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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Mc Voting




We vote in a garage. Not a place where mechanics fix cars-- the neighbor's garage. Like most polling places it is run by the elderly. The very, very elderly. I remember a kid years ago who brought a toy to school from a cartoon called "He-Man". The toy was the the bad guy, "Skeletor". I always think of him when I'm talking to the people who are sitting in the garage. "Hello, Skeletor," I think to myself as I approach.

The garage is in what we here in Los Angeles call a 'McMansion'. This simply means build the biggest house you possibly can on a tiny lot. You' d be amazed at how much house can be stacked up on there when you use every inch. It seems odd to me, considering the weather is virtually always lovely (even on a bad day unless you live in fire territory or mudslide county), that people would opt to have no back yard. Or front yard. The people at the voting garage McMansion actually use the tiny strip of ground on the side of the driveway for a vegetable garden. They don't notice their own yearning.

I notice their garage is big enough to hold an election.

We took Sister Mary Fiacre along for the ride, since we can just stroll over there. She's always a hit with the people at the polls. Everyone talks to her. No one seems to care that she is more or less unresponsive. It seems to encourage people even more to speak to her as though she were five years old or so, or as though she didn't speak English, in that way people have with non-English speakers, speaking loudly and slowly so the foreigners will suddenly understand the meaning of words they've never heard.

I could tell that the Fiacre chatter behind us was horribly distracting to Sister St. Aloysius as she tried to vote. We don't go behind curtains. If only they did. I could roll Sister Mary Fiacre in there and no one would be the wiser. The only curtains in the McMansion garage are there to hide the junk these people keep in their garage. Which is always fascinating. Why keep that beat up snooze alarm? Is there a garage in America without one? Why are there always minute paint splatters on it?

Anyhow, I could see by Sister St. Aloysius' body language that she was getting more and more tense at all the baby talk and left over Halloween candy going on behind us. Sister Mary Fiacre loves her sweets but we can't just stuff her with candy and cookies, willy nilly. I wasn't concerned that sister St. Aloysius would blow her stack or anything like that. She never blames anyone esle for her woes. But I was concerned that as she grew more and more flustered ....we'd never get out of here. Ever. I can only stare at the stacked up paint stains on the snooze alarm for so long.

Sister St. Aloysius takes her voting very seriously. She studied the voter's guide for days after it came, highlighted things with a yellow marker, read all the propositions, read all the arguments pro and con, noted who was making these arguments, agonized as to whether she should stick it to smokers with the proposed $2.60 cigarette tax.

Then in typically "you had me, you had me, you lost me" Sister St. Aloysius fashion, she didn't take any of these materials with her as a reference. Her idea was that the whole point of all this study was to know the issues. It was as though she was taking an exam and not knowing the answers cold would be cheating.

I fail to see how this would be cheating. The whole point is to cast your vote in the way you choose. It's not a test on how many facts you can retain and relate them to numbers 1A through E.

Which is exactly what happened. In her zeal to study the propositions she didn't memorize what number or letter went with each proposal. Even that is not a disaster, since there is a little sentence with each proposal to explain it. With all her study, that should be plenty.

And I'm sure it would have been had it not been for the Sister Mary Fiacre symphony of sound. The candy wrappers, the introductions to entering voters, more candy wrappers, the constant use of the royal 'we', "Sister! (what's her name? Fiacre? is that French?) how are WE today?"

I can only hope for my own voting that my guardian angel guided my handthe way God protects the Church from a teenage Pope. Heaven only knows what I voted for. I punched holes as fast as I could, skipped all the judges I didn't know, which was most of them and stuck it to the smokers. Then I zoomed Sister Mary Fiacre out for 'some air', even though we were more or less outside anyhow.

I marveled at the vegetable strip and felt a pang of guilt for that lady out there smoking.

7 comments:

CMinor said...

Wow--still using butterfly ballots? They got rid of those in a hurry here after the W Palm Beach flap. But we're pretty close to Florida, so I guess it figures.

amaupin0402 said...

sister, that lady smoking is no lady. im sad. our marriage amendment passed here in va. i know that wont mean much to you, but i am of the firm beleif that EVERYONE should have the same rights, even the gay people. now, they have set civil rights back 50 years.

Tracy said...

Haha, one of my neighbors is building a "McMansion". They seem to be getting more and more popular 'round these parts.

I voted as well (for the second time in my life! Wheee!), though I was stupid and didn't read up on all the candidates/issues like I should have. Looks like prop. 85 lost AGAIN, as I cynically predicted it would. Sigh. Well, there's always next time, I guess.

Kasia said...

For what it's worth, Sister, I think you did the right thing in sticking it to the smokers. The higher the transaction costs get, the less excuse anyone has for continuing to smoke. (That said, despite my being overweight I am very glad they haven't put a tax on Oreos...)

duchessSoF said...

amaupin0402, what does what you put have to do with the tea in China? Quit picking on a nun and assuming things. I think gay people mean probably more to her than they do to you. After all, she is going to be stuck in purgatory longer than the rest of us, since she has more responsibility for other people's souls than probably even you or I do.

On the subject matter of this post, I used to smoke myself for years. I still vote for every cotton-picking tax I can on ciggs. The more expensive you make them, the more the smoker has to conserve. I know what I am talking about!

-EX-Smoke, dutch

Monica said...

I always vote against taxes because gov't + $ = bad things. Besides, I don't want to be responsible for the cigar shops who provide people like my dad an occasional cigar/pipe to go out of business because of my vote.

I tell smokers that they have a moral obligation to smoke because the government supposedly uses the tax money to discourage teens from smoking, so smoking is actually an act of charity...

Josh Ramsey said...

Skeletor is the gayest villan ever. He makes Dr. Smith of Lost in Space look butch ...