Pico Diary #4: Election Day

by Jon Wiener

At Factor’s Deli on Pico in Beverywood, a dozen carts are lined up, filled with party platters ready to be delivered: pastrami, corned beef, roast beef, turkey, yellow and white cheese, cole slaw, potato salad, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, rye bread.  “Those have to be for parties tonight,” I say to the woman who must be the catering manager.  She says “One lady told me ‘it will either be a celebration, or a suicide party.  Either way we need a deli platter.”

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Marty’s Home of the Combo is the walk-up burger stand that’s been on Pico since the fifties; it’s next door to fire station 92, which is a polling place today.  At three in the afternoon Marty’s has about eight people in line.  A new arrival says, “Everybody here a Hillary voter?”  The counterman says, “I wanna say so.”  Lots of nodding and chuckling, but the guy in front of me, an older white man, says ominously, “they better be.”  Someone says to the counterman, “What do you do with Trump voters here?”  The guy in front of me says, “We fuckin’ kill ‘em.”  Somebody else says “That’s going a little far.”  He says “Listen—they gotta live with it.”

To lift the mood, somebody else shouts “How about free fries for all Hillary voters?”  A woman then says “you can’t do that within a hundred feet of the polling place,” pointing to the fire station next door.  Somebody else asks, “Well who are you?”  She turns around and shows everybody that she has a badge and is the captain in charge of the polling place.  A friendly guy asks “What’s it like working all day next to Marty’s?”  “The smell of beef at 7 in the morning is fabulous,” she says.


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They’re talking politics at the UPS store across the street from the polling place at the fire station. The guy behind the counter says “I’m conservative, I’m a Mormon, I’m from Virginia, I would have voted for Romney.  A lot of the stuff the Democrats stand for I really disagree with.  But Trump, even though he has some good ideas, he’s always talking about what YOU are going to do, not what he’s going to do.  Hillary is probably going to win, but she will be impeached, because of some new thing, and then Tim Kaine will become the president–and I’m okay with that.”

An older woman comes into the store and says, “Are you talking about Trump?  I’m from San Diego.  Trump said he was going to build a big development there and he got all this money from old people and then he didn’t build it and they all lost their money.”

She asks the Mormon from Virginia behind the counter, “Are you going to vote for down-ballot candidates?”

“I’m not registered,” he says.  “I’m driving my girlfriend to the polls, but I’m not going to vote.”

Jon Wiener lives south of Pico, near the Pep Boys at Manning Ave. Read the previous installment of the “Pico Diary.”

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