Columns

2011.11.02 Will Gallup let me vote if I eat my vegetables?

on . Posted in Nowhere Road

By RICH FOLEY

The Gallup polling organization called me last week, wondering if I had time to answer a few questions. A few? Actually, the call lasted nearly 13 minutes and “Katy” from the Lincoln, Nebraska, office talked so fast, I’d bet I answered close to 150 questions.

Most of the inquisition pertained to the federal government, health care and my diet so they wanted to know if I worked for the government or health care industry before we began. The fact that I write a column, may or may not be a crackpot, and have a deep-seated hatred of celery and green beans were not covered by the qualifying queries so I was allowed to participate.

Most of the first batch of questions dealt with whether or not the area I lived in had safe drinking water and ready access to fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as public exercise facilities. Then they wanted to know if I felt safe walking the streets at night. Maybe I should have let our mayoral candidates handle those subjects.

Next came a series of work-related questions pertaining to the previous day. Had I had a good breakfast before I went to work? How did I feel about the work day? Did I feel anger? Did I feel sadness? Did I feel happy? And on and on. 

Actually, it was a pretty good day at work. Nick and Danny Hunt stopped in to visit their mother, Kim. While they were in the back room, David provided rubber bands so we could ambush the brothers on their way out. Nothing sad about that, as least for David and me. I left before the Hunt boys could arm themselves and come back.

I suppose if I was angry about something, I could have grabbed a few of the nearby school bell awards and flung them around the office as needed and at anyone who deserved it.  No such problems, though. I must have had enough fiber the day before.

Then Katy, the Gallup lady, moved on to the president. Question after question asking just about anything you could imagine. I wondered if she’d ask if I believed his birth certificate, but that’s about the only thing she missed. 

She also wanted to know if I considered myself a “Democrat, Republican or independent.” I was surprised that the Tea Party wasn’t an option after all the healthy living questions. Tea is supposed to be good for you, isn’t it?

Next, a series of questions about the various Republican presidential candidates. Was I familiar with the name Rick Perry? Newt Gingrich? Herman Cain? And so on, except for a couple of interesting omissions.

Aren’t Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann still running for president? I wasn’t asked if I was familiar with their names and follow-up questions asking if I had a favorable impression of the candidates left them out. Maybe Gallup has already eliminated them from. serious consideration.

Then I was asked who I would vote for with a choice of President Obama and each of the various Republicans. I had to do some serious thinking when Rick Perry’s name came up. After all, he was the victor over Nowhere Road-endorsed candidate Kinky Friedman in the 2006 Texas gubernatorial race.

Kinky, however, has actually endorsed Perry for President, a bit of a surprise since I keep getting Facebook requests to “friend” Obama with Kinky listed as our one mutual friend. That must have been the work of whoever handles Kinky’s online activities as he has also stated, “I would support Charlie Sheen over Obama.” Some friend. I suspect Obama’s online manager will be unfriending Kinky any day now.

 I had a family source to help answer the questions about Herman Cain. My sister had the opportunity to meet him recently. I’m still not sure if running a pizza chain is good enough experience for a presidential candidate, but at least he was nice to her.                                

After I made all of my Obama vs. his Republican opponents choices, the survey was finally over, except for a few demographic questions. Katy also asked for permission to call me for follow-up surveys.

I’m thinking I’ll now get an inquiry every time a candidate enters or leaves the race. I’d better start eating more fruits and vegetables. It’s probably going to be a long year and I wouldn’t want to be sick when Katy calls back.

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