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August 2, 2010

Campaign Diary Snickers and Stomach Pain

Michael Kurtianyk

You haven’t lived ’til you’ve tried southern-fried snickers. I had some at the Thurmont Carnival when I was there campaigning with my family. It’s a simple recipe: poke a stick in one end of a frozen Snickers bar, dip it in pancake batter, and deep fry it in oil.


The woman who cooked them held three at a time. Fun to watch – and even more fun to eat. We had such a great time up there and met quite a few people.


Then, at the Brunswick Carnival, I saw that they had fried Oreos. I’ve had those before. Very tasty. I confess that I made them at home for my children. I am told that it’s a “Texas Thang.” Deep fried Twinkies and pickles are catching on in popularity, too. I guess that in Texas, they’ll deep fry anything!


Which is all to say that there is something to this thing called a “Campaign Diet”: going door-to-door in this heat causes some loss of pounds, of which I am thankful. However, I have also been at the carnivals eating fried foods (the aforementioned "Southern-Fried Snickers" in Thurmont, and the soft vanilla ice cream in Urbana). Thus I am experiencing first-hand a campaigner’s diet. I’ve talked about this with my fellow campaigners out on the circuit.


I’ve learned what the key is to tasty food habits: listen to the veterans of campaign races and carnivals. I went to one carnival, and I asked a veteran campaigner what he liked for dinner. He said it was the sausage sandwich, with mustard and onions. I went with the steak and cheese. That would have been fine, except for the fact that instead of real cheese, they poured a cheese sauce. My stomach didn’t recover until the next day. So, listen to your elders!


July 25 – Questionnaires


One of the more time-consuming aspects of the campaign is that I receive questionnaires on an average of one or two per week. They come from different community organizations in the county, and each has their own focus. One of the things that I like about these is that it allows candidates to respond to different segments of our community in different ways, while still keeping the message consistent.


On balance, they are thoughtful, reasonable questions, and thus should be given the respect of thoughtful, reasoned responses. I take every questionnaire seriously, and I like it also that there are word limits on most of them. There’s no need to reply using a thousand words when 50 can do on some of the questions.


July 29 – August 1 – Getaway


I am looking forward to a couple days away with my family. We are going up to New York to see my mom. She hasn’t seen her grandchildren since before Christmas, and a couple days away will give me a chance to unwind a bit before hitting the last 45 days of the race very hard.


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