Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I did my thing


  • I wake up this morning at 6:00 in order to get to the polling place before it opens at 7:00. I immediately reconsider this option and reset the alarm for 7:00.

  • I get up, get dressed and drive over to the church where I vote.

  • Holy shit, there's a lot of cars here! Oops, sorry. Forgot I was at a church. Holy crap, there's a lot of cars here!

  • There are cars parked all over the lawn behind the church. Figuring the lot must be packed, I navigate through them and the trees in the yard and park myself in the first place I can find where I'm not blocking someone else's exit or potentially pinning myself in, happy to have found a spot at all.

  • On my walk over to the church, I see no fewer than 15 open spots in the paved parking lot, right by the door. Will this just be the first of several impulsive, poorly considered decisions I make today? Sadly for America, probably not.

  • I predict that participation for this election will be 100%. Because 100% of all the people that are in line to get into the church and vote are all here.

  • A volunteer says the first person in line was here at 4:30 in the morning. That's just nuts. She says, "I think she thought we opened earlier than we did". I take it back; that's just idiotic.

  • There is a woman with a windbreaker and goofy looking running shoes who insists on engaging every person who speaks in conversation. When an 18-year-old African American woman (voting for the first time) observes that there has been a lot of political advertising on television during the last month, goofy shoes condescendingly responds, "Watchu talkin' 'bout, girl? It's been like that since, like, January. Shoot!". See, this is exactly the kind of thing that allows me to become instantly familiar enough with someone to form an intense hatred of them.

  • There's another person here that I've never met but I still know. He's the jovial volunteer. His name is probably Jim and he's actively involved in all church activities and is doubly psyched to be a part of this activity. He probably got here first this morning and will be the last one to leave tonight. He owns a truck and is always the guy tasked with being in charge of hauling chairs, tables, garbage or today, cases of bottled water ("being in charge of" means "mostly doing it himself"). He is perpetually cheerful no matter what. But nobody is allowed to be annoyed by him because that would guarantee you a spot in hell, plus nobody wants to alienate the guy with the truck who doesn't mind doing all the shitty jobs. Sorry, I meant crappy jobs.

  • There is a table full of muffins, donuts and coffee up ahead and I am eagerly anticipating getting up there. However, they seem to be calling people into the church in groups of six or eight so the line surges forward several feet at a time. I'm worried that I will be just out of reach of a delicious muffin and then the line will surge and pull me right past the table. I'm here to help decide no less than the fate of a nation and I'm anxious about the accessibility of free pastries.

  • Several times a volunteer (who looks exactly like Eugene Levy) comes out of the church and asks for people whose last names begin with H through O to come inside. Once I get inside, I see that the A-G and P-Z lines each have at least 25 people in them but not one is in the H-O line. The entire time I'm there, not one person gets in that line. No Johnsons, no Jacksons, no McAnythings? That is seriously weird. I revise my earlier projection to 66% participation, since 1/3 of the population has apparently been abducted.

  • If anybody has ever gone to a Tampa Bay Lightning game, they have certainly seen the big bald guy who sits in section 120, wears sleeveless skull t-shirts and comes down to the glass to scream at the visiting goalie midway through the second period every single home game. Well, he is here voting at my precinct. I was able to recognize him because he was wearing what he wears to the games. This means that he lives in my neighborhood and he dresses like that all the time. This disturbs me deeply.

  • I get my ballot and go to one of the booths. We're supposed to fill in circles with felt tip pens? What the hell?!? I know we're not doing the stupid punch cards any more but what happened to the computers? There's nothing stopping me, or anyone else, from voiding the ballot by filling in ALL the little circles. How many thousands of times is that going to happen today? This could be bad.

  • I had prepared myself by studying up on all the issues, and I think I did a pretty good job, but amendments that look like this

    Amendment 4: PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION OF PERPETUALLY CONSERVED LAND; CLASSIFICATION AND ASSESSMENT OF LAND USED FOR CONSERVATION Requires Legislature to provide a property tax exemption for real property encumbered by perpetual conservation easements or other perpetual conservation protections, defined by general law. Requires Legislature to provide for classification and assessment of land used for conservation purposes, and not perpetually encumbered, solely on the basis of character or use. Subjects assessment benefit to conditions, limitations, and reasonable definitions established by general law. Applies to property taxes beginning in 2010.

    still make my brain hurt.

  • I am done and out of there by 8:00. I got my sticker and am on my way to collect my freebies:
    Krispy Kreme: free star-shaped doughnut with sprinkles.
    Starbucks: free tall (small) brewed coffee.
    Cafe Hey!, 1540 N Franklin St.: free small coffee.
    Chick-fil-A: free chicken sandwich.
    Fish Tales Seafood House 1500 Second St., St. Pete: free 16-ounce Presidente beer
    Shane's Rib Shack: free three-piece chicken tenders, fries and a 20-ounce drink.
    Tour de Pizza, 212 37th St. N., St. Pete: free slice of cheese pizza.
    Ben and Jerry's: free scoop of ice cream between 5pm and 8pm.
    The Improv: $2 off admission to the Improv's Post Election Comedy Night, 8 pm Wednesday.
    Look at that! The economy is already improving!

1 comment:

Denise said...

TERRY! He was wearing his Punisher shirt? Wow. I bet he wrote in MSL for President of the World.

Free food for voting?!?! Screw Pasco county.

I christmas tree'd the new ballot. Couldn't help it with those bubbles and all. Shit, it worked on my SATs!