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Tales from a small town

Short stories about life in a small town. Non-fiction. Great reading.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Fun at the union hall

If you've been following this blog, you know I'm running for county commissioner. I'm new to candidacy, so it's been a real eye-opening experience.

Based on the issues I'm running on, I've always felt the blue-collar vote to be my best match. As a result, I've been courting our town's largest union. They have about 1,500 members. They're a tough nut to crack, because I'm not a Democrat. I've spent alot of time going to the hall, talking to the rank and file - and the president of the union. He wasn't in today, but a few of the high ranking officers were. They always ask me what my candidacy is about, as if they expect my answer to change. It's all part of the dance, I guess.

Anyway, I've been fighting this chest infection, so my doctor put me on these really powerful antibiotics. My stomach hates them, but they work great for their intended purpose. (In the writer's world, this is called fore shadowing)

So, I'm talking to this officer in the union who really seems to like me. He kind of looks like Ronnie James Dio, if any of you know who he is. He asks me about my platform, and I'm talking away, really serious and all. I had an audience of other members, so I'm in my prime. The officer gets a phone call. He asks me to "hold that thought" while he takes it.

It was kind of an awkward moment, as I want to continue talking to the others, but I don't want to exclude the big-shot. I walk over to the pop machine, thinking buying a pop will kill time in a way that seems natural. The damn thing doesn't have Coke. I always drink Coke. There's a bunch of over-priced fruit drinks, so I settle for Pepsi. I never drink Pepsi.

I purposely fumble for change to kill time as I'm looking at the officer talk on the phone to get a gauge of whether or not his converation is ending. I get the Pepsi, and start drinking. I turned to face the other members, and raise my eyebrows, as if to say, "I wish he'd hurry up." I look at my watch, indicating I have somewhere important to be. Actually, my dog was in the truck outside, so I did want to hurry. I drink more Pepsi. He talks more. I drink more, impatiently swishing the can around, checking to make sure there isn't any more left. I drank the whole can.

Just in time! The officer gets off the phone, and goes back to his seat. "Where were we?" he asks. Finally. I start back in, all serious, and everything. Then, it hits. I remembered why I don't drink Pepsi. It doesn't agree with my stomach, and neither do the antibiotics. I feel my colon swell, and my anus slam shut. I was hit with this powerful urge to go to the bathroom, RIGHT NOW! I break out in this cold sweat, and I must've turned white, because they're all looking at me, like they can't figure out what to say.

"Well, to make a long story short," blah, blah, blah..."nice to see you guys again," blah, blah, blah, "Well, got to go!" I thought about using their bathroom, but it's right by the table where everyone was sitting, and I was afraid things might get noisy, so I left. In a hurry. So much for wowing them.

This is life on the campaign trail. Glamorous, isn't it?