, Newburyport, MA


June 12, 2013

Having a ball at the ballot box

Voting can be delightfully entertaining if you don’t mind having your preferences known.

Thanks to the photo attached to so many public declarations of every kind of preference, I am no mystery to the folks at Newbury Town Hall. They know I wouldn’t vote for a Republican if he or she ran against rat poison.

Not only that, but I go out of my way to vote for the poison for which there’s at least a chance of a public antidote — to give it a chance against the poison that privatizes so much.

Primaries are most enjoyable because poll workers must ask if you take a Democratic or Republican ballot. Last year, when Panderman somehow prevailed over that large cast of calm, rational and mentally balanced candidates who typify today’s Republican Party, my neighbor valiantly tried to keep a straight face when I approached.

“Do you take — “

I cut her off: “Don’t tempt me!”

She took that to mean “Democrat.”

One joke backfired in 1988 when I actually had a candidate I could fully relate to: Calif. Gov. Jerry Moonbeam.

So sure was I that Democrats would pick the Age of Aquarius over the Age of Appropriate that I rashly vowed in the paper to wear a clothespin on my nose if I had to vote for Gov. Michael Technokakis over VP George Read-My-Bush six months later.

Looks harmless in all those cartoons, but try it sometime if you have to fulfill some perverse religious obligation for self-inflicted pain. Took it off as soon as I put it on. Mercifully, no one at the polls reminded me of my vow or asked why I was rubbing my nose and wiping tears from my eyes.

Either that or they assumed I exaggerated the claim, something that I never, ever do.

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