Monday, November 1

one

Tomorrow's an election day.

In 1992, I went trick-or-treating as a Bush-Quayle campaign sign. I wish I could tell you that at the age of 11, in a Northeast Nebraska town of under a thousand people, I had acquired the awareness to intend this as the kind of "it's scary ain't it?" commentary that runs through my head when I think about it now. Probably I was just parroting the attitudes of the adults around me.1

For the better part of that decade, Clinton was an object of almost comically hyperbolic loathing for most of the people I knew who were inclined to express an opinion, and I have to guess this had already taken effect before the election. Then too, the first Gulf War had not so long before set off a brief but intense wave of militaristic patriotism in middle America.2 Little Desert Storm stickers were everywhere, and kids came to school wearing shirts that featured Saddam Hussein's head centered in crosshairs. I remember watching the evening news and hating Hussein pretty fiercely, probably in part because of stuff about killing babies in incubators, and probably in part because it just seemed like I was supposed to hate the guy, whoever he was. My memory of the time is (mercifully) hazy, but I'm sure this all played some part in my decision to stump for such a pair of unpleasant dweebs.

A wiser 11-year-old would have paid more attention to all those collected Bloom County strips that inhabited our bookshelves, but I suppose the wisdom of 11-year-olds, such as it is, is seldom able to usefully focus on such subjects as national politics. Even with Bill the Cat as a guide. At least I was reading Bloom County.

Anyway: Go out and vote, you bums.

1 And, let's be honest here, angling for more candy. I always had an eye for the main chance, when it came to costume design.

2 Well, you know, more intense than usual.