Saturday, March 26, 2011


It's almost nine 'o' clock when I started writing this, God knows when I'll finish it, and whilst you're dozing cuddly with your loved one, stuffed animal or stuffed loved one, I was out this morning voting. I don't think I'm better than you in anyway, I wake up early every morning, I'm unemployed, I'm up at six-thirty or seven every morning, I am nothing more than Phil Connors from Groundhog Day but without purpose, wit or a beautiful early 90's co-star.
Damn, Andy McDowell, what happened to you?!
But like Phil Connors, my apprehension about human contact, specifically with people who I don't care too much about because I don't know them enough. Since I'm not Rebecca Black, I had bacon and eggs for breakfast and lounged around for a bit till about eight and then headed out. I arrived at the polling place, a school a short walk from my house, but fuck it, I needed to get petrol this morning. I parked almost a block away from the actual place because the tightly confined streets had been turned into a temporary car graveyard, which I had to manoeuvre around in my own brightly-coloured metal death trap.
What is young Keanu Reeves doing to Jennifer Aniston?
I got out of my car, feeling the cold wind suddenly strike up and made me wish I was wearing a jacket and that I wasn't out here like a dope at eight in the morning whilst everyone is busy having a good morning and are happy or being pandered too all morning from Sunrise and Today and whatever else is on TV on Saturday mornings that I decided to never watch again after I was thirteen. The first thing I encounter on my quest to have my voice 'heard' (read?) are the same three or four people outside the gates who make you feel sorry for them. They probably have no real affiliation with the parties they're handing out their pamphlets for and if they are, you feel even more sorry. They're probably not even getting paid.
Gettin' Paid, Gettin' laid
Meanwhile, inside. the people who are actually helping slowly crossing out your name, handing you pieces of paper, telling you where to go and helping the older people fold their vote and put into a nice white cardboard box, are getting paid. One of my friends (and probably only reader), is actually working there this morning and being paid pretty well, when all she really wants is a reference. If she had any real political preference (that I knew about) I'm sure she could con a job in with some other Labor, Green or Liberal affiliated work, like an abortion clinic, a Greenpeace boat or a slaughterhouse...because my idea of a political job is stuck all the way back in 1975.
They're doing what now?
After taking a pamphlet on how to vote, because I always feel like I need a refresher course just in case they decided to change something, like sacrificing via seppuku, the third person line behind you or anyone who tries to push in. That's one thing I find amusing is that no matter what kind of queue or line, someone will push in. If it was a line for free blowjobs from a Herpes-infested Paris Hilton, people would be pushing and shoving, just to get it over and done with.
So regular Paris Hilton?

Looking forward and behind me in line, because I'm a nosy prick, I had noticed that I was probably the youngest person there. A lot of the people in front of me were fairly old guys, slightly balding or terribly thinning grey hair and women who push down on their knees to get up a single step or who's shrill voice, laughing or commenting on political contents would put Fred Nile on edge. Upon getting inside, I was nearly pushed aside by an overweight man who's wheezing was so loud that it could have it's own soap box fighting for asthmatics. A nice woman with short black hair, glasses and a green floral shirt asked me how I was this morning and smiled and then told me to go to number six. I'd felt special, like every person talked to formally in a line, I was someone now, I am number six.
Suck it Number Four!
I made my way over to six and there was a guy already there and the number six fantasy had faded, I was just a number being pushed into another queue. I felt shattered until she called me forward. She asked me my last name and like always I have to spell it out and because I have a weird voice, I had to accentuate the first letter and the R in my name. She then asked me my Christian name, a term which usually takes me 2-3 seconds to react and then say, oh yeah, it's Harrison. She then got a ruler and crossed out my name, very thorough and clear. She then pulled out a very long piece of paper and ripped off a small piece of paper. Seeing the larger one I wanted to roll it into a scroll and the smaller one I felt like making a paper plane out of it. She then directed me to the polling boxes and told me that there was a free one ready and waiting.
Take my vote!
I filled out my candidates and just filled in one's and then that was it. All this advertisement, all this build-up and pointless ads, both good or bad, I put down a single stroke, looking like an accidental scratch, like when you're holding a pen and trying not to do anything and you seem to make a random mark. I nearly rolled up my larger piece of voting paper and then I remembered I had to fold it and did so about ten times, half and half and half and so on. The smaller one, just a single fold and I a smaller queue. I had to fold the larger piece again and then put it into the boxes, which I wonder if they make new polling boxes every year or just pull out the old ones and then the rest of the year they're used as tables and building in school plays. As I was leaving an old man behind me said the amount of folding they had to do for the large sheets, they should just tell us to make some origami. Whether or not the guy was being racist I still chuckled and I would have high-fived him if I actually wanted to go back in there and wasn't afraid of shattering the poor guy's bones.
Japanese Voting. Yes, I am racist, why do you ask?
Leaving the school I though of how the US system is so secretive and so important and serious and how the Australian way, whether we're just laidback or have apathy towards our country's democracy, I had felt that compulsary voting or any voting has come down to just another process. There's no pazzaz for voting and I know that advertising budgets are limited, that this was just a state election, but I remembered several months ago when I had to vote, my first time, I was barely excited beforehand and then frustrated afterward, it was like being with a Christian girl that you've seen blown ugly guys.
Okay, no, seriously what the fuck?
So as I sit at home waiting for the sky to clear up a bit more before I have a weekend of studying, writing and drinking ahead of me, I just hope people don't bother getting up today. I really want you to just sleep tight, grab some tea, go hire out your favourite Aussie movie or go call up a mate and get some meat and eat a lamington and vote by cracking open some alcohol and eating to your heart's content...but know, vote, maybe.
How I wish I was most of the time...

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