It is now Silly Season, that period before an election when candidates are out knocking on doors after a pandemic hibernation period. In several of past events I have hit five to 6,000 doors in Concord which pale to the record held by Steve Weir in the last century when he may have hit 11,000 in his campaign for City Council. This is one of the reasons that running for office is the most expensive diet programs there is, I generally lose 20 to 30 pounds in a ground campaign.
All of us who go door to door have various stories and here are some of mine.
There is an election? WHEN?
There is an election on June 7. Everyone has been sent a mail ballot. It is a primary but can be final for some offices.
I knock on a door and have a friendly conversation on their concerns and at the end they say, “Thanks, I got my ballot yesterday and I will put a sticker on it when I open it in October. Turns out they thought that because of Covid they were sending the November ballots out early.
People always joke about people coming to the door naked. It has happened to me three times in the prior elections but none this year. Oddly enough all three cases over a period of eight years were in the same neighborhood and about six blocks from each other. In the first case, clearly, they were expecting a romantic partner. Blushes all round, quick recovery and returning with robe a rational conversation occurred.
Second case, on a hot afternoon they had the front door open, and the screen door locked when I rang the bell. The bathroom was at the end of the hallway that led straight to the door. Fresh from a shower out they come to look through their peep hole, I guess, when after a few steps, reality sets in and a big Ooops! Once again blushes and recovery and a reasonable discussion.
Third case, I was knocking on a door where the kitchen window was next to it. Out comes a blast “Not interested” drawing my attention. Why is it that the naked people you run into in these situation are walking advertisements for the slogan “Keep America beautiful, wear clothes!”
Are you an Arab?
In a brutal campaign in 2012, there was a hit piece that was sent out which was interpreted that I was an Arab homosexual living in SF and lying about my name because I did not use my middle name (Ersalesi- which is Italian not Persian) and that my first name was Edi not Ed. Four times in one neighborhood the day it hit the mailbox; I was asked if I was an Arab. My first response was why does it matter? That got a door slammed in my face.
By the fourth time my response was “my grandfather was a baby orphan, maybe that is why he was raised in Italy.” Ethnic questions, religion, race and gender are all prohibited to be asked when a City Council makes an appointment for a mid-term vacancy. But it certainly comes up repeatedly in door-to-door questions.
Dogs and Guns
While I have never had a gun pulled on me or pointed at me, I have heard of it happening. However, dogs are the more common encounter. Without a doubt the most aggressive dogs are the Chihuahuas who will not shut up when you are talking. Come on folks, we can get that kind of abuse in a normal city council meeting. Then again maybe it is just a preview of coming attractions.
This is the ‘sole’ opinion and experiences of Edi Birsan and not to be confused with any Clothing Optional Beach or Dog Park for vicious Chihuahuas EdiBirsan@gmail.com