Candidate For The Douche Party

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This time I’m absolutely positive of the year. 1985 — spring to be precise, and my high school, my class more accurately, was in the throes of a heated student council presidential/vice presidential election.

Outwardly, I was unaffected by the whole dog-and-pony show, unmoved by the speeches echoing through the school’s faux marble hallways, and just plain too busy playing frisbee and smoking my Marlboro Reds in the Pit. Inwardly, it was quite a different story.

The administration limited active campaigning to one week which culminated with the candidates addressing the class the day before the ballots were to be cast. Posters were hung around the school, and candidates could be found “stumping” (although I didn’t know that’s what it was called) outside the Library and Cafeteria. I’m sure they’d have been kissing babies if I went to a public school.

It was the day of the speeches. Each group took their turn on the stage, some trying to make a difference, others promising new video games in the cafeteria. As I left the auditorium, I had trouble remembering who promised what, but I knew that my mind was made up. I was going to run. Forget that it was too late, forget that I didn’t have a running mate, forget that I was somewhat forgettable. Forget it all, I was going to go home, lock myself in my room, and put together the greatest one-day write-in student council presidential campaign ever seen.

Since the speeches were done, posters were gonna be my only way to speak to the voters. They’d have to stand out. Phrases like “Vote for Bob” or “Bob for President” weren’t going to cut it — not this late in the game. I was somewhat artistic, which is to say I could draw things like sharks, football helmets (both no help), and characters from the Sunday Comics (Hmm, maybe). So I locked the door, broke open a pack of Crayola markers, and worked right through dinner. There was no time to eat; not with the student council presidency right there in my grasp.

Election Day.
I woke up before the alarm, inspired and confident. I mean with endorsements from the likes of Snoopy, Hagar the Horrible, and Ziggy, what future high school senior wouldn’t vote for me. I tossed the posters into the backseat of my car, a white Oldsmobile station wagon (make that a white diesel Oldsmobile station wagon complete with the plug sticking out of the grille), and headed off to school. I had some ideas where I wanted to hang my three posters, but I still thought I should get there early just in case. In case of what, I don’t really remember.

School Parking Lot.
Posters?  Check. Tape?  Check. All set. As I was grabbing my back-pack, another car pulled into the space two down from me. I threw the posters back onto the seat and shut the door. They said “hey,” I nodded. They were taking their time getting their stuff together, so I lit a cigarette so I didn’t look like some wack-job lot-loiterer (who would vote for somebody like that?). They finally left just in time for another car to pull in, and another.

It was then, maybe for the first time in two days, that the little voice in my head made any sense whatsoever. It said (loudly and clearly) “DON’T YOU DARE HANG THOSE FUCKING POSTERS UP IN THAT SCHOOL.” Deciding to listen to it , I took a surprisingly relieved drag of my smoke and flicked it as far as I could before heading into the building. Whew, that was a close one.

Homeroom came and went, we all voted, the results would be announced at the end of the day. I didn’t care who would be named the winner, happy that I had escaped being named the LOSER. The rest of the day went swimmingly, no turbulence whatsoever. The PA interrupted eighth period to share the results of the election, then the bell rang. Even with all the excitement and conversation surrounding the election today, I had managed to forget the fact that I almost made an ass out of myself, and I totally forgot about the posters in my car. Even after I agreed to give two of my neighbors a ride home.

The three of us got to my car.

ME: (turning to the neighbor in the back seat) Oh, just slide that shit over to the other side.
NEIGHBOR: Okay, cool. Dude, what’s this?
ME: What? (something starting to occur to me) Oh, that’s noth–
NEIGHBOR: (interrupting) Ziggy says “Bob for Pre–
ME: Nothing. That’s just some joke thing I was gonna do

The neighbor in the backseat hands one of the other posters to my shotgun neighbor.

SHOTGUN NEIGHBOR: Snoopy wants you to vote for Joe Cool, I mean Bob.

Laughter erupted in the Love Boat (my car’s nickname), real knowing laughter. Laughing-at-you laughter, not with-you laughter. There was going to be no convincing them this was all just a joke. EVER! Not knowing what else to do, I grabbed the posters and just started running across the empty baseball field adjacent to the parking lot. I think I was halfway through the neighborhood beyond the campus before I stopped running.

They were gone when I got back to my car, I assume they got a ride from somebody else, I didn’t really care too much at that point.

© copyright 2009  

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8 Responses to “Candidate For The Douche Party”

  1. You probably would have got my vote if you had hung those suckers up and I had gone to your school. School elections are a complete joke – the first time I voted for student body president in the 5th grade I tried actually voting for who seemed the smartest and had the best ideas. All my friends just acted like a cult and voted for whoever was the most popular and had the right connections. I gave up on the whole sham after 7th grade. From then on I just wrote in imaginary votes and let the douchebag hacks duke it out.

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  3. I think that is an interesting point, it made me think a bit. Thanks for sparking my thinking cap. Sometimes I get so much in a rut that I just feel like a record.

  4. Schooling is an extremely important element of each and every kid’s life, yet I really do believe public school presents kids skills and life instruction that a private or even homeschool just can’t guide them. Playing with other people their particular age as well as things like that is essential to each and every young student.

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