Hola, amigos. How's it going with you? I know it's been a long time since I rapped at ya. I been trying get through a jungle of bullshit, but it grows back as fast as I can cut it down. I finally found some tires for my Festiva. I had to go to like five junkyards before I found some that were any good. I only had to replace one, but I decided to pick up another just in case. Tread's worn on them, but they hold air and that's all I can really hope for.
The problem was that it cost money I don't have. I was planning on getting a second job since I had my hours cut at the electronics store, but no one was hiring, at least not without a letter of recommendation. You better believe that there's no way Jim Anchower is going to crawl back to his old jobs begging for a scrap of paper. I got some pride. Besides, I can't think of the last job I had that I wasn't fired from.
I've been able to live on the cheap, but I don't know how many more corners I can cut. I switched from Tombstone to store-brand frozen pizzas. I took the bus to work for a little while, but that meant I had to get up half an hour earlier, and that's tough for a guy who likes to party. As soon as gas got down to below $3 a gallon, I was back behind the wheel. I even pick up Wayne, a guy I work with, to cut down on those costs. He's kind of a dick, but they don't call it a sacrifice for nothing. I thought about switching from Miller Genuine Draft to a cheaper beer, but I ain't ready to go that far. A man's got to have some standards.
All this is bullshit. I don't know if you remember, but there was an election about a week back, and I was fed up enough to do something about it. I haven't voted since 1996, but I decided that I wasn't going to sit this one out. It was a hard choice. Both guys said they were going to lower my taxes, and that sounded pretty good. But what I really wanted was another one of those stimulus checks.
I did my part by spending the last one I got in a couple of days. I bought a DVD player and a copy of Point Break, because it was pretty cheap, plus a few essentials, like some new undies, a pair of jeans, a couple of T-shirts, and an eighth of weed. When I heard that Obama wanted to give out another round of checks, my mind was made up.
Well, I thought it was, until I heard about Joe the Plumber. He's a straight shooter, and he really talked some sense about how Obama wanting to redistribute wealth was like socialism. And he wanted to buy his plumbing business and didn't want to pay high taxes on it. He's just like me. I want to buy the electronics chain store I work at so I can sit at a desk and collect scratch all day, and I don't want the government coming in and taking it away from me.
But then, when I bought those tires, I reconsidered again. I think I don't like socialism, but my economy really needs to be stimulated. Night before the election, I was just going to sit down and watch the news over a few beers to make up my mind, so I could use my Anchower power to put a guy in office.
After work on Monday, Wayne asked me if I could take him to the grocery store. I wasn't sure what time the news was on, but I told him I was in a hurry. He sweetened the pot by offering to throw in another couple of bucks for gas. Well, I had to look out for No. 1, so I drove him to the store. It worked out good, because they were running a sale on cases of MGD, so I picked up a couple. I know it was money, but you got to strike while the sale iron is hot. It would have cost me money not to buy them. By the time I got home, I only saw the last few minutes of Seinfeld and Wheel Of Fortune. But then I remembered the late news was going to be on, so I just parked myself down, cracked a cold one, and watched whatever was on.
A couple hours later, I had made it through Terminator, Prison Break, and half a case. When the news finally came on, I forgot why I was watching it and started flipping channels. There was an all-new CSI on about a crane crash. That was pretty awesome. The news came on again, and I remembered that I should pay attention, but after like five minutes, I crashed out.
It worked out, though, 'cause when I woke up, the noontime news was on. Problem was, they weren't talking about who was going to give me money, they were talking about the long line at the polls. I wrote down the place they were talking about, got in the car, puked once or twice, and drove over to vote.
They weren't kidding. The lines were around the block, and they were moving slow as shit in January. After like an hour, once I puked again, I got inside. The woman at the table gave me the eye and asked my name. I told her and she looked at some list, shaking her head. Then she told me that I was not on the list, and when did I register? I told her that I was a citizen and I didn't need to register to vote. She started shaking her head again and told me that the registration deadline was a month ago, but she could give me a form to fill out. I told her I didn't need a form, that this shit don't happen in America, and I was going to call the news on her ass.
That didn't do anything, and the cop by the door was starting to look over at me, so I just decided to get out and go home. So the Man didn't want Jim Anchower to vote for president, but you know what? I ain't gonna take that lying down. I'm going to get registered and figure out who I'm going to vote for before I get in the booth. I mean, fuck it. Come next year, the next time someone runs for president, it's going to be a whole 'nother story. But in the mean time, don't blame me. I didn't vote.
Jim Anchower joined The Onion's editorial writing staff in 1993 after several distinguished years on The Come Back Inn dishwashing staff. He comments on community-affairs, automotive, and employment issues. He attended LaFollette High School in Madison, WI.