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What, me vote?

by Jessica Brandt

So I voted for the first time this year.

People say "If you don't vote, then you can't complain." Well I'll tell you what. I don't complain much. Sure, I get my paycheck and think "Boy, I sure don't like paying so much in taxes." But then I think "Boy, I sure do like the interstate highway system," and then I go take a nap.

To be perfectly honest, elections really confuse me. I watched this whole presidential thing unfold, and I think I have that vote down. I'm not very impressed with anyone running, but I know which bores me the least. I wish there were a candidate that was more like a genie. One who would be able to grant wishes for us. Instead of promising to maybe change Social Security in some way, why not promise me that I will be free of this wretched seasonal sinus infection? Why not promise to offer more night classes at my school in my major so I don't have to get up before noon?

But get this -- there were MORE things we're supposed to vote on this year, other than just the president. For example, county commissioners, judges, representatives and congresspersons. And for the life of me, I couldn't tell you what these people are supposed to do. I don't know the difference between a senator and a congressperson or state versus U.S. positions.

I had to make this Website for school. It had all these interesting facts about all these different candidates for all these different interesting positions. Facts like who they are married to, where they went to school, and what religion they are. I honestly did not know we were supposed to vote based on those things. But Iím told it doesnít really matter much what I think about this Website, because itís for Portage County and I live in Summit County. Imagine that! Now I know that I have to vote for things in my specific city, in my specific county in my specific state, and the president.

All of these questions, all of these big decisions ≠ and someone out there wants my opinion. Even though I have a nice, juicy GPA, I still have a hard time remembering things like getting up in the morning and eating. Iíve got a lot on my mind, and someone out there expects me to remember who I want for the Ohio This-and-That in the Nth district.

Don't get me wrong, I voted. But just because I could, and just because I think democracy is spiffy. Granted, I think things like mechanical pencils and power windows are spiffy, but that's why I use them, right? And I am more than qualified to vote. I am over 18 and I filled out a card asking to vote and I got Okíd.

So myself, along with millions of other dumbfounded Americans, went to the polls on November 7th, blindly making our marks next to the candidatesí names that sound the most familiar. But thatís why America is so great. Because weíre all free to make bad decisions, and since we voted, weíre also allowed to complain about them. And then weíre allowed to yell at our peers about how un-American they are and how they should just shut up and stop complaining because they didnít vote.

And since voting is anonymous, you never have to fess up to the fact that your dumb vote got that one person into office that messed everything up for everyone. You can walk around for the rest of your life pretending that you liked the other guy all along.

But now there's even more to the story. I think I did something wrong, because this was my first time voting and all of a sudden the whole system is messed up. Maybe I marked my hanging chad wrong! Was I supposed to vote for just one guy? Should I have punched harder?

I am not sure if I should vote in the next election. That might make things easier on all of us here in America. Maybe the French won't be lauging at us next time if I just don't vote.

They say it was the old folks in Florida who messed it up. Or maybe it was Jeb Bush. Who puts a guy anmed Jeb in charge, anyway? I suppose we can say this whole mess belongs to George H.W. Bush and Babs. Or maybe Dana Carvey.

Maybe I will vote again, to see if my vote makes this big of an impace next time. When can I go again? Next year? Yee haw!






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