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I elect not to answer

“Stop CALLING me!” I yelled into the receiver and slammed down the phone.

Husband-Head, who was sitting on the couch nearby, just raised an eyebrow.

“Are we fighting with our family members again?” he asked. “You know, you girls really should learn to get along.”



But it wasn’t my mom or my sister, it was the stupid political campaign people that call at all hours of the day and night.

“It’s Sunday morning, for the love of Pete,” I huffed to Husband-Head. “Unless you’re a pastor, a family member, a friend who is bleeding profusely or my editor, there is no reason to be calling someone on a Sunday morning. It’s just not right.”



Husband-Head contemplated that for a moment.

“Your editor is allowed to call?” he asked.

But it has become more and more irritating to receive these phone calls, so I decided to plan out what I would say to the next person who phoned.

“I’m sorry, but we’re about to start a prayer meeting right now,” I would say. “We are praying that you will accidentally drop your phone into a body of water where people usually eliminate waste, rendering you unable to call us any more.”

Or maybe something to the effect of:

“Please be advised that every time you dial this number, you will lose one vote, according to the bylaws of the NMFPCOS.”

Then I would patiently explain the acronym of “No More Flippin’ Phone Calls on Sunday.”

“So, speaking of elections, have you filled out your ballot?” I asked Husband-Head.

“No, why should I?” he countered. “You always fill it out for me.”

No, no, no, no, no.

“I do not,” I said defensively. “That is totally illegal. You must fill out your ballot yourself — I’m not allowed to do that.”

Husband-Head started to laugh.

“Really?” he said, feigning surprise. “Then why do you threaten to serve liver and onions for a month if I don’t vote the way you want me to?”

“That’s not true,” I protested. “I merely give you suggestions because I know what’s going on around here and you’re not always aware. They are merely suggestions — not threats.”

“Yeah, with a knife in your hand,” Husband-Head whispered, thinking I didn’t hear him.

Husband-Head has pointed out on many occasions that since he is affiliated with one major political party and I am with the other, that if we voted our party they would just cancel each other out anyway.

“That is absolutely no reason not to vote,” I scolded. “On the other hand, I could put a stamp on my ballot and mail it and put yours in the trash, then that takes care of that.”

Husband-Head looked at me in horror.

“OK, I’ll vote,” he decided. “But I want you to set up a little booth area in the kitchen with a curtain so I can do it in private.”

Huh?

“OK, I guess,” I agreed. “But I hope nobody comes over and wonders what you’re doing in there…”

I handed him his ballot and turned to fill out my own.

“Can I choose the ‘write-in?’” Husband-Head wanted to know. “Can I put Aaron Rodgers?”

“No,” I said. “He’s from Wisconsin.”

“So then can I put Peyton Manning? He’s on my fantasy football team.”

“No,” I said, starting to get irritated. “This is serious stuff. Choose someone from the damn list.”

Husband-Head was quiet for a few minutes.

“How do you decide which candidate to vote for?” he asked.

This was a no-brainer.

“Easy,” I said. “I pick for the person who has called us the least amount of times, especially on a Sunday.”

We filled out our ballots and put stamps on them.

Just then the phone rang.

I picked it up and sure enough, it was another political call.

“I’m sorry,” I said sweetly. “Too late. I’ve already voted. But give me your home number and if I change my mind, I’ll call you on Sunday.”

Heidi Rice’s column appears every week in the Citizen Telegram and on Sundays in the Post Independent.


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