23 Precisely – Part II

We will shortly continue with the story, but a bit of politics first.

If you are voting early, you probably fall into one of two categories: the hopeless party hack (on either side) who would vote for Satan’s dog if she had the right party affiliation. Or, perhaps, you are just confused, or unhappy, with the candidates and want to pull the trigger and be done with it this year.

I urge you to hold out until election day. One measly day every four years and you’re too busy to vote that day? Short of a planned trip out of the country, and casting your vote before you hop on the plane, you have no excuse. Wait. See what develops. Stand in line for a whole hour if you need to do so. At the very least, wait until the last moment before you leave to cast that absentee ballot. But for the love of your country, don’t just mark a box and put the thing in the mail to get it out of the way.

Things will happen between now and election day. Don’t be like the primary voters in Arizona who voted for a candidate on the early ballot, and found out that he was no longer a candidate on the actual voting day. Make your vote count. Read something other than the Huffington Post before you decide. Watch another channel besides Fox News. Get out of whatever mental box you live inside.

Then, and only then, on election day cast your ballot. A lot of good people have given their lives over the years to give you that right. Don’t blow it so that your convenience needs are satisfied. Work to keep earning that right every day.

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Mark Alveson stood in front of the bulletin board and stared. His heart thundered in his ears and he started to sway like a stalk of wheat in a high wind. Before he fell down, he managed to plop into a chair and progress to hyperventilation. Within a minute, he was able to once again focus his eyes, which were immediately drawn to the bulletin board. It was exactly what he thought he’d seen: someone had replaced all of the thumbtacks with staples.

Each document was in the exact same place it had been at the beginning of the shift, but instead of being held by a 7/16 steel thumbtack they were stapled with red-plastic coated staples. Panic welded him to the chair as he evaluated the situation. Exploding from the chair like a cork from a bottle of cheap sparkling wine, he ran out of the lunch room door, proceeded along route “G” and sprinted to his desk. Every head in the office turned to follow him as he thundered down the aisles, apparently at random, hardly in a straight line, but with a purpose.

The top, right drawer in his desk left it’s rails and emptied its contents on the floor with a tinkling noise. Thousands of 7/16 and 3/8 inch thumbtacks spilled from the two special jars he’d bought for them on a trip to Belize several years before. Intermingled on the floor, grabbing at the carpet, they tore minuscule ravines in his fingers and palms as he scooped them back into the now blood-stained jars. He’d sort them later, but right now he needed to fix the board.

Running back to the lunch room, this time along route “E”, he narrowly avoided knocking down the IT person lugging a monitor down the aisle.

With a splatter of blood, he grabbed the door frame and spun into the lunch room where he remained for seven minutes and sixteen seconds. When he emerged, his bloody fingernail stumps revealed the price he’d paid for forgetting the staple puller on his desk. The pain was soon forgotten as the warmth of satisfaction spread across his face. A quick triple-wash of the hands in the restroom, and the used towels taken to clean the door frame, and he was done. He now strolled down route “M” to his desk where he gingerly inserted the drawer once again, and loaded his Belizian jars into his backpack to be sorted out at home.

He barely felt the gentle hand of his manager Ann as she asked him to step into the conference room. He certainly didn’t notice the look of glee on Jorge’s face, nor the look of panic on that of Janice.

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Come back Tuesday for the next installment of 23 tacks.

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