Is It Over Yet?

Masochist that I am, I watched every single candidates debate so far in this already interminably long presidential campaign. Both parties. Even those featuring the so-called undercard or which Rachel Maddow snarkily and delightfully refers to as “the kids’ table.” Strangely enough, those candidates, whose low poll numbers had relegated them to that position, seemed to make more sense than the ones on center stage. Not that I’m going to vote for any of the Republicans but still, it makes you wonder why many with the most experience and apparent decent judgment are the ones being forced to drop out. If they didn’t know it before, the rest of the world must think we’re crazy.

So the voting begins with the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1. And then there will be more debates and more voting and finally 313 days from now, on Nov. 8, there will be a general election and the United States will have a new president. And poor, beleaguered Barack Obama will be able to take the gray hair we all gave him off to a well-earned retirement.

Happy New Year!

Lost in the Parking Garage

I wish I could say this was the first time I ever did this: riding in a golf cart with a nice young man named Jeff as we try to find my parked car. First time in this particular garage, however.

“What kind of car is it?” Jeff asks.

“A Volkswagen Passat wagon,” I answer. “Dark brown but everyone thinks it’s black.”

“They’re nice cars,” he says. “My mom used to have one. Not the wagon, though, the sedan.”

“Yes,” I say. “We’ve had quite a few of both. But they’re not going to make them anymore.”

“I guess you’re right,” he says. “Are you sure you parked on the fourth floor?”

“Pretty sure. And when I pushed the lock button on the clicker thing here, I could hear my car beep.”

So we ride up and down the aisles pushing the clicker and listening for the beep. At one point a colleague of Jeff’s stops to lend advice.

“No,” he says, “don’t push the lock button. Push the panic button. Hold the thing up high and hold down the panic button.”

We can hear my car’s distress…somewhere. And suddenly, many car alarms go into panic mode together. Pandemonium reigns throughout the garage for a few moments.

Jeff decides the car might be one floor below or one floor above, so we try those places, and finally on the FIFTH floor, we see my car. I’d already told him about the stickers on the back window that read “Yes, I voted Obama” and the new one, “Proud Democrat.”

“I just put that one up this morning,” I say. “I thought maybe people should know I voted for Obama and I’m glad I did.”

“My Mom’s a Democratic legislator,” he says and he tells me which state.

“Well, tell her hello from me and say you rescued a ditsy old lady Democrat today in the parking garage.”

“I will,” he says. “Glad I could help.”

By this time the free parking ticket is no longer valid. I have to pay $3 to get out of the place.