Sunday, November 04, 2012
The Last Political Joke - Winds of Change?
The neighborhood where I live is quite split politically. Yes, where I live in Texas is quite a "red" state but, the Austin area? Not so much. We have hovels of "blue" places as well as Libertarian enclaves that sprout up from time to time. The folks on my block are pretty politically split as well, with some leaning more blue vs. red. Anyway, you get the idea, I won't go into too much detail but we are kind of a mixed bunch of folks when it comes to the political spectrum.
So, as you walk out of my house, I have two neighbors right across the street. The one on the left, conveniently, is an Obama supporter. She's a single mom who lives there with her young children. The family on the right, on the other hand, are a very "red" family, with Dad being a financial adviser and Mom a stay at home mom. They have two young boys. As political season is upon us, each has put out a yard sign indicating their preference for a presidential candidate. The house on the left, as you would expect, put up an "Obama 2012" sign, while the house on the right has a "Romney/Ryan" sign on the front lawn. These are the typical yard signs you might expect and each house has no other political signs other than the routine yard sign. Both signs are about the same size as well. Nothing really out of the ordinary here, just typical yard signs indicating a political preference.
As I've posted here before, for some strange reason, I live in a very windy area. I'm always complaining about freak gusts of wind coming along and knocking things over or just taking things away. I don't own a dryer for my laundry but instead opt to use a folding rack to dry my clothing on the back porch and, I must confess, it's a constant battle to fight the local wind to keep it from blowing over (and my socks blowing down the yard.) Sometimes, even days that don't look too windy take my socks for a run down the back, I swear. Must be just a freakish thing about my locale, but it happens a lot.
As you might guess by my bringing up the wind, a few weeks ago, one of the yard signs blew over. The "Obama 2012" sign blew onto the "Romney/Ryan" yard area, thanks to a freak gust of wind. Since I'm friendly with both neighbors (and I really don't take sides politically) I happened to be out front when the "Romney/Ryan" Dad came home to find the "Obama 2012" sign blown down and strewn across his lawn. Being neighborly and recognizing that his neighbor was a busy single Mom (perhaps having a harder time hammering in a yard sign?) he stopped to put her sign back. I watched from my porch as he walked over and tried to locate the sign "holes" to right the sign back up again and grabbed a rock from her rock garden to sort of hammer the sign back into place. At one point, he even joked to an evening jogger who was passing by, saying something like, "Why, I ought to..." and waving the rock in front of the sign, but he did the neighborly thing and did the best he could to put her yard sign back up again.
Fast forward a few more days after that. Another gust of wind, again the sign falls down. Yes, the "Obama 2012" sign, perhaps thanks to the rock/hammer job (lack of a proper hammering?) didn't hold and the "Obama 2012" sign again blew into the "Romney/Ryan" family's yard. This time, the single Mom was out in the yard and actually talking to the "Romney/Ryan" family Dad. He joked to her about "of course, you sign was made by socialists, that's why it won't stay in the ground!" but then offered to help her put it back in again. This time, retreating to the garage to get a proper hammer. He also suggested that, since his yard sign had stayed put, maybe they move her "Obama 2012" sign closer to where he had his "Romney/Ryan" sign, since maybe that location had a bit less wind. They both agreed (!) and picked a spot a bit closer to the curb, and he gave the sign a good "whack!" beating it in with the big hammer until it looked like a tornado couldn't budge it.
Well, you can probably guess what happens next. Maybe it was remnants of Hurricane Sandy, maybe it was dumb luck, or maybe, as the "Romney/Ryan" Dad jokingly suggested, "Obama signs just aren't made as well as Romney/Ryan signs," but, somehow, the "Obama 2012" sign blew down again, this time also taking out the "Romney/Ryan" sign with it. Yes, it's true, as I was coming home the other day, I happened upon the two families out in the yard again, discussing how to keep the signs up until election day. Now, it was a nice warm day on Friday, so they were both mulling around up front and each waved at me as I pulled into the drive. Since it was so nice out, I decided I would pop over and see what was going on with the battle of the yard signs.
"Must be the front we just got," said the "Romney/Ryan" Dad, "it's just windy as all heck, although it has been nice out."
"Yes, it's very windy and all of our signs are now falling down!" declared the Obama Mom, "but we are enjoying the nice, warm weather."
"Let me get this straight," I said to both of them, "the only two people with political signs in their yards are now complaining that there's too much hot air blowing around? Riiiiigggggt. Now I *really* know we're getting to the end of this election season..."
They both reminded me to go out and vote this Tuesday, as I'm now doing to you. As for the signs? Well, I think they have both seen better days and will probably remain down (or keep falling that way!) until at least Tuesday.
Until next election season...