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Hope Springs Eternal

Sometimes, commercials backfire.  Karl and I were watching television this week when one came on for Whataburger.  Now, when Karl calls from the office and asks if he wants me to bring home burgers for dinner, the “whata” in burger is silent.  But this commercial was hawking the temporary return of the A-1 Thick & Hearty burger, which made me think about another burger chain and sent me flying to the computer to ask an important and hopeful question.  

When is the McRib coming back to McDonald’s?  

Some of you may have just gasped, and I understand that it’s not really clear what a McRib actually might be.  But, honestly, real Cajun gumbo is a delicacy that isn’t usually served with a full FDA-approved disclosure of its ingredients.  And don’t even get me started on dim sum. Sometimes when something tastes good, you just eat it.

So I head to Google and start—“when is the m”—and that’s all I need to type.  “When is the mcrib coming back 2018” is the second option in the drop box. Apparently others have been asking this question, too, and I feel a little less lonely about my relationship with the McRib.

But then the first option in the drop box caught my attention.  “When is the midterm election 2018.” Seriously? Now I understand that this Tuesday after the first Monday in November might be a slightly cumbersome rule to remember, but one would almost have to be in hibernation to not know it’s on November 6 this year.

We’ve all been inundated with Facebook postings, phone calls, and texts, not to mention the yard signs that seem more ubiquitous this year than ever.  So who are these people who have to google to find out when Election Day is? Should I hope that these are non-voters who’ve finally gotten motivated?

As it is in any political season, there are so many television commercials, most of them pretty bland.  These days, a commercial should really try to grab your attention, like the one touting a new treatment for Peyronie’s Disease.  (I had to do a full tilt google on that subject, pun intended.) My personal vote for best political ad of the midterms is from the Humane Society Legislative Fund and targets Pete Sessions, whose record on issues like animal fighting and puppy mills isn’t exactly stellar.  And putting Old Yeller on the front porch seemingly talking smack about Old Pete is nothing short of genius.

I’m always a bit wary of most of the political commercials.  Maybe it’s because I think there may come a day when they get that subliminal messaging down pat.  (Now that I think about, maybe that’s already happened.) The really negative ads can be the most fun to watch as they have grainy graphics and a scary soundtrack while the voice over goes into full Sturm Und Drang mode.  Perfect for Halloween and U. S. elections.

I’d like to believe most voters decide what they will do based on what they know is important to them and how the candidates line up with their priorities.  And to the extent that is true, no subliminal message is likely to stop that. And since all the signs BETOken that this may be the most important midterm election of our lifetimes, be sure to vote on old fashioned Election Day if you haven’t already.

And when we get this close to the actual election, my pragmatism starts to give way to my optimism.  This is as it should be. Because when enough folks who are stuck with a thing called hope find their way to polls, that optimism isn’t cockeyed at all.  



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