Dan Nicholas Park

John sits perched upon my shoulders. He pulls my hair. He puts a finger in my left ear. He leans hard into my neck. He wants to grab a wooden automobile on the table below us, in line at Hurley Station in Dan Nicholas Park. We, as well as about 2000 other people, are waiting in line in Rowan County, North Carolina.

“You inhale, you pay,” says the sign next to the kazoos for sale. I will have to resist.

I pay for two tickets. But that is the line for buying tickets. There is another line for getting on to the train.

I like democracy. Everyone does, right?

Waiting in line represents the implementation of the democratic ideal. First come, first served. That’s the only rule. No matter how much the richest banker might derive more utility (as an economist would say) from free time, that banker has to wait in line behind the guy with three tattoos.

I see plenty of free speech in line, emblazoned on the t-shirts of my fellow line waiters.
“I love Rock 92.”
“Don’t drive your truck when U are Jacked Up!”
“It’s Bubba Time”
The antidote to all of this democracy: a strong cup of British tea.
But I realize, as I walk through a knoll littered with screaming children and smoking parents, there is a difference between these people and myself.
They are Republicans. Or, more than 70 percent of the people in this county voted Republican. The only ward that votes for Democrats is the one downtown — where Elizabeth Dole grew up. Out here, in the country, its full of anti-tax voters. My county, with the geneticists on the left and the pharmaceutical salesman across the street – that is where you get people who cannot say no to a bond referendum.

Enough demos.


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