stop the madness
October 27, 2008 9:49 AM   Subscribe

Like most people I know, I'm pretty sick of the presidential election - to the point where I'm going to try something interesting this year. On Election Day, I'm taking the day off. I'll go vote at the beginning of the day, but after that I plan on actively avoiding the whole thing, best I can, until Wednesday morning. How can I best pull this off?

Basically, I just don't want to deal with it this year. I want to avoid all the last minute election craziness, and I really, truly, especially want to avoid the endless Tuesday night talking-head madness, where everybody endlessly watches the news while the anchors speculate breathlessly about who's going to get Ohio. For once, I think it'd be fun to find out who our next president is going to be from the morning paper, like people used to.

My question is: any ideas how I can best pull this off? I've got roommates who most certainly *will* be watching the madness unfold, so staying home the whole night isn't going to work. But what kinds of places can I go that will be "safe"? Do I have to avoid the public altogether? Where would I do that? Do I have to find a cabin in the woods or something?

Anyway, no idea if this'll work but I intend to try... helpful ideas are appreciated. :-)
posted by captainawesome to Law & Government (24 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You'll need to unplug.

No Internet, no TV. Or watch DVDs instead. Let your friends and family know your plan so they don't spoil it. Lock yourself in your house.
posted by nitsuj at 9:52 AM on October 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

go to the movies. go to junk shops. go read a book in the park. lock yourself in your room. take a sleeping pill. watch a marathon (the entire run of america's next top model, godfather, all the american tale movies).

not in that order
posted by nadawi at 9:54 AM on October 27, 2008

This is a great idea. Can I suggest you vote early, like tomorrow, thereby getting the ENTIRE day off. (A proper day off starts with sleeping in, I figure.)

As Nitsuj says, you need to disconnect and isolate, because not only are the TV and internet unusable*, but people will also telephone you, the folks at the corner store will be talking, and even strangers on the street will be hooting or cursing, too.

* really, you cannot. You can't just go to some Flash game site, because it'll have a popup with the news. You can't even let your e-mail collect, because the SUBJECTS will flick by and you'll be ruined. No Internet AT ALL.
posted by rokusan at 9:55 AM on October 27, 2008

Pretend to be deaf, crazy, or non-English speaking to anyone who tries to talk to you.
posted by desjardins at 9:59 AM on October 27, 2008

I would say a nice long hike, a trip to the mall shopping (I know it's public but I doubt it comes up), and then maybe a nice long movie or 2 would do it.
posted by beccaj at 10:11 AM on October 27, 2008

But what kinds of places can I go that will be "safe"? Do I have to avoid the public altogether? Where would I do that? Do I have to find a cabin in the woods or something?

find a hotel with an awesome day spa or pool. spend as much time soaking or getting massaged or getting rays as you possibly can. order room service and watch a dvd marathon or read a book or two. take a long hot bubble bath. sleep well, wake up refreshed and ready for the news.
posted by lia at 10:15 AM on October 27, 2008 [3 favorites]

Lock yourself in your room and watch DVDs using headphones and a long headphone cable. That way, when your roommates cheer or boo when the race is called, you won't hear it. Have food ready in your room. If this means you'll watch DVDs on your computer, unplug/turn off the internet. Turn off your phone with a voicemail message saying you are unavailable until tomorrow.

Another idea: Ride public transit all day (if you live somewhere with good transit) Wear headphones and listen to music. An iPod would be good for this because no accidental listening to radio!

Or, get a hotel room. You might even get a free USA Today in the morning!
posted by ALongDecember at 10:18 AM on October 27, 2008

I missed the first several hours of 9/11 because I was hidden away in the top floors of the college library. I literally had no idea what had happened until I walked outside and everyone was standing still talking on a cellphone.
posted by jrichards at 10:19 AM on October 27, 2008

If you want something more indoorsy than outdoorsy, I'd suggest a movie theater -- you could probably watch movies from about noon to just after midnight or possibly later at a multi-plex place. Then go home and go to bed.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:26 AM on October 27, 2008

Movies are probably the easiest, and I bet you won't be the only one seeing every movie in the multiplex for just this reason.

It's kind of expensive to drive just for fun these days, but if you've got a good old-fashioned local highway, give yourself a road trip. Load up the iPod, pack a cooler full of food, maybe grab a camera to photoblog your travels.
posted by desuetude at 10:38 AM on October 27, 2008

Go camping or otherwise remove yourself from the presence of electricity.
posted by rhizome at 10:38 AM on October 27, 2008

Do you like video games? If so, pick up a new awesome game that you've been wanting to play (perhaps an absorbing, time-consuming RPG?) and don't start playing until Election Day. It'll be Wednesday morning before you know it.

If not, pick up some books you've been wanting to read. Or hide in the library all day, but I'd recommend you get as much preparation as possible out of the way before the day, voting included.
posted by Metroid Baby at 10:55 AM on October 27, 2008

Vote Early, avoid the lines and make it one less person in front of another voter who may not be patient enough to wait in line to exercise their franchise.

Go camping from the 3rd to the 5th, bring a book or two with you and just try to enjoy the peace an quiet.
posted by BobbyDigital at 10:57 AM on October 27, 2008

If you want to do what Metroid Baby says, then Fallout 3 is coming out tomorrow, and it fits the bill exactly (provided you have the hardware to run it and you wont be competing for space with your gabby roomies).
posted by BobbyDigital at 10:58 AM on October 27, 2008

Go camping.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 11:17 AM on October 27, 2008

Vote early, #1, and then go volunteer at a hospital or a homeless shelter.
posted by cashman at 11:49 AM on October 27, 2008

On the first anniversary of 9/11, for personal reasons, I needed to get away and be quiet and think. I couldn't get to the mountains or the beach (many handled the anniversary of their loved one's death this way).

So I went to the National Gallery of Art. All day. Key advantage: no cable TV.

Cable was the number-one thing I wanted to avoid, and this is what you'll want to stay away from. The National Archives exhibits with the Constitution and Declaration was still closed for renovation, or I would've gone there as well.

Volunteering is a good idea, but people will be talking about it there, and hospitals and shelters have TV. You also could be accosted by a reporter doing vox-pops.

Galleries and libraries are immersion experiences if you can't hike or bike. Boating would be great - no sidewalk reporters!
posted by jgirl at 12:04 PM on October 27, 2008

I'd rent a nice hotel room, bring a bottle of wine, a good book and enjoy the miracle of room service. Maybe take a bath.

But I love hotels. Just the towel presentation makes me feel like the universe is a safe and ordered place.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 12:06 PM on October 27, 2008

I'll echo what many have said.

Vote early. This will let your day be completely free of election madness.

Also, you may still have time to build a cabin alongside a pond in the wilderness.
posted by clearly at 12:42 PM on October 27, 2008

Library, definitely. Anywhere where people cannot be plugged into something and can't be on the phone. Or a long stint at the movies. I'd say "hang out at a hospital," but TV's are always running. Or find a building with horrible cell reception.

I will be avoiding the madness because I have class till 10 p.m. I can't avoid it during the day, but at night I can happily stick my head in the sand for hours!
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:42 PM on October 27, 2008

nth-ing camping. My ex was unaware of 9/11 for several days because he was backwoods camping.
posted by soleiluna at 2:19 PM on October 27, 2008

If you're within a few hours of a large body of water, and aren't in the mood to fully camp, get yourself an excellent (non-political) book or two and drive to that water, set up a comfy lawn chair, and watch the water for a while. Have snacks with you, too. Watch the waves. Read and eat. Decompress.

note, this only works when you live in a warm climate.
posted by davejay at 4:08 PM on October 27, 2008

Just go do anything that you enjoy. Seriously. There are huge chunks of the population that really don't care about discussing the election with anyone. If you're not plopped in front of the TV, you're halfway there. Go to a movie, an arcade, a bookstore, a college library, shopping, an art gallery, etc... When you go home, just go home and go to your room to read a book. If you don't want to deal with "spoilers" from your roomies, tell them beforehand that you want it to be a surprise and you'll be ignoring them when you get home, nothing personal.
posted by KAS at 1:45 PM on October 28, 2008

I would say avoid anything where there are other people. People talk. Loudly. I have been in several states in the past few months, have not found anywhere that the election was not being discussed and this was not on election day.

For my money, gaming would be the way to go. (Not online, obviously.) Seriously thought about taking two vacation days and locking myself up with playstation Monday and Tuesday, but have meetings I can't miss.

DVDs and reading if your the indoor type. Camping, maybe. But I would worry that you might be hiking along, happy as a squid, and some yahoo comes around the bend and calls out, "Hey! Isn't it great that...."

Keeping my cell off all day. I'll be in my cube with my headdown, IM on "busy," and then earbuds on the bus, and then reading. Hoping this will work.

In fact, right now, I'm going to phone bank for a while, and then hide out with discount Halloween candy for the rest of the night. The family fundies know I already voted, and they are still bothering my by phone and email several time a day.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 11:55 AM on November 1, 2008

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