Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Vote Early, Vote Often

Everyone knows that election time for any issue always means signs. Signs everywhere. Absolutely EVERYWHERE! The little bandit signs, some bigger plastic signs on wooden stakes, some others are big wooden ones on 4x4 pieces of lumber. So many signs, so worthless. And the worst part is that they have no commercial or entertainment value. It’s true; campaign signs are nowhere near the fun they were when I was in high school.

You may ask, “What made the signs so much fun in the 1970s?” To be more clear, the signs were not inherently fun. The fun came in the form of a large fellow we’ll call “Falcon” and a large Dodge in the form of a gold Polara.

My sister and I rode around with Falcon and his sister, in his 66 Falcon, in his dad’s ’69 GMC truck, and in the family 4-door Polara. Usually with him in the driver’s seat, me at shotgun, and my sister and his sister in the back barking instructions on which 8-track tape to insert next and which track to put it on. That was the arrangement in all of the vehicles, except for the truck. That was typically all of us crammed in the cab, with the one next to the driver ever vigilant of the driver’s elbow in motion shifting gears (3 on the tree).

Sometimes, it was just Falcon and me, flying down the road just behind the roaring Mopar powerplant, with his foot planted firmly on the accelerator. One night on the way to our house from one of our forays into the heart of Texas City, he took the exit to 25th Avenue where you can go right to 6th Street or left to our house on 25th. The intersection is “Y” shaped and a small gas station sat there in the center of the “Y”. On either side of the road, coming to a point, there was a small forest of cardboard signs on slender wooden stakes. They were about three feet apart and there were tons of them.

Falcon was inspired, I guess. He veered to the right just off the shell shoulder and started whacking the placards with the big, shiny chrome bumper of the Polara. The image of the signs appearing in the headlights, then instantly disappearing only to be replaced by fifteen others was hypnotic. The rhythm of those evenly spaced posters thumping on the car and the idea of what was happening to those eyesores was just so dang funny to us. He was laughing hysterically and I was looking backward through misty tears of uncontrollable mirth at the short stubs of pine.

This went on the entire election season, until it was unnecessary to replace the signs. They just kept springing up next the roads, and Falcon kept plowing them down, in an insane but hilarious cycle. Democracy and free speech in action.

In the area of election reform, Falcon has my vote.


innominatus said...

Try that in my car and the bumper would cave in like an empty can of Pabst being stomped on by Roseanne Barr.

I sure miss cars with points, carbs and thick steel bumpers!

DammitWomann said...

tsk tsk tsk

I just knew you were a rowdy.....

Good memories, huh?

Anonymous said...

Good thing the statute of limitations has run out on your little vandalism episode! You should be ashamed. Not really, but as a geezer myself, those kinds of phrases pop out without me realizing it.

Falcon said...

I know have a sturdy 10 year old Dodge Ram pickup with a robust bumper. (election season just starting!!!) Any one up for a ride????

aA said...

Falcon, I would gladly go with you to mow down the eyesores!