By RAY QUIROGA
South Padre Parade
But before I get to the latest news about our First Annual Beach Bar Beat Bartender Competition, let me start by saying, “You should all be ashamed of yourselves!”
If ya’ll put the same amount of effort and enthusiasm in voting for your leaders as you do voting for your favorite bartender, we’d be living in a perfect world.
Of course, I say that in jest, but heck, as a reporter, I’ve covered elections that were lucky to draw 200 people to the polls. At last count, I recorded well over 3,000 votes and there are many more that still need to be tallied. The vast majority of the votes stem from the Greater Laguna Madre Area which is home to roughly 11,300 men, women and children. And remember, as I write this, the voting continues, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the final vote count reached upwards of 6,000 before it’s all over.
The original plan was to count the ballots at the end of the two weeks allocated for the contest, which is 5 p.m. on September 28, but it just got way out of control and in order to get ahead of this, I had to begin counting days ahead of schedule.
It all kind of came to a head after my last piece, when I all but dared you to do your worst and “cheat” as much as possible. For those who want to know, yes, I realized I was asking for even more trouble when I signed off using my personal email address rather than the designated “editor” account used for voting, but I’ll admit, after all these years doing this, I still like seeing my name in print and that’s why I did it (I never claimed to be the sharpest tool in the shed). And yes, my personal email account got flooded with votes as well. So to those who have been sending me emails that are business or personal in nature, of which I haven’t replied, I’ll say this: I’ll get there. I just have to sort the votes from the personal messages, okay?
In regard to the voters themselves, I can say that while the majority of voters simply mark or name their favorite bartender on the ballot or correspondence, I especially appreciate those who mention something they specifically like about their champion or go the extra mile just to vote, like the individual who tore the ballot page out of the Parade, proceeded to write her favorite bartender’s name across the top of the page, scan the page into her computer, attach it to her email message, and send it in! Now that’s dedication, but maybe not as much as fans of the top vote getter thus far who have established three or four separate email addresses to keep the votes coming virtually every minute of every hour, of every day, ensuring that I don’t have a moment for much needed reflection and meditation as instructed by my therapist and spiritual advisor. Thank you much.
Being the egomaniac that I am, I especially love when voters’ comments are complementary towards me, like those sent by Vicki Davis who, along with her vote, wrote: “I really like the new format for the Parade. The write-ups on the restaurants, bars, and places to see and things to do are not only enjoyable but informative. It saves a lot of time which can be put to so much better use like sitting on the beach watching the waves and other strenuous activities such as that. Thank you for letting me indulge my imagination.”
Well Mrs. Davis, I’ll have you know that words such as those will get you everywhere with me.
…Well, guess what? I was going to satisfy your curiosity by revealing the leading vote getters thus far, but I’ve run out of both time and space, so I guess you’re just going to have to wait until next week when I unveil the winner. Until then, adios amigos and in the meantime, ya’ll should look into getting yourselves registered for that other election in November. It ought to be just as important, if not as exciting (or the other way around).