Letter from the Editor

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Running for office, baby

Abel Kain, the local sewage management engineer, was trudging door to door. If he was going to keep up with the volleyball coach, that slick kid just out of community college, the guy who owns the bar and grill and the sex ed teacher who lives underneath the water tower, he was going to have to burn the shoe leather.

He just wished he'd remembered to change his boots after a long day of sewage engineering. He wasn't going to get invited onto too many living room carpets.

"Abel - what a surprise! Haven't seen you since the Windstorms' last football game Friday before last. How's your mom doing with that gout? But - my sewage is running just fine..."

"No, I'm not here about sewage, Mrs. Wiseacre. I'm here about politics."

"Well, it it's about that Hillary lady, I've gotta tell you, she scares me a little bit - I think it's the eyebrows. And that John Edwards fella, I think he's done more Botox than Cher."

"No, no, nothing like that, Mrs. Wiseacre. I'm running for town council, and I sure would sure appreciate your vote."

"Town council? Why on earth would you want that job? You know that stuffy old biddy Margarita Ville calls all the council members at 2 a.m. and complains that the immigrant kid next door, Axyl Bong, is playing his Snoop Doggie too loud again."

"Yes ma'am. But just the same, I would like to talk to you about the election..."

"Abel, I'd love to chat, but the Hulk Hogan reality show is coming on. Here, I'll call my better half, Buckwilde - he's the political guy in this house.

[Yelling] "Buckster, there's a city council candidate here - sixth one this week. Sound of old Buck's boots hammering up from the basement.]

"Howdy, Abel. Our sewage is just fine."

"Now Buck, you know I'm here about running for city council. I'd like to have you folks' support."

"Sewage, local politics, same difference, baby."

"Now wait, Buck, give me a chance here."

"Abel. I come from the urban jungle, you know. Slew City. They even got a Starbucks there. I've been around - and if there's one thing I know, every politician has an angle. What are you getting out of this?"

"Getting? City council jobs don't have any pay, Buck."

"Well then, what's your axe to grind here? Legal prostitution, a ban on the snow ban? A snowboarding park? What issue are you running on?"

"Huh, I hadn't really thought about it."

"What?? Running for office without a platform? That can't be."

"Buck, I guess I really just wanted to do something for my town. People around these parts have been good to me. I feel like everybody should step and take their turn sometime. Besides, the wife is taking hip hop dancing lessons,. I could stand to get out of the house a couple nights a month."

"Yeah, I see your point - on both counts."

"Anyway, my campaign motto is going to be, 'Vote for Abel. I haven't decided anything yet, but I'm willing to listen.'"

"Fair enough, I guess. But don't only the rich guys with the bling-bling Lincoln Navigators get elected? Last I knew, you had a Silverado with a busted tailgate and Natty Lite can rattling in the back."

"Hey now, I was collecting those cans to give to the Santa's Bastion fundraiser. And take a look at the council here - reasonably young, not so young, and way, way, not so young. Male and female, and there was that one a few years back we weren't so sure on. Got one that speaks another native language - I think it's Canadian. Big deal people and regular folks people. Why, the mayor smells a little like his walleye waders. All that stuff doesn't seem to matter."

"So you think people around here can't make up their mind what kinda council member they want, Abel?"

"Naw, I don't think it's that so much. I think people around here are pretty open minded. They're willing to give to give a guy or a gal a chance if their heart is in the right place."

"So what if you lose, Abel? I bet you're going to be more ticked than a coon hound. Hehheh."

"You know what, Buck? It occurs to me that everybody on the ballot is a good person who wants to help the town. They all have something to give. Win or lose, I got no regrets. If I do end up with time on my hands, I might just take up Frisbee golf or disco karaoke."

"Well, good for you, boy. I guess it's a good thing that we have choices on our local ballot. I sure as heck beats not having enough people who are willing to step up."

"Good point, Buck. And don't forget to vote."

"Y'know, Able, now that we've had this little talk, maybe I'll run for something myself one of these days. But right now, it's lunch buffet time down at Honey Mist, and all I'm running for is a slice of double veggie pizza."

"Sounds good, Buck."

"And when you see all those candidates down at the courthouse, boy, you tell them I said 'thanks.'"

"Really Buck? Thanks for what?"

"For putting themselves out there. Turns out that no matter what the ballot box says, they were all winners after all."