Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Ferrying Their Fears On a Holiday

If you want people to sign your petition here in the state of Washington, one of the best places to go is a ferry terminal.  The people waiting in their cars to drive onto the ferry are a captive audience.  And if it's a holiday, you'll find twice the usual number of captives.

That's what passed through my mind after I spotted two women with clipboards preparing to cruise the lanes of cars yesterday, Memorial Day, at the Kingston ferry dock.  Based on their middle-American appearance I found myself thinking, "Oh God no, not the bathroom bill.  Please let this be something else.  A push for a state gnome or something."

But nooooo.  I can't remember now if I heard or saw the words "Just Want Privacy" as a canvasser approached the car ahead, but I knew we three in our car were about to be asked to sign a petition to get Initiative 1552, which would discriminate against transgender people, on the ballot.

I alerted my wife, Anne, and our friend, Phil.  Anne must've been waiting for a moment like this, because she instantly told us what she wanted to say to the woman.  I deferred to her, in part because I was in the back seat, and I find it hard to be authoritative from there.

The woman approached us with a smile, and launched in.  I guess we didn't appear hospitable, because she commented that the looks on our faces suggested we disagreed with her.

Anne said, "We care about you.  We really do."  The petitioner thanked her. Anne added, "But I think what you're doing is shameful."

The woman shrugged and moved on to the next car.  Phil, with his big heart, probably wanted to run after her and sign the damn thing just to make her feel better.  And Anne, she got to say what's true for her in this Age of Trump, that she cares about everyone, but she's sick to the teeth of people hating on other people.

And me, I needed some ice cream.