Scenes From A West Mayberry Polling Place

by

 I wound up in the voting line with the supporting cast of The Andy Griffith Show.  Those that weren’t actual castmembers, were old enough to have watched it when the show originally ran on CBS.  With their grandchildren.  Sure enough, at the age of 40, I was the youngest whippersnapper in the UAW Union Hall.

In front of me was Ernest T. Bass in a Members Only jacket.  The real life Aunt Bee was behind me, though she was missing a few teeth.  Behind her was an angry Goober Pyle.  Over at the fail-safe voting table were the Fun Girls from Mt. Pilot.

We started a pleasant conversation about all of the negative campaigning and how we were all glad it would be over today.  Ernest T. cautioned the group not to discuss who they were going to vote for, so that the pleasant conversation wouldn’t turn ugly.  Aunt Bee started talking about how she was getting all sorts of calls from people trying to tell her how to vote.  I politely brought up the fact that it was raining.  That’s the sort of thing we can all agree on.  I’m a uniter, not a divider.

"I’m 72 years old, no damn body better tell me how to vote!", Goober interjected.

I tried to be helpful.  "Well, they have these auto dialers…"

"No DAMN body!", Goober continued. 

"I got a call from Bill Clinton the other day," Ernest T. added.

"Ooh, me too," Aunt Bee chimed in.  "It was one of those recordings."

"I’ve been getting calls from real people," Goober spat out through a clenched jaw. "I told them what I thought of them!"

Ernest T. wanted to know why there were three unused voting machines off to the side.  Aunt Bee bemoaned the loss of the old voting machine which was better and easier to use.  She must have been an Alabama fan. 

Goober continued to rail against the politicians.

"They all print up their own stuff and pocket the money.  Bill Boner had him a printing press in his basement, then would pay himself out of campaign funds for the flyers.  He’d wind up getting paid three times for the same damn flyers!"

 Aunt Bee wanted to know what the Fail Safe Voting was all about.  Thankfully, the line had moved us up to that table.

"Hello doll," Daphne said in a throaty growl.

"What exactly is Fail Safe voting?"

"Don’t ask.  We don’t want to do any work."

"Oh, you kidder," Skippy laughed.  "It is for people who come here by mistake.  We can look them up and thell them where to go.  Although I’ve been on the phone for the last hour trying to get a hold of Howard School.  We cain’t get through.  Hope no one has a problem, because we cain’t help them."

Aunt Bee was getting nervous.  "I’m worried about these new fangled machines.  How do we know our vote counted?"

"They have people to help you.",  I offered.

"Then they’ll see how I voted!  That isn’t right!" 

I didn’t know what to tell her.  "Well, they can help you figure it out before you cast your vote."

As we got closer to having our turn, Aunt Bee changed the topic to how she turned off her clothes dryer before coming out to the polls.  "I turn off all the electrical appliances before I leave the house."

Ernest T. agreed. "The only thing I have running at home is an alarm clock."

My turn came up.  After making small talk with Floyd the Barber who guided me to the ballot, I was ready to vote. 

The screen for Governor came up first.  I proudly cast my ballot for Rex L. Camino.  I wondered if my new friends in the line did the same.

Barney Fife: [angry] Oh, you’re just full of fun today, aren’t you? Why don’t we go up to the old people’s home and wax the steps?

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2 Responses to “Scenes From A West Mayberry Polling Place”

  1. Kathy T. Says:

    You are one funny dude.

  2. sgazzetti Says:

    What I want to know is: who was making sure the dag-nabbed kids were staying off their lawns during all of this "participating in democracy"?

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