Thursday, January 13, 2005

After the election, I got a little bit crazy. I kept eyeing strangers in stores and on parking lots, wondering if I could tell by looking whether they had voted Republican or Democratic. I'm back to sanity now, and I've given up that fruitless habit. But still, wouldn't it be nice if you could look at someone on the street and KNOW they were a Democrat? My orthopedist, Katharine Burns, has a solution. She told me about it when I saw her for an office visit on Monday. She is aware of my political leanings, and after she examined me, she gave me a big smile and said she'd be back in a minute with a gift. When she returned, she handed me a small cellophane package with a royal blue plastic bracelet in it on which was stamped the word "LIBERAL". Dr. Burns explained that after the election, she and her husband and his brother were so depressed that they cast about for something constructive they could do to lift themselves out of the slough of despond. They came up with the idea of selling bracelets to "true blue liberals" online--as a way of helping us identify each other in public. They notified the Post-Dispatch of their new enterprise and were rewarded, if that's the word, with a "Rimshot" editorial last Sunday. It was left handed praise at best, as you'll see if you still have the Sunday "Newswatch" section. The Post criticized them for having the bracelets made in China, for charging $3.95 plus $1 shipping and handling, and for being vague about how much of the proceeds go to charity. But the nice part is that a local manufacturer contacted them to say he could make the bracelets. (They hadn't known whom to contact here.) Dr. Burns says they're still settling on which charities will receive some of the proceeds. She tells me that this isn't a nonprofit venture, so not all of the proceeds will go to charity. Still, it seems like a good idea if it were to catch on. You can click here if you're interested in ordering a bracelet. Once you're on the site, look for the blue line that says "Order your True Blue "Liberal" Awareness band today."

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