November 7, 2006

Three Reasons Why You Should NOT Go Vote Today

1) If ALL of everyone everywhere would go ahead and NOT vote, then basically anyone I pick gets in. So. Just let me pick. If no one votes outside of Georgia, even, and I vote, I bet they will let me pick for other states too. You can be JUST as robbed, misled, and manipulated by the criminals *I* pick as by YOUR criminals…

2) If you don’t vote, the next time some boorish moron wants to discuss politics at dinner, you can say “Ah, but, see, none of us here voted. We let Joshilyn pick. So we don’t get to have an opinion. ALAS! We will have to talk about something else.” If you VOTE, you WILL be allowed to have an opinion and you will be defenseless against flat tax talk over appetizers and you will, God help you, be screaming at your former friends about the death penalty by the time you are divvying up the baked Alaska.

(Of course, the downside is if you DO get the boor off politics via NOT VOTING, he’s only going to swap out to religion, so maybe it would be SAFER to both NOT vote and to STOP INVITING THAT GUY TO DINNER. At least on the nights when you invite me...)

3) Have you noticed how much the volume of the ‘CANDIDATE JAMES “CRIME IS FUN” MCALVY WANST TO REMIND YOU TO VOTE ON TUESDAY’ calls have INCREASED? I swan, I got 15 yesterday. If you VOTE, you’ll just encourage them. Candidates will think the DON’T FORGET TO VOTE CALLS worked, and NEXT time we will get 30 a day.

Yesterday, trying to draft a RAWTHER tricksy bit of TGWSS, I thought I was going to stroke out if the phone rang just ONE MORE TIME and I answered to find a firm yet soothing contralto female voice or an authoritarian yet warm male voice reminding me via scratchy recording that this or that candidate wanted me to remember to vote.

By the time I was over ten calls, I was enraged. My HOME is also my WORKPLACE – imagine how you would feel if you got ten of these calls while trying to get your work done. Yeah – I was pretty much ready to murder people.

SADLY, at that moment, I got a call from a candidate who had ACTUAL ALIVE VOLUNTEER PEOPLE to do his calls instead of recordings.

Now, look, I HATE bad manners, I TRY to nevernevernever perpetrate them, but I had been driven like a wild dog to the cliff’s edge of my absolute endurance, and this call tipped me over, because, see, the recordings I can hang up on in 3 seconds flat, but a person you have to interrupt and excuse your way out of it. I had gotten a couple of live people before and I had handled it by gently saying, "You've called my office...are you supposed to call people at work? Can you please take this number out of your database?" and they would desist.

SO this POOR woman ---and as God is my witness I REPENT of this, I REPENT----this POOR woman, she says, “Hi, This is just a friendly call from candidate Steve Whatsi who is running for some judgeship or another, and we just want to remind you that your vote counts so---“
Me: What was the name again?
Her: Steve Whatsi
Me: I’m not voting for him.
Her: Oh…um…I ---
Me: I WAS going to vote for him. He’s my party. I dig his platform. But now I am not going to. (For the record, I have no idea what this guy's party or platform IS. wouldn’t know him if he walked up and bit me. I mostly vote a straight party ticket and go home.) So please tell the campaign manager that calling my house cost him a vote.
Her: Oh but ---
Me: In fact, if I get to the booth and it is him or a monkey. I am voting for the monkey.
Her: I am sorry we –
Me: If he is running unopposed, I am doing a WRITE IN vote for the monkey. Can you spell his last name please? I need to go call everyone I ever met and ask them not to vote for this guy.

At that point she hung up. I do NOT blame her. And I feel TERRIBLE now, but in the moment it was SO satisfying. And maybe if enough people take the TELL THE CAMPAIGN MANAGER THAT IF YOU CALL ME AGAIN I AM VOTING FOR A MONKEY approach, but with less irate rudeness to a poor volunteer and more unemotional, polite resolve, if we all say, gently, PLEASE INFORM THE DECISION MAKERS THIS TACTIC TURNS OF VOTERS, maybe the *&@&%|)#$^%@&^@^ # calls will stop.

Now you COULD say, in the reasonable and soothing voice you usually reserve for talking suicidal squirrels down off live electrical wiring, “But Bunny, you could have just TURNED THE PHONE OFF.”

But I would only roll my eyes at you and foam a little more and say, “NO because there were calls I WANTED to get, like from my friend LYDIA and my friend KAREN and my MOM.”

And you could then pat at me and say, “But BUNNY! You have CALLER ID, you could have simply not ANSWERED the ones from “unknown” or any 1 800 exchange.”


You would probably attempt to dab the huge beads of sweat from my fevered brow and say, But Bunny Rabbit…in those same MADDENING and RESASONABLE tones but I would never hear your next salvo because that’s about when I come after you with an axe and we have to involve the police and the kind of dart guns they use on wild kingdom, so maybe you should just skip the sweet reason portion of the program and go straight to giving the crazy-with-angry person all the mini milkyway darks out of your kid's halloween bucket.

MEANWHILE – I am off to vote. You don’t have to though. You stay home, safe and happy in the knowledge that the girl who just foamed and came after you with an axe is out at the polls RIGHT NOW, and she is picking FOR you.

You’re welcome!

Posted by joshilyn at November 7, 2006 9:01 AM

I feel ever so much better knowing that such an informed, politically savvy, ulitmately reasonable, issues oriented voter is heading out into the rain to kill every last poll worker before laying waste to the non-verifyable electronic voting machines which the said white-haired volunteers took too much time setting up in their church rec-hall. Deed I do, and I swannee, it's about time.

(I'm glad I've already voted and am off the road.)

Posted by: Bob at November 7, 2006 9:16 AM

I don't think I've ever seen your mental illness number quite so high, what with the brain blood and the axe weilding and such. The good news is, it abruptly stops after today, no matter who wins. I promise.

One of my personal philosphies is to vote the underdog. They could use the encouragement and when they don't win, you can't be blamed when the guy who does screws everything up. At least that is what I tell myself when no one I vote for ever wins.

Posted by: Em at November 7, 2006 9:50 AM

Gawd, I'm so glad I no longer have a home phone. My mom has complained about all the candidates in Cobb calling her house non-stop when she early voted 3 WEEKS AGO. I fear the day they open up cell phones for these types of calls and I start getting them.
I will do my part after work, though, so the fine people of GA can blame you and I for our politichickens.

Posted by: Chris at November 7, 2006 10:07 AM


It's okay, really, you don't have to vote for me. I don't want you to have to run all the way out here to California in your fevered state. Besides, we have an action hero for a governor -- I prefer to write in the monkey with my own two hands.

Posted by: Aimee at November 7, 2006 10:37 AM

While we're not voting for the candidates who call us, can we also not vote for those who come to the door? Because THREE of them have rung my doorbell. At NAPTIME, no less. Which automatically clears me of their murders, in my book. See, I'm not quite as southern as Jos. I can hang up on anybody. But I can't shut the door in their face...and is it me, or are all political candidates LOUD? All three woke my baby...I'm voting for the monkey, too.

Posted by: Amy-Go at November 7, 2006 10:53 AM

We have been inundated with calls the past two weeks and I blame my husband. He's registered as independent, so everyone thinks they have a shot at him. I told him I don't care how he votes (which is a lie) but that he must register with the donkeys or the elephants so that ONE PARTY will get the hell off our backs.

Posted by: Laura at November 7, 2006 10:59 AM

Are there criminals out there who will push my political agenda? I'm just common, broke people.... I don't think so.

And as I just wrote at Murder She Writes ...

Vote early, Vote often!

I know it's not legal, but show me a politician who believes in legal...ethical...or their constituency. And I'll show you a beaten dead horse.

Posted by: Cele at November 7, 2006 11:29 AM

Ummm, did you consider turning the ringer off? (Runs, ducking the dartgun wielding mad woman with a propensity for high drama).

Posted by: Edgy Mama at November 7, 2006 12:10 PM

I do that too. I have them spell their candidate's name and even go as far as to ask for the top opponent's name so it is easier to know who to select instead.

I too work from home and understand the interuption anger you are sharing.

I'm actually waiting with baited breath for tomorrow, because it will all be over!!! :)

Posted by: Cheryl at November 7, 2006 12:47 PM

We got no phone calls, and only one visit from our wonderful, and hopefully future, county councillor. Are we doing something wrong? Do they already know who we are going to vote for?

Posted by: dynagirl at November 7, 2006 3:18 PM

Helpful hint: if you register for some nutso party like the Greens or Libertarian, you get far fewer phone calls and mailers. I think the major parties think you are a lost cause at that point, and they mostly leave you alone.

I was at lunch explaining to my co-worker why I always lie to pollsters: to make things more interesting. Why not?

Posted by: Suebob at November 7, 2006 3:37 PM

That's part of why I waited so very long to get my driver's license here. Registering to vote in August meant they didn't get my name on their roles.

When Kerry ran, I knocked on doors. In a Republican County. You have no.idea. how many people just slammed the door on us. It was fun!!

Posted by: Autumn at November 7, 2006 4:44 PM

Just so you're aware, there's actually been a problem with Republicans using automated "remember to vote" calls in a harassing way to provoke exactly reaction you're having against particular Democratic candidates.

There's a New York Times article about it:

Don't know if that's what's happening to you, but it's something to keep in mind.

Posted by: Marleigh at November 7, 2006 8:16 PM

Well here in Texas we have our choice between a liberal's liberal, a really annoyingly slick Republican encumbent, One Tough Grandma, and (in his own words) The Jewish Cowboy-He Ain't Kinky, He's My Governor-Too young for medicare, and too old for women to care-Vote for Kinky? Why the hell not?-Kinky Freidman. The pickin's were slim. I threw in with Granny this year.

But I DID vote--and I must admit that while I was standing in the school cafeteria with all of the other really tired people at 5:30, I was proud to have my children there to see the political process in motion. . .no guards needed, no bomb threats, no cars being blown up in the parking lot. . .just lots of people with ideals and patriotism and love of country going to do what we have the right the do peacefully.

Posted by: Roxanne at November 7, 2006 10:02 PM

Honey, only a "true" southerner would feel guilty for hanging up on someone who disrupted your day. ROFLOL!!!

Posted by: Heather at November 7, 2006 10:48 PM

---3) Have you noticed how much the volume of the ‘CANDIDATE JAMES “CRIME IS FUN” MCALVY WANST TO REMIND YOU TO VOTE ON TUESDAY’ calls have INCREASED? I swan, I got 15 yesterday. If you VOTE, you’ll just encourage them. Candidates will think the DON’T FORGET TO VOTE CALLS worked, and NEXT time we will get 30 a day.---

The beauty of NO HOME PHONE!

Posted by: Heather at November 7, 2006 11:20 PM

In line at 7 am this morning, I was next to the family who votes together -- mom, dad, and twin 18 yo girls voting for the first time. They were excited. Very nice to see.

Posted by: Holly at November 7, 2006 11:29 PM

See now, this is what I get for being to busy to read blogs yesterday. I went and voted before I knew I could just sit home and let you pick for me, Joss. Damn.

Posted by: DebR at November 8, 2006 9:12 AM

I was a bit concerned about the write in votes for "A. Monkey". We use electronic voting machines and you touch the screen next to the candidates name to vote for them, press next, then pick the candidate you like for the next office, rinse/repeat until finished.

It seemed to me that figuring out how to enter a write in name would be difficult. That's why I brought a Sharpie.

It worked beautifully. It was so easy to write in a name on the screen when the first option popped up. As an added bonus, on each new selection screen, "A. Monkey" was already there as an option. Isn't technology wonderful?

Look for "A. Monkey for President" t-shirts in two years for the '08 elections.

Posted by: Mr. Husband at November 8, 2006 2:07 PM

Splendid piece Joshilyn, about the vote; the onslought of calls during "voting season" and the desperation in getting people out to vote!

Well done!


Posted by: at November 8, 2006 9:21 PM