Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Living On The Battleground

Oh! What will I do! Living in a battleground state is such a trying experience!

For the last few weeks every commercial on television seems to be for one campaign or another. What is a guy to do? I have no idea where I should eat or what I should buy because the broadcasters are just too busy telling me what to think about this person or that.

The ads are so thick it is impossible to sit through a break without seeing three or four ads for one politician/issue or another. (After five in the morning, that is! Before that they are too busy selling me Life Insurance and Personal Mobility Scooters.)

This morning during the hour I had the news on, there wasn't an ad for anything but the various politicians and issues. Two of the breaks were completely taken-up by competing sides of the same issue/race. It was pretty funny, actually right after the ad for Person X (calling Person Y a liar) the station showed an ad for Person Y (saying you can't trust person X). This couplet was followed by a pair of ads for a local initiate that one side claims is a tax and anyone who denies it is a liar... and the other side says isn't a tax and anyone who says it is is a liar.

Sometimes I feel that to get through the breaks you need to be a third-grade teacher... Or the lunch lady at my elementary school; Mrs. Frawley. Let's face it... The candidates are tossing lies and half-truths back and forth like Tater Tots in a elementary school lunchroom. I feel like I am back at Village Green Elementary. And there she is!

I remember Mrs. Frawley, a short and squat lady from one of the deep-south (red) states, standing at the front of the cafetorium (a room with a raised stage at one end which as the name implies served as a cafeteria and an auditorium - only seldom simultaneously). She'd stand there, dishrag in hand by the microphone and admonish us in her thick southern accent "Boys! Stop that! Now, I said 'Boys!'" Occasionally she would wander over to a recently vacated table, wiping the detritus into a tray and dumping it into a waste can and then return to her microphone and her mantra. "Now, Boys..."

We used to do a great (meaning: "horrible in its accuracy and meanness") impression of Mrs. Frawley: "Shh! Boys! Boys! Now, I Said 'Boys!'" It never seemed to be the girls she would admonish. But then, with the exception of that time that three girls went up and did their impression of her to her face, there was rarely a reason to, I guess...

Ah, Mrs. Frawley, where are you today! The country needs you! I can see you now, interposed between political ads: "Boys" and "Now, I said 'Boys!'" every time a candidate made a snarky, untrue, or misleading claim about their opponent. Mrs. Frawley! The country needs you!

Wherever you are today, I hope that you are safely ensconced wherever you happen to be!

Don Bergquist - September 24, 2008 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA

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