BLOG: 6's & 7'S
The election is almost over and then we can put all this political ranting aside and get back to what's really important. Pictures of cats. What everyone had for dinner. The fact that Jay ran a marathon, Leann got a high score in Bejeweled, Vicki had a candle party and Alex had a birthday. You know, important things.
And baby goats.
The last time I saw baby goat pictures was eight months ago. Not knowing the life cycle of a goat, are they adults now? Maybe they have had babies of their own? Or possibly, new baby goats, whose pictures were not taken and shared, only because it was so much more important for us to focus on whose flag lapel pin was bigger.
I know the political junkies are rolling their eyes right now, but here's the thing. Of course electing the President of the United States is important. Of course the issues are important. Of course the national debt, the unemployment rate, our foreign policy and our domestic problems are important. But, a candidate can tell me ONE TIME what they plan to do and how they plan to do it, and I get the picture. Beating me over the head with it isn't necessary. Telling me what a horrible human being your opponent is definitely isn't necessary. Send me a letter explaining your position, your plans, your vision. Thanks to public schools, I can read. And this is what I read this morning:
SIX BILLION DOLLARS.
SIX BILLION DOLLARS to elect the President of the United States. Think about that for a moment.
How many apartments could we build for the poor and elderly with SIX BILLION DOLLARS? How many teachers could we train with SIX BILLION DOLLARS? How many children could we feed with SIX BILLION DOLLARS? Pick your favorite issue and imagine it with SIX BILLION DOLLARS.
And the outside groups that donate to the candidates, well, can you say obnoxious? Spending by these groups, for and against the two main presidential candidates, has grown from $19 million per week in early September to $33 million per week in early October, to 70 MILLION during the week beginning October 21. How many jobs could have been created by the private sector with this money?
Yeah, but my longing for cat pictures is crazy.
It's not just the money. No. The worst thing that happens during a Presidential election is the division our country experiences. A year ago, we all agreed that Yolanda's baby goats were adorable. Today, we'd argue that they represent some evil plot to destroy life as we know it. A year ago, we were happy to see that Marie got a new house, today we argue that as taxpayers, it is our hard earned money that is funding that house. A year ago, we were sympathetic that Jim was hurt at work and had to go on disability, today, we want Jim to quit faking and get off his butt and go back to work.
You see, it's us against them, and right now, they are winning.
Not the Democrats or the Republicans, depending on which Koolaid you drink. The politicians, all of them. They like to see us divided, it makes us temporarily believe that it is okay to spend billions of dollars to give them a job, because it is in our best interest. They make us forget, temporarily, about how important the simple things are in our lives. But most of all, it divides us from the people we can really count on when the chips are down: each other. We lose. They win.
On Tuesday we'll finally have this election. For a week after, we'll have the analyses and the masses of those threatening to move out of the country.
Then we'll eat turkey, and put up Christmas decorations just like we always do. As a country, we won't be spending BILLIONS on an election, we can start spending those BILLIONS on fixing the problems. And sometime in mid-December, we'll start agreeing on things again. We'll cheer for the local basketball team together and we'll offer a hand to those we see in need. Sure, our country has problems, but it is our ability to agree on things, not disagree, that will get us moving in the right direction, regardless of who is in charge.
And it starts with the innocent beauty of baby goats.
Regardless of your party affiliation, it is not only your right as an individual living in a democracy, it is also your responsibility as a citizen. As Aristotle said, democracy is not just coming to terms with the fact that others have the ability to rule over you, but also the realization that you have the responsibility of sharing in that rule.
So if you haven't already, go vote!
Then we can talk about goats...
A HUGE thank you to Kelley McDowell for allowing me to share the baby goat pictures.
And since posting this, Moo and Angus have sent me a more recent picture of themselves, now eight months old, and still as cute as ever.
How do you tell your son congratulations on finishing his final comp exams toward his PhD? I guess you could send wine or flowers or even a card. But I am 1) broke and 2) not your average mom. I decided to punk him instead. Knowing that my son is an Obama supporter, I decided to send him text messages from a fake service called 'Mitt by the Minute'. The problem was he'd recognize my phone number and I'm not phone savvy enough to hide it. I needed help, and I found that help in my friend, Erica Lucke Dean, who is 1) a prankster herself and 2) has a cell phone with a Georgia area code. Perfect. So while my son sat in a bar with his peeps celebrating his academic success, Erica and I were communicating via the computer and she sent the first message:
Thank you for subscribing to Mitt By the Minute. A fact a minute about Mitt Romney. To unsubscribe, reply with f9877OIT43226.
Which was followed by a 'fact' (that we made up) every minute until he finally went completely over the edge.
Of course he tried texting back 'stop' and 'unsubscribe' and everything else he could think of, but his texts were met with "I'm sorry, that response is not recognized" followed by another 'fact'.
It took about ten minutes before I got the phone call.
"Mom, I've got a problem. Someone keeps sending me these little tidbits about Mitt Romney every minute, and I can't unsubscribe. It keeps saying 'unrecognized' when I try. I called T-mobile and they said I'd have to change my number to get it to stop!"
Me: Well son, you shouldn't have subscribed to it.
He: I didn't subscribe to it!
Me: What kind of things are they sending you?
He: Mitt Romney played Daddy Warbucks in an off Broadway production of Annie.
Me: Really? I didn't know that.
He: No! He didn't! Oh, my phone just beeped, here's another one. (Pause) Mitt Romney is your real daddy.
Me: I don't remember ever being that drunk. But, of course, if I was that drunk, I guess I wouldn't remember.
He: Mom, this is not funny.
Me: Well, maybe it will be interesting to learn a few things about the guy, right?
He: NO! Here's another one: Mitt Romney is unofficially Team Edward.
Me: Huh. I'd have thought him more of a Jacob kind of guy.
He: I can't believe you are not taking this seriously. My phone just beeped: another one. Mitt is going to ask and you better tell. WTF?
And so it went until I thought I heard him start to prematurely bald. I messaged Erica to send the last text:
He: OMG! Another one!
Me: What's it say?
He (laughing): Your mother says congratulations on your comp exams. And stop being such a wimp. Ha! This is great. I've been punked!
Me: Oh, yes you have.
He then texted Erica back with :
Ha ha hilarious, you win. I was panicking that I was being spammed. That was really good, I definitely got pranked!
And she added one more:
Mitt by the Minute is unsubscribing you for not playing along. Your information will be forwarded to Obama by the Minute.
Here are some of our other 'Mitt by the Minute' texts to my son:
Mitt Romney once saved three babies and two kittens from a burning building.
Mitt Romney is an Olympic gold medalist, an ex-Navy Seal and fishes with his bare hands.
Mitt Romney cares about you.
Contrary to rumors, Mitt Romney is not rich. At least by rich people standards.
If elected, Mitt Romney will appoint Chuck Norris as Sec of Defense.
On the weekends, Mitt Romney plays Rocky in the Rocky Horror Picture Show in Salt Lake City.
Mitt Romney would have never cheated on Robert Pattinson.
Mitt supports changing the name of the Hoover Dam to the Hoover Darn.
The next round of drinks are on Mitt.
So while other parents will send the traditional congratulatory card and flowers, those will long be forgotten during the next few grueling years of dissertation work. But I don't think my son will ever forget that on the day he passed his comp exams, he got PUNKED.
Check out Erica Lucke Dean's humorous blog at www.ericaluckedean.com
And also meet my son, Dillon Stone Tatum, PhD student extraordinaire, a scholar with a sense of humor www.dillonstonetatum.com
Follow me on Twitter @KellySGamble
Like me on Facebook at K Stone Gamble
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