Wednesday, November 10, 2010

There Are Reasons Why I'm Not A Journalist

HARBESON: Taking attendance of the community rally

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — There’s really only one miscalculation Lindon Dodd made when preparing for last Saturday’s Community Rally event. He scheduled it so that I’d be able to write a column about it before he could.

Let me start by talking about attendance. I’ve been to at least five politically oriented events at the Clark County 4-H Fairgrounds and although this one was probably the largest, the turnout was still small.

I’ve had several years to think about why all of these events had low attendance and I think I’ve finally figured it out. Most people really only want to come to the fairgrounds so they can experience the excitement and thrill of risky behavior that can only happen at the county fair itself.

I’m sure you know the thrilling experiences I’m talking about. Activities like wearing a brand new pair of shoes just to see if you can get back home without any chicken, cow or hog excrement stuck to them. Or trying to see how many corn dogs and cotton candy swirls you can eat before puking your guts out.

How could any political rally or candidate forum ever compete with such fun?

On the other hand, I could also classify this event’s attendance as too large, at least for my purposes, because I ran out of copies of “The Law.” It’s encouraging to know there are others out there who are interested in educating themselves about political philosophy.

If you’re reading this to find out what the speakers had to say, I’m afraid I won’t be of much help. I’ve already pointed out that I have very short attention spans at these functions. As a matter of fact, at one point, when a speaker was getting way too long-winded, I started imagining how fun it would be to have one of those shepherd hooks — you know, the kind used in vaudeville times to pull bad performers off stage.

In the middle of this mind distraction, I was jerked back to reality when this same fellow apparently went too far with his comments when discussing a specific candidate, something the organizers requested speakers avoid.

I’m not surprised this happened since this speaker is a lawyer. Lawyers consistently rate second, behind only politicians, in the list of professions who often don’t know when to shut up. Of course, coming in a close third are newspaper columnists.

I do mean it though; don’t ask me what this little brouhaha was about. I truly missed most of the details because I was in the middle of that shepherd hook fantasy. This is one reason why I’m not a journalist.

Not long after this ruckus, I found myself faced with my own potential disturbance. I had two fellows come up to me at nearly the same time requesting a book. Having only one book left, I wasn’t sure what to do. Just as I was about to suggest a cage match they worked it out for themselves.

They behaved like perfect gentlemen too, politely engaging each other with phrases such as “Oh, you take it,” “No, you should have it, you were here first …” I learned a lot about these two while watching them work out the problem — neither of these guys would ever cut it as political campaign advertisement writers.

I’m glad I went because I enjoyed meeting several people I’ve only interacted with online until now. There was one downside though — by Sunday evening, I noticed the rash. My doctor warned me this could happen because I’m allergic to anything political.

He says I should engage in less risky behaviors so from now on, I might just stick to riding the Rock-O-Plane on a full stomach.

Sellersburg resident Debbie Harbeson prefers the Rock-O-Plane to politics because hanging upside down is much less disorienting.

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