Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Political Animals

I'm somewhat unreasonably excited that the beagle won Westminster. I currently have a Brittany, but back in the day I had two beagles, so I'm a fan. The fact that this guy beat out not one but two (count them, two) poodles makes the triumph even sweeter, because it's essentially a victory of the sweet and sloppy over the frou-frou and precious. All of this makes me think of my petless childhood, and a story about it.

I spent ten years of my life begging for a pet. I was permitted a goldfish once, which of course died within two days, having been won at a carnival and therefore having been bred for early death. Then I had a hamster who escaped from his cage and...that's actually another story that I'll tell another time. Finally, when I was 14, something or someone gave, and I was allowed to get a cat.

We went to a barn and I chose a kitten. I named him Martini, after my father's favorite drink (I didn't know it, but at the same time I also gave myself a porn name that rocks: Martini Marwood). Things proceeded apace, until my father's heart problems were discovered. In those days, one had to sit at home for a couple of months and rest before a triple bypass, so my father found himself alone all day with the cat.

My father had never had a pet, and he was a fairly anal guy. He found himself following Martini around all day, trying to prevent shedding on the furniture and other suburban disasters. He decided that the cat was bad for his heart, and had to go. In these situations, we always had a family vote. There were four of us, two parents and two kids, so in the event of a tie vote the decision always went to the kids. I didn't make them up, but those were the rules.

The question on the floor was, "Should Martini go?" I entered the caucus believing we were headed for a tie that would be decided in my favor; I knew I was a "no" and my father a "yes," and I knew that my mother didn't like pets and that my sister did. What I didn't know was that, behind closed doors, my father gave my sister $20 to vote his way. In a crushing 3-1 defeat, Martini was shipped off to my aunt's house.

When I complained of vote-fixing, my father said, "It's good you learn this now. This is the way democracy works. Never forget it."

As I watch another Presidential election unfold, I spend more and more time remembering this lesson.

5 comments:

tunsie said...

I am in the pub industry.and you were told 2 close on election day because politicians use to bribe people with drinks 4 votes.the law has since changed u r now allowed 2 open on election day.I opt not 2 open because I don't want someone voting drunk.u might vote 4 a libertarian,and then we would be in a mess.tunsie.tunsie.tunsie

Elucidator said...

Based on the last two Presidential elections, you may as well be open on Election Day. Drunk voters are the only possible explanation for the Bush administration.

tunsie said...

I worked a couple of elections,and I hope they don't accuse me of bribing anyone.I was handing out emery boards and pencils.but I had the most beautiful 11 year old girl in the whole wide world working with me.so I used the ahhhhhhhhhh factor in swaying votes.Tunsie.tunsie .tunsie

Anonymous said...

Martini Marwood, huh? I guess that would make me Mitsy Washington. I'm sorry you were out-voted. Gotta love your dad for his charmingly corrupt ways and his obvious respect for the educational process, though.

eastongirl said...

I am Princess Sutton.