On being right

Mustn’t beat about the bush. I am very worried about the Swedish parliamentary elections on Sunday. The Resident IT Consultant suggested I ought to vote this time, so I have. It sounds dreadful, admitting to not having done so for some time, but the truth is, it felt wrong voting in a country where I no longer knew quite what was going on, or who believed in what.

I’ll tell you about the last time, which was in 1991.

I went to the honorary consulate, and reckoned it’d be good to have a day out, so suggested to Esperanto Girl that she and her son should come along. We could have tea after…

So we stuffed our respective toddlers into their pushchairs and off we went. While the consul’s assistant took me into a side room to vote, Esperanto Girl waited in the posh foyer area of the solicitors’ firm where we were. She watched with some interest as I and the consul’s assistant to-ed and fro-ed a bit, looking more and more bothered.

She knew me to be trouble, giggling as she asked what had been going on.

In my own actual work, not long before, I had been trained to receive votes, so I wasn’t happy when I was told that the assistant would just take my envelope up to the room where they kept the box, and put it in. Later.

I told her I needed to see it go in. Now.

Tightlipped, but forced to do as I said, she took me upstairs and the box and the envelope were duly united in front of me. ‘Satisfied?’

On returning downstairs she asked, as politely as she could manage, while being absolutely furious with me, what she had done wrong.

So I told her, without detailing the three possible bad outcomes of doing it her way. (Since you ask, she could have looked to see how I voted. She could have changed my vote. Or she could have omitted to put my vote in.)

Esperanto Girl giggled some more, I fumed, and then we presumably went for tea at Kendals’.

And I concluded I had no wish to repeat this ever again.

It’s easier now. You send your vote in the post, and all you need are two authors who are willing to witness the deed. Or, I suppose, any two people you happen to have to hand.

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