Here's the Scoop: Nov. 5, 2008

Signs of the times
For months, people have been complaining that they’re tired of the presidential campaign.
Well, the media outlets that are doing all this reporting have also been reaping some of the rewards of the record spending by candidates. So, they might not be totally sick of the campaign just yet, but most of the rest of us have reached that point.
I’m thinking that if the campaign were a few months longer, the money the candidates are spending could probably single-handedly end the recession. Who needs bailouts?
As a humor columnist, I’m forbidden from allowing my political beliefs to enter into this space. That’s too bad. Because a few weeks back, I received a “call” from “John McCain” telling me why I should vote for him and not his opponent.
If I had been free to comment on this episode, I could have recounted how I hung up and told my wife, very truthfully. “Wow, was that a wrong number.” But, I can’t.

Let us out! Fast!
Or, if I had the ability to make political comments, I could write that I hope Sarah Palin is soon free to return to her little known side job of having her voice piped in over a public address system to drive people crazy in hostage situations. Unfortunately, my contract won’t allow me to make such observations.
I must admit that I do have strong feelings about this election. I just can’t make them known here.
This is really too bad, because in a small town, it’s not too difficult to tell which direction folks are leaning when they enter the voting booth. Just listen to the chatter at the convenience store. Not many “secret ballots” around here.
I’d be willing to bet that because most people are pretty well-known to others in a small town, election workers could provide a highly accurate “entrance poll” — figuring out how people are going to vote before they even set foot behind the curtain.
This familiarity takes some of the “fun” out of the anonymity provided by the election booth. Still, one can’t be entirely certain how others are going to vote. Except, of course, in those cases where people dress as their favorite candidate when they come to cast their ballots. You can pretty much be sure how these fanatics will be pulling the lever.
There are also a percentage of folks who proudly display their choice of candidates by displaying lawn signs. I always find it fascinating driving through larger metropolitan areas at this time of year and campaign signs kind of take the place of foliage on the ground.
This isn’t the case in rural communities. Sure, a number of these campaign signs turn up along state, county and town roads. However, there are also many of these signs that get stuck on lawns — as the name suggests.
By having the conviction to put these signs on one’s property, homeowners are taking a strong stance. This is good. Or bad.
It seems that some people don’t like others to advertise their political preferences. If you are suspicious that you may know someone who fits this description, simply wander over to their garage during campaign season. If the space is bulging with campaign signs favoring someone you know the owner would never vote for, your intuition was correct.
Warning: If you discover this type of sign thievery, don’t take matters into your own hands — this is best handled by those equipped to deal with Law’n Order.