The plan was for me to show up early to take Ma and Dad to vote. It was an excellent plan. So good in fact, all the other Seniors thought of the same thing. They all showed up to vote at 10:30am.
The handicap slots were jammed. Ma entertained herself by screaming at me to "park over there." I dropped them off at the front of the building and then circled around and by a miracle a handicap slot was open and I slid neatly in and settled in to wait.
The Weebles had made it into the building when a very long line began to form out and around the building. There were so many fluffy white heads, it looked like Q-Tips had been arranged around the building. I have to give the Seniors credit for getting out to vote. Ma complained about having to go there pushing her walker, but there were lots of others that were in worse shape than Ma. Not only were they pushing walkers but hauling oxygen tanks. God bless them for making the effort.
The line kept getting longer and longer. I was reminded of the movie Logan's Run where people over 30 were called to attend Carousel, a cute euphemism for euthanasia. People kept going into the school, but none were coming out. I looked at my hand just in case my indicator was glowing red. I didn't hear the disembodied computer voice calling "Leo 28. Leo 28"
A van pulled into the handicap slot to my right and the driver got out and went into the building to vote.
A police officer was across the street from the school trying to prevent people from parking in the clearly marked No Parking area. One bright spark failed to listen and move his Jeep. I watched the officer write out a ticket and place it on the windshield. The gentleman was not happy when he came out from voting. He was about to say something to the officer, but the officer said, "You were warned."
All the handicap slots were filled when a woman pulled into the horseshoe driveway. The officer told her she had to move her car.
Since it was a warm day, I had the driver's window opened as did the elderly woman. She saw me sitting in the car.
"What's she waiting for?" she screamed at the police officer, but looked at me.
The officer started walking towards me, but stopped when he saw the handicap placcard prominently hanging from the rearview mirror. I was legally parked.
"She's waiting for her crippled mother to exercise her right to vote as guaranteed to her by the 19th amendment to the Constitution," I shouted through the open window. I refrained from sticking my tongue out at the woman. I also fought the urge to yell, "You have two choices. Either trawl the lot until a spot opens up or go home and come back later!"
The officer made a placating motion to her.
"It's a very busy morning here," he said. He moved a caution sawhorse so she could squeeze into a handicap slot.
About 10 minutes had elsapsed since the man in the van had parked and gone into the school to vote. I had been waiting in the car close to 20 minutes.
I got out of the car and hollered over.
"Excuse me, but did you vote already?"
"Where the hell are they?" I thought I had said this to myself.
"There are two precincts voting here and there's a really long line for precinct 7"
I thanked him and settled back to wait with a weary sigh.
The police officer's watch ended and as soon as his squad car left, not one but two elderly lady drivers came through the Do Not Enter end of the horseshoe. The clearly marked Do Not Enter end of the driveway. Yikes! Where was the police officer when he was really needed!
Finally, Ma and Dad came out. I got out of the car and waved so they would see me. Everyone got in the car. I very carefully backed out of the spot. The approach to the exit was clear. No blue haired ladies in sight. How do you spell relief?