It has been brought to my attention that there is a lot of political activity in the country at this time, and that some men seem to be almost as interested in supporting their favorite candidates as in football. While I find this difficult to believe, people do crazy things and even the insane deserve to follow their individual delusions in a manly way. Thus, if anyone out there wants to gift one of these men with something to appeal to their political passion here are some ideas.
The first one is a do-it-your-self kit rather than a single purchase. I highly recommend this one if you want to get him to stop screaming at the TV for a while and back into the workshop so you can relax. This group of products, combined with a bit of basic manufacturing and some elbow grease, is intended to counter that most dastardly form of political activity, the stealing of yard signs.
The starting point for this project is a steel fence post:
These are known as T-posts and are frequently used instead of wooden posts to support field fencing designed to keep cattle weighing a ton or so from wondering away from where they are supposed to be. Compared to the thin wooden stake that the normal political sign comes with, these are like a main battle tank parked next to a skateboard. They come in various lengths, and for this purpose I recommend the 7″ version. Your average political sign is displayed at most 3 feet high, so that leaves 4 feet of metal to pound into the ground as an anchor. They cost less than $7 each and can be purchased at most of the big hardware stores and at Tractor Supply Company.
Of course, to get them into the ground the proper tool is needed,
and that is a post driver, around $40 from the same store that sells you the T-posts. Basically, this is a section of metal pipe with one end firmly capped and handles wielded on. To use it, you ram the post into the ground deep enough to hold itself up, put the open end of this over the top, and lift and drop until the post is pounded to the desired depth. This process makes a lot of noise, so you may want to toss in some ear protection. It’s also really good exercise, so you may want to toss in some pain killers.
The next item needed is a metal sheet,
I recommend 12 ga stainless steel which you can get for well under $100, depending on the size. Measure one of his yard signs to determine the appropriate dimensions.
Next is a sheet of high grade acrylic,
This is the stuff they make bullet proof windows from, and this one is coated to resist scratches and chemical stains. The 1/8″ should do just fine and is less than $80.
Have him drill matching holes in each corner of the steel and plastic sheets. Take the wimpy stick off the political sign of his choice and place it face up on the steel plate. Cover with the acrylic. Bolt it in place (he should have these on hand or will know where to get them.) Pound in the T-post. Spot wield or epoxy the steel plate to the post. Oh, and prior to driving in the post, make sure that no underground infrastructure will be damaged, like gas lines and such.
The result will be a political sign that will last for years, be the envy of the neighborhood, and easily withstand any casual assault. Just the mental image of the look on the face of the first person who attempts to snatch it on a middle of the night run is well worth the expense and effort.
Speaking of which, if you’ve got a great sign, why limit the viewing of it to the daylight hours? Thus a few of these may be appropriate:
These being high intensity solar powered disguised as rocks flood lights. They’re less than $35, buy several, make sure everyone sees those signs. During the non-political seasons you can use them to light your drive way or something.
Then there are those times where the political signs must be carried around. This is usually called a “demonstration.” Most often, signs are handed out on site and consist of a thin wooden handle with a bit of printed cardboard stapled to it. Hardly manly, and next to worthless when the riot police show up. That’s where this:
telescoping aluminum rod comes in. When the three automatically locking sections are fully extended they form an 8′ rod, but when collapsed will easily fit into even a small car. A few drops of super glue will quickly attach any bit of lightweight political display. At full extension this item will allow your sign to be seen above the crowd, and when collapsed it makes a much better weapon than a cheap softwood twig. It’s a bargain at $35.
Of course, sometimes it’s manly to go overboard and this:
probably falls into that category for most people. That’s an Xtreme-Beam portable laser light show system, ranging in price and power from $6,000 to $30,000, and with which you can paint your desired political slogan on anything from the side of your house to a skyscraper. In the off season you can use it to display all sorts of other stuff.
On the other hand, there are other senses beyond the visual and this,
gives the politically active individual leverage on what others hear. It’s MiniVox Lite PA System, and for less than $400 allows one to walk around for up to 12 hours amplifying whatever you want to say to 109 dB. Personally, I want one just to make my wife listen to me when I talk and to scare the heck out of the dogs. I can also see some fun applications it might have in restaurants with less than attentive waiters/waitresses.
Finally, for the man who likes to staple signs to telephone poles,
get him the right tool. The Stanley Bostitch Power Slam Hammer Tacker is that tool. For around $35, this implement will allow you to pound a staple into a hard surface just by swinging it like a hammer. I have, in my youth, used more primitive versions of this tool to plaster political, and other types of, signs all over and, with a tiny bit of practice, I developed the ability to affix a sign to any wooden surface, with three staples for a sure hold, in less than a second. I can only have marvelous dreams as to how fast posters can be put up with this high tech tool.
Oh, and remember to vote. It doesn’t matter for who, but the act of voting fulfills a responsibility, and that is manly. Of course, these days it’s also womanly, but historically it was manly, so everybody go vote!