I went to vote early Tuesday morning and was about number thirty or so in line outside the church where it was pleasantly cool for the wait. I heard someone walk up behind me then answer his cell phone - no big deal - he was giving his daughter or wife the directions to the church. Next he popped open a can of soda, providing the back of my sweater with a light spray. Then he took a big old slurp of the soda - sounding like he was sucking it off the top of the can - followed by a muffled "aahh". I took a step forward. Then, again, another slurp/aahh. I thought 'what is wrong with this guy?...is he some punk kid who doesn't know any better? Surely he will stop when he realizes the noise can be so easily heard.' I took a step forward and looked back over my shoulder - no punk kid - but a mature (though rude) man stood there. He stepped up behind me - seriously - I think he was trying to get as close as possible to share the grossness that was his.
People were not 'packed' together in line...we all had a reasonable amount of space between us...except for slurpy-man and me. I tried moving to one side, then ahead...and he followed. I was actually hoping he'd get another call to stop the slurp. No such luck. One of the poll workers stepped outside the door and tried to address the crowd but I could not quite hear her - imagine that! The lady ahead of me said she just wanted to be sure that everyone double checked to see if they were at the correct place - and I was so hoping slurpy-man was NOT and would soon leave to infest another polling place. Again, no such luck...more slurp/aahh action followed. As the line advanced into the church, down the hall, around the corner and towards a set of double doors, I tried to distance myself from slurpy-man, but he quickly came along. Down the hallway from the voting area people stood generally two-across, as I suppose some folks brought their friends or spouses or neighbors....again, all with a reasonable amount of space between and around them. I saw what might be a possibility for escape, as they divided the line into smaller lines - alphabetically. "Please!" I thought to myself, "Let his last name begin with H-N or O-Z...then he will have to leave the spot directly behind me!"
A few more steps - a few more slurp/aahhs - and NO! Say it ain't so!! His last name is in the first part of the alphabet as is mine!! Now a loud toddler has taken the opportunity to have a fit and somewhat quell the slurp/aahhs - never did I think I would welcome that sound - but yes, it was a relief for a minute. Show my card, sign the book, step to the left. Wait....wait...slurp/aahh. Then I get my 'code' and wait for an empty booth. Soon I would bid slurpy-man a fond farewell. Yes! Two booths open up and the lady ahead of me and I head down the aisle to our little canopy. Although not quite totally 'private'...its a welcome ambiance compared to what I have endured in the last 30 minutes. I manage to cast my vote in record time...just as slurpy-man finds his way to his booth - depositing his empty can along the way. (At least he was not a litter bug!)
All that to say - HEY! I voted! - its great to live in America!