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Thursday, October 21, 2004
October 22, 2004
President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

You’ll never guess what happened!

Maybe Karl Rove already explained this to you, but here in Oregon we vote by mail. Our ballots go out on October 15 and we can vote in the privacy of our own homes--any time we want! It’s a good idea because we don’t have to wait in line and worry about catching the flu from somebody or having our picture taken by strangers or having police ask us if we have a felony record.

Anyway, I wanted to be the first person in the country to vote for My President! I sharpened my No. 2 pencil to a perfect point and laid it at a 90 degree angle on my desk. I went to my mailbox an hour early and waited with breathless anticipation for the mailman to come.

When he arrived, I forgot to say hello. I didn’t even wait for him to put my mail in the box--I snatched it out of his hand! After I helped him pick up the mail that got scattered in the road when I snatched my mail, I hurried back to the house so I could vote for My President!

I opened the envelope, carefully removed my sacred ballot, and there it was:

President of the United States

George W. Bush, President--Republican
Dick Cheney, Vice President--Republican


I picked up my No. 2 pencil, and lowered it to the oval circle and was about to fill it in when...

Boomer, my wife Viola’s favorite cat leaped off the file cabinet, crashed into my hand, and knocked it away from its target! Then Boomer jumped off the desk and made a wild-eyed beeline out of the den, leaving me with a bloody, cat-scratched hand...

But that was nothing compared to my horror when I saw what else happened! When Boomer knocked my hand off course, he knocked it straight into enemy territory! Here’s where Boomer knocked my hand:

John F. Kerry, President--Democrat
John Edwards, Vice-President--Democrat


And to my shock and awe, the oval by their names was filled in by my pencil!

You can imagine how fast I turned my pencil eraser side down! You can imagine how fast and hard I rubbed my eraser over the mark until there was not a trace!

My heart beat and my hands shook. I breathed deeply for several minutes while I collected my wits. “Ok,” I finally said to myself. “Just one of those funny and strange moments in life.” I shook my head a little and chuckled to myself.

I took one last deep breath and once again, proceeded to lower my pencil down to vote for You.

The phone rang. “I’ll get it!” called Viola from the hall. She raced into the room and barged into my back as she lunged over me to grab the phone.

“Oh, hi Maybelle,” Viola said cheerily and walked out of the room holding the phone to her ear, leaving a trail of cheery gabbing behind her. And leaving me, once again, to stare down at a pencil-filled oval by the names of John Kerry and John Edwards!

I erased furiously, but this time it was harder. My eraser had so much pencil black in it from my last erasing, that it left a smudge. As I tried harder to erase the smudge, I began to wear the paper out. I scratched the paper thinner and thinner, until I was afraid I would scratch a hole in it.

Just then, Viola called me for dinner. I put the ballot back in the envelope and set it carefully in the center of my desk.

“Just as well,” I thought. Sometimes when nothing is working right, it’s better to stop going against the grain. Go with the flow! Come back later when you’re fresh!

And I will! There’s plenty of time! So what if I’m not the first person in the country to vote for My President! The important thing is to vote! Stop worrying! I’ll vote for You tomorrow.

Every vote counts! Count every vote!

Carl Estrada

 

 
 
 
 
 


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