Turning out votes in Blue Bellingham / Corky Nouveau

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November 3, 2019  Corky Nouveau

Corky fired up the MiniVan for a tour of one of the city’s neighborhoods to check up on the Hamsters’ participation in the election cycle. Only a few were flagged as “Voted,” so it was turn-out-the-base time in Blue Bellingham to counteract the efforts by the tarred and feathered candidates to turn out their Tea Party/Trumper settler base. 

Their affair with Big Coal ended in heartbreak, but they are still believing their MAGAvision of the future that preserves their prosperity to pass down to their spawn until the Second Coming or Rapture, whichever comes first.  And they’ve got Tony “Digs Coal” Larson to lead their resurgence. 

One of Corky’s funnest political actions was to help one of the region’s finest investigative journalists check up on Tony’s claims to the Whatcom County Planning Commission that his coal port support had the backing of the area schools, fire departments and churches. 

I started with the 1st Fire District; there’s 19 I think, and soon one of the boys told me to call the Chief at the station that is responsible for Cherry Point industries- the guys who responded to the fire at BP in 2012 that I could see from my house. He even gave me the chief’s number, and soon that guy was explaining how the Districts are under state regulation and governance of some kind, and don’t get involved in political stuff. Besides that, he had never heard of Tony Larson. 

And just this afternoon, after the canvass, I stopped in at my favorite socialist institution, the Local Library, and caught up on the last two issues of The Northern Light. Last week’s edition had the last round of LTE endorsements and one of Satpal’s supporters mentioned this effort by Tony “Baloney” Larson in regards to the schools. I had called a couple of those, too, including the Borderites’ office, and they never heard of Tony Larson either. That’s all history now, like the WBA’s fever dream of coal trains and black hills and the death of Whatcom County and the Salish Sea.

Back to the streets- Corky got off to a good start with the first address answering the door and assuring me that he was going to vote. I don’t ask anybody how they voted, I figure it’s none of my business, and that vote is one of the few things that is still private. Every database knows what side I’m on but they don’t see which ovals I fill in on this social studies multiple choice exam I take every fall. That is the format in some of the primaries, but come autumn, it’s more a true or false test. 

A lot of Whatcomites are going to fail, so that’s why Corky is strolling and trolling for votes. Today’s effort was bookended by two encounters with people who weren’t on my screen. The first was with two gentleman who were working the same side of the street, and soon they were one hopscotch space behind me on the sidewalk.

Corky started some small talk and soon said “You guys aren’t Trumpers are you?”, and I had to repeat the question before they got my drift and laughed it off. I knew they were Jehovahs but they didn’t say so until I asked them their denomination. I had a great chat with them, agreeing about the dire state of the world, the wickedness of man, etc., and they offered a Bible verse as solace. I had better conversation with them than any voter. Maybe it was too nice of a day for people to waste on politics.

The millennials that run the campaigns give canvassing trainings for the first timers. I don’t remember what, if any, I had, but I’m pretty sure the training didn’t include dogs and kids. If you don’t like dogs to begin with, forget door belling. If you can’t give the submissive vibe to the dogs that greet you and convince them that you like them, forget about it. If you can’t automatically love the little yappers in their owner’s arms, forget about it. 

I let the pets sniff the other mutts I’ve met, make eye contact and talk to them first- that’s the way to do it. If the dog likes me I know I have a better chance to talk to the owner.

The lessons don’t include how to relate to children either, and often the kids hanging out are more interested in what you are doing than their parents. Corky has always been good with kids. When I was an ice cream man in Orange County in 1970 when Comet Bennett graced the night skies, I was almost always short when I returned to Tropical Ice Cream’s garage; due to letting Bomb Pops and other goodies go to kids short a few coins. I heard the expression, “enough blue in the sky to make a pair of sailor’s pants” from a lad on one of my routes- it’s funny to recall that.

I don’t ignore kids or dismiss them, and so I didn’t when a kid on his bike across the narrow street asked me what I was selling. I told him “votes”, and then he wheeled over and I told him about the election. In short order I learned he was divorced (that’s how he put it), his step-dad hated Trump, and that he (the boy) hated his dad, that he has nightmares about his Mom being killed (she’s alive), and that the step-dad broke his Mom’s wrist during a fight. 

Here’s a lad, about 10 years old, just sitting on his bike by himself on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon telling a stranger his troubles. A kid whose childhood has already been assaulted and damaged, and is no doubt going have a lot more shit to deal with. He rode off saying his Mom said not to talk to strangers, and then the election didn’t seem important. 

I was at my last door anyway, and was glad nobody answered. A couple of tears were leaking out from under my shades and I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I started thinking about the delicious bottle of Lodi Zinfadel that was waiting for me back home as I synced my list and logged out. 

If we don’t win the county races, Corky is going to need a lot of Zin.

Corky Nouveau is the pen name of a talented and opinionated local Whatcom County resident who has kindly consented to have his entertaining and informative observations printed on Noisy Waters Northwest.