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Election Rant #1: Undecided Voters

28 Sep

We’re almost a month away from the election. I will be THRILLED when I don’t turn on the news to hear Romney and Obama mentioned in the same sentence. And the one benefit to living in DC is that no one really courts my vote, so I can’t even imagine what the poor, undecided people of Ohio must be feeling.

That said, I’m not really sure I understand the plight of the undecided voter. Here’s how I see it…

First, there are single issue voters: Pro-Life, Anti-Taxation, Anti-Gay Marriage, Anti-Gun Control, Pro-Border Control folks. They’re decided. If one of those issues is near and dear to them, there’s no way they’re voting Obama. I get that.

Then, there are the people who follow the party line, regardless of the candidate. Dyed-in-the-Wool Republicans and Democrats who would vote for Charlie Sheen if he received the nomination. (How interesting would THAT be?)

Next, let’s assume that the other people are somewhat open-minded and independent… Oh wait, those are Liberals. We know who they’re most likely voting for.

And then you have the people who hate taxes, who believe companies and private institutions are the solution rather than government. I agree that there’s probably a more efficient way to run things, but the last time I checked, companies were more interested in cultivating their own profit than looking out for the greater interest of society. In any case, safe to assume these people will choose Romney.

So who does that leave? Amnesiacs who can’t tell you what year it is? Recently widowed women who have always taken direction from their husbands? NASA scientists living on the Space Station who haven’t seen the news in nine months?

If the election is close and it comes down to Undecided Voters, frankly, I don’t WANT them deciding our fate. That’s like convincing a college class to collectively accept whatever grade Quintin the Quarterback receives after prepping for a test with an 11th hour cram session, during which he was probably just trying to get in his tutor’s pants.

When this is how we make decisions, it’s no wonder the rest of the world thinks we’re idiots.

I think SNL got it right. Check out this sketch if you haven’t already seen it: Undecided Voter

Let’s (not?) rush to judgement.

24 Jul

Willie Wonka, Judgement

I saw a quote on Facebook that said something like, “Don’t judge someone because they sin differently than you do.”

Sorry. Gonna have to beg to differ. Here’s a partial list of what I will judge you for doing:

  • Holding open the fridge/freezer door for prolonged periods while you assess its contents and decide what you want to eat. Guess what? It’s not a magic trick! Chances are – unless you live with teenage boys – the contents haven’t changed dramatically since you last opened the door, so figure out what you want – then open the door. Do you have any idea how much energy you’re wasting because you’re either indecisive or have a shitty memory? Shameful.
  • This dog is cooler than you.

    Using a foot-propelled scooter if you’re old enough to possess a driver’s license. Double judgement if you’re closer to retirement than the legal drinking age. Why? Because scooters are about as dumb as those little beanie hats that have propellers on them and the only people who should sport them are those who don’t yet have their own bank accounts.

  • Standing around with your mouth hanging open. While I appreciate your effort to catch flies, unless you’ve just physically exerted yourself and are gasping as you try to to speed oxygen to your brain, you look like an idiot when you breathe through your mouth. I mean, you’re welcome to do it, but don’t be offended if I try to snap a helmet on your head.
  • Walking four-across on the sidewalk. You know, when people allow their entire group to cover the entire swath of sidewalk, forcing solitary on-comers to step into the street to get around them? I will not only judge you, but also jab an elbow to your ribs.
  • Asking questions you should be able to answer with your eyes. If I email you instructions and you write back asking me something I included in the email, I will send you “Hooked on Phonics” instead of an answer. Because I believe in teaching a man to fish. And also, to make sure you realize you’re a dumbass.
  • Peeing on the toilet seat. It’s called a seat because you can lift it up, ladies. It’s intended to be sat upon. So if you’re not sitting on it, lift it up. Let me reiterate: this one is for the women. Also known as the squatters. Guess what? You wouldn’t need to hover and squat if YOU didn’t pee all over it. Also? You’re not a lady if you pee on things.

All right. So I’m restricting myself to only six things that drive me to judgement, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a sequel. Or that this won’t become a daily column.

Because really, as I think about it, the world would be a better place if people had a copy of the rulebook. So help me write it.

What drives YOU to judgement? 

Who has the Christmas spirit? Hint: might not be me.

14 Dec

I will be buying you some of these. You're welcome.

I recently posted about a gift exchange that jumped the rails due to my keen observational skills. If you missed that post, I’ll summarize: I’ve repeatedly given earrings to a good friend who doesn’t have pierced ears. Blam!

Rolling into the holidays, you might think that I’m operating with a high degree of anxiety, knowing that another gift exchange is in my near future. You couldn’t be more wronger™. Nope. I’m not stressed at all. Know why?

Because instead of exchanging gifts, Betsy and I have decided to adopt a DC family in need and spend our money on them instead. Brilliant, right?!

Well, at least, I thought it was brilliant, until I received the family’s wish list. It’s a single mom with two sons. The boys have legitimate items on their wish lists. But the mom? Know what she wants? A gift card to Victoria’s Secret.

Please excuse me while I go all judgmental and decidedly un-charitable for a moment.

You. Must. Be. Shitting. Me.

Let’s rewind. You have two children that you’re struggling to support, so you think the answer is to… buy sexy lingerie and have more sex and potentially create another baby? No. Way.

I want to sit this woman down and say, “Honey. I’m a bleeding heart liberal. I am happy to be taxed if it means a better standard of living for everyone. But you? You’re going to ruin it for everyone needing assistance by asking for shit you do not need.”

“I mean, I’m happy to help give your kids a good Christmas, and I’m happy to help you pick up some essentials for your household. But Victoria’s Secret? That’s a luxury, not a necessity. If you need underwear, there are many, many other stores that sell them. For a fraction of the price. And with more fabric.”

Actually, it’s the holidays. I shouldn’t judge. This is my opportunity to be someone’s Christmas miracle. I think I’ll take that sentiment to heart, and go beyond what’s on her wishlist. In fact, I already have a perfect idea for a stocking stuffer:

Let me check my ticket; I didn’t realize YOU were the headliner.

19 Oct

Monday I saw the author Bill Bryson give a talk at the Sixth and Eye Synagogue in Chinatown. Only a few blocks from my office, Sixth & Eye is becoming my favorite entertainment venue because I am a nerd. And Bryson, whose humorous travel books have served as my travel companions in many countries, was as delightful in person as he is on the page.

By way of contrast, do you know what is NOT delightful? The people who queue to ask questions after the talk. With the exception of the rare person who has a succinct and relevant question, there are three general archetypes:

I know my strengths. This is not one.

29 Jul

Does anyone have mad skillz when it comes to drop cloths and painter’s tape? I ask because I came home from work the other night to find both items hanging in a plastic bag from my door knob. There was also note informing me that the brick work on my building was about to get repointed, so I should cover my windows to prevent dust from overtaking my home.

Silly me. Standing there, holding the bag, reading the instructions — I was too naive to realize I’d essentially just been told to pick up a turd by the clean end.

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