Today's theme is numbers.
Let's start with Bruce Andriatch's column on the upcoming elections. There are 155 elected positions on the ballot. No fewer than 66 seats are uncontested,
They include seven of nine town clerks. (I tell you, if Iraq voters could elect their own town clerks, Dubya's mission would truly be accomplished.)
In Clarence and Wales, not a single elected seat is contested.
And then there is the matter of Alden. As Bruce notes:
Number of polling places that will be open in Alden on election day: 4.
Number of polling places open in Alden when voters cast ballots on whether to downsize the Town Board from five to three members: 1.
Number of hours polls will be open in Alden on election day: 15.
Number of hours they were open the day of the downsizing vote: 8.
Number of Town Board and town supervisor candidates facing opposition in Alden this year: 0.
But, remember, folks, this is the "government closest to the people" that pols all over WNY insist must be preserved. It's for our own good, they tell us.
They call this democracy.
Hit, it, Bruce:
Let's move on to the happenings in and around One Bills Drive.
I attended the Bills game yesterday, tailgated beforehand and everything. First time I'd been in a couple, three years. Was reminded why I've stayed away.
It was ugly on the field and worse outside the stadium, as Gene Warner detailed.
We've got one stolen wood carving of Thurman Thomas.
One fan who was arrested at the game only to escape police custody and later found sleeping it off in the basement of a nearby house he had broken into.
And one Clarence teen-ager who was charged with 16 criminal counts for his drunk-driving, hit-and-run antics after the game.
I mean, everything within a mile of the stadium is a huge open container law violation - among other things. Have we set the record yet for world's largest public urinal?
Boy, that would get us Talking Proud, wouldn't it? You can't buy that kind of publicity.
Behavior that would not be tolerated the other 355 days of the year is accepted when the Bills host games. And this is because???
You can't get away with his kind of behavior at Sabres or Bisons games. But for some reason, it's acceptable for 75,000 or so mostly overweight white guys to get drunk before Bills games and obscene during them before they climb into their pick ups and drive home drunk.
OK, I exaggerate. But you get my point.
Can you imagine if, say, 75,000 black guys showed up for a rap concert and behaved like Bills fans?
Why, Tim Howard, Chris Collins and Cheryl Green would have nightmares just thinking about how many blankets and tooth brushes they would have to withhold from prisoners.