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Advertise on the Tentacle

September 10, 2006

Campaigning Eastern Shore Style

Tom McLaughlin

Humor by Tom McLaughlin

I am glad summer is over because I won't have to pass out literature for the Democrats in the insufferable heat and humidity of the Eastern Shore. Believing campaign literature does no good sitting on tables, I stand among the crowds and distribute for whatever candidate I grab first or for those who are visiting our booth.

I do get a bit ticked sometimes when the office seeker sits in the shade sipping a lemonade when sweat is dripping down and I am soaked, ready to pass out.

The stuff that usually goes well are the fans with the candidate's position on them. I have distributed hundreds of them from thankful fair attendees who immediately begin waving them not even noticing the printing on the side. I figure they will read the fan when they get home.

Sometimes I pass out the pens with the candidates name and office desired. Firmly believing that children play an important role, I will hand a pen to one and tell them it is magic. If they study hard and use this magic pen, they will get straight A's. Most of the parents are appreciative of my gesture and usually read the message embossed on the side.

Politics and personal feuds play a part in these events. One candidate divorced his wife only to marry his younger secretary. This was scandal enough for this slimly populated area, but the ex did not forgive so easily. She was in charge of the placement of booths at one small town celebration. The candidate's opponent was given the premier site at the entrance to the park while we were stuffed way to the back where few people passed.

If that wasn't bad enough, we were behind the large pony pen where small children ride. We were about three feet from the back of the ring where the employees raked the manure. You can imagine the smell, the heat and the flies associated with our booth. Suffice it to say, she got her revenge.

I love to tweak the Republican booth. Their volunteers usually sit with matching shirts, every hair in place and look like they walked out of a magazine; while I am sweaty dirty and, in one case, smell like the back end of a horse. Some of these people are pseudo-Christians who firmly believe every Democrat will end up in deepest recesses of Hell.

One time, when some high official from the Bush Administration came for a visit, I told him I was thinking more clearly about the Republican Party after an article I read. Ears perked and bait taken, I informed him about how the whiney liberal press had brow-beaten poor Brownie, the dude who was head of FEMA during the Katrina crisis.

I recited the facts and suggested he should read the article. When I told him it was a Playboy interview, he said "no." I said he should get some staff member to cut out the pictures so he wouldn't see them. Still "no."

Then I suggested he have a staff member transcribe the piece but he was clearly offended that someone he met actually read the magazine and I admitted looking at the pictures. The rest of the Republicans stared at me in disdain; but I held my ground reciting the facts from the interview and stated everyone should buy a copy and read it. He and his entourage left looking back at me while I continued my campaigning.

But it felt good. Oh, soooo good.

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