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Political communication and personal space

GAYS MILLS - Scott Walker came to Riverdale School on Monday to sign a bill into law that will increase sparsity aid for rural schools.

This was quite a big to-do for the small rural school in Muscoda.

I received approximately six calls and three emails to make sure that I was in fact, going to attend this event, which was only announced on Sunday afternoon.

Normally, I would be kind of excited for news to pop up in my day-to-day life, but on Monday I was planning to come into work later in the day and working into the evening. We had made a late night trip to the Vernon Memorial Hospital because we had suspected (and confirmed) that Thatcher had contracted croup, which caused him to have labored breathing and require some medicine and poking and prodding by hospital staff. All in a day’s work for my sickly, stubborn toddler.

Around 8 a.m., the calls started rolling in and the emails caused my phone to make this space age bleeping noise. Shortly, my peaceful slumber became disturbed beyond repair, I was reminded of the other time Scott Walker had disrupted the flow of my day.

Lots of people have political reasons why Scott Walker has offended them, but mine is mostly due to my own personal quirks.

It seems life a lifetime ago now, when Walker was originally on the campaign trail. He was traveling across the great state of Wisconsin on his Harley Davidson Motorcycle. Charley had been for shadowed of this and seemed to think “what better assignment for a junior reporter than to interview the republican candidate for Governor of the State of Wisconsin.”

I like many young people, wasn’t exactly aware of who Scott Walker was, nor any of the controversy that followed along with him. I just knew that it was a bit of a break from the regular writing I had been doing.

I dressed up in a long, handmade ‘house dress,’ that my aunt had made. It was a colorful cotton number and probably one of the nicest pieces of clothing I’ve ever owned. I figured it’s not every day I meet a politician, so I better look the part.

Did I mention it was like the hottest day ever of the summer—like, really, really hot. Those who know me realize that I am a rather delicate flower and I wilt in the heat. As a matter of fact, I could probably write an entire column about my mishaps in the heat, including fainting on a mini golf course. But, I’ll save that for another day.

The problem that arose from this day with the heat was an invasion of my personal bubble. You know, that perimeter of space around you that only those you invite should enter.  When it’s hot out, no one is invited into my bubble.

So there I was, standing outside of the Red Apple Inn, sweating away in the hot afternoon sun of Gays Mills Main Street, waiting for Walker and his crew to finish up their afternoon snack.

The governor-to-be greeted me warmly with a hearty handshake and pat on my sweaty shoulder.

I took a step back from Candidate Walker and began firing off my list of questions that Charley had prepared for me. Upon answering, he took a long stride forward standing almost nose to nose, listening to him tell me all about this airline that I gathered was giving money to his campaign.

Every time I would take a step back, he would step forward, and we inched our way down the sidewalk that way as if doing some bizarre dance.

I was so ruffled by the occurrence of someone I didn’t know in my personal space coupled with the extreme temperature that I proceeded to neglect to actually ask most of the questions I was primed for, and instead reverted to praying that the suffering would end and he would hop back on that piece of American muscle and ride off on the campaign trail.

Eventually, the interview was over and we had inched our way to Halver’s Town Tap in my futile attempt to escape his space invasion, and my opinion of the future governor was made, not on his political stance, but entirely on his summer heat wave manners.