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Of elections, K-State and dead leaves
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This is an unelection column.
As I write this Tuesday, the first final results of the great 2012 general elections remain hours away. I say first final, because if the presidential race is as tight as the pundits and talking heads predict, we may be waiting until Thanksgiving for the final final tabulations.
“Hey, can you pass the stuffing? Speaking of stuffing, do we have a president yet?”
There are even local races (I am thinking of the race for Barton County sheriff pitting the primary winner Brian Bellendir and the incumbent/write-in candidate Greg Armstrong) where the outcome might not be known until today (or perhaps next week, if its too close to call).
So, despite all the months of campaigning and endless deluge of campaign advertising all pointing towards a climactic finish, we may have to wait a tad longer. Can you say “the election of 2000?”
The election has dominated newspapers, television and radio. At least Superstorm Sandy gave the national media something else to cover for a few days so they would leave the poor folks in Colorado, Ohio and Virginia alone.
About 1 million presidential campaign ads have been aired. Millions of dollars have been spent, most of that in the eight so-called “battleground” states.
Yes, the rest of us in the other 42 states matter, I suppose – even if you are a “blue” voter in a “red” state or a “red” voter in a “blue” state.
 But, as I said earlier, this is NOT an election column. In revolt to this campaigning onslaught, I will write about anything but politics, even if it means ignoring what could be one of the most pivotal elections in decades.
You ask “how does one write a column in the highly politically charged atmosphere and ignore the American electoral process?”
Easy, I talk anything else but that process. How I hate giant inflatable holiday yard decorations. How it is unfair for Kansas State University football team (clearly the best team in the nation) to be overlooked by the bobble heads determining the BCS rankings. How is it possible to wait so long for the light to turn green while on Williams and waiting to cross Broadway and how, when it turns green, only stays that way for a millisecond (just try this on a bicycle).
I could ramble on about how I detest the idea of seeing images of Santa Claus or Christmas displays in stores, hearing Christmas music, drinking mulled cider, or smelling cinnamon- or pine-scented candles before Thanksgiving. I could gripe about the flood of brown, dried leaves that now choke my backyard and, since my youngest son graduated and moved off to K-State, I have to rake them up by myself.
I could go on about the Great Bend Convention Center and how it may cost more than originally anticipated. On second thought, I don’t think I’ll go there now.
I might note that the Sunflower Diversified Services Charity Chili Cook-off and other events around Great Bend this past Saturday drew wonderful crowds and how nice it was to see so much activity. I might promote the upcoming Explore Great Bend project aimed at keeping up this enthusiasm. I might congratulate the city for its successful tire clean-up effort which encouraged residents to bring in 10,000 old tires for recycling, helping to may the city a more attractive place.
Oh well, perhaps the election is more interesting after all.
I voted. Did you? Ask this before you stop and complain about the election’s outcome.
Dale Hogg is the managing editor of the Great Bend Tribune. He can be reached at