A funny thing happened on the way to the post office


On Saturday I went to the South Shore post office to buy stamps. I passed by a man with a clipboard who asked me to sign a petition to stop the City Council from turning Measure L1 into Measure M1. 

I asked what the Council was doing. He said the Council was going to turn Alameda into Berkeley.

I asked what the Council was doing. He said they were going to bring socialism to us and all of the landlords would leave town. 

I asked what the Council was doing, exactly. He said they were taking L1 and putting the words “just cause” in it and turning it into M1. I asked whether I could ask him a question. He literally said “no,” you’re an M1 supporter, go away. 

Then I tried to explain myself and was told in loud and rapid succession that he didn’t want to listen to my sob story, that I was an M1 supporter and a socialist, that I should leave town if I can’t afford to live here and that I should buy a home in Detroit for $10,000 and why didn’t I just do that. 

I thought of how a lot of people find it relaxing to watch Jeopardy! and maybe he would calm down a little bit if I framed my reply in the form of a question. It turned out that saving America from socialism really leaves no time for questions. So I left. 

This man never identified himself so I don’t know who he is, why he loathes the words “just cause’” or why he thinks it would be a good idea for me to sell the home I own in Alameda and buy a home 2,387 miles away from my place of work. 

Nevertheless I would like to thank him for sharing his beliefs that people shouldn’t ask questions and that Detroit is quite cheap right now. I’ll keep them in mind.

— Laurel Halsey

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