(Photo of Popeye's mashed potatoes by joshbousel via Flickr.)
By Meredith Brody
As election day 2008 approached, I had more than one reason to reflect upon election day 2004.
It was, as luck would have it, the day I was scheduled to have my TV hooked up to DirecTV with TiVo, and I'd been warned to stay off the phone during the unusually generous all-day window they'd scheduled for themselves. "Because," I was cheerily told, "we'll call you when we're en route, and if we don't reach you, we won't come."
Which meant not only staying off the phone, but also the Internet, which in those dear dead days was still dial-up, chez moi. (I know!) The advantage, such as it was, that unlike many of my friends I didn't get sucked into the early-exit-poll-trap of thinking that Kerry was going to win.
As it got later and later, I got more and more anxious about voting, since the polls close at 8 p.m. And not without reason, since the installer showed up at the last possible moment, 7 p.m., and threatened to leave without completing the job if it grew too dark.
But he did complete it, and as he ran through the channels on his final check I realized to my dismay that it was all over.
Still, I hurried over to my polling place, in the lobby of what used to be called an old people's home. There were a number of said old(er) people sitting in somewhat dilapidated lawn chairs on a somewhat dilapidated lawn.
As I walked past, one of them, based on I know not what sinister deduction from my modest car or attire, challenged me: "You votin' for Bush?"
I rolled my eyes. "What do you think?," I said. They laughed.
And I went in and cast my useless vote.
And then I headed over to my favorite comfort-food-in-a-hurry place, the Popeye's Chicken on San Pablo in Berkeley.More »