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An open letter to the candidates


Judith Murphy October 19th, 2006

Dear candidates: What if I promise to vote for you? Hey, what if I double-dog promise? (OK, some of you; my ballot will limit me to marking the box for just under half of all possible candidates. I di...

Dear candidates:
What if I promise to vote for you? Hey, what if I double-dog promise? (OK, some of you; my ballot will limit me to marking the box for just under half of all possible candidates. I didn't make the rules, you know.)
 
Anyway, if I promise, will you please stop getting in touch with me? I care about your positions on the issues. Really. I have looked at all the yard signs in front of neighbors' homes. I have read your door hangers and postcards and some portion of the mailed brochures and personal letters addressed to me. Admittedly, I haven't looked at much of the bulk mail, on the theory that if your idea of an endearment is "Dear Occupant," your tender enticements probably aren't all that sincere.
 
I've even answered the doorbell for a few of you and smiled pleasantly as you introduced yourself and assured me that only you have the solutions for the problems of the community, district, state, nation, world, galaxy and/or cosmos. I shook your hand and promised to consider voting for you, while trying to stay relatively noncommittal about whatever actually was going through my brain. In truth, it probably was something along the lines of "I wonder if I have enough bread for bacon and tomato sandwiches?" That wasn't your fault. I was hungry.
 
Most of all, if I make " and follow through on " all the promises, will you please, please, please stop sending me e-mail?

I am indeed gratified to know that you and the members of your respective staffs are possessed with technological know-how. I am delighted that you care enough about my vote to send me something almost, if not every, day. I'm delighted that you care. I'm not delighted to get this stuff. Grudgingly, I give you bonus points for frugality, a fine quality in an aspiring government official, since you obviously have figured out that you can bombard me via e-mail on the cheap.
 
Here's the thing: I have a clue about why you seem to think my in-box is so very worth stuffing. Let's just say " on a theoretical basis " that I have a relative with a name something like Catalina Mangrove who, several years back, made a modest contribution to a candidate who was her longtime friend. (Note: Catalina Mangrove is not the relative's real name. Any similarity to any name on any candidate's donor list is purely coincidental.)
 
Let's say further that, at the time, Catalina did not have an e-mail account. Perhaps Catalina wished to appear tech-savvy, and thus supplied " along with the real Mangrove postal address " the easiest e-mail address to remember: mine. So, the Mangroves got the tax deduction, while I'm still getting the Internet fallout, a vast collection of personal and heartfelt missives that frequently begin, "Dear Catalinamangrove."
 
So far, dear candidates, I haven't yet marked your e-mails as "spam," sending them and their brethren of the future to unmarked graves in an electronic cemetery.
 
Oh. Don't call me anymore, either " unless it's really you, instead of your recorded doppelgänger; you actually want to take me to lunch; and we don't have to invite Catalina to come along. She always hogs the rolls and butter. - Judith Murphy 
  
 Murphy is a freelance writer who lives in Norman.
 
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