Some years ago, one of my kayaking friends wrote one of the most hilarious fantasies I can remember.
This piece was inspired by that one, with my apologies to that author
"Do bloggers hallucinate?"
Having fretted fruitlessly for a while at my original uninspiring blog (something like "Elections are important"), I couldn’t help wondering how badly the local elections might turn out before I’d be forced to describe it as a disaster.
Supposing, for example . . .
that one voter had been unable to find a their ballot, and had tried to make do by substituting a gigantic chunk of graffitti chipped off and stolen from the local skateboard park. . .
and that the County Auditor’s curbside ballot box had been blown up as a dirty campaign prank, hurtling jagged pieces of metal into the street that caused a massive traffic jam just as last-day voters were attempting to beat the deadline while saving stamps. . .
so that the one voter had to clamber over the wreckage and debris and engage in heroic battle to save his substitute ballot from a band of crazed zealots, who were trying to prevent it from being submitted, and had escaped with only his hide and his pride by promising he would never again try to vote on time . . .
and that in the confusion the graffiti ballot had busted into illegible pieces when it fell out of the voter’s hand as he stumbled on the steps of Shirley’s Temple, requiring him to retreat across the street down the bank into the little park behind the library to find another substitute ballot . . .
and from the little fountain, still filled from the recent rains, he pried away a piece of marble into which he frantically tried to carve his ballot selection for Mayor . . .
so that the voter had to slash with painful, repeated strokes the letters P and I and -almost- K, until his pocket knife broke and he had to search for another instrument hard enough to scratch the marble by squeezing under numerous bushes, benches and other obstacles, and bumping his head on more than one car bumper before finding a large rusted nail. . .
and then, moaning with despair, saw the nail elude his grasp as it plunged into a storm drain leading toward the creek behind City Hall...
and that while he was searching for a carving tool, a local rock hound had pounced upon the marble ballot and begun emasculating it after seeing the letters P - I - almost K were scratched on it. . .
which attracted the attention of a rowdy group of glaucous gulls that descended on it, and snatched it from the hands of the indignant geologist. . .
and with great difficulty and much commotion, the gulls had managed to somehow fly away with it, until forced by a maurading eagle to drop it onto the Courthouse Jail, where it broke into pieces, and from whence the eagle retrieved the fish-shaped piece with P-I-K carved on it, and while the voter pleaded piteously, the merciless avian, soared away . . .
but that suddenly the eagle expired from having ingested poisonous political propaganda propagated by phanatical Mayoral proponents, and thus dropped the marble ballot near the ASB lagoon. . .
where the voter finally was able, with the aid of a prospecting beachcomber, to regain the marble ballot, which by now was reduced in size enough to more easily submit, and more visibly etched with grime so as to be easily read. . .
and that, having retrieved the fish-shaped ballot he found a discarded ancient grappling hook for completing the carving of his ballot, but was then arrested for illegal fishing, defacing public property and possession of an antiquity....
and after booking was released on his own recognizance, upon signing over his car for bail and being allowed to negotiate trading his watch for his fish-shaped ballot, which was being used as a paperweight and was still missing its identifying bar code . . .
and when he finally arrived later that evening at the County Auditor’s Office, minutes before the ballot deadline, only to realize he’d forgotten to carve the final letter onto his ballot . . .
and that as he was desperately trying to pry open the door to the café to find another carving knife, he’d set off an alarm as well as the sprinkler system. . . .
but knowing that his wife’s bank account would be overdrawn by hundreds of dollars if he had to post bail bail a second time, he ran into the restroom and entered a stall, stood on the toilet seat and began to scream for help at the top of his lungs. . .
whereupon the guard on duty came to investigate, slipped on the wet floor and fell flat on his back, knocking himself out and losing his hat, glasses and ballot which he was about to fill out. . .
so that the voter was able trade his uncompleted fish-shaped marble ballot for a paper one, with missing bar codes, fill it out and escape into the Auditor's Office in the nick of time, despite the wet floor and disorganized attempts of ballot trolls to disorient him. . .
only to find the ballot box was full of water and had too small a slot to receive his ballot anyway. . .
and that after he emptied the water and while folding his ballot he found that the Auditor had hopelessly muddled the date, time, place, and candidates for the various offices. . .
so that only seven people were actually able to vote, and that they all had planned to arrive anywhere from forty minutes to two hours late, except for one who had voted a day early . . .
and that none of the seven were P-I-almost K supporters anyway, but thought they were attending a Halloween costume party, which the Parks Dept. had accidentally scheduled for the same night . . .
and that all but one had worn the same costume, consisting of yet another October Surprise wrapped in candy coating which soon melted in the light and fused permanently in unspeakably ugly ways with those who wore it, thus permeating the air with a distinctive odor while actually improving the amicability of the group . . .
and that the seventh other one had brought sliced green persimmons, his favorite food, which are so astringent that no normal person would eat them, and which even for him required corrective surgery to un-pucker his lips, which as a consequence he started litigation against the Auditor and anyone else in the vicinity . . .
and that all seven of these people were egregiously uncongenial, and spent the whole Halloween Party ignoring each other except when engaged in heated exchanges of insults and fisticuffs interspersed with sporadic gunshots toward anyone outside their group who tried to vote. . .
and that a bus load of ad-hoc, camo-dressed, out of town, doorbellers burst into the pavilion and forced everyone to watch pre-recorded slides of their campaign celebration that had already been shown several times in practice celebrations while still in mid-election. . .
and that these slides were all hopelessly inaccurate and out of focus, as well as all being upside down and underexposed . . .
and that the projectionist droned on and on for hours, mumbling unintelligible gibberish about each and every slide, interspersed with violent, nit-picking arguments with the other terrorists about the deeper significance of certain shots, all the while pointedly ignoring tear gas and pepper spray grenades fired into the pavilion by a Bellingham PD SWAT team, which mistakenly thought they were raiding an international news stand . . .
and that the last 85 slides had to be held up to the light for all to squint at after an especially problematic slide caught on fire and cracked the projector lens. . .
and that all the voters ballot meant was that the entire election was deadlocked and could not possibly be certified, necessitating another complete election, including primaries. . .
and that all the existing incumbents were required to continue their terms of office until the new election was completed. . .
Halloween trick or treat anyone?