I was sitting at home the other day watching TV and I heard the doorbell ring. I figured it was just some telemarketer or something so I just didn’t answer, but then it rang again and, when I didn’t answer, the persistent knocking started.
So I got up from the couch and I was like, “OK, OK, I’m coming!” and I opened the door and, lo and behold, standing there in front of me was congressional candidate Kathy Manning.
I was a little stunned because every few years a county commissioner candidate or a City Council candidate might come by, but there was Manning – a congressional candidate.
“Hello, it’s so nice to meet you,” she said. “My name is Kathy Manning. I’m a businessperson, community leader, wife and mother of three and I’m running for Congress. I‘d like to tell you a little bit about why I’m the right person for the job.”
I was about to answer and tell her it was nice to meet her, but, before I could, a car came screeching into my driveway, and out jumped Congressman Ted Budd. He came running up to my front porch, frantically waiving his hands in the air like he was trying to warn me of something – which, it turns out, he was.
“Don’t listen to her!” he shouted. “Don’t listen to her! I’m Congressman Ted Budd and I’m the best person for the job! I’ve helped cut taxes on the middle class and helped deregulate small business to keep them from getting strangled by big government’s red tape.”
He bolted up the three porch steps out of breath and now there were a few wrinkles in his neatly pressed blue suit. His red power tie was still perfectly pressed.
“Listen,” I said, trying to calm both of them down. “I’m very honored that you guys are here, and I really do want to hear what you both have to say, but can we please take a down a notch? I just came to the door and, already, you two are both coming at me like a freight train.”
Ted Budd looked at me with his intense piercing stare.
“I do apologize,” he said, trying to keep himself under control. “I am only so adamant about this because, not just your own well being is at stake in this next election, but the well being of this entire state and the country!”
I turned around to look behind me because, suddenly, I didn’t see Kathy Manning anywhere.
She had snuck around me and slid through the door. I followed her inside.
“Hey, listen, I didn’t say you could come in,” I said.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” she replied politely. “I thought you did.”
When I turned back around a second later, Ted Budd was in the house as well.
“Look,” I told him, “I’m not really taking visitors tonight – you need to get back on the porch.”
“I’m not leaving if she gets to stay,” Budd said.
I said neither of them could stay inside, but neither of them was willing to be the first one to step back on the porch because, they said, they couldn’t trust the other to do the same if they went out to the porch first. That line of back and forth continued for about 30 minutes. Neither would go back on the porch first, which meant neither would leave. They also used the time to tell me about their positive attributes and plans for government efficiencies.
When they still refused to leave I took a drastic action.
“I’m calling the police,” I said. “I’m not kidding. I’m calling the police.”
They just stood there silent; they wouldn’t budge.
I took my iPhone out of my pocket and dialed. I told the officer who answered that Congressmen Ted Budd and Kathy Manning were in my house and refused to leave.
The officer just laughed.
I said, “Look, I know it sounds crazy, but you have to believe me: Kathy Manning and Ted Budd really are in my house and they won’t leave.”
The officer answered, “Oh, sir, it’s not that I don’t believe you. Trust me – I believe you. It’s just that, do you have any idea how much time of it would take us if we stopped what we were doing and responded every time someone called us because Kathy Manning and Ted Budd were in their house and won’t leave? We might as well just shut down the department and put up a big sign that says ‘Police Department Notice: All Officers Occupied – Commit Crimes at Will.”
I hung up frustrated, no Plan B in mind.
Kathy Manning grabbed a throw pillow in a chair in my living room and began fluffing it. She pointed to the chair, “Now, look,” she said, “the easiest thing would be for you to just get comfortable and sit in this chair and let me explain to you my five-point plan to improve health care.”
Budd had grabbed a coke from the kitchen cupboard and gotten a glass of ice and poured the Coke in and he began to hand me the glass.
“Here,” Budd said, “you looked like you could use a nice refreshing soda. Why don’t you drink this and I can explain my accomplishments and the way I have helped reenergize the state’s economy.”
“That’s BS!” Manning said. “He has done no such thing. I have explained this clearly in my mailer. Did you get my mailer?”
“Did I get your mailer?” I said. “Did I get your mailer? Yes, Kathy. I got your mailer. All 10,000 of them. Look at the mail right there on the counter! Fifty-eight came today alone!”
I tried to calm down.
“Look,” I said, “Survivor is starting and I really want to see who gets voted off this week – so, listen, the first one of you that talks during the show, I ‘m voting for the other one.”
I did get to watch the show in peace but every commercial was a Budd or Manning commercial and they each stood up and pointed silently to the screen and nodded each time their commercial was on.
A couple of hours after the show, I told them I was going to bed.
“Can I give you a shoulder massage to help you sleep?” Budd asked.
“A massage? A shoulder massage?” I said astonished. “No. In fact, that’s really creepy you would even suggest that.”
“Well, can I give one?” Manning said.
“No!” I shot back. “I just said I didn’t want one.”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” she said. “I thought maybe you were saying you just didn’t want one from a man …”
“No, to be honest, it’s kind of creepy from either of you,” I said. “Look, no offense, but I need to get some sleep.”
I figured that if I just went to sleep they would let themselves out eventually, so I got in bed and under the covers.
They each tucked the blanket in around my neck and stood there and eventually I managed to fall asleep.
The next morning, I woke up hoping they’d be gone, but, instead, they were they each standing by the bed – Budd on one side, Manning on the other. Each of them was holding a tray with breakfast in bed for me and small rose on each tray.
At the end of my rope, I came up with the only plan I could think of. I got out of bed, went toward the front door and looked intensely out the front window.
“What is it? Budd asked.
“It can’t be …” I said still staring out the window, hoping the ruse would work.
“What?” Budd said.
“Right out in the yard! It’s Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump! What in the world are they doing here?”
As I said that, I ran to the front door and opened it.
“Where!? Where!?“ the two candidates shouted excitedly.
“Oh my goodness does my hair look nice?” Manning asked me.
Budd ran his hands over his suit. “Is my tie straight?”
They bolted out the door and, as they ran out, I slammed it behind them, locked it, turned the dead bolt lock and wedged a chair up against the handle.
They banged on the door for a while but eventually went away. I didn’t see them again but a neighbor told me they had been in his yard cutting down trees. He said they told him they needed the trees to make paper for campaign flyers. I don’t know if that’s true or not.
I only know that I’ll be happy when this election is over.