Wednesday, February 06, 2008

It's A Bird! It's A Plane! It's Super Tuesday!

As I sit here in my Maleficent jammies, sipping green tea and staring at the nine inches of snow I'll be shovelling soon, I think about how "great" it is to be an adult. It's a snow day here - actually, the cities have declared a "snow emergency" (what does that mean? That conditions are favorable for a savage takeover by bloodthirsty snowmen?) so of course, the kids decide not to sleep in (which I think should qualify for institutionalization, but that's just me) - instead grabbing the new package of Oreos I bought yesterday (ironically, they are Spring Colors - like psychotically-colored lard peeps crushed between two cookies) and five juice bags (five? I only have two kids) and disappearing into the play room to play guitar hero for hours.

Where was I? Oh, right, how supposedly, allegedly, awesome it is to be an adult. As you know, yesterday was Super Tuesday and Illinois was one of the states voting. My friend - uber mom, Michelle (I say that with the utmost respect because she's amazing) tells me she's taking her kids with her to see how the voting process works.

I thought that was a good idea. After all, I have my undergrad degree in political science and my father taught American Government, and I did my master's thesis on what I thought newly elected president Clinton would do for the arts - so why not? The sleet had been crashing to earth for about an hour by the time the kids got out of school, but I still decided to give it a run. Margaret and Jack were less than enthusiastic.

Me: Guess what we get to do?

Kids (in unison for some creepy reason) : Go to the toy store!!! (Hmmm. Mental note, go through receipts and see how many times we actually go since that's their first reaction.)

Me: No! (and because I'm a glutton for punishment) Guess again!

Kids (looking at each other and using some sort of telepathy): Ice cream?

Me: No. We're going to vote!

Margaret: BORING!

Jack: I'm tired! I need to stay home and play video games!

Me: C'mon! It'll be really cool! This is something you can't even do yet!

Kids: Fine.

We arrive at the polling place, spinning our tires most of the way while I fill them in on the history of voting, the electoral college, and what voting in a primary means. And then I realize, they're right. It is pretty boring. But dammit! It's one of the great things about being an adult!

We walk into the church (which I always thought was an ironic place to vote - but that's just me) and I sign in, get my paper ballot and a sharpie and move to a little, barely partitioned off table.

(Spoiler alert - Because of the nature of this blog - you WILL find out who I voted for. Sorry if it's a shock.)

Me: Here's the ballot, kids.

Margaret: That's it? They give you a piece of paper and a marker?

Me: Well, yeah? Why?

Jack: Where are the lazers?

Me: Lazers? I, um, don't...

Margaret: And where's the giant electronic robot? Don't you have to have one of those?

Me: What? No! Where did you...

Jack: At least tell us there's a tube you send it in - like at the bank!

Me: (Starting to worry about what they're teaching at school.) It's just this. And believe me, I've voted using the machines and other stuff and this is far better. Now, (not letting them ask about the machine part) we have the ballot for the Democratic Party and the first thing we vote for is our choice for presidential candidate. I'm marking Hilary Clinton.

Margaret: She's my choice too!

Me: (Hopefully): Really? Why?

Margaret: Because her last name is Clinton and I was born in Clinton, Iowa!

Jack: Where was I born?

Me: Okay, that is not a good reason to vote for a candidate but let's move on.

I go through all the options. We get to the race for Coroner and I see there's an opportunity here.

Me: There are three candidates for Coroner. I don't know anything about them, so why don't you guys pick?

Margaret: What does Coroner do?

Me: Well, they determine the cause of death of a person.

Jack: So there's blood and stuff?

Me: I, er, suppose. But that's not the point.

Margaret: That's so cool! Let's vote for this one!

Jack (agreeing with her choice): Yeah! Him!

Me: Good. (I color in the oval with the sharpie - which always gives me the sweats remembering the Iowa Basic Skills Test as a kid. Can you have post-traumatic stress from all the testing they do to you as a kid?) Why did you choose him?

Jack: Because he has a good name for someone who deals with dead bodies.

Margaret (nodding): Yeah, and he seems like the kind of guy who could shoot them in the head when they become zombies.

Me (shrugging): Actually, those sound like good reasons.

We finish and the geriatric official pastes "I Voted" stickers on all three of us - which the kids think is cool, since they were breaking the law and voting before being legal. I let Margaret feed the ballot into the machine and we head outside to find Michelle, Conor and Ian coming in.

Margaret: We got to vote for the guy who kills zombies!

Michelle: (raising her eyebrows, justifiably so) How about that?

Jack (to the boys): They got free cookies in there!

Boys: AWESOME! (They run in)

There's a lesson here - maybe voting would be more fun if we looked at it from the eyes of a child. And for voting officials - consider adding chocolate martinis to the freebies given out and it wouldn't hurt to label the candidates in a way that's more fun - like "Slayer of the Undead" instead of "Coroner."

But that may just be me.

The Assassin


Minna said...

Again, I'm so glad to be a Finn. We don't have to vote for Coroners around here. Voting for a President and politicians in general is difficult enough.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure Jack and Margaret aren't my children. I too often think who would be the best at killing zombies when I vote...that's why I voted for Hillary. Nothing beats being able to kill zombies while wearing a stylish pantsuit.

Anonymous said...

ROFL!!! I think Slayer of the Undead is a way cooler title than Coroner, too!

Leslie Langtry said...

Well, killing zombies would be a public service and the police can't be everywhere, right?

danetteb said...

Interesting take on voting.
I'd really like to see a woman president,history in the making.:)

Hugs, Danette

Shel said...

That's hilarious Leslie. I also have a degree in political science (and I'm in Illinois), so when my 5 year old neice asked last night what her parents and I were discussing, the explanation was left to me. I never realized how hard it was to describe the function of government in terms a 5 year old would understand. Especially when she asked what Congress does...

Estella said...

We vote by mail in my state.

Hellie Sinclair said...

*LOL* Slayer of the Undead ROCKS!

I voted too...and I have to agree: it's boring. *LOL*

Anonymous said...

Great lesson for the kids. We had a similar conversation at my house alas minus the zombies! Question:
Would Republicans be considered undead too? Some of those old coots look like they either died or are about to . Hmm... Maybe we should give Hillary that job title too. You know like Hillary the Republican Zombie Slayer.
P.S.My dad was born in Clinton Iowa too!

Anonymous said...

It really does help to keep talking to your kids about voting - I too took mine with me and now my youngest gets to vote for the first time and it will be the second for my other daughter. Boyfriends also get convinced lol. My feeling is that if you don't vote you shouldn't complain...and I do like to complain about politics lol. I would love for Hillary to win with Obama as her running mate who would eventually get the presidency :)

Leslie Langtry said...

You guys are funnier than I am! I've always thought we needed a woman to change things. She could put on her Chanel heels (I'm thinkng about you Gemma!) and kick some ass in Congress.

Anonymous said...

Florida's voting was last week and i support the other party. NOT a Hillary fan! Anyway I just finished Guns Will Keep us together and I really enjoyed the story. I can't wait for Paris' story and I hope you do one for Missi!
Good luck iwth the snow!!

Anonymous said...

Personally I would like to see Hillary in a nice leather outfit...think Xena. I think that's the perfect outfit for the title Hillary the Republican Zombie Slayer. Of course she would need a sidekick (I about me)

Terri Osburn said...

Y'all are too funny. Loved this story. My child is 8 and I'm not sure what she thinks about all this election stuff. I just know she hates it when I turn on Charlie Rose. LOL!

Our primary is not until next Tuesday but I heard this morning hundreds of people turned out to vote yesterday. Apparently, they didn't get the memo. LOL!

Slayer of the Undead is killer (excuse the pun). I used to work in a small town radio station and I'll never forget with the coroner came in to buy some ads and for some reasons brought pictures of a dead body. Some guy got really drunk, took a turn too fast and threw himself onto someone's porch roof. I have never seen so many beer cans scattered in one place in all my life.

Michele L. said...

Whew! Voting! I always get so mixed up when I vote! I should just do the straight ticket and then I wouldn't have to remember all the names.

Very good getting your children into voting while they are young. My parents didn't set a very good example especially my mom who never followed the politics. It was my hubby who got me motivated into voting.

Jenyfer Matthews said...

Somehow I think that absentee-ballots would lack the drama for my children - and no opportunities to vote for zombie slayers.

I seriously think you should let your kids make up a campaign poster for their candidate and then send it to him - talk about a platform he probably hadn't thought of!

Leslie Langtry said...

Great idea! I wonder if candidates for zombie slayer have a sense of humor?

Gemma Halliday said...

Ahahahaha! I love your kids, Leslie!

Hey, any candidate that wears Chanel can’t be all bad, right? ;)