Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
-- Groucho Marx
Many of you will enter a voting booth today, and there's a chance something will happen. You'll be looking at the ballot, certain of many of your choices, firm in your patriotic convictions.
Then you'll come across a name, or an office or a ballot question that you have never seen before and didn't know or expect you would have to deal with.
I know. It happens to me, too.
Here's what you might do. Pretend it's an action movie and you have to disable a bomb. The clock is ticking. Red wire. Blue wire. Which to cut?
Focus, concentrate. Rack your brain for something useful ... and then ... ("SNIP!") make a choice.
There won't be an explosion, and you can leave the ballot booth feeling as though you've saved the day.
Or ... you can read up. Go online. Write out your choices, and zip through the process with little anxiety.
Guess which method really saves the day?
ELECTION DAY TIP NO. 2: Take your glasses. Even if you click on the "large type" function, glasses can come in handy.
SPEAKING OF ELECTIONS: Today is the birthday of my favorite president -- James K. Polk. He ran on a simple platform. Achieved what he set out to do. And did it all in one term, before retiring and leaving Washington.
That's the way it's supposed to work.
MORE BASEBALL: The World Series has been entertaining (for me, at least). And speaking of the World Series, you might want to check out my Our Town blog on augustachronicle.com and recall the story of Augusta's Jim Bagby and the singular fifth game of the 1920 World Series. (I even include pictures.)
And thanks to Johnny Whittle for sharing his baseball memory of Leo Righetti, former Augusta baseball player and the father of Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti.
TODAY'S JOKE: A Mafia godfather finds out that his bookkeeper has cheated him out of $10 million. His bookkeeper is deaf. That was the reason he got the job in the first place. It was assumed that a deaf bookkeeper would not hear anything that he might have to testify about in court.
When the godfather goes to confront the bookkeeper about his missing $10 million, he brings along his attorney, who knows sign language. The godfather tells the lawyer, "Ask him where the 10 million bucks he embezzled from me is."
The attorney, using sign language, asks the bookkeeper where the money is. The bookkeeper signs back: "I don't know what you are talking about."
The attorney tells the godfather: "He says he doesn't know what you're talking about."
The godfather pulls out a pistol, puts it to the bookkeeper's temple and says, "Ask him again!"
The attorney signs to the bookkeeper: "He'll kill you if you don't tell him!"
The bookkeeper signs back: "OK! You win! The money is in a brown briefcase, buried behind the shed in my cousin's backyard!"
The attorney pauses for a moment, and the Godfather asks, "Well, what'd he say?"
The attorney replies: "He says you don't have the guts to pull the trigger."