Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I'm Not Making This Up

(or, Charley, You'er in Trouble)

So I'm sitting around last night and the phone rings, as it's wont to do, especially with the mid-term elections fast approaching. And on the other end of the phone was a young man who wanted to speak with me, but only because I'm a registered voter.

He identified himself as a caller for Charley Denison, who's running for reelection for something or the other -- Charley, not the guy who called me. After my phone call with Charley's worker, I only have one question for Mr. Denison: How the hell did you ever get elected the first time?

So this young man asks me if I were planning on vothing for Denison, and I asked him, "Does Charley support George W. Bush?" And the young man said, "I'm not sure. Mr. Denison is a Democrat, if that answers your question." To which I replied, "No. Just because he's a Democrat doesn't mean he doesn't support Bush." The young man countered, "I don't know. I don't know any of his personal beliefs." I should've stopped there, but it was too easy. Undaunted, I pursued my line of questioning. I asked, "Does Mr. Denison support the war in Iraq?" Once again he answered that he didn't know. In fact, he didn't know any of Mr. Denison's "personal beliefs." So I just straight out asked him if he were planning on voting for Mr. Denison. To which he softly answered (and, no, I'm not making this up): "No. I'm sorry." Then he mumbled something that could've been good night, or "I'm going to find a rope, now." After which he hung up.

Wow. This whole campaigning process is so enlightening. I wish more people would call. You know, usually I vote Democrat, but in Mr. Denison's case, I believe I'll make an exception. Wow. Just Wow.

Monday, October 23, 2006

So, Which do You Get?

I was in a fender bender yesterday. It could've been very serious. The guy that hit me was doing everything he could to keep from killing several families, all because someone up in front of us did something stupid. So I'm looking at my van and thinking, what the hell? I even tell the guy that all we have to do is exchange insurance info. I'll pay my deductible, he can pay his, and we'll live a good life.

But he wants to call the cops. He wasn't from Springfield. I told him not to. I told him, "Dude, if you call the cops, they will write you a ticket." He says, "Why would they write me a ticket?" And I said, "Because you hit me." To which he replies, "But I had no choice." And I said, "It won't matter." So he called the cops. And they wrote him a ticket.

In the process, we were both trying to talk the cop out of giving this guy a ticket, and the cop gets hateful with both of us. Go figure. Thank you Officer Friendly.

So, after this encounter, I'm thinking of two different cop stories. One happened when I had two very small children riding with me in an old '72 AMC station wagon. I had just purchased a new screen door for my house and was heading home when the entire door flew out of the back of the station wagon in the middle of an intersection. I got the door back in, miraculously unbroken, but in the process my car ran out of gas. I was trying to walk to the gas station with a 4 year old and a 2 year old when a cop came by and picked us all up. He took me and my kids to the station, and then, after I had bought the gas, took us back to the car. Then he waited until I got it going again. That was such a great experience, especially for my kids.

But then there's Darcy. Darcy is a very good friend of mine. He happens to be of colour. No one's really sure what colour Darcy is, but he's definitely not white. His wild, bushy hair and funky beard don't help any. So Darcy is going down the road and gets pulled over because he has a tail light burned out, or something equally as stupid. Even though Darcy was fully cooperative, they ended up beating him and hauling him off to jail. Trust me, it had nothing to do with Darcy, who is one of the most honest, gentle souls I know. He just happens to look like... well... someone who doesn't teach at MSU or own his own recording studio. His only real crime? Trying to be pleasant. Cops don't like smart asses.

So the thing is, I know there are good cops out there. I've met them. And I know there are bad cops out there too. Like the one I met on Sunday. Like the 10 or so Darcy got to know very well. But the problem is, how do you know which is which? I mean, they don't wear name badges. You know, like Asshole 1st Class. And that leaves only one choice: Don't trust any of them. Which is a shame. I'm just glad my kids are grown.


OK, I’ll admit it: I collect coins. I know. I’m finally out of the closet. My dweebiness is confirmed. I’m a numismaticist. Or however it’s spelled. I collect world coins, mostly. Mine’s an odd obsession. I want to collect the most worthless coins from every country in the world. And I’m darned near there.

So here’s the point. I don’t specifically collect American coins because, quite frankly, they’re boring. I mean, look at the old quarters. Many of the new state quarters are cool, but after 2008 we’ll probably go back to the old ones. OK, maybe that wasn’t a great example. Well, how about the pennies. The dimes. Even the half dollars and the full dollars. How boring can you get?

And then there’s the nickel. During the Lewis and Clark celebration, we got to see four different designs on the back of the nickel. Some were rather lame, but you gotta love the buffalo. That’s gotta be the coolest coin that the treasury has put out…well, since we had buffalo head nickels, when ever that was. (Yeah, I know, a good numistaticist would know that. Let it go.)

But then, what do we do? We go back to Monticello. Monticello! How lame! It’s bad enough we get that stupid front view of Jefferson. But Monticello! Of all the things that we have to put up with in the United States, and now we have to put up with a lame nickel. I’m going to Canada. They’ve got loons on their coins. I ought to fit right in.