I had thought of it early enough, I would have suggested a slogan like “Occupy Courthouse Plaza” (which is where the county government has its seat, and other parts). I doubt it would have been well received though because her campaign has mostly been underwritten by the guy I managed for Congress here a few years back, the one who hates me now because I wrote him into a satirical novel along with the rest of the County’s political hacks. Elections are complicated things.
I can stuff campaign literature into doorhandles and force it into voters’ hands with the best of them, though, so I did that for a few hours despite the still lingering mold in the air (at sunset, like clockwork, it brought on a glutinous coughing fit that made me hang onto the nearest railing). On these kinds of expeditions, as time goes on the unpleasantness of protracted standing goads me into a succession of quaint postures and I find that this actually helps me stuff the lit into the voters’ hot little hands; they pause to try to figure out what I am doing and then they are toast. You always get some of the hard cases who stride right by everyone like a stork on crack, but I scored a lot of hits on people who didn’t take the major party sample ballots.
It only took about an hour on a heating pad to straighten me out, if you don’t count the hacking sounds I am still making at intervals. I keep thinking about designing literature and orchestrating publicity for Earnest-And-Winsome if she decides to run again, and then think of the groin strain I got pounding signs into wet medians in 2004, which didn’t go away till 2008. I still hear from it on damp days.
Tie me to the mast until the Sirens stop singing. I don’t need any more of this.