I met my mail lady at the mailbox the other day.
She handed me a bunch of mail, a lot of it from politicians who usually only mail me stuff when they want me to send them money.
“I’ll be ready when this election is over,” I said.
“Me, too,” she replied. “Me, too.”
Mail ladies, of course, are like reporters in that we both get whacked hard around elections.
They have 4,000 more pieces of mail to process a day. We have everybody and their press aides trying to get us to cover their campaigns because they’re going to save us from the other side.
But election season isn’t so good for the rest of mankind, either, if you ask me. It goes on way too long, for one thing. For another, this mid-term got to the point you couldn’t turn around without bumping into somebody asking for votes.
Politicians kept popping up out of bushes or from behind signs, hollering “Red Wall!” or “Blue Wave!” or wanting to read a children’s book at you. I know, that’s not such a rarity around these parts, since our crop of elected officials tend to know where their bread gets buttered. They keep in touch.
What was a rarity was when gubernatorial candidates started showing up in the waning days of this mess.
First the Republican, Brian Kemp.
Then the Democrat, Stacey Abrams.
If the Libertarian came, he didn’t tell anybody.
I estimated in a story for our website Friday that the crowd at Kemp’s rally was about 100, which naturally got disputed on Facebook by some woman who said she would put it more like 200. She only did that after first accusing us of being typical liberal media for not reporting his visit even though we’d reported it, just not linked the story to Facebook.
That’s my fault.
And that’s why I don’t link things to Facebook often. Basically, I think Facebook is chock full of people looking for something to get wound up over and complain about, and it can get time consuming on my end trying to figure out why they think I’m stupid.
Besides, being married, I know by now the best way to handle any complaint is to pretend you didn’t hear it, or say it, or do it, or not do it, depending. The less ammo you give ‘em, the fewer holes they’ll shoot in your peace and quiet.
Only now that I think about it, that woman was probably right. What with the amount of traffic coming up and down Highway 144 at any given waking hour on good days (and snarled up like fishing line around a trolling motor prop on the other days) and the percentage of Republicans driving on it, maybe 2 million were there cheering on Kemp at J.F. Gregory while they waited for the light at 17 to change.
I do know nobody stood still long enough for me to take a head count because they were all running around trying to get selfies with Kemp.
It’s an odd desire to me, that thing with photos. I’ve never once wanted my photo taken with a politician or celebrity.
On the flip side, they’ve never wanted their photo taken with me, either, so I imagine we’re even in that respect.
At any rate, when you read this we’ll either know who our next governor is or know we’re in for more fun. Either way, in the end we’re all Americans except for those who aren’t - though some of them are probably more American than many of us born here.
Housekeeping note: my mugshot that runs with this column tends to make me look taller than I am. I do disappoint some folks meeting me for the fi st time. “You look taller in your photo,” I’ve been told. “And smarter, and more abundantly follicled.”
“I know,” I say. “I hear that all the time.”
No, there wasn’t as big a crowd at Stacey Abrams’ do here on Monday, which does not surprise me since Republicans outnumber Democrats in Bryan County around 300,000 to 5-1/2. Still, those who showed for Abrams were no less thrilled and no less hopeful their candidate would win. And it was a much more diverse crowd, truth be told.
On that note, I suspect us white folks better be glad Indians back in the day weren’t this current crop of far right Republicans.
“You got a green card? Where’s your papers? You know there’s a legal way to enter this country, don’t you? Oh, and learn the language. We speak Algonquin around here, paleface.”
By the way. I was going to write in Pembroke Mayor Judy Cook for governor, but someone foiled that plan by telling me if you wait until Election Day to write in a candidate it won’t be counted. So I didn’t.
Thanks and have a great week.
Whitten is editor of the BCN