> Seth Underwood Stories: Depressive Voter Syndrome (est. read time- 8 min.)

Depressive Voter Syndrome (est. read time- 8 min.)

Marge was visibly shaken. Her husband’s lack of enthusiasm on this the most patriotic of days was upsetting her. Even so, she continued to put up the final campaign decorations around the house for Voter Day. She couldn’t believe what he was saying to her.  He was disenchanted about the seven major party candidates running for president after watching the debates for the last few weeks. The polls would close in a few hours, and the children would come over soon with the grandkids for the customary turkey dinner. And yet her husband, Fred, still hadn’t voted. Worse, he was refusing to vote.

Fred turned off the centrist campaign sponsored football game on their oversized flat screen TV for their little house. He sat in his favorite padded lounge chair, picked up his favorite magazine, Scientific American to read, as Marge quietly went to get the phone. She took it to the kitchen out of earshot from Fred where she nervously dialed the Voter Helpline.

“Voter Helpline, how may I help you?” 

“It’s my husband. I think he is sick.”

“I see. Can you please describe the situation?”

“Well, he just doesn’t want to vote. He said the candidates are just idiots, and he sees no reason to bother.”

“Ma’am this sounds like a case of Depressive Voter Syndrome. Has he shown the following symptoms during the debates.  anger or rage, disgust over the responses, a general lack of enthusiasm for the upcoming voter holiday, and a general lack of showing favoritism towards a particular candidate?”

“Oh my God, yes.” Marge responded in both shock and horror over the realization that her husband was showing signs, and she didn’t even recognize it earlier.

“Don’t worry, Ma’am. We are here to help. We already have your address and will send over a team to help you right now.”

“Thanks.” Marge nervously put the phone down on the kitchen counter.

Just then Fred entered the kitchen looking for something to either eat or drink.

“Was someone on the phone?”

“It was just one of those solicitor calls dear; it’s nothing to worry about.” Marge tried to hide her face from Fred.

“Dang it! Solicitors calling at such an hour!” Fred continued to mumble to himself as he poured a glass of juice.

Marge went about her business setting the table in preparation of the children and grandchildren for the evening meal. She tried to put aside the phone call, as the turkey roasted in the oven filling the small house with a sweet holiday aroma of a candy glaze. On the top of the stove bubbled away various pots of other classic side dishes of succotash, cranberry sauce and potatoes, which later would be mashed. Fred would periodically uncover the boiling pots to release the trapped steam. Fred pulled out of the convection oven an apple pie, while Marge put the last touches on the pumpkin soup by adding roasted pumpkin seeds to it.

As both Marge and Fred set out the food, the doorbell rang, shortly followed by the rushing entry of three small grandchildren dressed in campaign hats and tee shirts.

“Sorry Mom, they couldn’t wait to come in.” said Jane.

“Oh, that is okay, dear.” Marge gave all three grandchildren a hug, wishing them a happy voter day.

“Is that my favorite dish I smell?!” proclaimed Jane’s Ecuadorian husband as he followed shortly behind her carrying a large bag filled with toys.

“Encebollado just the way you like it.” Fred said back.

“And wow, you made so much of it! I don’t think I can eat all of it.”

“That is so you and Jane can take some home with you later.”

Just as the group was getting settled the doorbell rang again. Fred was quick to answer the door, as Marge nervously recalled the Voter Helpline were sending some people over.

“Hey, look who it is?!”

It was his son with his two teenage girls.

“Really Dad, you do that every time!” John said closing the door behind him.

“Hey now son, do you want a drink? How about you, Ricardo?” 

Meanwhile, the two teenage girls were pressed into service by Marge and Jane to help deal with Jane’s three boys. The small family group caught up on family events. The three younger boys talked incessantly about the kid voter events and what fun they had. The two teen girls got into a slightly heated debate about the mock voting results. All the while Fred seemed distant during any mention of the campaigns or their events, even when pressed by Ricardo, who seemed fascinated by one of the Hispanic contenders. Then it came for dinner.

They all gathered around the linen covered table on which Fred had added the extension to accommodate the extra people. As custom the oldest son, John, led the family in the Voter’s Pledge. Then they passed around the dishes and plates filling them with various side dishes. Fred cut slices of meat from the roasted turkey which sat directly in front of him.

As the family group sat there eating and conversing, the doorbell rang once more. This time Marge had a more panicked look on her face, which Jane quickly noticed.

“What is it, Mom?” 

“Oh, it’s probably nothing dear.” Marge had a fake face of calmness about her.

“Dang solicitors! Is nothing sacred to them!” Fred continued to mumble as Marge excused herself to get the door. The doorbell rang a second time.

As the group sat at the dinner table, they could see Marge in the living room at the door talking to some people. Jane and John were both exchanging those looks of something is up but Mom isn’t telling us. The two teenage girls seem to be preoccupied with their three cousins who were trying to make erupting mash potato volcanoes. Meanwhile, Fred made small talk with Ricardo about some recent South American whiskey he tried.

Then, as all seemed calm, Marge stepped aside, and four people entered the house. First entered a tall Eurasian woman dressed in a tight business suit carrying a computer tablet. Behind her were three large men dressed in light pink medical scrubs that had white buttons on the left vest side. One man had with him what appeared to be some gun like device, which had two vials of liquid on top of it.

At this point Fred, Jane, John, and Ricardo all stood up from the table. The kids and teens stopped what they were doing and looked on in shock at what was taking place.

“What is this! Who are these people, Marge!” Fred’s eyes were wild with panic.

“They are here to help you, dear.” Marge tried to calmly say as the foursome walked passed her and approached Fred.

“Now, Fred, your wife Marge is concerned for your well being and that is why we are here.” said the Eurasian woman.

“What the Hell are you talking about?!”

“Tell me Fred did you vote today?”

“What does that have to do with anything?!” Fred was becoming red with frustration.

“According to our records you didn’t, and there is no proper excuse form on file either. So your wife called us. She is just concerned for your well being.”

“Look I am perfectly fine! It is all of you who are nuts!”

At this point Jane was trying to calm down both her children and John’s teens that were becoming frighten.

“It will be okay.” Jane reassured them.

“Dad, you didn’t vote!” John's eyebrows became furrowed with anger.

Ricardo had pulled away from Fred and was looking at him with a combination of aghast and anger.

“Look, we would like you to come with us to the Clinic for some further evaluations.” said the Eurasian woman.

“Like heck I will do that!” 

“Please, dear.” pleaded Marge, her hands clasped together.

Just then the Eurasian woman motioned to the man with the gun like device. The man then quickly grabbed Fred by the arm and injected him with the fluids. In an instance Fred slumped as the light pink cladded man caught him. The other two quickly came to his side and helped him carry Fred out of the house.

“Now Marge, I have some questions and forms for you, but before I get to those I will need to verify some other information first.” said the Eurasian woman.


“I will need all the adults to provide id and proof that they voted today, and for the children I will need the local voting activity vouchers for the younger ones and the teens the mock voting vouchers. Also, if any of the adults were a convicted criminal either their reinstatement papers or excuse papers.” the Eurasian woman said in a governmental tone of voice.

“My husband is a foreign national.” Jane stated.

“That is fine; if his country is a member voting country I just need the voting voucher. If not, I just need his excuse papers.”

A cautionary tale, brought to you by your local board of elections. Remember to cast your ballot on Voter Day, or you may be visited by the men in pink.

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