The circus ends today

A benefit to living in a smaller community is the digestible nature of the police reports. They appear every Tuesday in these pages, the paper of record. I usually read them, right after I marvel at my own work.

Some reports make me feel bad about our world. Others make me feel good about myself. Either way, as in last week’s edition, there’s always something for everyone.

There’s comedy:

“After a caller reported there was no one inside a store to help the customers inside, police found an employee sleeping in the office.”

“A doctor’s office reported a patient was in no condition to drive in his physical state, but the fellow was already gone.”

“A caller said her 17-year-old ran away from home, but not to school.”

“A woman called to complain that the meat portion was missing from her Meals on Wheels lunch.”

There’s tragedy:

“A woman who had just gone through a bad break-up asked an officer to check if she had just run over the nail in her tire or if someone put it there.”

“A caller said his ex-girlfriend stole a $2,800 dog.”

There’s even satire:

“An intoxicated man found sitting on a curb said he was waiting for his father to pick him up after his girlfriend had kicked him out of her apartment because he was so drunk.”

The reports often cut to the heart of a matter. Some can make observations about our world that at once can be so simple and yet so deep. For example:

“A woman complaining about the ‘circus-like atmosphere’ around the voter registration office wanted to speak to the mayor about the situation.”

That “circus-like atmosphere” was, of course, campaigning at the early voting polls.

The caller is not the first to describe our politics as a circus, though she may be the first to call 911 about it.

The comparisons are striking, really. Like a circus, politics come to town very couple of years. There are signs and banners and flyers.

Big-bellied elephants and trick donkeys are paraded out for review. Promoters go door to door to enhance turnout. Tents shade the animals from the sun. Hot dogs are served.

There are claims (“World’s smallest horse!”) and promises (“Greatest show on earth!”), not to mention, exaggerations. Where there are animals, there is mudslinging. There are also raw facts that campaigns try to explain away as mudslinging.

This year’s elongated primary season has made the circus seem particularly obnoxious.

Bumper stickers grew into complete rear-window decals. Plastic signs turned into gigantic vinyl banners. Political ads squeezed local news to the margins. Some voters surely asked, “Does anyone have a real job anymore?”

P.T. Barnum would have been impressed by the hype.

Nevertheless, the travelling road show ends today. Polls close at 7. I hope you went – or go before it’s over.

As smelly as the whole ordeal may be, we should be thankful the circus still comes to town.

There are places where it doesn’t. They are not places you would likely want to live.

Kevin Thompson writes weekly for The Boerne Star in the Texas hill country. He can be reached at

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