Hug me, kiss me, take me

Count me among those delighted that the election is over. I'm tired of being courted.

Thumbnail image for al-martinez-sketch.jpgAs most of you know, this was supposed to be the year of the Latino, when they would lay down their picks and shovels, march to the polls singing "La Cucaracha," soon to be our national anthem, and vote for any Democrat running for any office from sewer scrubber to United States Senator.

Well, it didn't quite work out that way. In the last election, Hispanics made up 10% of total voters. This year it was only 8%.

God knows, we were romanced by every one of the democratic street campaigners to get out and vote, believing that every one of America's Hispanic voters would cast their ballots to the Democrats. Who knew?

I was personally approached by a half-dozen street workers who even offered me the use of a burro to ride to the polls if I didn't have any other means of transportation. In another instance, I was approached by a member of the Gay Caballeros, a coalition of Young Republicans and female impersonators, who were the most colorful of the street campaigners.

One of the impersonators, for instance, was practically smothered in feathers, and another wore enough glitter to cover his/her/its face. They offered to accompany me to the voting booth but I said that might make the volunteers nervous. So they just danced around me to the polls and then tangoed off.

It was more burdensome for me than for most because I don't fit into any of their categories. After all of their hugging and other displays of deep and sincere political affection, I had to tell them I wasn't Mexican or any one of the others from south of the border.

"I am Basque,' I said in the same challenging tone Kennedy took in 1963 when he declared, "Ich bin ein Berliner." I would have said it in Spanish but I don't know how. No hablo Espanol.

When I said I was Basque, they replied almost in unison, "You're whaaat?" Fear crept into their eyes. What in the hell was a Basque? Some kind of disease? In case it was, they were out of there, and I had at last achieved a way of warding them off. I carry a tinkly little silver bell now and wear a sign around my neck that says, "I am Basque," and no one will get near me. It worked for the lepers, why not the Democrats?

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