Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Musings: No Ticks, No Fleas

The bright golden moon beckoned at 4 a.m., and I almost yielded to its call for a moonlit stroll, but just as I rose it slipped behind thick clouds, giving me an excuse to go back to sleep.

Two hours later, when Koko and I set out on our walk, the moon was still high, but drained white, and all the color had gone to the sun, which rose in a curtain of shimmering gold that danced among the treetops and cast the slopes of Waialeale in an ethereal glow.

I stopped to chat with farmer Jerry, who had a few stray longan from his trees rolling around in the back of his truck, and walked a bit with my neighbor Andy, who Koko greeted with all the body-squirming, whining, back-leg-standing joy that one small dog can muster.

We talked of pets and the parasites that like to suck their blood, and as I passed the election signs popping up along my road, it reminded me of a very short-lived campaign that I helped the Humane Society run several years back, when I was working there.

We offered Mutt, a poi dog, as our candidate, printing shirts and bumper stickers with the slogan: “No ticks, no fleas, no government sleaze.” It was all meant as a joke, to raise awareness about stray animals, but a few thin-skinned County Council members saw no humor in it. They complained to Laura Wiley, who was then Society president, reminding her that they controlled the purse strings for county funding of the shelter. She caved, and made us quash the whole thing.

The political sleaze, of course, lives on, as do the ticks and fleas, unless they’re vigilantly eradicated, and here we are again in another election season. The signs are going up, thick and fast on the well-traveled corridors, and in many places there’s a sort of duel going on, with signs for different candidates posted directly across from one another, and even in the same yard.

Among mayoral candidates, I notice JoAnn Yukimura has abandoned her red, white and blue of past campaigns for a new look, opting instead for a dignified steel blue. Bernard Carvalho has chosen a soothing aqua, while Mel Rapozo signs sport a logo with a wave that would be great for a new surf wear line.

Unfortunately, his name is printed much too small to be effectively seen by passing motorists, prompting one friend to observe about the former policeman: “Maybe he forgot he’s not still under cover.”

I don’t mind the political yard signs, although I prefer the one a few houses down the road that says: “FREE AVOS (But leave table and container).” It’s amazing what some people have to be told.

The yard signs, at least, stay put, unlike the ones that are waved wildly alongside the road during that Island campaign tradition known as “holding sign.” It’s a spectacle that I suppose is effective, or why else would people do it? Still, I often find myself getting a bit tense as a I approach a roadside throng.

For starters, I have to make sure I don’t bang anybody, or their car, while checking out the signs to see who they’re supporting, and if I know anybody holding one, because if I do, and don’t wave, I’ll hear about it later, and then if I don’t support the candidate, I’m faced with the dilemma of whether to wave, and be a phony, or ignore them, and watch crestfallen expressions replace the smiling enthusiasm.

I usually opt for a polite wave to everyone and a happy wave to the few candidates I support, although I confess I did give a big thumbs down (but not stick finger) to the fundamentalists who were out these holding sign for the same sex marriage ban a while back.

Soon, but not nearly soon enough, we’ll be able to go into the voting booth and put all this behind us. Of course, depending on who gets elected (dear God, is it possible that Americans, in their idiocy, could actually pick McCain and continue the reign of Bush?) our troubles could only then be starting.

Some say America is going to the dogs, and would that that was true. Dogs, at least, could be counted on for unconditional love, and an utter absence of disingenuousness. Our politicians ain’t nowhere near that level yet.


Andrew Cooper said...

Had me there for a moment! I saw your title "Not ticks, no fleas" in my newsreader and I thought it was one of Andy's canine themed articles.

Andy Parx said...

What was Mel thinking? Who was his media consultant? You hit the nail on the head Joan- The talk of the town is how you can’t read his name... and that it looks like a surf logo.

Anonymous said...

It's not pleasant picking the ukus of the body politic but someone's got to do it.

Anonymous said...

who cares about the 'candidate brand'? i'm voting for rolf; i haven't seen a single sign. how could anyone vote for more of the same?

Anonymous said...

How could people vote for more of the same? They have been doing it for many years!

They vote for their frieds good, bad or ugly. Locals blame everything on the haoles, but who elected those currently in power?

Many people on this island are dumber than dogs. And, dogs are as dumb as their owners who train or not train them.

I would sooner trust a dog in any situation than the politicians running this island and the state.

Anonymous said...

My first thought was "who is Avos, and what should he be free from?"