It has been a long, hot summer in more ways than one. The two factions in the Wet/Dry issue have been battling it out, with the "Drys" trying to keep the issue off the November ballot, and the "Wets" trying to get enough signatures on the petition so the people can vote on it. Both sides have been stirring up the dust, but the Wets" have finally won out, and the people will be able to vote for or against the county going wet.
The "Drys" have really been pulling out all the stops, including less than honorable tactics, such as intimidation, and yesterday I received a phone call from one of them. I must say, I was happy to hear from him because I have been just itching to air my humble opinion on the subject to someone other than the people who agree with me.
Dry: Is this Betty?
Me: Yes, it is.
Dry: This is Howdry Iam from the Committee for a Dry and Backward Boone County.
Dry: I saw your name on the petition to put the wet/dry issue on the ballot, and just wanted to be sure you knew what you were doing when you signed it.
Me. I'm pretty sure I did.
Dry: A lot of geezers, such as yourself, have gotten all confused when the petition was thrust at them, and thought they were signing to keep the issue off the ballot. So, I just wanted to make sure you weren't that senile, yet.
Me: I want to see the issue on the ballot in November. Is that clear enough?
Dry: Well, you know, if the county goes wet there will be likker stores on every corner and homeless people sleeping on the sidewalks and on our beautiful little courthouse square. Pedestrians will be picked off willy-nilly by drunk drivers trying to find their ways home from all of the saloons that will spring up overnight after the election.
Me: Oh, calm down. Our homeless people know they are supposed to sleep under the bridge, and there are plenty of drunk drivers coming back from the four surrounding counties that have already gone wet, and I haven't noticed an uptick in dead pedestrians.
Dry: It won't be safe for widow-women to walk the streets after dark.
Me: Are you suggesting that widows are street walkers? That sounds kind of kinky to me.
Dry: I can see that you won't listen to reason, so I'll just go on to the next person on the list.
Me: Wait! I want to say something else.
Dry: (Sigh) Okay, but make it quick.
Me: I don't appreciate the tactics that have been used by the "Drys" and I think that with an issue this controversial, everyone ought to have the right to vote on it, so maybe a little progress can be made.
Dry: Going wet won't be progress.
Me: Well, it couldn't hurt. This town hasn't moved forward in the forty years I have lived here, and it's because of people like you. You will stop at nothing to keep this county the backward place it is, and I'm tired of it. Thanks to that stupid law pushed through our legislature by Lu Hardin years ago, the people of Arkansas aren't allowed to vote on this particular issue until they have an almost impossible number of names on the petitions, more names than it takes for any other issue. Then, if the "Wets" lose the election, they aren't allowed to petition again for 16 years. The only good thing about that is after 16 years, most of the "Drys" will be nothing but dry bones and won't care any more. Then, maybe we can progress like our surrounding counties. So there.
Me: Hmmm. I guess we were cut off.
Of course, I have taken several - all right, MANY liberties in relating this conversation, but I did get a call that got me so ticked off, I told him exactly what I thought. I wasn't my usual sweet, ladylike, understated, timid self, either. (Fans vigorously.) I don't mind telling you it felt go-o-o-o-d! So good, in fact, that I am going to contact several members of our legislature and urge them to amend that law so it is fair and reasonable. See if I don't.