January 04, 2008

So the Gallup People Wanted to Know My Opinion ...

SO THIS EVENING I got a call from the nice people at the Gallup Poll wanting to know who I was supporting in the New Hampshire Presidential Primary. Normally, I would not have answered the call -- I don't answer the phone if I don't recognize the telephone number -- but I did this evening just because I wanted to hear the pitch I'd get.

As it happened, a nice lady from Nebraska was on the other end of the line and wanted -- oddly -- to speak with the person 18 years or older who had most recently celebrated his birthday. After looking around, I realized this person was me. However, before my questioner could get any farther, I interjected and said that my line of work prevented me from taking part in any polls. Given my line of work, this generally results in the pollster saying, "Thank you," and me saying, "Good night."

Not tonight, though. Much to my surprise, my questioner said this didn't matter at all -- which kind of floored me. I mean, I'm sorry, but there are 400,000 people expected to vote in the primary. Surely the Gallup people would want a "civilian" taking part in their survey. But it was the next line of questioning which really made me chuckle -- don't you, the pollster asked, want to voice YOUR OPINION about the race? Well, not really, no.

At that point, I realized New Hampshire's really starting to rub off on me. Not only did I not want to give my opinion to some pollster, I wanted my opinion to be a goddamn surprise on primary day. (At least to the world at large). That said, I daresay the best reporting on the presidential primary so far comes from none other than Dave Barry, who writes:

And so the eyeballs of the world turn to New Hampshire, a tiny, flinty, gritty, Dunkin' Donuts-intensive state located mostly inside the Arctic Circle. On Tuesday, the voters here will troop to the polls, where -- as they have done every four years since 1952 -- they will turn around and troop back home, because the polls, like virtually everything else here, are under 23 feet of snow.

But a few people, the truly flinty ones, will manage to actually vote, and they will determine the course of this presidential race -- and, yes, America's future -- for approximately two news cycles. Then the eyeballs of the world will turn to either North or South Carolina (nobody is sure which) and the people of New Hampshire will go back to their traditional flinty New England lifestyle of sitting around eating doughnuts and waiting for the August thaw.

"Dunkin' Donuts-intensive." Heh. YOU HAVE NO IDEA. I mean, they have locations in HOSPITALS up here.

Perhaps it's warranted, actually. Although the company does sell donuts, few people around here really seem to go for them. It's the coffee, made with the finest arabica beans and a healthy dose of stimutax, that people demand -- to the point where if the world ends anytime soon, Dunkin' Donuts coffee will prove more valuable than gold, more sought after than penicillin, and more fought over than canned goods.

Fortunately, as a transplanted Midwesterner, I am immune to these temptations. This is good, because in the event of a disaster, I'll be able to stock up on the stuff and make a mint. Admittedly, the whole "world-ending" disaster thing might put a crimp in my scheme to profit from any shortage, but I'd still be able to do all right with my idea -- after all, I'd need to have something to barter for my Diet Cherry Coke. I may even start stocking up now. With the way the market's been, buying Dunkin' Donuts coffee beans would probably deliver a better return than any of my other investments.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at January 4, 2008 11:10 PM | TrackBack
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