October 2nd, 2004

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Great Books

Today I read an internet message board about law schools in which the poster fretted out loud that since s/he had taken all his/her courses on a pass/fail basis, s/he feared a negative impact on the law school admission process. I resisted the urge to ask the raspy, practical question "didn't you imagine when you began that you might want grades for professional or graduate school?", and instead began to daydream about a Great Books Program.

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My Life as a Victim of Political Persecution, or Tales of Signs Foretold

We live in Collin County, Texas, the conservative high-tech bastion of immoderate political positions just north of Dallas.

Our friends Donna and Scott, active in the county Democratic Party, provided us with yard signs for the Kerry/Edwards campaign and various other local races.

We displayed our Kerry/Edwards sign, making us, I imagined, the only tract home yard sign for the Democratic candidates in Collin County. As we put our signs up prior to the recent debates, we found ourselves ahead of the curve.

I read in this morning's newspaper, though, that actually many other local residents had Kerry/Edwards signs, that were systematically stolen. A letter to the editor from the local Republican party head said that they did not condone this behavior.

We went out for dinner with our friends Donna and Scott tonight, being away from our home for roughly three hours. During dinner, Donna described how the local county campaign headquarters was flooded with calls regarding stolen signs.

I explained to my wife how I knew our sign would be stolen, because this is Saturday night, stealing signs is a time-honored over-eager collegian kind of thing to do, and we're not home. I told her that when it happened, we would put another sign up, and rig a spy camera.

Sure enough, when we returned home, the sign was gone. We'll get our new sign Monday. We put out a sign for a Democrat running for a lesser post for now. I'm seriously thinking about going to the spy camera shop tomorrow.

Welcome to the United States of America, Collin County area.

This sort of prank is common in political campaigns, but I must admit that this is the first time it has happened to me. Our only other political sign was for the conservative guy in our neighborhood who was running for city council, a year or two back. I don't vote conservative, but I don't mind being sociable for a tract home neigbor. I tend to find local city elections important but not so partisan. He didn't win. Another conservative did. Nader wasn't running. Nobody stole that sign.

I wonder if they make a spy camera in the shape of St. Francis of Assisi, for my front yard.