Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Voter Intimidation

I’ve done all I can for this election, now, except beg. So I went to Mass.

The church I attend is one of those awful gym-like Vatican II affairs with the tabernacle helpfully separated and hidden from the actual parishioners, but fortunately the building is currently under renovation to make it even more horrible. There are mounds of dirt and cranes and liturgical dancers scattered all over the place, and happily it turns out to be a polling place besides, so this morning I got to dodge furious lost people as well.

The great thing about voting in a construction war zone is that it makes it difficult for the literature-shovers to find you. When I drove past, one of them attempted to intimidate me by standing around with a sign, but it was approximately the size of an index card, so I have no idea what it said. As you can imagine, I was very, very shaken.

Daily Mass in these drywalled parts takes place in a small, ugly chapel behind an extremely inspiring cardboard curtain. Voting was taking place directly on the other side of the divider, so we were kneeling there during the consecration with “PLEASE LINE UP ALONGSIDE THE FAR WALL AND LEAVE ALL LITERATURE…” as background music. I thank Thee, Lord, for this half-hour of respite from all things election.

Things are so unhinged around here that I turned to the Big Guns and got down on my knees with my Rosary. Today is Tuesday; we recite the Sorrowful Mysteries on Tuesdays. I did the Sign of the Cross. I said the Apostle’s Creed. Annnnnnd—knelt there.

And knelt there.

And knelt there.

I could not remember the Sorrowful Mysteries. A lifetime of rounding the beads, and I was utterly vapor locked. This was the set, I knew, that was somewhat depressing, what with all the whipping and the carrying and the crucifying, but I couldn’t remember the order, or the titles, and I considered going home and getting a prayer book, but then I couldn’t remember where I parked my car, either.

“Hold on a sec,” I said to the tabernacle, and got up and called my mother to tell me what they were.

“You need to calm down,” she said.

“Right,” I said. “Who is this again?”

An official from Orange County stopped me as I left. "Did you vote?" he snapped. I dropped my missalette and ran away, because... voter intimidation on your way out? MOST. RIDICULOUS. STATE. EVER.

1 comment:

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