Tuesday, October 07, 2003
Today I voted in the California Recall Election. My polling place was at a cowboy clothing store called Kings Western Wear (an ominous-sounding name for a site of democratic selection). As I was standing in line a middle-aged man behind me suddenly started speaking to himself. "That's a Texas state flag," he said. "Do you see that? That's a Texas flag." Before too long he was shouting: "This is California! Why is there a Texas state flag on the store wall! I demand that the flag be taken down! This is a California polling place!" At first I thought he was joking, but he walked right up to the little old lady who was handing out ballots and yelled "There's a Texas flag on the wall! That shouldn't be there! Why is it there?" She very gently replied that this was a western wear store and it was to be expected, after all. He said that California was western too and demanded the flag be taken down right away. "Are you the manager? Bring me the manager!" The manager came out and the guy continued to yell, "This is California, not Texas! Why is there a Texas flag on the wall?" The manager repeated, "Well, we're a western wear store. And that's actually a bandana, not a flag." In the end, the madman got his way, and the Texas bandana was taken off the wall. As I walked out I saw a guy from Edison Polling (the company that conducts exit polls). He was reading the newspaper and didn't really seem to be asking anyone anything.