Since I quit canvassing this week, I thought now would be a wonderful time to look back on all the funny shit that happened to me when I was out there pounding the pavement. Funnily enough, most of these stories come from the day I canvassed in Portage, WI, not a stone’s throw from my hometown of Baraboo.
First things first: what the fuck is up with that photo? Well, boys, girls, and those who identify otherwise, that is what I saw standing in the picture window of a house in Portage. From the sidewalk it just looked like a little kid waving. When I first noticed it, I actually waved back, but, as I approached the house. I became all too aware that that wasn’t an over-eager child, but a child mannequin. As I stood at the front door, waiting for the occupants to answer the door, I was able to examine the atrocity further. Bewilderingly enough, this monstrosity is a little girl mannequin, wearing a sparkly gap t-shirt, and accessorized with a cub scout hat and bandana. I just have so many questions, I don’t know where to start.
- Why do you have a mannequin in your front window?
- Why do you have a mannequin at all?
- Why would you want a child mannequin if you are going to have any kind of mannequin at all? (The whole child thing is just super creepy.)
- Why is said child mannequin waving?
- Why in god’s name would you dress it up like a female boy scout?
- Why does the child mannequin look like it’s wearing prostitute-esque makeup?
- Do you realize that from the street people can’t tell that it’s a mannequin?
Strangely enough. This is not the most terrifying house on my turf in Portage. The most terrifying house had all doors and windows on the first floor boarded up, a very stern no trespassing sign, and three broken windows. Also, the siding was peeling off of one side of the house, and there was garbage anywhere. Needless to say, no amount of money was worth the risk of knocking on that door.
However, my favorite part about canvassing in Portage was talking to the local political crackpot. She was a conspiracy theorist from the stars. When she first answered the door, she told me she loved PBS growing up. She felt that their educational children’s programming was a valuable community resource, their news was unbiased, and their science shows were informative. I thought this was going to be the easiest contribution of my life. I was so psyched to find someone this stoked about the station.
Then, she told me, “That is, before PBS was taken over by Big Oil and the Clintons.”
Nevermind that contribution hopefulness. Now I’ll just be lucky if she just doesn’t chase me off her property with a shotgun.
She went on to tell me all about Big Oil brainwashing the children through their influence on PBS. She told me about Big Pharma, and how health insurance is a scam. She told me about the lack of regulation on industry and food service. She told me all about pollution, global warming, and melanoma. She told me all about how corrupt Hillary is, and how her campaign manager likes kiddy porn.
She went on and on for almost forty five minutes. I could have found an excuse to leave, but honestly she was fascinating as hell. I couldn’t believe all of the insane stuff that just poured out of her mouth. It’s like she salivated political revolution. She never really took a breath the entire time she spoke. I get the feeling that she didn’t want to give me the opportunity to change the subject, or worse, leave. I don’t think she gets to talk to other people very often. Once she was all tuckered out, and had thoroughly convinced me that the Clinton Charity Foundation had misappropriated funds designated as a relief fund for the Haitians after the earthquake a couple years back, she thanked me for listening to her, reiterated that she would never give to PBS, and went back inside her little house to watch the news on YouTube.
The town of Portage never ceases to amaze with its countless treasures…