Around here, there is a petition going around to recall our mayor. People aren’t happy with his tax hikes and general weaselness. It’s on the radio, it’s on signs in the neighborhoods, and worst of all, it’s harassing me. I can’t go anywhere without being asked, “are you a registered Omaha voter?” by some crazy granola-eating mom with frizzy brown hair and a purple jacket. You would think a simple “no” would be an easy out. I’ve got news for you: it opens a whole new can of worms.
The last time (before today) that I was accosted was downtown by a boyish man (or is it manish boy?) who still wears ski sweaters like it’s ninth grade all over again. When I told him I’m not a registered voter, he responded, “that’s a shame.” Oh that’s a shame? No, what’s really a shame is your god awful wardrobe and the fact that you still live in mommy’s basement on a moth-eaten couch, not the fact that I don’t don one of those side oval stickers on my lapel the first Tuesday of every November.
Today, it was at the post office. I was picking up mail from my employer’s P.O. Box. I was dressed in work attire, not in sweatpants that the people running errands were in. Obviously I’m on a mission, not a casual errand. Tell that to the frizzy-haired woman (who has asked me three times in a week) who again asked if I’m a registered voter. She apparently had ate one too many mushrooms in her hippie days, because she asks me on my way in and on my way out of the post office every time. So I told her firmly, “no, I’m not a voter,” and she said, “well we’ve got sign ups inside.” Well I’ll be. I had forty unemployment claims in today’s mail, that doesn’t mean I expect her to help me protest them all.
People think it’s a god damn civic duty to vote when really it’s a right I choose not to exercise. So what do you care if I don’t vote? It’s none of your god damn business but since you’re asking, I don’t vote in political elections for the same reason I don’t pick up trash on the highways or participate in fund-raising walks for the cure; because it doesn’t make a lick of difference whether I do or don’t: the outcome will be the same with or without me. People get so god damn preachy about the whole issue like I’m personally offending them because I don’t give a shit about which weasel is in office.
You wouldn’t like it if someone tried to shove their religion up your ass, so don’t mind me if I’m not enamored by your attempts to convert me into your world of watching too much Fox News and thinking that voting is the answer to the world’s problems. We’ve been voting for centuries and as far as I can see, the great US of A has discriminated against blacks (slavery), gays (marriage and the benefits of it), and legal immigrants (Japanese, German and Italian) under this democracy, so I’m not seeing the whole system as much of a solution. Call me unpatriotic or whatever you want, just don’t badger me to vote.
P.S. I apologize for the excessive use of “god damn” – I’ve been reading a lot of J.D. Salinger lately.