Bloody Stumps

I hate flyering. Just hate it. So I have no idea why I volunteered to pass out flyers last Saturday for the Obamathon. I don’t take jokes, criticism, or rejection well. Flyering in a public place sets one up for all three.

The trial began at Union Square, where I met Howard B.–the organizer–and picked up a stack of flyers. I was a little bummed that they were boring black and white, but whatever. He sent me on my way to SoHo to join a few other poor souls who’d sentenced their beautiful Saturday to an afternoon of flyering. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in the cause. Fundraising is important. But have you ever passed out flyers? Its almost like asking people for money.

So I attempt to redefine my mission. I will do every errand imaginable in an attempt to strike up as many random conversations as possible, granting me many opportunities to present the flyer.

My first stop is T-Mobile on Broadway. The store is empty, and the lady working there can smell the flyers in my purse. No, she can’t fix my phone. No, they won’t loan me another. No, they can’t help me make the insurance claim. Her vibe is “GET OUT OF MY FACE, YOU AND YOUR STUPID BUTTON!” At least that’s what I’m imagining. So I step outside to find a pay phone (gross, gross, gross) to call customer service. While I’m making the claim/on hold for 45 minutes, I manage to unload flyers on many people.

“Where’s this money going? For the campaign?”

“Sorry, I just broke my cell phone. I’m on hold.”

“That sucks. It’s such a pain when that happens. Do you still have your SIM?

(I nod)

“That’s good, at least.”

I’m really not doing Obama any favors by being too busy to explain the flyer, but I have a good outfit on, so in my head it evens out. Part of this good outfit is these new Cole Haan sandals with Nikeaction. More about them later.

I conclude the cell phone business, and am on my way to Washington Square Park to look for the Ori Pei I saw in the dog park last weekend. Dog people in this city are kinder and gentler than the average New Yorker. I deduce that people who have dogs in the city like Obama.

“Can I bring my dog to walk in the Obamathon?”

Why not?

An hour and a half later, I finally make it to SoHo. What was I thinking? I can’t pass out flyers in SoHo! Stores pass out little pieces of soap, and crap like that around here. I quickly make the decision to try on jeans at Co-op, where a friend of mine works. The jeans are PERFECT! I’m debating whether or not $250+undisclosed discount is too much to spend.

“Did you get that button on the web?”

I ask why he’s interested.

“I never voted for president before, and I am almost excited to vote for somebody that I actually like.”

I tell him that my button is limited edition and that I got it “years ago,” as I simultaneously pull out the flyer.

Again, I’m on my way. I can’t get out of SoHo fast enough. Chinatown is full of tour groups from the Midwest wearing bright orange shirts, and is equally useless because none of these people will be here next weekend. I head for TriBeCa. The film festival is going on. Those guys like Obama, too. The ones with their movie passes around their necks totally take the flyers. Then I’m by a park. People with kids are even better targets than people with dogs. They aren’t going to demonstrate rude behavior in front of their children by refusing a flyer from a smiling lady. Especially, not if you give the baby a compliment first.

Now back to the Nikeaction sandals. These things suck. My feet are blistered and bloody. I’ve been walking around for hours. I used all two band-aids in my purse, but I have some packing tape (used for posting flyers). Yes, I “packed” my feet up. I need to MAKE CERTAIN Obama gets elected, so I can have some healthcare for my feet, which will surely need to be amputated.

I press on, making my last stop at J & R to replace a lost battery charger. The lady behind the counter looks at my button and shakes her head.

“My husband is dying for this man, too.”

I doubt she saw my bloody feet through the clear packing tape, but I can’t be sure. I give her a flyer for her husband, and she just laughs.

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May 8, 2007. Barack Obama, Dogs, Fashion, New York City, Parents.

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