Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Floyd Dangle Tries To Vote

November 3, 1936
Town Hall - Meyersdale, Pennsylvania 

Floyd Dangle:  "Good day.  I'd like to vote, please."

Elections Official:  "Your name, sir?"

Floyd:  "Floyd Dangle."

Official (scans through four pages of names; scowls):  "I don't see your name on the precinct list of registered voters.  Are you sure you are registered in Somerset County?"

Floyd:  "I voted in this very building in 1928 and 1932.  Can you look again?"

Official (makes a show of looking at his list again, not focusing on any names; gives Floyd Dangle a long, disdainful inspection):  "Perhaps 'Dangle' is a pseudonym?"

Floyd:  "YOU'RE a pseudonym!"

Official:  "I assure you, sir, that I am most definitely not a pseudonym.  What I am asking you is, could there possibly be different name under which we might locate you on the voter roll?"

Floyd:  "Oh, I get it.  Just because I'm a hobo, you figure I'm not on the up-and-up - not who I say I amWell, I know who I am, mister!  I was born in Garrett, not five miles from here."

Official (patience waning)"And Floyd Dangle is your given name?"

Floyd:  "You're just trying to keep me from voting for Landon!  You New Deal people are all the same.  Alf Landon is a good man.  He's done great things in Kansas, and he'll bring the real happy days here again.  This election is rigged!  It's voter intimidation, I tell ya!  I demand to see the supervisor!"

Official:  "Mr. Dangle, I must insist that you refrain from campaign rhetoric whilst you are inside the polling station.  I want to help you, but you'll have to tell me your given name."

Floyd: "I don't remember."

Official"I can't help you.  Good day."

Floyd (thinking hard):  "No!  Wait.  Francis.  I think my mother called me Francis."

Official:  "That's a start."  (begins searching his pages for a Francis)  "What was your last name?  Do you have any recollection at all?"

Floyd:  "Well, my mother's name was Muriel, and my father was a locomotive maintainer up in Johnstown."

Official (encouraged):  "Good, good... What was his name?"

Floyd:  "Papa."

Official:  (SIGH)

Floyd:  "Wait!  Huffheinz!  I was Francis Xiavier Huffheinz!  I was born in Garrett!  Can I please vote, now?"

Official:  "I hate to do this, Francis, but I have to ask for your mother's maiden name, as I assume that you do not have identification of any legitimate sort."

Floyd:  "Muriel.  I already told you."

Official (emits a long, defeated sigh; looks around):  "Okay, Mister Dangle-- I mean, Huffheinz.  Booth number one.  No talking until you have left the polling area."

Floyd:  "Thank you.  You're okay, you know that?  But can someone help me with the ballot?  I can't read."

Official:  "I'll be right there, sir."

Registrar:  "What's with letting that bum vote?  Didn't even know his own name."

Official (whispering as he gets up to follow Floyd to the voting booth):  "He's voting for Landon, sir.  I figuree, what difference does it make?"

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