Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Stranger than Fiction

When I knew I was not going to be home in time to vote, I did my civic duty and requested an absentee ballot.

This entailed faxing a request to my elections office to have one sent to me where I am currently staying, and then following it up with a real signed letter (in case I had faked the fax, I guess).

So I did.

And a week should have been sufficient because this is, after all, less than a thousand miles away and in the same country. Presumably, too, absentee ballots are sent first class mail because, well, you have to send them back that way, don't you?

I wouldn't know, of course, because I'm still waiting for mine to arrive.

When it didn't arrive yesterday -- the last possible day that it could have arrived so that I could have voted and had it postmarked (though the mail here arrives about 4 pm so it would have been cutting things close), I rang the elections office and asked about it.

"We sent it," the lady said. And she read me off the address they'd sent it to in "Templeton, Texas."

And I said, "No, it's Temple, Texas."

And she said, "Yes, Templeton, Texas."

And I said, "No, Temple."

She said, "That's what I said, Templeton."

And I said, "No. Temple. T.E.M.P.L.E."

And she said, "Yes, T.E.M.P.L.E.T.O.N."

Groundhog Day is alive and well and living in, er, some place in Texas.

So we tried again. "Temple. Two syllables, " I said. "No 'ton.'"

"Templeton?" she said with the barest hint of doubt this time.

"Temple," I said. "Tem-ple."

Silence. "Temple, Texas?" she said.

"Yes," I sighed.

Shuffle of paper. "But wehave the paper you sent. it says right here . . . 'Temple . . . Texas. Oh."

Yes.

"Well, we've got the zip code right, haven't we?"

Beats me. I haven't seen it yet. Still didn't arrive this afternoon. Not that it would have mattered if it had.

So, whoever wins, it's not my fault.

For the first time in my life, I didn't do it.

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