With all the drama that’s still swirling around our latest election, I thought I’d lighten things up a bit today with a story from my one and only foray into the political realm. It involves my first cousin Tony, whom I have not consulted before writing this. But that’s okay. He’s used to me doing things without asking him.
I figure I was somewhere between 12-14 years old when my mother asked me if I would stand outside Ledger school one Tuesday and hand out election cards for Linda “Butch” Woody as people went in to vote. You see, Butch was our county’s Clerk of Court and my mother worked for her. The only incentive my mother gave me was, “I’ll lose my job if Butch doesn’t get reelected, and if I lose my job I don’t know what we’ll do.” Since that evoked visions of homelessness, sleeping in the streets, begging for food, and a loss of television, I agreed to hand out the cards.
Well, somehow my cousin Tony, who is about three months older than me, got roped into helping. So, there we stood at Ledger school that Tuesday, two fine young Americans, doing our part to carry on the electoral process. We didn’t really want to be there, but when you are that age you don’t always get a lot of say in life. And, as you can imagine, we handed out the cards in silence, no speech making, no politicizing, no pleading, not even a word about what a nice lady Butch was.
It was about mid afternoon when a mother with two small boys pulled into the parking lot. She was barely out of the car before one of the kids began to protest violently. He was crying, screaming, kicking, etc., doing anything to keep from being drug into that school house. Tony and I had been taking turns handing out cards and it just so happened that he was up to bat. I looked at him with a grin and said something like, “Your turn” and watched him start making his way toward the little tornado. By this time, the mother was holding on to the kid for dear life to keep him from bolting. As I recall, she had the other one on her hip.
To Tony’s credit, he did his job by graciously handing her one of Butch’s cards. Then he quickly pivoted around and started walking back toward me. As he made his way back, I jokingly asked him, “Aren’t you going to give that little boy a card?” Clearly annoyed at the suggestion, he answered, “I’m not giving that little brat one of my cards.” He thought he said it too low for the mother to hear. Unfortunately, he thought wrong.
And how did she respond to his comment? She said, “No, the other one is the brat. This one is usually pretty good.” At that point, Tony wanted to dig a hole to China and crawl into it. I’m sure it didn’t help his feelings that I busted a gut laughing. First cousins can be cruel, you know. Anyway, even though Butch managed to win reelection that day and my family was saved from living in squalor, I always doubted that Butch got that woman’s vote. It’s just a hunch.
Okay, since this is supposed to be a religious blog, I should probably try to weave a Bible verse into this random post. I’ll go with Proverbs 13:3, which seems to fit the story. The verse says:
He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.
Sorry ‘cuz. Your still the best political-card-hander-outer I ever worked with.