by Judith Allen
In which we meet old Mr. Zeke Lynch and learn about hog judgin' and politics.
|Hog judgin' and Politics
In which we meet old Mr. Zeke Lynch gather at the school house for votin' and get some walkin' around money just for comin' and markin' the ballot the right way.
Our Millie used to say that sometimes you gotta keep your mouth shut to keep the stupid from comin' out, and this seems to happen most often at the hog judgin' at the county fair and whenever there's an election.
Old Mr. Lynch had worked for the election board for more years than even he could remember. It was always excitib' to see everything gettin' set up and ready, to be sit tin' at the table with the registered voter book and pens and ballots waitin' for the door of the gym at the school house to open and everybody to troop in to do their civic duty. Old Mr. Lynch had made it to Chief Judge and it made him mighty proud to be in charge of the ballot boxes and to be able to challenge a vote if he took a mind to. He never did, though he always wanted to when that group from Painter Holler came in together just a smirkin' and lookin' sneaky. He knew they got their walkin' around money from the wrong party, but he just let it slide 'cause there was enough on the other side to make it fair.
Old Mr. Lynch and his buddies used to laugh and have a high old time when election season came around. Some months, and sometimes up to a year or so, strange cars started showin ' up in the hollers, kickin' up dust all over everything, and men in suits and leather shoes, and sometimes a lady or two, would get out and walk up to your door to greet you and ask for your support. Then the stupid started flowin' 'cause they started tellin' you all they could do for you if you would just send them to Washington D. C., or the state capitol, or county commissioner and town council. Then a few days later, another set of cars and candidates from the other party would do the very same thing. Campaign posters and billboards went up and made the countryside look ugly and cluttered for awhile. Everybody was happy to go to the rallies and bean dinners and collect the hats and tee shirts with the candidates names on them 'cause it was something different to do. Some of the folks were even serious about it all, but Mr. Lynch and his buddies just listened to the stupid and shook their heads. Whether it was dog catcher, council or national office, it was all the same. Except, they decided, the dog catcher was probably best 'cause you knew what he was goin' to do. He was goin' to catch your dog if it wasn't licensed and he told you so right up front.
Election Day came and went. The votin' was pretty heavy since there were lots of issues and some new candidates people hadn't met 'til this year. Old Mr. Lynch was kind of discounted that there wasn't more excitement at the polls. He could remember some good fights in the past, like the time the old sheriff had to come out and arrest some of the supporters of the challenger that came in after havin' too much to drink along the way. The old sheriff kept his job and the challenger ended up in jail for a couple of days along with his friends, for disorderly conduct. The old sheriff tried to not be too harsh, but decided solitary confinement might give the guy time to think about the next election.
Old Mr. Lynch began lookin' forward to hog judgin' at the county fair. He had been doin' that about as long as election work and thought he might like it a little better. The stupid might come out from the people standin' around, but the gruntin' and sqealin' comin' from the hogs was the real thing. They never told you no lies or promised anything they couldn't give. You looked over the fence and just knew that a hog was just a hog and he didn't have nothin' to hide.