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I know what you did last election 

I was driving home from a city council meeting the other night, and this big-rig trucker got into the lane right behind me and kept flashing his high beams at me. It was really annoying, because every time he flipped on the brights, the stalker who was hiding in my back seat and had leaned up to stab some sort of knockout drug into my neck with a needle got scared that someone would see him and ducked back down.

Thanks a lot, nameless long-haul trucker. Because of you, I’m still fully conscious and have to keep hearing the half-truths, quarter-truths, sliver-of-truths, and no-truths floating around San Luis Obispo County in the days before the election. At least if I’d been sedated and kidnapped, I could have ridden out the rest of the days until Nov. 4 comfortably in a trunk or locked basement.

Some luck, huh?

click to enlarge Right now I’m wishing some hook-handed guy will come rattle his metal appendage against my door handle and give me an excuse to not think about the truly scary stuff.
  • Right now I’m wishing some hook-handed guy will come rattle his metal appendage against my door handle and give me an excuse to not think about the truly scary stuff.

Since my own personal urban legend dissipated in the light of an 18-wheeler packed with beets—the stalker eventually mumbled something about having to go to the bathroom and hopped out at the top of Cuesta Grade as I slowed a little to see if I could get the trucker to pass me—I’m stuck here in this nightmare from which there is no waking.

Seriously. This campaign season has been dum—which is so dumb, it’s spelled wrong. I have never seen such petty partisanship, obvious campaigning masquerading as online independent journalism, and overall dumbpidity in as long as I can remember.

There have been edited soundbites, cropped photos, and more one-sided trickery than a Möbius strip. And that’s just on the local level. Nationally, we’ve had Fox News “personalities” disdainfully discouraging young women from voting because they don’t have any life experience—a reason they also don’t make good jurors, per someone named Kimberly Guilfoyle about whom I have no intention of learning any more. Her reasoning? Young women don’t have enough life experience to make important decisions that impact other people. Young women, see, don’t have kids or pay a mortgage.

I hate to break it to you, Kim, but the non-kid-having, non-home-owning (or at least home-owing) demographic extends beyond young women. Far beyond. I can think of a few young men who fit that category, too. And some older women. And older men. And young couples. And older couples.

Actually, I don’t hate to break any of that to you. I hate that I have to break it to you at all, and right now I’m wishing some hook-handed guy would come rattle his metal appendage against my door handle and give me an excuse to not think about the truly scary stuff.

This point in my column would be a good one to mention how terrifying it is that potential voters don’t seem to show much interest in being actual voters these days, but I’m not in the mood to shame the people who don’t check the box for the lesser of all the evils and consider their duty done. With slimy politicians like the ones we tend to see (and their often slimier friends) I’m not surprised that only 41 percent of you registered voters (tons of people didn’t even bother to register) voted in the June 3 primary election in SLO County. That includes in-person and by-mail voters alike.

Want me to break it down more before I actually break down? Slightly more than 46,600 people sent their ballots in by mail, while a little more than 15,600 actually left the house to vote on Election Day (June 3).

But I’m not condemning them. This is in a county where debates are apparently taboo, since the public candidate interactions are blanded down into forums dominated by pre-submitted, pre-vetted, pre-chewed questions. This is an area where incumbents get their claws in and don’t let go, from Congress on down.

About the only exception to that rule is Julie Rodewald, the county clerk-recorder who’s decided to not run again for her elected position and is basically retiring by stepping down after more than 33 years with grace and decorum—despite the fact that she’s one of the coolest, most level-headed, and competent public servants to grace a ballot in this vicinity.

I’ll be sorry to see her go—about as not sorry as I’ll be to finally bid farewell to this election season in all its hobo-fundraising, sign-putting-up and/or-stealing, write-in-trumpeting, late-night-city-hall-lurking, overblown-overreacting, global-warming-shrugging, man’s-man-accusing, campaigning-for-the-board-that-fired-you-ing looniness.

Never before have I been so glad to be a college co-ed who just lost my virginity. We’re always the first to go in horror movies, especially after we say something innocuous, yet foreboding.

What’s that sound?

I can only dream that it’s an escaped insane asylum patient come to take me away from all of this.

I’ll be right back.

 

After finishing the column, I found my sweater draped over a tombstone marked The Shredder, who had died a year ago that very night. Send your own twist endings to shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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