Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Toast To Our Republic

On the way home from work today, I stopped into a local church.

There wasn't a prayer meeting; that church was my polling place to vote in the Primary Election.

I have done a decent job of keeping Skiving Off non-political. Hell, for the last year or so I have done a decent job of keeping Skiving Off non-existent. However, today I want to talk about politics.

When I was younger I was involved in politics. Sometimes I worked as a Poll Challenger, and other times I offered to drive the old, insane, left handed, or the disenfranchised to the polls.

Then, I figured out that no matter who was elected, my life didn't really change. So I stopped wasting my time worrying about politicians. I still vote. I just don't expect to ever see a modern day Jeff Smith (not the Frugal Gourmet) go to Washington in Capra-esque form and filibuster on behalf of my needs.

Which brings us to today.

Rather than just show up at the poll and ignorantly cast my ballot for candidates with the most virile sounding names, I pulled up a website that allowed me to make side by side comparisons of the candidates' answers to a list of standard questions.

The last question was, "Have you ever been arrested? If so, explain."

It seemed everyone was answering, "NO."

Then, I saw a guy running for Congress who said he was busted for DUI 15 years ago. He said it was the worst thing in his life. He said it changed him, and he is better because of it.

That is who I chose to represent me in Washington.

Fifteen years ago when I was a much younger fellow, I had some idealistic notions of what a politician should be. Back then I likely never would have considered voting for a guy who got busted for DUI when he was in his 20's.

So it is interesting to me that today I chose this guy specifically because of his arrest. I didn't give a hoot about his kids. (George Carlin taught me a long time ago that Politicians always want us to know their reproductive organs work.) I didn't care what church he goes to. NOPE. For me, I just hoped that having been busted for DUI 15 years ago, this guy might be less likely to be a high and mighty, holier-than-thou, pompous prick than all the other guys on the ballot. So I decided to give him a shot.

As I left the church, one little old lady was handing out cookies. I turned down the one she offered. Another lady had stickers that said, "I voted today." My first thought was to ask, "Are stickers the only thing you have, or is there a remote chance I am the lucky voter who has won a lap dance?" Nevertheless, I suppressed that urge, took my sticker, and walked to the car.

It was only then that I realized that I may have just played a role in helping to kill the next Mary Jo Kopechne.


Just when I was starting to think my vote doesn't matter...


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Jeff Skiver said...

Is that a typing version of a stutter?

Perhaps if you sing as you type you can get it out in a single post.

I mean you had the whole concept out there for the whole world to see with just one "fag."

And I realize repetition can be an effective form of communicating one's ideas. However, I think in this case it is not powerful or effective. Instead, it sort of comes off as "Wait. I don't know if that's what I wanted to say. Let me try it again." Then, the second attempt was exactly the same. It now seems to be just a waste of everyone's time.

Still, I am not one to stifle free speech.

Nevertheless, your stuttering comment contradicts two nuggets of wisdom from a couple guys who positively impacted my life.

When I was a kid, Cowboy Bob said, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." (Most would think that your stutter was not nice.)

The other great bit of wisdom that contradicts your stuttering rant comes from my good friend Terry who always reminded me, "It's only gay if you're the catcher."

Pops said...

I liked your entry, but your responce to the coment was priceless.

I miss seeing and reading your articles. Hope to see a lot more in the future.


Anonymous said...


Murphy said...


According to the Wikipedia Anonymous' text could mean several things. Maybe this individual is more clever than first thought.

Fag, a colloquialism for cigarette - Could be a request for a smoke.

Fag, a junior boy who acts or acted as servant ("fagging") to a senior boy at a British independent school - I hear this practice is still alive at Rose-Hulman so he may have you here.

Fag, or Faggot (slang), a slur for a homosexual or effeminate man - I think we can all believe the leg shaving is for the whole cycling thing you do, but how do you explain the blue Angora sweater? Really?!?

Amos said...

You are back, and in fine form. I always enjoy your posts. Actually, I am such a fan that I considered gushing like a 14 year old schoolgirl and/or fainting. Upon consideration, I felt that this kind of behaviour might result in me being called a fag, as I am a 34 year old male.

I am writing Popular Woodworking this instant to petition them to include more of your work.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

still a fag

Jeff Skiver said...

Robert Fulghum wrote "All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten."

I suppose all I really need to know I learned from watching Seinfeld.

So after spending way too long contemplating Jerk Store as a "Comeback," I have decided to just jump straight to Cosmo's suggestion.

So here goes...

"Yeah? Well I had sex with your wife!"

Oh, Anonymous, why do keep making me have to bring that up?

Anonymous said...

Interesting that you should choose that quote...

Nonetheless, still a fag