Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Legend: Election sign thief gets arrested for pilferage, DUI, and sales tax evasion.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2004]
Origins: We've been seeing this account of a sign stealer who was dished up a heaping helping of just deserts since the final week of September 2004. Though a number of the forwards preface the piece "From a retired Marine out in Washington State" or "This article was published in a Washington state newspaper," its author remains unknown. One possibility as to its origin positions it as a letter to Larry Elder, a conservative radio host on KABC Los Angeles and author of Ten Things You Can't Say in America, but even that hypothesis does not work to identify the person who penned the account.
The form of theft decried in the anecdote has in 2004 been a problem affecting supporters of both parties in Vancouver, WA, area. Republicans and Democrats in that region have been experiencing difficulties in maintaining their campaign signs where they plant them; signs have been removed, defaced, or sometimes even supplanted by placards touting the other candidate. A 70-year-old Vancouver woman awakened one fine morning to discover her "Kerry for President" sign in her front yard had been replaced with six "Bush for President" ones. Another Democrat in that town stated he'd had
Possibly heightening the tension over who is making off with whose sign this fall is a change in policy many state parties across the country have instituted in 2004
Some victims of sign purloinage have attempted to counter these thefts by making their posted political statements more numerous or harder to remove. According to the Associated Press, across the country, in Winona, Minnesota, a couple had the following experience over their Kerry sign:
Winona police said Rick Carpenter needed to get a good description or catch the people stealing John Kerry campaign signs from his yard.Returning to the region that is the subject of the
He certainly gave it his best shot.
Carpenter screwed his two-by-four-foot Kerry sign to the wall of his house and coated it with Vaseline. His wife, Veronica, chipped in by running fishing line from the sign into the house and tying it to wind chimes.
The chimes sounded about one a.m. Saturday. Carpenter says he was out the door so fast he forgot he wasn't wearing pants.
Carpenter says four of the five culprits had fled. One apologetic woman remained behind, saying she couldn't stop her Bush-supporting boyfriend from going after the sign. She told Carpenter she likes Kerry.
The Carpenters say they let the woman go without calling police.
Yet with all that sign vandalism and efforts to counter same going on in the Vancouver, WA, area, nothing in the region's various news stories about the current spate of "capture the flag" insanity supports the tale of a home owner who set his dog on a sign napper then got one of the local gendarmes to arrest the man for sales tax evasion, driving on a suspended licence, and driving while under the influence. This story is best viewed not as a chronicle of actual events but instead as what some in the depths of their hearts fervently wish would happen to such a person.
Barbara "wishing unwell" Mikkelson
Last updated: 26 October 2004
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