Mood rings and political candidates

Published 12:42 am Saturday, May 15, 2010

Back in 1974, a couple of fads made their way here to Demopolis. One was the pet rock, and the other was the mood ring.

I cannot say much about the pet rock, since my parents wouldn’t spring for one – about $12, if I remember right. Maybe my parents knew more about the high cost of rock chow than I did. Maybe they thought that I wouldn’t be responsible enough to take it for a walk. I don’t know.

The mood ring, though, was something even I could afford, costing about $2.50. One Saturday, I took the money that I earned “working” at my grandparents’ store, Business Equipment Company, and went down the street to Rutledge Drug Store (where The Mustard Seed is now).

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(I say “working” because, by nature, I am lazy. My “work” was dusting off the shelves, restocking the shelves, and the highlight of my month was hand-delivering the bills to the stores downtown. Remind me someday to tell you kids what a busy place our downtown business district used to be. But I digress.)

I picked my ring from a mood ring display on the counter and probably also bought a comic book or a crossword puzzle book and a vanilla Coke.

The mood ring was pretty plain: a single stone that changed color, supposedly depending on your mood (although we later found it was more related to heat). A little chart came with it to tell you what each color meant. Blue, for example, meant you were feeling good, black meant unhappy and so on. Mine pretty much stayed brownish-gray, which my friends and I used to say meant I was dead.

Mood rings are kind of like the political campaign season. Candidates will say what the voting public will want to hear that will improve his chances of winning the election or primary. They may be sincere about what they say they want to do once in office, but the reality is that something that is a high priority to you may not really be a high priority to the candidate or may fall to a lower priority once the realities of the office settle in.

Listen to the candidates when you can. Ask them questions that you think are important when you have the opportunity. In the end, vote for the candidate that you think is the best candidate based on what you have heard and what you have seen and learned about him.

It is hard to tell which candidates will change colors on you, depending on the mood of his audience. Don’t let the candidates tell you how you should feel. Use your own best judgment and exercise your right to vote in the primary on June 1.

David B. Snow is the managing editor of The Demopolis Times.