It’s Voting Day here in Virgina!
We’re workin’ on a new Governor…among other things. So, as I get ready to head over to the Baptist Church on the corner to exercise my rights as a citizen of this glorious Commonwealth, I thought I’d pull out my FAVORITE post ever.
(Yes, AGAIN. But hey, it’s the first time you’re seeing it on MSM, so hush. I’m adding a very loosely themed government/voting playlist so it “fits” here.)
I wrote this for Vacuity on November 4, 2008. If today follows a similar pattern, I’ll be sure to let you know…
I was up before dawn. Brian and I had a plan, you see – he’d get to the polls when they opened at six, vote, run back home and shower while I went to vote, and we’d both be done before he left for work – well before Liam awoke. Ha…we really are cute, aren’t we? I pounded two large cups of coffee while Brian was gone in anticipation of my turn…
…but the line was already wrapped around the building when he got there.
So, Liam and I made our way in to our neighborhood polling place late this morning, and I did my best to explain to a 2.5 year old that Mama was going to vote. He looked at me intently, then nodded and said “Oh, WOW, Mama – that’s wunnerful!” I beamed at my obviously Ivy League bound son, so proud that he had quickly grasped this powerful tenet of our society at such an early age. We both waited with anticipation to be ushered from the queue in the hall into the “Voting Chamber”, and as we entered, Liam began to sing:
“Saywing, Saywing, ober dee oshun bluUUUUEEE!!”
…and then he stopped and turned to me, loudly and indignantly demanding to know WHERE all the boats were. Boats. Votes. Okay, so we may have to settle for a State School…
We waited in line a bit, and I chatted with the woman ahead of me blithely, all the while itching to get my fingerpads on that damn touchscreen. FINALLY – after the nearly two year run of “The Campaign Show”, I was going to cast my ballot and have my voice heard. When I was finished and returned my little electronic voter card thingie, I felt deflated. NOW what? I had built up the voting in my mind so much that I definitely had a let-down between the act itself and the results later. Oh, sure, I’ll be all fired up on the sofa, eating popcorn, drinking Scotch and yelling at the TV screen in my jammies tonight as the returns come in, but…what to do in between?
Enter Capitalism. On the way out the door, I was offered my choice of lovely “I Voted” stickers. My mood immediately brightened – (a) because I, like any OTHER kid, love a sticker and (2) because I remembered all the free stuff I could get with this little paper oval! Woot! Free Krispy Kreme Doughnut! Free Starbuck’s Coffee! Free Chik-Fil-A Somethingorother! Free being the operative word. Free. Yeah, right.
Here’s how the day went down from there:
Krispy Kreme. Haven’t been there in years. No other reason to go but this damn doughnut. Got it…gave it to Liam, and couldn’t resist the fresh, hot glazed coming out of the oven right before my eyes. Bought a dozen, a coffee and a milk. We sat at KK and indulged. Liam is now hooked on “Doo-nuts”, and I’m pretty sure he actually snorted some sprinkles. And I dropped almost nine bucks. Krispy Kreme got me on the Upsell.
Starbucks the First. Convieniently right near KK. I whip through the drive thru for my free coffee, and see that they have their “Pumpkin Spice Better than Sex” Blend out now. (I dunno what it’s actually called, but Pumpkin Pie Spice is one of my favorite flavors on the planet.) I am weak. My brain is already jumpy from the fresh sugar glaze on the Doo-nut. I order the Venti Pumpkin Sex thing, and drop five more bucks. Starbucks got me on the ol’ Bait and Switch.
Chik-Fil-A. By now, it’s lunchtime, and I know I need to feed the Kid before I dare to run into the grocery store. Chik-Fil-A just happens to be in the same parking lot as Farm Fresh, so it’s a win-win, right? We get in a ridiculously long line in the drive thru, and the chant of “chicken/fries” goes on loop in the back seat. Finally I get to the speaker thingy, and order the damn Kids’ Meal. (Yes, by this point, my sugar high is waning and I’m getting a caffeine headache from the gallon of coffee I’ve consumed thus far.) At the end of my order, I casually thow in “Um…yeah, and I voted, so I believe you’ve got a Chicken Biscuit or something for me?” I’m ever so politely told that oh, no – the OTHER franchise in the OTHER city over is the one advertising that. So sorry. Well, lovely. I’m stuck in this line, my head is beginning to melt on the inside, and I need food. I irritably throw a Chicken Sandwich on the order. My total? Eight bucks. And Chik-Fil-A gets me with the Fine Print.
In we go to the grocery store, where I rip through the aisles, mumbling under my breath at my own idiocy. On the way out, I catch a whiff of that heavenly scent to which I fear I have become addicted. Coffee. Enter Starbucks the Second – the large kiosk found in all Farm Fresh Supermarkets. The perky little barista, Callie, waves to me and points to my “I Voted” sticker, asking me if I’d like my free coffee. Well…I hadn’t actually cashed that one in yet. Yes, by God, I was going to ignore those erratic heart palpitations and the involuntary Palinesque winking and get my promised free Starbuck’s coffee! You betcha!
Have you been counting? That was my fifth cup. (Sixth, if you count the Venti as two.) It was only 1:30 pm. Hence, the shakes.
And with that, I’ve covered both our System of Government and our Free Market Economy in one fell swoop. Not bad for a blog that started out talking about toilets, eh? *wink*