Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Wisdom of the Not Necessarily Accepted Masses

“Sally forth into the unknown, I say ye. For there are twists and turns the like you can never envisage within the confines of your low mentality. We are on the very precipice of enormous happenings which will transport mankind to either the gloriousness of Paradise or the malevolent nether regions of Hades.” I turned from the rack of tabloid magazines in the Wal-Mart Supercenter on the south side of town to find the origin of such ominous tidings. Before me stood a rather slight older gentleman wearing, of all things, a suit of green with a large western belt buckle flaunting an array of green stones in the shape of a shamrock, an equally dark green beret, and a pair of those plastic shoes someone is getting rich selling to people with the holes in them and an open back, also green. On his face, he wore a pronounced Van Dyke goatee surrounded with a several day-old growth of beard. Small reading glasses hanging low on his pointed nose, apparently secured to his face by a huge growth on the left side of his face. His eyes, also green, glistened with merriment that was, at the same time, unnatural in demeanor and mischievous in deportment.

“Excuse me?” served as my only reply.

“ Now boyo, I’d be knowing yer no’ that daft. You look at those tomes and with the know ‘n in you that there is some distress in their implication.” A impish broken-toothed grin came on his face.

My first reaction, after the surprise of his appearance was, one of quiet reservation. I have spent the larger portion of my life with a unique ability to attract people of questionable sanity. I share this trait with My Dear Sainted Mother. The family mission statement as passed to us was one that taught my sister and I that we should never meet a stranger. A favorite joke around the holiday tables is the idea that Mother Dear could get stranded on a deserted south sea island and the monkeys would find the words to begin a conversation.

My particular generational evolution of this questionably enviable character asset/defect is that people of debatable sanity seem to find me wherever I go. I can be a room with a thousand other individuals, all of which are in the room for the first time and having no or limited knowledge of events, two things are going to happen; first, someone is going to ask me what is going on, and second, the one person in the crowd that is most apparently suffering from an unhealthy state of mental health will be standing next to me talking as if we had been life long bosom buddies. My reaction is always one of quiet resignation. I listen and attempt to understand what I hear. I believe all persons are important, and it is not my bailiwick to decide whose opinion holds merit. I try to be kind to those I encounter. Simply because it is the right thing to do. Another behavior gleaned from my Dear Sainted Mother.

This person seemed to have information for me, that he thought held some import. I folded my hands behind my back so as to present a welcoming attitude of supplication. He looked me up and down, and asked me quite directly, “Why haven’t you donated to Barrack Obama’s campaign?” I found myself stunned by the question. I retreated to the cliché answer of not being able to afford such a donation. He then asked me how I could justify spending three dollars on a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ten or twelve times a month when I know that as a diabetic such consumption in detrimental to my health. He continued on to chastise for such a decision when my personal beliefs are that Senator Obama holds the key to the change we need in this country.

I did not question his words as they were true. I have become consumed with this election, and the future of our country. I write often of my dissatisfaction with the state of affairs, and have not taken the most sensible step. I have not declared my position to my own satisfaction. I am officially giving my endorsement to Senator Barack Obama for President of the United States.

Not that this is a monumentally important endorsement. I do not for one second believe that my opinion is of such significance as to change the balance in this election. I just thought that if a crazy guy in Wal-Mart can hold me accountable for the rights I imagine myself to be a champion of, then it might be prudent of me to take that needed step to at least have the courage of my convictions and open my big mouth where it might reach the greatest amount of people. I don’t know how wide this page is being distributed, but it is available. More than that would be nothing but making sure I show up to vote. I am not ready to give up my Cherry Garcia. Peace.

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