Ballot schmallot!

This elderly Jewish lady in Florida can punch a hole just fine, thank you.

By David Tuller

Published November 9, 2000 12:30AM (EST)

So I voted yesterday for that nice Mr. Buchanan and dragged myself home past that shabby synagogue where Bernie has insisted on going since he retired. I settled down to watch "Millionaire" and see if that sweet Oriental man -- or was he Mexican? -- would win the $32,000. But those announcers with those awful toupees and the shiksas with the big blond hair were just yapping on about the election so I went to bed. Bernie was already sprawled out, snoring.

When I woke up this morning my bladder was killing me and that heartburn from the vinegar in the three-bean salad flared up again, and then Esther came over for a chat and brought some of the stale rugelach she always bakes. I can't figure out what she does to make it so inedible, but Florence Glickstein told me she once nearly broke her dentures on it. Oh, and that reminds me, I've got to call Florence's son the doctor and make that appointment for Bernie to get his Viagra prescription next week.

Anyway, we switched on the TV to watch Rosie. They were still talking about the election! And I was just horrified at the anti-Semitic slurs I was hearing. Everyone was chattering about the old and confused Jewish voters whining and sobbing that they didn't know who they were voting for. Excuse me? They think we're all so senile and blind that we can't find the right hole to punch? Well, I've never felt more sure of anything in my life than yesterday in that voting booth, even the time last March when I was absolutely convinced the butcher had overcharged me for that lovely cut of brisket.

How dare they call me confused! I mean, maybe they're right about Elaine Steinberg down the street. She sometimes thinks I'm her cousin Millie, but she's such a dear that I never contradict her. Although everyone laughs about it when she's not around.

But these lies! It's like when they say all old people eat dog food. (I think the shepherd's pie that Judy Schwartz served at that pathetic little dinner party she gave last week may have had a little Alpo tossed in, but I've never done any such thing myself.) And now this. I've never been so insulted, except maybe when Bernie said having sex with me was like sleeping with gefilte fish.

I thought of voting for George Bush, but he was already president once. Pardon me, but it seems only fair that someone else should have a chance. And how can he be president when he's already the governor of Florida? I asked Bernie about that, but he couldn't explain it. Then I asked Meyer, that lovely man who sells newspapers outside the Golden Dog -- the place with the tasteless blintzes, although Esther said they've improved recently. But Meyer couldn't explain it either.

And then these Gore people expect me to kvell and vote for them just because he picks a Jew. But I say, Lieberman-Schmieberman. That trick may work with Sylvia -- I adore her, but she's not very bright and those polka-dot schmatas she wears are a disgrace -- but not with me. I know Gore just made that pick because he's a panderer. And I'm sure Lieberman's lying when he says he and Hadassah -- and Esther and I both think she's got to do something about her skin -- keep kosher. Bernie and I tried for a few weeks, but who could possibly keep track of all those dishes and forks?

If those TV smart alecks had even bothered to call the kids, they would have found out that I always know exactly what I'm doing. I could just tell right away what a good man Mr. Buchanan was when I first saw him on television while taking my early morning aerobics class -- the one Bernie calls "stretch and kvetch."

He had such scrumptious cheeks, I could have pinched them. And his sister -- she has some adorable name like Lake or Pond -- was talking about him with such pride. I've always been a wonderful judge of character. Just look how I could just tell that Judy was cheating at mah-jongg. And a man whose sister loves him that much ... well, he's obviously a prince.

I know some people called him a Nazi. But how could that be? I heard with my own ears all the nice things he said about Jesus, so obviously he likes Jews. And didn't he defend those people who'd been at concentration camps? What a generous thing to do, seeing as he's not even Jewish himself.

But what upsets me even more than the lies they're telling about me is the situation with that other one. What's his name? The one who never combs his hair and can't sit up straight and keeps talking about lettuce or greens or something. I see he's gotten lots of votes in Florida and they're blaming him for what's happened here. I didn't like him from the start, and I just know if he'd pulled out, my Mr. Buchanan would have won. I just know it.

David Tuller

David Tuller is a contributing writer at Salon. He is the author of "Cracks in the Iron Closet: Travels in Gay and Lesbian Russia."

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