Dollars to doughnuts, you've had a conversation recently about early voting. And doughnuts to police officers, that conversation probably started with you asking a friend or co-worker whether or not they were going to vote prior to November 4, a choice opportunity afforded to voters in Colorado as well as thirty or so other states. And then that person to whom you were discoursing with, perhaps over a Subway $5 Chicken Pizziola Foot Long, said something along the lines of, "No way, man, election day is the shit!
"I'm a patriot, and I like nothing more than seeing America come out in obese droves to line up and put into practice what makes this country so great in the first place, man: political freedom. I couldn't ever miss out on November 4. It's too much a part of what I love about this big old red, white and blue."
Then fireworks start shooting out of that friend or co-worker's eyes, ears and anus, and in the background, someone rips off three celebratory rounds from a Beretta. And you know what? That friend is right. Election Day is the shit. The only problem is that in recent years, polling places have turned into the fan, resulting in a feces-splattered melee that occasionally elects the chimp over the global-warming robot, and then the whole world gets fucked for eight years.
Which is why I decided to vote early this year. What pushed me over the edge were the realizations of how fanatical a voter I have become and the fact that my mere presence could dissuade someone else from casting a ballot. While I would wait in line no matter how long it took, Joe This-Average-Guy-Joe-Thing-Is-Really-Getting-Played-Out might decide the line wasn't worth it and go back to shooting tin cans at the dump. And while normally that would be a good thing, because such a trashy fuck would inevitably make the wrong choice in the ballot box, that mammoth Obama rally — attended by, I kid you not, 13.7 million people! — taught me that everybody seems to love this crazy Kenyan, even your everyday Joe Jesus-This-Joe-Thing-Is-Going -To-Making-My-Fucking-Head-Explode.
I decided I would lead by getting out of the way.
Which is exactly what I did at the Wellington Webb Building on Monday morning at 9 a.m. But the polls were closed, and they said come back at 11 a.m. Then, bam, there I was at 11 a.m., fully briefed on the issues and ready to roll! I was expecting to be one of perhaps a handful of early voters, but I was delighted to see that the place was packed, thus eliminating the number-one complaint of Joe November Fourth. Matter of fact, I was able to witness some good old-fashioned American wilding-out before I ever even passed through the metal detectors. No sooner had I set foot in the Webb building than I heard the irate protestations of a man not allowed to bring his knife into the building.
"Jesus Christ!" the man bellowed. "This is ridiculous!" He then muttered something indecipherable into his chest and stormed off into downtown Denver, probably to stab a police horse.
There were all types of nutty folks in line, too, from crazy-wandering-eye-black-guy-in-cowboy-hat to too-loud-on-cell-phone-despite-numerous-signs-saying-no-cell-phones-trashy-Starter-jacket-chick, all the way to unable-to-breath-or-move-without-this-oxygen-tank-and-motorized-cart Joe Triple Bypass. It was America, loud and clear, and it didn't feel all that different from November 4. Except for one thing. You know that smug sense of satisfaction you get from affixing the "I Voted" sticker to your chest? That feeling of entitlement to bitch about anything and everything, even sometimes "all them goddamn foreigners" when you're drunk? That smug feeling is even stronger when you early-vote. Walking around Monday with my "I Voted" sticker on, everyone who saw me knew how much better an American I was than them, for so great was my love of voting that I bequeathed my November 4 privileges to another.
And I know what you're thinking, but no, I don't consider myself a hero. Heroes have superpowers, like that hot cheerleader on the TV show and the Asian guy who time-travels or something. I'm just a guy who got his act together enough to vote early because I'm far, far more intelligent than most.
And probably better-looking.