Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hot Chocolate's Good for Another Hour

At three this afternoon, I parked on the street and took up occupation on the sidewalk in front of my Pick 'n Save again. The first fifteen minutes took forever until my first signer showed up, then I had two more before 3:20. Lots of mixed response from drivers again, and two or three attempts by people to holler out the window with complete confusion.

(Drivers, keep your message short, simple, and loud, or I won't know if you're yelling that Scott Walker is great or that I'm great. Also, if your windows are darkly tinted, I don't know if those are two happy beeps or two angry beeps. I just know that you noticed me.)

At four, since I hadn't had any more signers, I crossed the street to see if I'd have better luck standing on the sidewalk in front of Walgreens. The advantage of being on the corner by Walgreens is that there is actually street parking on Kentucky, so if people don't want to get out of their cars and come to me on the sidewalk, I can motion to them to drive out and park on the street. Since there are plenty of parking lots around, the street parking is rarely in use.

Things were a little busier on the Walgreens side of the street, though not exactly booming. There were only three hecklings of note, including a woman in her late 30s to early 40s who tried to insult me with the "Loser" hand gesture, to which my mouth smiled, my hand waved, and my brain thought, "Lady, that hand signal lost its relevance about the same time as your hairstyle"; some Walgreens' customer who shouted "go home!" while I was collecting signatures from a man in a truck, who laughed when I blew them a kiss; and a group of probably high school kids who shouted at me like they were Walker supporters yet perplexingly yelled anti-Walker sentiments.

I'd originally told myself that I wanted to try to stay out for a full 17 signatures if I could. Around five I was stalled at 12 signatures and was starting to shiver a little bit in what the bank-clock claimed was 31˚ weather. Just as I was seriously considering calling it a night, a woman hopped out of a vehicle in the parking lot and came running over with a Starbucks cup in her hand. "My last name is Halliburton, but I'm a big-time Democrat! It's peppermint hot chocolate from across the street." I thanked her and drank it gladly, and I was able to stick it out until 6:15 and get another six signatures. (Three more signatures, just three more signatures.....two more signatures, just two....) I almost gave up on the last signature, but just then a woman rolled down her window and asked if she could sign. I came around the corner so we could sign it at her car in the street parking, and while I was collecting her signature, another woman noticed us and also asked to sign. So I wound up with 18 signatures for the night, bringing my total up to 487.

So, Ms. Halliburton, if you're reading this, your hot chocolate helped me stay out for another six signatures. Thank you for your contribution to the cause! Wisconsin thanks you for supplying heat to its Forward line!

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