Sunday, May 15, 2011

The New Canada by Margaret Ullrich

I work as a poll clerk.
I cross off your name so that no one else can come and pretend to be you.
The days of 'Vote early and vote often' are long gone.
It's hard enough to get people to vote, never mind pretending to be someone else.
But sometimes politics, like money, can make people act crazy.
I mean, did you hear some of their campaign promises?

It's a government job.
It's like doing the income tax form.
I don't have to understand it, I just have to follow directions.

You probably think election workers are happy to have an almost steady income.
But we, if not the politicians, were getting embarrassed by the non-confidence crap.
The politicians who called for this don't have to face annoyed citizens.
The poll clerks and deputy returning officers are like the clerks in the store.
We're stuck apologizing for shoddy work.
Or, in the case of some politicians, no work.

Anyway, On May 2, I was at my post.
I was seated next to the poll for my neighborhood.
Neighbors dropped by to say hi as they left.
That's one of the perks of the job.

Well, it was until this week.

A, former partner of B, managed to find time to vote.
After he voted he stopped by my table.
He smiled and said he has to have us over for a glass of wine...
after he replaces the floor and the kitchen cabinets, which had been torn out.
Oh, and B is in the Psych Ward of the Brandon General Hospital.

Alrighty, then.

Luckily my DRO and I were busy with new voters.
A's tale of woe was forgotten while we sorted forms.

A couple of days after the election, Paul was raking the thatch.
A returned from work, and strolled over to Paul.
In the throes of euphoria - either at Kevin Lameroux's re-election or at his newly single life - A told Paul about his recent adventures.

It had looked like a 'Hoarder's' episode on The Learning Channel.
A had needed to shovel a path to get through the rooms.
Garbage and filth everywhere.
With a stench that took 2 days to air out.
A's friend almost vomited. 

About the laminate floors and kitchen cabinets... B had torn them out.
The flooring had been a 'lover's revenge' touch.
A and B together had installed the flooring in happier days.

Hell hath no fury as a bum about to be kicked out.

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