November 14, 2006

The Culture Maven: It happened one night …

Election Day. 10:37 a.m. What rain? The lines at my polling place are long. Yarmuth’s the guy in my ’hood. For a moment hope trumps Carly Simon’s “Anticipation,” my ear worm today. This church used to be a funeral home. Dumb coincidence? I’m praying eulogy for the elephant, no death knell for donkey.10:41 a.m. The machine swallows my ballot. How sensible is Kentucky’s system? Electronic counting. Paper backup. No chads. Hope Karl Rove hasn’t seen “The Prestige.” If he has, he’s cloned and everywhere manipulating those Diebold machines like Rasputin. 10:49 a.m. The new grocery next to the former funeral home has no donuts. Bummer. When nervous I need junk food.  11:12 a.m. A jog with Lila the Love Dog helps. But not much. 2:52 p.m. Joe Scarborough is on MSNBC. Whether you agree with his politics or not — I don’t — the guy is an astute political observer. He and the panel are talking about Maryland, Virginia, Missouri and Tennessee. Every place but here. Yo, Joe, what about Kentuckiana? The early bellwether votes? I got to get out of the house.5:06 p.m. After some errands, cookies and a bag of popcorn, it’s back to the tube, hoping for some local insight. A poll worker throttled a voter in the South End. Charming. Other than that, just obligatory shots of Anne and John voting, obligatory evenhanded voter interviews. 6:54 p.m. I’m brought to watching some laugh-tracked rerun of “Everybody Loves Raymond” to try to get a different vote count. Yarmuth is stuck with an 800-vote lead with 17 percent of the vote counted. All stations report the same.7:02 p.m. Republican blowhard Jim Milliman is without bellow. WAVE is reporting Yarmuth still ahead with a little less 50 percent of the votes counted.7:04 p.m. Well, if it isn’t GOP hatemonger Ted Jackson with his Velveeta smile. Republican “victory” central is a tomb. Such delightful quietude. My hope springs eternal. Asked about Northup’s ads, Ted, ever the skunk, responds in mock horror, “What negative ads?” His smirk goes limburger. “What’s negative is subjective.” Liar, liar, pants on fire.7:09 p.m. Ben calls. “You nervous? I’ve been spilked out all day.”7:13 p.m. Talking head: “John better get some votes. The late reporting precincts are Northup territory.”7:19 p.m. Different station, new numbers. Yarmuth is ahead 400 votes with 54 percent of precincts counted. My sweetie stops rearranging the living room furniture for the first time in over an hour. She squeezes my neck. “He’s just got to win.” Gasping for air, I mumble incoherently. She goes back to moving the settee.7:26 p.m. Jim Milliman poses a question to former Northup foe Jack Conway: “Shouldn’t Jerry Abramson have used some of his political capital and really come out for John?”“He did it for me when I ran and it didn’t help.”7:30 p.m. Lord help me. Yarmuth is up 2,500 votes with 311 of 489 precincts counted. Conway still sounds wary. My stomach is in major turmoil. My gastroenterologist is on speed dial. 7:37 p.m. Ron Mazzoli tells Vicki Dortch the most he ever spent on a race was $150,000. This year, Northup spent more than $3 mil. That’s $50 a vote.7:44 p.m. They’re at the top of the stretch. John’s increased his lead with 75 percent of the precincts in. My heart is beating double time. My cardiologist is on speed dial. The talking heads say Northup’s strongholds are still to be heard from.7:56 p.m. Yarmuth is up 3,700 votes with 80 percent of precincts counted. Conway says it’ll be hard for Northup to catch up. Meek Milliman mourns: “I can’t disagree.” My sweetie sweeps the living room floor for the third time.8:38 p.m. What’s up with the last 20 percent of the precincts? Yarmuth is up 4,000 or so. Our household needs some closure. The phone keeps ringing. A friend tells me an old colleague of his told him that Anne told a staff member yesterday she was going to lose. So why doesn’t she concede already?9:14 p.m. Bliss. KET cuts to Northup’s concession. Introducing her, Republican scumbag Ted Jackson’s smile is rancid as limburger in the August sun. Well, boo hoo.9:27 p.m. A guy down the block sets off fireworks in the middle of the street.9:28 p.m. A neighbor yells from his porch, “Yeah, babe!” Contact the happy writer at cdk@culturemaven.com