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Ann R. Kist

travis bickleI have a friend I've known for decades. Smart guy, great sense of the absurd, good to his daughter, also a freelance artist like myself.

He won't vote, and never has, that I know of.

He says it's because the fix is in, that it doesn't matter who you vote for, that they're all criminals, that he's an anarchist, or that his vote won't make a difference. In years past he may have had a valid point regarding that last item, at least as it affects local state politics. There's so much fundamentalist red-neckery in this vast Texas countryside that for the past two decades it has overwhelmed the Democratic preference among the major cities. (I don't consider Fort Worth a major city, which dependably leans red. There's something wrong with those people.)

This year, though, it's different. Senator Wendy Davis trails that corrupt weasel, Greg Abbott, by only a few points in the governor's race, mostly because she's a great candidate but also due to Texas's burgeoning Hispanic population.

Without any doubt my friend's vote could honestly make a difference, and it'd be a big one as he has trouble getting good health care and Davis has already said she would expand the Medicaid side of the ACA. His vote could literally be good for his own health, but he still won't enter the booth and pull the lever.

Thoughts of pushing my "anarchist" pal under a bus occurs to me every voting cycle but that would mean one less vote for Democrats in this state (mine) so the voting process benefits him indirectly whether he knows it or not.

You matter. So don't wait until your friends toss you under a bus. Get registered and vote.

Now THERE'S a slogan!


This past weekend a local used-book establishment held a MASSIVE sale here in Dallas. It could easily have been called "The Million Book Sale." I, of course, wallowed in ecstasy amongst the selections but my happiest moments were spent rooting through the humor section. I found it odd that could I buy all the "Bloom County" titles I could eat... but not one "Calvin & Hobbes". This says something about the legacy of all three titles.

My absolute treasure was a fat, 75-year-old hardback called "The Master Book of Humorous Illustrations", by Leewin B. Williams, 400 pages of the finest monkeyshines and tomfoolery a traveling salesman could hope for. Most of the entries are quite long but here's a short example of pre-war japes:

"Daddy, may I have a dime?" asked little Georgie.
Dad obliged, with a smile.
"This time, you won't make me give it back after the company's gone, will you Daddy?" was little Georgie's loud remark.

I'm in heaven.

P.S., if you curious Google books has a copy of this book in their library but won't allow me to link to it, but you can find it near the top of the results at this Google link.


On the health front, I'm not so much conquering my pericarditis as becoming accustomed to the ever-fading symptoms. I still feel my heart occasionally caroming around in my chest but I know it's because an infected pericardium probably has all the dryer-fresh softness of an Armenian stevedore's day-old beard and even something as rugged as heart muscle sometimes gets fed up and goes "Gross! Gross! Gross!" after ricocheting off that rough surface all day. At the very least I'm sleeping much better and, as you can see, I'm feeling well enough to add color to the 'toon. It's a start.


end rant

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Dumb guy: How come I NEVER win our elections?
Rational guy: Because you never vote.

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