By Suzanne Sparrow Watson

As I write this we are two days away from the election.  Or, as we say in our house, 48 hours away from re-gaining control of our telephone.  I know we’re not alone in this.  It seems people everywhere are complaining that robo calls have disturbed dinner, naps and even Monday Night Football.  Do you think it’s possible that the machines actually do come alive in the wee hours to plot the most effective ways to torture us?

Most of the calls tout a politician’s virtues.  Or is that a self-cancelling phrase?  In any event, in all the years I’ve been voting I have never received a call from a polling company.  This is truly remarkable given the number of polls that have sprung up.  Remember when Gallup was the only poll?  And remember when nobody paid attention to it?

In an attempt to get a jump on the 2016 race I am thinking of some new polls that people might actually care about.  In my opinion, here’s what I think the pollsters should be asking:

  • The Fishing Poll:  How many whoppers or exaggerations did the candidates tell this week?
  • The Stripper Poll:  How many contortions did the candidate bend himself into so he could disown former positions contrary to his current positions?
  • The North Poll:  How many promises were made to deliver gifts to everyone: Social Security, Medicare, small business, shovel-ready jobs, your old Aunt Sally and her dog – all without any increase in taxes?
  • The Barber Poll:  Which candidate has promised that government/unions/big business/John Edwards all need a haircut?
  • The Flag Poll:  How many times have you hoisted the white flag of surrender in an attempt to get the ads, speeches, attacks and the robo calls to STOP?

I’m only dreaming here – I’m pretty doubtful we’re going to get asked any of these questions.  But this much I do know: regardless of who wins the election, this country will carry on.  Despite what the ads say, no one individual, not even the President, can wreck it.

As for me, after Tuesday I’m going to sit back and enjoy the peace and quiet of my house.  No longer will I fear the telephone.  But the computer?  That’s a different story.


By Suzanne Sparrow Watson

We’ve been hearing a lot the past few weeks about the “undecided” voter in the presidential election. At this point it seems that most people have made up their minds about which candidate will screw up the country for the next four years. But there remains a significant percentage of people who are unable to make a decision, even though there are pretty big differences between the two candidates. The other night a major broadcaster was skeptical that anyone could still be undecided. He obviously does not work with the public.

Nine years ago, after retiring as a bank executive, I decided to take a job one day a week doing something fun. So I signed on at the local yarn shop. I hadn’t worked with actual customers since college and, for the most part, it’s been fun. The average client walks in, chooses a pattern and some yarn, and walks out happy. Sometimes a person asks for help and after a few basic questions the right project is selected.  It’s all done within 30 minutes.

But then we have the “undecideds”. They typically walk in and say “I have no idea what I want to make.” Okay, I’ll say, let’s narrow that down – a sweater, hat, golf club cover? Perhaps some steel wool so you can knit yourself a washing machine, I joke. But I am speaking to the wall. No pattern is quite right, no texture is appropriate, no color just the right shade. The quandary over a skein of yarn is beyond comprehension. A long time ago my brother, Jack, taught me this: the important thing about a decision is to MAKE one.

My favorite example of an “undecided” was when a tourist came in one day, completely befuddled. She asked me if I had a yarn that would match her brown coat. She somehow assumed that I would know exactly what her brown coat looked like. I wanted to say, “Lady, I don’t even know you, much less your brown coat”. But after an hour of searching for yarn, gnashing of teeth (me) and tentative murmurings (her), she made a selection. I’ve often wondered if the brown coat was happy.

I really worry about these people once they leave the store. If they have this much trouble picking out yarn, how in the heck to they make more critical decisions? I shudder to think of these people picking out something more permanent, like carpeting. The texture selection alone must give them the vapors.  Colleges for their kids?  They must have to start when they’re in kindergarten to reach a decision in time.

But you don’t have to work in a yarn store to experience these people. They are the ones in the front of the line at Starbucks, completely undone by the choices. Tall or grande? Foam or whip? The choice between bold or mild is enough to send them into an apoplectic state. These unsure souls are the reason that the wait is usually interminable.

So, back to the election.  Apparently in some states there are so many “undecideds” that the whole darn state is considered to be a “swing” factor in this election. As far as I’m concerned these people are getting what they deserve: a barrage of negative, mean-spirited campaign ads. But I have news for the campaign managers. If an “undecided” can’t choose between red or blue yarn, choosing a President of the United States is a reach beyond their grasp.


Headlines:  Blah, Blah, Blah

Well, it’s really starting: the “fun” of an election year,

Where the politicians posture and all seem so sincere.

Bachmann has dropped out and everyone is ripping Mitt,

Now it’s just a game of seeing who’ll be the next obit.

Money:  So the half-off Christmas sales were harmful?

The past few years have brought enough economic trouble,

Now economists say deflation will be the next financial bubble.

Falling prices and declining incomes are a sure sign of the trend,

It’s so confusing we don’t know whether to save a buck or spend.

Sports:  Talk about a 12th man!

The NFL playoff teams are one step closer to the Super Bowl,

The Texans, Saints and Giants are really on a roll.

But it was the Bronco victory in overtime that really had to be seen,

Tebow silenced all his critics who now believe in 3:16.

Life:  How do you spell self-involved? 

Beyonce had her baby girl and hoping to be discreet,

She took over Lenox Hospital, treating it like a hotel suite.

Her lucky number is 4 so she named the baby IVy Blue,

We think dIVa is also a name that she just might live up to.