There Are Bones About It

This wonderful boney poker game is on display in a local neighbor’s yard. I’ve driven by at least ten times but haven’t been able to stop. Due to cars behind me occupied by drivers with impatience coursing through their veins, opportunities to take this picture have been rare – save one. Today was the day. I grabbed carpe diem by the ankles of its Latin legs and tackled it to the pavement.

What fascinates me the most here is a passerby – whether by car or foot – cannot, by any means, determine the gender or political leanings of either the four players or the dealer. Yes, THIS is my take-a-way from the hard work and imagination of a neighbor I don’t know. No player uncomfortably seated or unhappily handed has the slightest poker tell as to his/her liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican, Independent, or Don’t Give a Sh*t agenda.

This isn’t a normal Halloween season. Every opinion, FB post, family meal, and/or spooky social commentary is sitting around a political or Covid table. Make no bones about it. Even I can’t drive by fabulous femurs without first figuring a way through this maze of viral thoughts and political posturings.

It’s where we are. It’s the hand we’ve, strangely enough, dealt to ourselves.

Today is October 31st and the t.v. in front of my 7 a.m. eyes is broadcasting prognosticating pretty polling predictions that may – or may not – come true next Tuesday. I’m weary from the deluge of information. Steve Kornacki, analyst usually seen on MSNBC, is quite fascinating. He presents state-by-state stats, digs into data, and creates charts I used to find artistic, colorful, and pleasing. Being Saturday morning, I don’t expect to see him until Monday … a few days into a new month, past this Halloween day, and in the midst of a barrage of election, bad-to-the-bone, 24-7 broadcasting.

This isn’t to fault them. I guess we need to be informed voters. But, how much is too much? If you don’t know Mr. Trump or Mr. Biden’s life and times by now, right? We need to know results over coffee on the 4th. That’s all we require at this point from our media. Who won … and who lost. Turning on my smart phone or the t.v. next Wednesday at, say, 7:12 a.m. – exactly 4 days from now – to see a President Trump or Biden – would be just fine by me.

… and it isn’t just the President-to-be.

It’s all in the cards we’ve been dealt and are holding – and, by extension, have allowed our representatives to play our hands. We voted in the senators who will lose, or retain, their seats, because of performance. The down-ballots are important, too. There are more than a handful of Republican senators who are in marginal to major danger of losing their seats because of their proximity to President Trump’s policies and personality. Thinking the ace-high flushes they held last year would be gold, they called a bet against the straight flushes held by their opponents …. and are in trouble. Jamie Harrison has a great chance against Lindsey Graham in S.C. He had a 17% chance in March and, now, is in a statistical tie with a guy who needs to go. According to Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan newsletter that tracks election forecasts, ” … other Republican senators who could lose their seats to Democrats after Election Day are: Arizona’s Martha McSally, Colorado’s Cory Gardner, Georgia’s Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, Iowa’s Joni Ernst, Maine’s Susan Collins, Montana’s Steve Daines, and North Carolina’s Thom Tillis.”

These are scary times that surpass even the gallows of the eeriest of medieval Halloweens. A once-in-a-century health crisis with a national case record of 99,000 just yesterday. We are not carving our pandemic pumpkins properly. They’re ugly. Everything is a mess.

Apparently the mail is messed up with (R) judges changing the rules while ballots have already been sent under a previously agreed upon, publicly posted, set of guidelines. Some states are allowing ballots to be counted after Nov. 3rd, some aren’t. All this gleaned from the news I’m frustrated with, anyway.

Today we walk through the last day of the 10th month of 2020. Three years, two-hundred, eighty-four days into the Trump presidency and here we are – holding the hand we dealt to ourselves. This is either to our fault or merit. I’ll let that decision up to you. I have election-weary.

After I vote in person, I’ll be changing my party affiliation. Make no bones about it. I haven’t changed who I am at all. What’s changed is who I choose to represent me going forward. There are no perfect systems or people, but there are expectations that can be strived for and I want those I vote for to at least try to get there on my (and our collective) behalf instead of feeding their own self-interests.

When I do eventually leave this earth and sit my boney self around a poker table with my friends, I want to leave this place better than the way I left it. I can’t do this alone. Any national policy worth dreaming up requires help from a person in politics and the news to help circulate the message. Can’t coat this fact with any less sugar than that.

For today, Halloween 2020, masks are more important than ever. Sugared candy IS important for socially distanced kiddos if you can somehow swing it for them. Wash your hands frequently in person (and from the news the next few days) … the former is for the safety of your neighbors and the latter for your peace of mind.

If we play our cards well, all this can turn the tables around. There are bones sitting about that require a sane, but fun, game of who has what. We make our bets on the future and hope for the best based upon what we know now. That’s all we can do.

You’re doing good and I’m glad you’re sitting here with me. Flesh and all. Happy halloween.

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