Thursday, November 4, 2010

Signs of the Times or.....

In the warmth of the post-Election glow, if I may inject a short infusion of pragmatism: with all the billions spent on campaign literature, signs, advertising, pony rides, campaign events and--you caught that, didn't you? And I was trying to be so clever....so now what should I do with the saddle? Anyway, with all that money spent on the electoral equivalent of fireworks or party favors, how is it that there's never enough money budgeted by anyone's campaign to pay for the pick-up and clean-up the day after they burst your pretty balloon and taken the moon away (and how come there's never room in the van for all the crazies that were howling at the moon throughout the campaign)?

Tale of two days near where I live in Norwich: a major intersection of two highways where traditionally, the Monday before the election candidates and their supporters cluster and hold up their campaign's lawn signs as commuting motorists whiz by in, and towards, every direction as the lawn signs are waved and horns get honked (or vice versa for all I know). In nineteen years of living here and speaking with all kinds of folks who've sought office and taken part in this ritual, I've yet to meet any candidates who've suggested they've gained even a single vote by so doing.

I have asked voters to the point of near cease and desist orders for harassment, if they have ever changed their minds about a candidate because he/she was standing out on the intersection in the rain, fog, locusts, sleet or chill (see pony rides, above for inclusion of locusts) waving a lawn sign and the answer, unsurprisingly, is 'nope.' And yet there was the whole gang Monday afternoon, and I assume Monday morning-I get up too early to make it worth anyone's while to wave a lawn sign at me. No one knows the reason, only the history.

Join me now on the same corner, same time of the afternoon-but yesterday when all the laughter has turned to sorrow. The only thing out there were lawn signs for Linda and Martha and Janet. All three have something in common-the candidates for whom they speak will not be filling out change of address cards, if you follow my drift. I guess you never know when a recount might be ordered (when what freezes over? Should I get my skates?) so campaign until the swallows come back to Capistrano or perhaps forty-three million dollars of one candidate's advertising just doesn't go as far as it used to. Meanwhile, the other lawn signs, the ones in front of houses that neighbors are losing to mortgage companies and banks and foreclosures will wave in any breeze at anyone.....
-bill kenny

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