Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Bogus DJ Votes for Hypnotically Chewy Corn

Candy Corn, Popcorn, Corn Cakes, Corndogs, Carmel Corn, Corn Pone, Corn Syrup- you name it, I'm fer it. And these human-sized concrete ears standing tall outside Dublin, Ohio salute Sam Frantz, The Germinator of so many tasty mutants.

I'm just back from voting. Fortunately, the polling place is in the lobby of a high-rise at the end of my block, so it was almost effortless to get myself there. Of course, once I arrived, there was the usual confusion of many persons at card tables with indistinguishable stacks of papers and the convoluted microtask delegation of a church bazaar. (No, you give her the money, then I tear the raffle ticket, and Stanley puts it in the box) I was one of two prospects in the lobby at the time, yet I was referred and redirected through three people before getting to a woman who had to write my last name on a scratch pad before feeling prepared to look it up in the registration roll. This woman was the only one I required, and she could've started flipping through pages once I began spelling out my name per her request. The doodle sheet of various voters at her right hand was a little offputting, though I shouldn't complain, since on the last election day, the woman assisting me had a painfully less-than-solid grasp of the alphabet.

And what's all the fuss about showing photo ID? New York doesn't have same-day voter registration, so you have to be pre-listed in the rolls which they verify by matching your signature already. If photo voter cards are available at no cost for poor voters, what's the big deal? I don't think you should need to be a citizen to make purchases or travel freely, but shouldn't your status as an authentic American matter in voting? Anyhoo, in Chicago we had the punchcard machines, the kind from which hanging chads are born, though the city used a chad-check device before accepting the ballot. Here, when I step behind the vinyl curtain, there's a scarred metal box on wheels with a big red lever that gets pulled to reset the selections to blanks. You're facing a metal wall of black-stickered names and propositions with square cutouts next to them, tweaking black plastic flippers to display an X next to your choice. Flip back and forth all day, it's fun, and the contraption looks like a Playskool cockpit. When you've got everything as you wish, then pull the big red lever back and make it all the Xs disappear into the vote hole.

I'm not one who believes you must vote to have a legit opinion, but people's declared passions seem less serious when they can't bother to show up once every couple of years. It's like claiming strong opinions about a TV show you never watch. However, I was disappointed not to receive a "Kiss Me, I Voted" sticker or some such like when you donate blood. I figure voting paraphernalia is a mistletoe-like aphrodesiac for the civically minded. But no public props for me, merely the personal satisfaction of stating my definite convictions along with spreading around weird party energy to my low priority selections. It's my way of sending official notice that I'm not satisfied, oh no. I'm fancy-free, unpromised, and ready to vote for whoever's willing to court my ideals. Although I'm a free marketeer, Rent Is Too Damn High Party, I like the cut of your outspoken jib.

Now, the daily tidbits:

1) With a few exceptions, I find radio DJs as creepy as some people find clowns. This one has been arrested for allegedly poisoning his wife with antifreeze for her life insurance. Ah love... And he blogs. Okay, so clowns, then DJs, then bloggers in the pantheon of the creepy.

2) Do nice people just play along with hypnotists so as not to hurt their feelings?

3) Turns out chewing each bite 32 times is a load of hokum, too.

4) Nowhere in this article do they address how long biodegradable socks made from corn will last on the hottest and sweatiest of Japanese footsies. Some elegant corn-for-the-corns riposte begs to be crafted, but I'm above it.

5) If you're going to steal a dead baby's identity, don't skimp, go all the way. Make yourself an Earl and get the coat of arms on your letterhead.

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