Thoughts from Dr. Joe: All's fair in politics and marriage

Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition — the moratorium is over! After two months of staying mum due to the school board elections, I can finally write my wife's name, Kaitzer.

I write these columns looking for the yin and yang of an issue; it brings humor to the story. Kaitzer is definitely the yang. During the campaign there was a lot of humor about the yang.

The ancients believed the world was divided in half: man and woman. The gods and goddesses kept the world stable bringing harmony when they were in balance. It was the yin and yang. When the sexes were out of balance, the result was disastrous. But they found humor amid calamity. I have a penchant for hilarity. After eight weeks of going through the political process with Kaitzer as a La Cañada school board candidate, I can write a sitcom.

I am just not a pretty face, and I am no stranger to the political process. As matter of fact, in 1960 I ran for patrol leader of the pirate patrol for Troop 136 in the Bronx. I was running against Vinnie Amato, the most loathsome kid at school. I won. By one vote. So it wasn't a mandate.

After an eight-week campaign, I fully understand Churchill's contention, “Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others that have been tried.”

I had a minor role in Kaitzer's successful campaign. I placed the lawn signs. It's not glamorous, especially with gas being four bucks a gallon. It's like being picked last in the schoolyard. Yet I drove around town in the Kaitzer truck, with her face plastered on the windows. She thought it was hubris to have four pictures of her pinned to the windows of my ugly truck.

“Joe, I'm glad you took the, ‘Vote for Kaitzer sign' off the truck,” she said. Her face turned blue when I replied, “I didn't take it off, it fell off on the 210.”

Nevertheless I accomplished my mission even though I was handicapped by the fact that I am slightly dyslexic. I tend to reverse numbers, so instead of looking for a house address No. 4784, I'm trying to find 4748. I upset a lot of people driving 2 miles an hour, backing up traffic looking for an address that wasn't there. The story gets worse! Try forcing a lawn sign into compacted soil. Rarely did I have a house with Saint Augustine grass.

For some strange reason, Kaitzer wanted to accompany me on delivering a sign to a friend living in the Sagebrush area. I tried talking her out of that idea, since people living in those neighborhoods don't vote in La Cañada school races.

Nonetheless, after driving for what seemed an hour, we find the house and I placed the sign. From the car Kaitzer exclaims, “Move it back a bit.” I did. Then I hear, “Two more inches!” Finally, I hear, “You've gone too far!”

The ordeal would not end; I then had to find the perfect angle. I was ready to throw myself under a bus.

The election came and went; the ordeal was over. But not for me!

“Joe, make sure you take the lawn signs down,” she said.

I had a deadpan face. I suggested we leave them up and by March, the Santa Ana winds would blow them to South El Monte. That didn't work; the morning after the election I was up and down the streets looking for lawn signs. Alas! I didn't keep a record of where I delivered the signs. (When she runs for Pope, I'll do better. If you should happen to see a Kaitzer sign, please get it for me.)

So at 6 a.m. I'm pulling a sign from a lawn. The owner of the house greets me. “Dr. Joe, tell Kaitzer thank you for taking out the lawn sign immediately.”

I didn't say it out loud but I smiled and thought, “Kaitzer ain't doing it! I am! She's home sleeping!”


JOE PUGLIA is a practicing counselor, a retired professor of education and a former officer in the Marines. Reach him at Visit his website at

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