Tuesday, November 6, 2012
America's last undecided voter . . . Me!
If I have the guts to pull it off I’m pretty sure you’ll hear about it, which means I’m pretty sure you won’t.
It’s too bad, too, because I imagine it would be a dandy practical joke.
Like all great practical jokes there’s nothing practical about it. I’d do it because I think it would be funny.
It would involve hours of standing, pained expressions, flop sweat and torrents of relentless public ridicule.
As I’m already a married father, I’ve got most of that down pat.
See, this has been the year of the undecided voter.
Those of us with the ability to make up our minds -- and apparently that’s 99 percent of us -- have endured two years and $2 billion dollars of obnoxious ads trying to persuade about 1 percent of the electorate to vote for this guy or that one.
They say after all that, after the debates, the ballyhooed jobless reports and robo callers, they -- gee whiz -- just can’t up their minds.
I want to be that guy.
Few people understand the news media better than I. That’s not as boastful as it sounds.
Having worked for many of the most high-profile media organizations in the world (and been rejected by the rest), I have a unique grasp on what the media are seeking today.
And did you notice I used the grammatically correct media “are” instead of the commonly incorrect media “is?”
Told yinz guys I knew my shit.
I know that the biggest story of today, bigger than even who wins, is the identity of the undecided voter. Why’d they vote for who they did?
Every news outlet will be camped outside of the polling places all day trying to find these electoral kingmakers.
And I have a plan to ensure national exposure, which I’d then use to obnoxiously promote my book.
Interested in that kind of publicity? Here’s what you do:
Walk into the voting booth . . .
And never leave.
Camp there. Stay all day. Make them call the police to throw you out.
The reason I probably won’t do it is because I know all the people at my polling place, am shy about causing a scene, and fear my shenanigans would harm my obnoxious attempts to get them to buy my book.
It’s a pity because for the past eight years our polling place down at the local elementary school has been perfect.
We used to have those proper booths with the levers that pulled the drape shut behind you. The privacy made me feel secure.
Now our voting booths are those little electronic stations that leave voters fully exposed. I spend my whole time glancing over my shoulder fearful that some angry Republican is going to see I’m voting the straight Democratic ticket and pound me over the head with his big bag of gold bars Sean Hannity advised him to buy.
But the exposure in this case lends itself perfectly to my scheme.
I’d walk in, nod hello, sign my name and be ushered to the voting station. It would be perfectly nondescript.
Then time would tick by. Ten minutes. Thirty minutes. An hour. Dozens of other voters will come and go and I’ll still be standing there.
But I wouldn’t be standing there still.
No, it would be performance art of the highest order. I’d pace in a little circle. I’d look pensive. I’d look thoughtful. I’d look more anguished than James Dean in the scene from “Rebel without a Cause” where he falls to pieces screaming, “You’re tearing me apart!”
All of this would alarm the polling workers who would clearly see they’re dealing with an undecided voter. They wouldn’t know what to do so they’d call their supervisors. The media would show up to broadcast live reports of the man inside who can’t make up his mind.
“One official said this middle-aged man has spent six hours at his voting station,” the reporter will say. “Sources say he spent 30 minutes doing Eenie-Meanie-Minie-Mo before bursting into tears. He’s remains truly undecided.”
I’d be seen praying for guidance and asking aloud questions to both Mitt and Barack like they were floating there above my head. I’d ask the polling workers if it was against procedure to have someone deliver a pizza to my voting station.
Interest would be at fever pitch as the seconds ticked down. Every major network would be waiting outside to hear how I’d voted.
Then with just moments to spare, I’d do what I’m guessing by now every still-undecided voter in America is bound to do to settle this momentous matter.
I’d flip a coin.
It’s Election Day and it’s tearing me apart.