Stroudsburg, PA — An uncommitted voter who requested an absentee ballot for the presidential election became so impressed by the aerodynamic properties of his ballot that he ended up not voting at all.
Dustin Austin, a registered Independent, voted for Donald Trump in 2016 because he was “a G,” but wasn’t quite sure about what another four years of his administration would bring. Neither was he sold on Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who reminded him of his father’s “weird tennis buddies.”
“I got to thinking, like, how both parties haven’t been able to really work together, right, and the whole mood has just been a bummer,” Austin said. “So I thought instead of filling in an oval on this thing, it would bring me more, like, happiness to make a paper airplane out of it, and it’s actually pretty tight.”
Austin, 27, said at first he was planning on picking either Trump or Biden rather than one of the third party nominees who were, as he put it, “all scrubs.” But when he sat down in his bean bag chair with his ballot atop a DVD case of Seasons 10 through 16 of ‘Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,’ he couldn’t even decide which pen to use.
“From there, it was all downhill, really,” Austin said. “And I mean that in a bad way, which is weird ‘cause whipping down hills on my longboard is dope as fuck. Maybe people have been saying that wrong, man, I don’t know. But yeah, I just wasn’t motivated.”
Austin recalled a documentary on origami he watched recently on YouTube, and it was this that led him into making planes out of a variety of materials around his apartment. He soon realized that his ballot had the dimensions, thickness and texture to become something he had never built before. Naming it the ‘Boring 747’ because politics “puts him to sleep,” Austin said he’s thrown it off of all sorts of buildings, including the water tower on the outside of town.
“I’d kept it looking fresh until that throw, it ended up in some manure or something on this dude’s farm,” Austin said. “Now Trump’s name is kinda smudged.”
When asked if he had any regrets about not taking his civic obligation seriously, Austin didn’t seem too concerned.
“What do you mean, my Civic’s in great shape, just passed inspection,” he said at first. “Oh, you mean like voting and shit? Yeah, we’ll be alright if I sit this one out, it’s not like there’s a lot of people like me out there.”
William Vaillancourt’s humor writing has appeared in The Weekly Humorist, Robot Butt and How Pants Work, among other places.