I don't know about you, but for me, Tuesday's election had all the excitement of a room-temperature Coke.
No fizz at all.
So you can imagine how flat it must have felt for young voters, especially coming on the heels of a historic presidential election that featured a charismatic candidate with a refreshing message of change who not only asked for their support but depended on it.
No wonder young voters made up an impressive chunk of those who turned out in record numbers last November. For them, a message must resonate. It's hard for them to get behind someone they can't visualize or aspire to.
Which accounts for the general voter apathy in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Where was the fizz?
Well, you didn't have to look any further than the white stretch Hummer limo, complete with a moonroof and a uniformed chauffeur, that rolled through Philly, hitting all of the political hot spots, on Election Day.
Inside sat various community activists and business people from Wynnefield and Overbrook, along with a dozen high school students from the neighborhood, many of them members of the Philadelphia Student Union.
First out of the limo hopped Will Mega, 37, an activist and politico who's challenging for 77-year-old Louise Williams Bishop's long-held seat as state representative of Pennsylvania's 192d Legislative District next year.
Like him or loathe him, you've got to say this for Mega, the Wynnefield native who gained the national spotlight on the first season of Big Brother. He's an attention-grabber. His name wasn't even on Tuesday's ballot, yet he still got his share of headlines.
But more important was the impact Mega had on the wide-eyed students who rolled with him. In the midst of a down economy and a paralyzing SEPTA strike, they got to meet Philly's political power brokers while riding in style.
You'd better believe they won't forget this experience when they become voters in just a few years.
And Mega, who not only grew up on hip-hop but helped create the Hip Hop Agenda Inc., a youth voters' empowerment organization, is smart enough to realize that.
In the course of the day, the Hummer rolled to the 69th Street Terminal, where students talked to striking Transport Workers Union members, then on to U.S. Rep. Bob Brady's North Philadelphia district office.
It circled back to Lower Merion High School, located on the other side of City Avenue from the teens' own neighborhoods. It's not that far in distance, but it might as well be a universe away on the socioeconomic scale.
Lower Merion, a nationally ranked Blue Ribbon School, is in the midst of new construction. Built in 1924, Overbrook High, which many of the students attend, is one of Philly's oldest schools, and has the dubious distinction of being labeled persistently "dangerous" and "underperforming."
"These kids think Lower Merion is famous just because of Kobe [Bryant], but it's a school with an enormous amount of funding per child and a ton of resources," Mega says. "Overbrook has a prestigious legacy but no football field. There's a vacuum there."
The limo whizzed down to South Street and to the Famous 4th Street Deli, a traditional Election Day meeting spot, where the students passed out Mega campaign cards and met with an assortment of movers and shakers.
Mega pulled gubernatorial candidate Tom Knox over.
"He grew up worse than you," Mega told his charges. "Lived in the projects. High school education. Now, he's a millionaire businessman. You can be that, too."
"I'm excited," said Cornell Harvey, a senior who lives in Wynnefield, taking in the scene. "I've never been this far down in the city before." Harvey looked up at the nearby street sign. "Bainbridge Street? I've never heard of it."
Later, Mega told me kids need someone to take an interest in them, as U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah and State Sen. Vincent Hughes did in him. As a kid, he volunteered for both of their campaigns.
His community activism has always been politically tinged. In 2007, he worked on Councilman Curtis Jones Jr.'s campaign. His latest victory came last year, when he directed Kenyatta Johnson's run for state representative.
Now he's hoping for a similar victory.
He has plans for his district. He wants to create a work program for ex-offenders. To finally get a recreation center in Wynnefield, which has never had one. And he wants to help Overbrook High students, who are now the sons and daughters of his neighborhood friends.
"Those of us who are not teenagers don't take into consideration that the world we're building may not be the one we'll be living in. It belongs to them," Mega says, pointing to the students.
The Hummer rolled on, full of hungry riders. Next stop? A local pizzeria.
The pies were on Mega.