A couple of hours ago I was mowing a brushy area near my lawn. (Or rather trying to keep the encroaching wilderness from overrunning my backyard.) This involved revving the shit out of my old tractor and dropping the clutch to make it careen over burdocks big enough to eat New Jersey while giving the deck’s eight foot belt all the torque it needs to tear into the brush like Godzilla in Tokyo. Belts squealed, big chunks of vegetation flew, the dog barked, Gaia wept. Rednecks know how to have fun.
I had to thread a 6′ 1″ gap between a frostless farm hydrant (broken) and an old milkhouse (partially repaired) with a tractor that is about 6′ wide and doesn’t steer so well. Delicate operations like this are improved by swearing. Loudly.
Then I looked up and saw a woman clutching a brochure. She didn’t seem the least concerned that I was flailing around in mechanical mayhem that would make Ralph Nader’s nuts fall off. I was disappointed in myself. Not even a little nervous? Wasn’t I “hick” enough? I even had my straw hat. I really need to buy overalls and start using Copenhagen.
I swung the tractor wildly in her direction, disengaged the PTO with a clatter, and lurched her way. She never stopped smiling. My wife has been buying some herbal, organic dolphin safe, eco housecleaning products from an organization that’s like a cross between Tupperwear and a cult. Maybe she was delivering a shipment of eco laundry detergent or something? I tried glowering more menacingly.
She cheerfully explained she was there to ask for my vote. SHIT! You never have a gun in your hand when you really need it!
But I was civil (don’t laugh…I can fake it). The amusing thing is that she was personally asking for my vote. She wasn’t a flunkie from the campaign office. Nope the actual living breathing candidate was on my property. This poor woman was spending a sunny Saturday begging some ignorant hick on a tractor for his vote? What would ever posses one to submit to such humiliation?
Why me? Because my vote counts and yours doesn’t. Don’t believe me? Consider this; I live in east bumfuck nowhere. There are fewer voters in the entire county than in some office buildings in a city. If I could swing the votes from a bowling league and had lots of relatives I’d have a reasonable chance of unseating an incumbent. (Well not me actually, I scare people, but hypothetically.)
So this poor woman had to talk politics with yours truly while my chickens pecked at the grill of her car and she tried to tell me that my opinion really mattered. Awww…that’s nice. I’m sure she’ll respect me in the morning too.
On the other hand I did get to explain to her my desperate hope that should she win she go back to the State Capital and do absolutely fucking nothing. I was pretty clear on that. Cut everything. Pave the road out front and I’ll go apeshit. I’d love better broadband but want nothing to do with state provided service or further mandates. Plow the roads once in a blue moon and stay the hell away from me. Etc…
I do believe it was the first time I actually got to force a politician to listen while I listed all the stuff I don’t want. It took a while. She was very nice. I think one of my chickens shit on her Prius. Yes, she was driving a Prius.
I do vote and I’ll check out stuff on the internet before I vote (just like I always do) and I’m not sure what the hell a pamphlet will do to change my opinion. I usually decide based on voting history just a few weeks before the vote. It’s August fer chrissakes!
But I have learned something. I’ve learned I really need to install a big gate on my driveway. Mid term elections… indeed.