A few years ago on a whim I gave up a potential Assistant Dean position at a medical college where I was teaching and, in a moment of clarity (or insanity, depending on the day), we moved from a large East coast city to a small tourist-like town on the water in a different state.
To say that it has been interesting would be a major understatement. There are days when Todd and I look at each other with that "WTF have we done?!?" terror in our eyes. (For example, when we say, "What do you want to eat tonight? McDonald's or Big Boy?! OOOH the choices..."). Then there are days that I think "What a fantastic place to be and raise a child." For example, a couple of weeks ago we closed the bookstore for a few days and went out of town. My return was met with a barrage of "We were so worried that something happened to you/the baby" concerns from CUSTOMERS. It was nice. That NEVER would've happened on the East Coast. Hell, I lived across the street from the same neighbor for five years there and didn't even know their names (aside from the one that I gave the wife - NOSY NETTIE - because she used to hide in her garage and spy on us whenever we were doing something in the front yard. I digress...). I could've been maimed and bleeding in my house for months (maybe years until my dogs gnawed my body into an unrecognizable state) before someone would've noticed.
Anyway, one thing that you really don't notice until you move to a small town is the politics. I mean, sure I knew what was going on when we lived back East, but NOTHING like when you live in a small town. Here it's personal, especially when you own a business. You hate the crooked good ole boys running your town, but then have to see them at the grocery store. Or in a restaurant. Or at the local football games.
So there was a BIG election here yesterday - scandalous - the old Mayor and many of the old commissioners needed to GO. I mean, HELLLOOOOO, who the hell re-elects the same commissioner for TWENTY FREAKIN' YEARS?!?! I don't care how bad/good you are in office. After 20 years, your vision is clouded and jaded (and FYI-this person sucked-BUH BYE).
The point of this entire, long-winded posting is not to bring you up to speed on my small town mayoral election. Instead, it is to apprise you of an interesting campaign tactic one of the citizens took in town (and, hey, you never know, you may feel the need to borrow it for your own small town election).
Let me preface by saying this is a pretty run down house on the main strip (intermingled with the businesses). It's an awful eyesore, so it was no surprise one day while driving by I noticed that they had placed not one but TWO toilets on either side of their front porch.
Yeah. Redneck doesn't even begin to cover it.
A few days later, a professionally printed banner appeared across their front porch: "This city is going down the toilet, vote for change!" Not a bad campaign tactic, but I think a picture of a toilet on the banner would've sufficed. Even more interesting is that the house belongs to the local deadbeat mom, crack HO, drunk. Of course, these are all suppositions of mine based on the following:
- In the summer, I watch her daily stumble from bar to bar starting at around 9 a.m.
- She weighs a good 250+ and wears short-shorts, stained Tshirts, and no bra
- She barely has any teeth left
- Her 13-ish son is the town juvey (and I watch the police follow him around in the summer)
- Once, when her son opened my door at the bookstore and shouted to me, "HEY YOU. GET ME SOME CANDY" I said, "Where are you parents?!?" His reply was to point across the street to the local pub.
So, imagine my surprise at her taking a political stand. I mean, HELLLOOO? This women is registered to VOTE? I didn't even know she could read, let alone know where to get a professional banner printed with a witty slogan.
Life in a small town is anything but dull.
(And, I'm afraid to learn what happened to those toilets...or IN those toilets).