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Encounter with an Undecided Voter

In which I, well, encounter an undecided voter

I promise this actually happened.

I was at a concert Sunday night when a friend of mine who was sitting elsewhere came over to my buddy and my seats to chat. Let's call her Shirley because that's not her name (as Dear Abby used to say).

After a moment or two of the usual mindless chit-chat, she proudly announced, "I've been putting all the political stuff I get in a pile and haven't looked at any of it. I leave it until two days before the election and then I read it all and make up my mind."

I looked up at her. "So you're an undecided voter?" "Well, not really," she protested, "it's not that I haven't decided, I don't know anything yet." I got that; it wasn't that she hasn't decided between the alternatives, she doesn't know what the alternatives are. Now, to be fair, she was mostly referring to mailings about propositions and local offices, and indeed, most of us wait awhile to get informed on most of those questions.

So I was willing to, as they say, leave it there, but, Romney-like, Shirley didn't know when she'd made her point and thus to stop talking. "I mean, I know to vote for Feinstein, is she running this year, are we voting for Senate and House this time..." she trailed off.

I looked at my buddy. "She sounds just like that SNL sketch. Shirley, do you know who's running?" "Of course", she replied, "Romney, and Obama..."

She didn't say it "Romney and Obama", period, stop. She used that sort-of medium inflection that indicated more was to come, so I let her continue. "...and that old guy, what's his name, Ron Paul?"

At least she didn't say "Ross Perot."

I hasten to point out that this woman, a 45-year friend whom I consider reasonably intelligent (if not all-that-well informed), is a middle-class woman from Long Island with a B.A. from a well-regarded State College and a professional career.

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