How We Polled

Throughout yesterday’s delightful afternoon I wanted to get out on the motorcycle, but Susan had forbidden my polling alone. (Poling alone is autoeroticism.) So I waited till 4.30 p.m. and toodled over with her in the minivan. She was antsy because one coworker had endured a ninety-minute wait at the polling place. But only 16,000 people live in our township, with six precincts. Residents of our own precinct vote at the fire station. Arriving there, it was obvious we needn’t have brought along newspapers and magazines. We walked directly in and presented our I.D. to a curly-haired guy with earrings and moist lips, the only male among the group of blue-haired female workers. He scrutinized the photo on my driver’s license, then my face, and passed me along to the woman who crossed names off the master list. Receiving my ballot, I selected an open space in one of the folding metal stations and started blacking in the selection ovals. Another voter goofed, so they called her ballot damaged and gave her a fresh one. The guy with the earrings erupted in loud talk about “universal health care.” One of the blue-hairs shushed him, saying, “Not here, Simon.” Despite having taken her ballot after me, Susan finished first, which is typical. The blue-hair who had shushed up Simon tore the stub off my ballot and handed me a sticker that would alert the public that I had voted. I should have asked how, by wearing it, I would be allowed to vote twice. I fed my ballot into the machine and joined Susan. The whole exercise in democracy had taken less that fifteen minutes.

We departed and Susan revealed her selections. We differed on the medical marijuana initiative. She explained why she opposed it, but I reminded her that she had recently laid all that out; I said I voted yes and would soon be seeking a prescription. I will protest that overambitiousness is causing anxiety. Smoking weed for a few weeks will address the overambitiousness and eliminate the anxiety.

At eight o’clock we turned on the TV. It was rather obvious from the beginning that Obama had won, and as soon as Ohio went his way, watching became pointless. But seeing what state goes for what candidate by what margin always fascinates. It’s also fun to listen to the special guests like David Axelrod, who crafted the Obama campaign. (David, lose the mustache.) We went to bed before Karl Rove. Susan woke before six this morning and went to the computer. When I came downstairs a few minutes later she announced, “It’s President Obama.” I watched the blonde weather forecaster on TV. She should definitely be given her own program.

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