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October 28, 2004

"W" Is for "Ward Off"

A couple of weekends ago, my wife, daughters, and I met with her brother's family, including two more children who never knew the 1900s, as well as two of my sister-in-law's friends to traverse a jack-o'-lantern trail in Newport. As we crossed the street to the entrance, whom should I spot heading our way but Patrick Kennedy. Almost to himself, he said, "Oh, little ones"; the utterance was followed by a momentary blank look, as if his brain was loading the script for dealing with toddlers.

In that moment, I looked toward my wife, and her expression asked, "You don't have to say anything, do you?" I smiled.

But when I turned back toward my district's representative in the United States Congress, he was gone. Apparently, he'd spotted my sister-in-law's friend's W. hat and decided it prudent to veer away.

In today's Impromptus, Jay Nordlinger shares some notes from his emailbox regarding political buttons, and while some allude to dirty looks, nobody has mentioned political accoutrements' use as congressman-bane. For some wry bloggers, of course, that might be a reason not to wear any.

Just to highlight one of Mr. Nordlinger's shared emails (brackets his):

"Jay, I live in the East Bay suburbs of San Francisco — Walnut Creek, to be exact. The Kerry-Edwards clipboard patrol is often soliciting donations at the local supermarket. I ignore them, except this one time. A very young, very pretty college-coed type asked as I passed by, 'Will you help defeat Bush with a donation?' I replied, 'No thanks, but I am glad to see some younger citizens getting involved in politics.' Since I'm over 50, I felt it was an okay remark, without condescension. Her reply was quick and chilling: 'Bush's concentration camps will be filled with the Jews, then the blacks!' Her eyes had become dark flint and her expression was pure malevolence. For only the third time in my life, I was left utterly speechless. [The letter-writer does not say what the other two times were.] I shook my head and walked slowly to the car. What in G*d's name had been poured into that young lady's head? Did she even know what she was saying?

"I'm voting (for Bush) like my life depends on it, and sending the NRA another donation."

Posted by Justin Katz at October 28, 2004 9:46 AM