More and more, as the election approaches, I have dreams of turning into a fish.
I’m starting to see the sense of it. Our ancestors grew legs and walked out from the seas onto land. How’s that working out for us now? Not so good, is it? Time to go back.
For those of us who decide to remain ambulatory air-breathers, we have two basic problems looming in the near future: how to vote in the coming election, and what to do about Halloween.
This year there’s a connection between Halloween and the general election. It turns out, in Washington state, Halloween is the absolute last day you can register to vote. You’ll have passed deadlines to register by mail or online, but you will still be able to register in person at one of the Department of Licensing offices that happen to have Monday hours (not all do, check your local listings).
We think it’s important to remind our homeless readers periodically that they can register to vote even though they don’t have housing.
The trick is the state lets you list two addresses: a mailing address and a residence address. The mailing address has to be someplace you can really get mail, such as a mailbox service or a shelter. There are shelters that provide mail services even for people who don’t stay in them. The mailing address doesn’t have to be where you sleep.
The residence address, on the other hand, should be the main place where you hang, but doesn’t have to be an address that receives mail. One year I registered with a residence address of “the alley behind” the cafe I hung out at. It was accepted.
The mailing address is used to send your registration card, ballots and election notices. The residence address is used to determine what precinct you belong in. They don’t even have to be near each other. When I registered as residing behind the downtown cafe, I was getting my mail at a business in the University District.
Getting back to Halloween costuming, I suppose the bigliest choice this year will be dressing up as Trump. A few other options of that nature could be considered. You could dress up as a horrifying ballot. You could dress up as the seven-headed beast of Revelations, the heads looking like Trump, Clinton, Johnson, Stein, Kennedy, Castle, and La Riva, your seven presidential choices in this state. You could dress as the ghost of future Sen. Patty Murray.
As usual, I will appear at any Halloween party I get sucked into dressed as The Grumpy Old Man Who Hates Halloween Parties. My costume will consist of my usual clothing, augmented by random vocal outbursts of “You kids get off my lawn!” “I’m not home and you don’t get any candy! Get jobs and buy your own candy, you filthy candy-grubbing freeloaders!” and “How many times do I have to tell you kids to get off my lawn?”
Halloween party theme suggestion: Horrify your guests by plastering the walls with pictures of all the candidates and by turning the lights down and showing looping videos of the debates, especially the second one. Don’t forget to scare them with state and local initiatives and referenda. Wave the For and Against for Initiative 1501 in their faces as they enter while screaming like the Wicked Witch of the West, “I’ll steal your identity, and your little dog’s identity, too!”
This election has scared me so much that I’ve already dropped off my vote. Usually I never vote until either the day of the election or at the earliest, the previous Sunday. This time I’ve voted 18 days in advance. I’ve done so as a calming measure, which I’ve supplemented with repeated showers, fermented teas, strong coffee, beans and other cleansing strategies.
Speaking of scary, how many of you have contemplated how dead you will be when Seattle has a mass transit system like the Sound Transit system you may or may not be voting for? Will you be dead-dead, or will you be undead-dead?
If it’s at all possible, my goal is to haunt the future light-rail system, randomly sneaking up behind passengers to whisper ghoulishly, “I see you are going my way.”
When they turn to see me, I would like to appear to them as a 6-foot-tall translucent carp. n
Sound off to Dr. Wes: firstname.lastname@example.org