‘Twas the night before Election Day, when all through the city,
Not a driver was moving, the sight wasn’t pretty;
The yard signs were posted by the roadside with care,
Like pretty turquoise flags lining each thoroughfare.
And pappa in his Prius, and I in my truck,
both raised our fists and muttered, “What the fuck.”
On Mopac and Airport and 183,
No one could get where they needed to be.
Just up ahead traffic came to a complete stop
and everyone felt their hearts start to drop.
As blood pressure rose and patience wore thin,
We were all stuck in Austin traffic again.
We could only imagine what had happened this time,
though driving in Austin means having to stop on a dime
and waiting at intersections for that extra beat
as red-light runners speed across the street:
An Uber driver picked a passenger up in the middle of Lamar
And froze all of Austin, both near and far.
Our roads, dear reader, have become so clogged,
a quarter mile drive feels like quite a slog.
Which is the real reason we’re having this crazy election
About whether these companies get the rules of their selection.
We can’t move around without becoming unhinged
So Uber and Lyft have Austin in a corner pinned.
We need public transportation, like buses and trains,
but agreeing to pay for them is beyond our wee brains.
Instead we have Uber and Lyft who changed the game
by disrupting the taxis and growing in fame.
Now Austin is up in arms about how to vote:
To keep Lyft and Uber and their valuations afloat?
Or to reject these companies that refuse to play by the rules
and act like fingerprint background checks are simply for fools.
So the voters thought about what would better,
a city without Uber for when under the weather
or drunk as a skunk or high as a kite,
a good choice to get home safely at night.
But then again, Lyft and Uber were acting like dicks,
spending 10 million bucks like they’re doing it for kicks.
When all of a sudden I saw a black Escalade
whirling up Oltorf, making the hippies afraid.
It took a quick right when it came to South First,
and out of the passenger side a rider did burst.
Who should jump out but our own Mayor Steve
to remind us to vote on this election eve?
And he called to all neighborhoods to show up in the morn
With his slightly high voice and a toot of the horn
“Now Zilker! Now Allendale! Now University Hills!
On Montopolis! On Cherrywood! On you folks in Oak Hill!
This will be an election we’ll always remember!
Who cares what happens when it comes to November?
We need to tell America, the land of the free,
that we still spell “democracy” with a lower case D.
This election has driven a wedge in Austin’s stressed, growing heart;
this thing was a clusterfuck right from the start.
So we’re voting in record numbers, like the mailers and ads–
Man, I hope Bruce Elfant has everything in order so there are no hanging chads.
I want to remind you that our city will still be great,
no matter whose argument you’ve grown to hate.
We’re Austin, we fight, it’s one of the perks
of living in the city where the state government works.
And remember that whatever happens, it won’t matter next year,
When the Texas Legislature will be back here.”
Then he jumped back in the car and was gone like a flash
Maybe heading over to Barton Springs for a quick splash.
But I think I heard, as his car crawled away,
“Remember, you can vote at any polling place on Election Day!”