Today between placing a lockbox on a property and picking my daughter up from school, I had about 75 minutes to kill and no productive way to use that time, until I realized I was driving past the Randalls at Brodie and Slaughter Ln. in Southwest Austin. This, I had heard, is the early voting location for my precinct, and I needed more oatmeal, so I pulled in to Randalls.
Overall, this was a good, cheerful day for me. Standing in the voter line threw a wet blanket on it though. 30 minutes of sharing space with grim faced, unsociable people was a real downer. This line would not be mistaken for a festive line of people waiting to be let in to a ZZ-Top concert, or the gleeful bunch of iPhone “early adopters” you may have seen on the news last summer.
Nope, these are arms folded, blank stare, don’t-talk-to-me-I’m-brooding, line standers. I guess pleasant, cordial chit chat is off the table when engaged in the solemness of one’s civic duty. Had I been blindfolded and led to this line, I might have guessed I was standing amongst people waiting to pick caskets for their dead puppies. I considered making eye contact with someone, maybe throwing one of those wry “what’s up?” smiles toward someone, but I dared not, as the pall of depressed hanging faces thus deterred me.
Read more …