SO TODAY IS Election Day, and I went to my brother’s house out in The County (I live in Baltimore City so anything not here is The County) to pick up a couple of his window-unit air conditioners to take to our storage for the winter. I’m standing outside my bro’s house minding my own business waiting for him to come out, and I notice a bunch of plastic campaign signs in a tidy pile on the lawn behind a nearby business. I walked over and flipped through them, just to see the different designs and if any of them had funny names or memorable slogans, which they didn’t. The only one I can recall right now is the largest sign, twice as big as the rest of them, that read: HAD ENOUGH? VOTE REPUBLICAN.
My brother lives near this business, which is near a polling place. An angry-looking man walked up to the pile of signs and said to me: “Do you know who touched these signs?” Well, I had just finished touching them all, but I figured maybe he was angry about them being taken down, so I asked him if they had been in place and taken down. He said “Yeah, some cocksucker took ‘em all down.” I was pretty sure they were not placed legally, but I wasn’t sure about the local ordinances. I said “Huh, were they placed on public property?” He replied: “Yeah, and that’s a Federal Offense, to even touch those signs!”
I ignored the “cocksucker” part, because I’m always curious about people who use that as a disparagement, as if it’s a bad thing, cock sucking, but instead I asked him, “Are you sure that’s a Federal Offense, taking some signs down?”
He said “Yeah I’m sure, they were right over there on public property!” He motioned to a small spit of grass bordering the business parking lot and the sidewalk. Now, I was pretty sure that was private space, belonging to the business, but I said “OK, hey, are the signs all the same party affiliation?”
He said “Yeah it fuckin’ looks that way,” and then he removed a coupla signs from the pile and said to me, as he walked toward his vehicle, “Well, we’ll look at the camera and see who did this. You have a nice fucking day.”
I replied that I did not appreciate the profanity, but I hoped he’d do the same. He stopped, because I think he was too far away to hear me clearly, or maybe this was an intimidation move, and he said “What the fuck did you just say?”
I then replied “I SAID, I DO NOT APPRECIATE THE USE OF THE PROFANITY, BUT YOU GO AHEAD AND ALSO HAVE A NICE DAY,” to which he replied “‘Scuse me, I work in a kitchen. Have a nice fuckin’ day,” to which I replied “CHEF!” I’ve been watching The Bear and it’s mostly set in a restaurant kitchen and everybody’s angry all the time and they all call each other “chef.”
I then got on the phone with my brother to see what was taking him so long, and as the guy pulled out of the parking lot with his signs—which for some reason he did not place back in the “public space”—he leaned toward the car window to let me know he was watching me talk on my phone, and off he went. Happy Election Day!
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