Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Toeing The Line

Stella and I voted early today at the Fiesta Mart on Kirby just north of Reliant Stadium, which you may recognize if you follow pro football. (We don't.) Fiesta Mart caps one end of a gigantic shopping center. Fiesta alone is about the size of a typical Wal-Mart (but fortunately has no other characteristics of Mall-Wart); the rest of the center contains several useful and/or enjoyable places including Dimassi's Mediterranean Buffet.

Anyway, back to voting. Today was the second day of early voting. As we often do, we waited out the first day to avoid the worst of the crowds. It didn't work. When we arrived sometime after 1:00 PM, the voting line began at the large main door of the store, but it did not go straight to the alcove containing the polling place. Oh, no, nothing so easy. It led about 100' to the right along the food court, turned toward the back of the store beside the international frozen foods (Fiesta's specialty, if it can be said to have one), ran straight toward the back of the store to the deli, angled further right past the bakery, and finally turned at last toward the front of the store and the large alcove containing the poll. All in all, the line ran several hundred feet, and only slightly fewer people than feet. Never in my life have I seen so many people voting at one place and time!

It took us about 1¼ hours to traverse the whole line and vote. By the end, there was very little left of either of us; indeed, everyone in line seemed in high spirits but... pooped! I was happy to note no shortage of cripples among the voters... we do vote; take us seriously! My booted foot ached. Stella felt, as my dear departed mother would have said, that "my tired hurts." But the deed was done.

There's a lot of good news here.

First, the racial and socioeconomic diversity of the voters today was vast. Part of that may have been the location of this particular poll at a multicultural grocery store: even on a normal Tuesday, thousands of people buy groceries there drawn from cultures including Mexican from various regions, African of several countries, various South American cuisines, British Isles specialities [sic], Indian and Pakistani fast food, several varieties of Middle Eastern food, and of course mainstream black and white American foods from several parts of the country. As a food store, Fiesta Mart is diverse beyond belief. One would expect that as a polling place it would draw Americans equally diverse in ethnicity and culture. From this I take it that just about every American is coming out to vote this year. That can't be a bad thing!

Second, the polls were run in an orderly and trouble-free manner. I saw none of the self-appointed poll vultures who said they would invade every poll in Houston to make sure no one committed (gasp!) voter fraud! I don't know if they were there yesterday, or there today but had been run off, or simply realized that with the sheer quantity and variety of Americans intent on exercising their right to vote, there was no real hope of creating a stir as they were said to have done two years ago. In any case, the absence of poll-wreckers was welcome indeed.

I suspect I'll have to rest my booted foot for several days to recover from this one. But damn, was it ever worth it! America was meant to be like this... and for at least a day, it was precisely what it was meant to be. May all of us see many more such days! Put off the fights over counting; they will come, and you will fight them as necessary. For now, it's YOUR turn, if you haven't voted yet...

No comments:

Post a Comment


• Click here to view existing comments.
• Or enter your new rhyme or reason
in the new comment box here.
• Or click the first Reply link below an existing
comment or reply and type in the
new reply box provided.
• Scrolling manually up and down the page
is also OK.

Static Pages (About, Quotes, etc.)

No Police Like H•lmes