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"Oh, I'd love to, but I'm afraid I live in an apartment," Norma said. In fact, she'd already settled on Kansas Senate candidate Dan Gilyeat. Under the table, resting against her thigh, were four signs for Gilyeat, who had wooed her in person earlier in the day as he stalked the fairground in his Marine dress uniform.
Most of the traffic at the KFL table was made up of these well-scrubbed, low-level campaign volunteers, who returned over and over to tell Norma just one more thing that they'd forgotten to mention about their candidate. Most of the rest were older women, who shook our hands and thanked us because, they said, they'd been adopted children. Did they mean to imply that their biological mothers would rather have aborted them (had abortion been legal at the time) than pass them on to an orphanage? I thought it might be rude to ask.
The main exception to this mix of politicians and orphans was a boy in a high school letter jacket flanked by two girls who stopped by.
"Oh, God, abortion is so gross," one of the girls said. She was a brunette in a tight purple top and gray short-shorts. "If anything happens, I'm definitely keeping my baby."
"Good for you, dear. That's wonderful," Norma said.
"They don't even talk about it in school at all," she continued. "They don't tell you what happens or what it does or what happens after [an abortion]. It's so crazy."
"Yeah, and it's, like, murder, 'cause it's a baby in there," the boy said. "Why don't they teach that?"
"How about sex education? Are they giving you guys any information about birth control or anything like that?" I asked.
"We go to public school, so they don't teach us anything," the girl said.
"Thank God for that," I said.
Norma was so pleased with them that she bought each one a pair of fetus feet. They turned around to leave. On the back of the gray short-shorts, in slanted 4-inch letters, was the word "Wow!!!"
As soon as my replacement came, I started to look for the woman in purple. I must have circled the grounds half a dozen times, but she had vanished.