Saturday, November 8, 2008

How to get my wife's attention

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

How to Avoid Voting Lines on Election Day

1. Go to bed at 9:00 pm Monday night, get plenty of sleep so you can make a rested, rational decision on Election Day.
2. Set alarm for 6:00 am. Polls open at 6:00 am in Indiana, this way there may be a voter line, but you will still have 2 hours to get through it and still make it to work by 8:00 am.
3. When alarm sounds, hit snooze repeatedly until it’s 6:12.
4. Panic because you’ve now blown your schedule by sleeping 12 minutes late.
5. Brush teeth in panic. While doing so, notice clock on bathroom wall says it’s 6:30, not 6:12. AAAHHHH! No time to figure out which one is correct, must assume the later one is correct. GET MOVING!!!
6. Wonder why wife is still sleeping soundly at 6:15, she usually gets up at 5:45. So sneak out of house, not waking wife or the pugs, and back out of drive with car lights out so as not to wake slumbering sweetheart. Almost hit mail box. Almost hit neighbor’s mailbox. Turn on car lights.
7. Drive 900 feet to the school/voting place.
8. Notice no lights are on at the school or in the parking lot at 6:17, but there are cars in the parking lot. Aha, they must be inside voting. Drive around the dark parking lot trying to find a close parking space that doesn’t have a dark blue handicapped sign painted on the dark black lot. Don’t notice that there are people sitting IN the cars in the parking lot.
9. While doing so, notice clock in car shows that it’s 5:17. Whu? Look at new watch on wrist that you reset to proper time Saturday when you bought it. Notice that the new watch is not luminous so you can’t read it in the dark. Turn on dome light and notice that you made a purchasing decision based on vanity rather than practicality because you can’t tell what time it is as the watch has a black face and only shows the 3, 6, 9, and 12 locations. But it’s a REALLY COOL watch. Decide to trust car clock remembering now that the time changed yesterday (daylight savings) – “FALL BACK in the FALL”. You're early, not late. Duh.
10. Try to figure out what to do for next 43 minutes.
11. Go buy donuts and coffee at the other corner.
12. Return to polling place.
13. Now there’s a line. And LOTS of cars in the lot.
14. Start reading book you strategically brought to pass the time. Notice that as you’ve been reading the book for the last 2 minutes, 10 cars have pulled into the lot.
15. Decide that you are now risking missing work by reading as the line is getting longer.
16. 5:42, go get in line to vote.
17. Tell woman standing in line next to you story about the .357 magnum bullet you accidentally carried on board a commercial jet liner last year in your purse (see previous blog/post The Magic Bullet Theory for bullet story). Decide that’s probably NOT the best story to be telling a stranger and everyone within hearing distance, especially when you try to explain why a male is carrying a purse.
18. Shut up and vote.
19. Drive to work.
20. Sign in clock at work shows a different time from all the other clocks you’ve seen this morning. Decide knowing that it’s Tuesday is good enough. Screw what time it is.
21. Ponder, all day, how you made it to work the day before on Monday at 7:15 am. You must have thought you were late (8:15), but were actually an hour earlier than you thought and didn’t notice it all day. Wonder how that can happen. Go back to being satisfied with knowing that today is Tuesday, but VOW to change alarm clock tonight. Will you remember? Probably not.

The Magic Bullet Theory

I was trying to be a good Samaritan. Really.

Here's my bullet story:

I picked up a fellow in Louisville to take him to a meeting. As we were getting in my car, I noticed something shiny on the street next to my tire. I picked it up. Shit. It was a bullet. A BIG bullet. A BIG, SILVER bullet stamped .357 on the base. Being a good citizen, I didn't want to leave it laying around so any kids could find it, hit it with a hammer and accidentally shoot someone or blow off a finger or some other such mentally concocted horror.

So I put it in my purse. (See picture) Yes, I carry a purse. I have carried one since about 1980. Women have this all figured out. You can get a LOT of crap in a purse. And even though I'm a black belt in Taekwondo, I'd rather smack the shit out of an attacker with my 15 pound purse than actually try the hand to hand thing.

So, bullet in purse, I drove off to the meeting. And promptly forgot about the bullet.

Now let's go forward a month. I travel as part of my job. I was standing at a soft drink machine in a hotel in Atlantic City and was getting change out of my purse when I noticed something shiny in my purse. The bullet. I'd forgotten about it. Then a shock wave of panic and anxiety hit me like a tsunami - I'D ALMOST CARRIED THE DAMN THING THROUGH AIRPORT SECURITY. Phew. Close call. Then, like all good waves, the tsunami returned, "I DID CARRY THE DAMN THING THROUGH AIRPORT SECURITY - when I left Louisville to come to Atlantic City!!! Phew. Another close call. TSA hadn't wrestled me to the ground and tore the purse from my cold, clammy hands.

Tsunami wave three - what the hell do I do with the bullet?! I can't put it in a trash can. Some poor, unsuspecting garbageman, probably a father of eleven, would hit the crunch button on the garbage truck and shoot himself and it would be ALL my fault!!! Shit! What do I do.

I've never been recognized as one that comes up with brilliant decisions. This is another good example. I chose to take it to the front desk of the hotel. Why? I have no clue. Maybe I could make it THEIR problem, not mine. So I quietly beckoned to the front desk guy to come over so we could talk. I explained as best I could that I'd found a .357 magnum bullet on the street, put it in my purse, and need to go to the airport where that's a no-no ... would he please take it? Now I know the look that an extraterrestrial must get when requesting, "Take me to your leader." The guy looked at me like I was nuts. Bullet. Guy carrying a purse. I could see his mental machinery shutting down. He looked at the bullet as if it was a miniature atomic bomb and refused to touch it. He called security.

Oh shit.

Out walk three guys with no necks, just heads glued onto Chevy-sized bodies. They didn't look happy. And they were talking on their radio thingies. I imagined they were saying, "Terrorist in sight," or some such thing.

They also had ZERO sense of humor. I tried very pleasantly to explain the bullet, good Samaritan, purse thing again, leaving out the part about having found it on a street in Louisville (I figured even a human Chevy could figure out that I'd carried it on a plane, so I just kind of omitted that information). I even played dumb and asked, "Is this a .357?" I figured stroking their security egos would not be a bad thing. "Yes. It's a .357," one of the Chevy's clinically replied.

And now it was time for the big question, "Would you take it and dispose of it for me?"

Instead of being arrested as I had fantasized, they took the bullet and all three of them walked off with it as if they'd found the bullet that shot JFK.

My cab showed up and I got the hell out of there.

But I couldn't help whispering to the TSA officer when I got back to Louisville that I'd accidentally carried a bullet through HIS security gate, that he MIGHT want to mention that to someone. He said he would at a meeting they were having tomorrow.

I suspect they reviewed tapes of my committing the crime and I'd bet my photo is hanging in a back room of the Louisville International Airport with a caption, Suspected Terrorist - WATCH this guy!

Post note: I almost did it again! This time, there were fellows visiting my office from Florida. They went outside to take a cigarette break and when the came back in, dropped a shiny, copper-colored thing on my desk that clunked when it hit. Another bullet. They explained that they'd found it outside in a pigeon. It was an armor-piercing round that someone decided to test out on a pigeon.

Two things:

1. I don't feel so secure when coming into work early any more. Anyone dumb enough to test out an armor piercing round on a pigeon may decide to try it on bigger game.

2. I put it in my purse. But a week later remembered it was in there and removed it. Thank God, I'm going to Phoenix next week --- IF the guys with the armor-piercing guns don't get me first.