Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Day Three: yeah, where is that guy?

Brevity, in the past, has not always been my strongest quality. Certainly I might be known in some circles for charm, wit, the occasional good deed, but brevity is really not a strong point of mine.

Regardless, I plan on being brief at this moment only because it's an early start tomorrow morning and my poor, aching neck is in need of a soft, cushy pillow...

Every Halloween I forget at least 18 times that it's actually Halloween. Today was certainly no exception.
The holiday's presence finally sunk in as we arrived this evening at the Toms River Halloween parade. This particular parade has been held annually for the past 60 years and is hosted by the local fire department. They have very strict rules about politicking.

NO bumper stickers.
NO lapel stickers.
NO campaign literature.
NO campaign paraphernalia of any sort.

In fact, I had to promise all sorts of favors (ahem) just to convince them that Doug and Andrea themselves were not political paraphernalia.
It was actually a terrific parade, highlighted by the fact that all of the kids in Toms River trick or treat on the 30th and we were continuously refused when offering several children some of the 86 lbs. of candy that we had brought along with us. Everyone was "candied-out", a definite contrast to Saturday's pre-halloween parade.
I ate 5 miniature Twix bars while trying (vigorously) to give away candy, as though it were to stand as a testament to those would-be candy takers around me as to how wonderful an idea the candy actually was.
I don't even like chocolate. The sacrifices I'm making on a regular basis here are truly outstanding.

Innocently we walked down the sidewalk following Doug and Andrea, all 7 of us. We were a friendly entourage, eating and offering candy.
It only took about 15 minutes before they completely swarmed us. Young kids, about 12 of them, surrounded us with Corzine signs, blocking Doug's face from the crowd. They were passing out lapel stickers and bumper stickers (please refer back to the rules) and one was dressed peculiarly, with blue spiked hair and a large butterfly pinned to her back. They took pictures of Doug being suffocated by "Corzine". Doug smiled on, greeting parade goers and ignoring the nay-sayers.
They stood silently, but strangely made more noise than anyone there. They surrounded us and walked with us for a good 14 blocks.
It's really a shame that Senator Corzine is so crowd-phobic, or else he could have been there to defend himself against the masses.

"Corzine sucks!!!!" (this one was really popular)
"Oh, look, Corzine... wait, is he out tonight?"
"I thought they weren't supposed to have signs here."
"Don't ruin our Halloween!"
"Are you what we get in the statehouse if Corzine wins?" (directed to blue-haired butterfly girl... who, actually, someone wasn't sure if she was a guy in a skirt or not).

They followed us nearly all the way back to the bus and I briefly considered inviting them in for hot chocolate.
I wonder how much those kids got paid tonight...

I actually wasn't even on the bus today. I met up with the bus in Toms River to join them for the parade, but otherwise I was running around Jersey City like mad (for top secret reasons... really), and spent two hours or so in Princeton with Andrea while she was filming her next commercial for Doug (tune in to see)!

Pretty uneventful day. Tomorrow is fairly light also: a press conference in Newark sometime around 3:30.

Jeff Whelan followed us around yesterday at the Giants game. Actually, wonder of wonders, Greg and I bumped into him in Jersey City this morning. Regardless, he wrote up a little blurb that showed up today. Just a little highlight:

”Forrester, who is touring the state by bus, kicked off his day in the parking lot at the Meadowlands prior to the Giants game with the Washington Redskins. At a tailgating party hosted by a supporter, the candidate fended off Jell-O shots and feasted on a roasted pig as Led Zeppelin blared in the background and the crowd chanted his name.

Forrester and his wife, Andrea, then ventured through the rest of the parking lot where they ran into a few New Yorkers, who told him they were sorry they couldn't vote for him.

"This is Jersey, we can work these things out," Forrester joked.

Some fans mistook Forrester for a member of the Mara family, owners of the Giants, and a few others complained that his campaign bus nearly drove them off the road on the way to the parking lot. Forrester apologized profusely, but that didn't satisfy everyone.

"This is B.S.," said one fan, Arthur Sockolof, complaining that politicians have no place at a football game. “

And, of course, I couldn't possibly forget to ad my absolute most favorite quote of the day! Overheard in Toms River at the Halloween Parade: "Hey, so did you see Vinny's new Mustang?!"

Folks… all in a day’s work.

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