It wasn't enough that it was Monday, and overcast. The Dow Jones industrials dropped below the 10,000 mark for the first time since 2004...

It wasn’t enough that it was Monday, and overcast.

The Dow Jones industrials dropped below the 10,000 mark for the first time since 2004. The presidential candidates raised the anchors on their Swift-boat-style runs at each other.

And in Kenya, pirates are ruling the high seas. Pirates!

With so much out of our hands, what is Joe Six-Pack to do, Miss Sarah? (Wink).

The surest move right now is to register to vote. It’s the one thing you can do while the world goes to Hades in a nonrecyclable shopping bag.

If it’s any comfort, we’re registering in record numbers.

The King County Board of Elections has been getting about 15,000 new registrations or updates every week since the primary.

On Saturday — the last day Washington residents could register or update online or by mail — 10,000 people mailed in, logged on or walked in to the elections office in Renton.

“People are very aware of this election and want to be a part of it,” said King County Elections spokeswoman Megan Coppersmith.

Voters not registered in Washington have until Oct. 20 to do so in person.

But really: If you haven’t registered to vote by now, maybe you shouldn’t bother. Stay home. Anyone who isn’t scrambling to secure a spot in the voting booth next month doesn’t deserve to be there.

“Oh, I wouldn’t say that,” chided Carol Houston, 52, as we stood outside a Safeway store in Seattle. “People still have two more weeks to help make change.”

Big change is in order, Houston said, because we’ve got some big worries.

“Oh, God, yes,” she said. “Money, paying on my bills, gassing the car, feeding the dog, feeding the cat. … “

Houston is more involved in this election than any before: “The times demand it.”

They’re demanding all kinds of things. Aside from taking stock of their stocks, folks are staying home and sitting tight.

And some have learned it accomplishes nothing to sit it out.

Golda Hall waited until the last minute to register four years ago, the first time she voted in a presidential election.

“I waited until the day,” said Hall, 25, a bartender who lives in West Seattle. “We were all a bunch of slack-asses.”

Four years later, “I am bugging people to vote,” she said. “If it doesn’t go my way, we’ll go WTO all over again.”

I saw people taking to the streets in February for an Obama rally, cutting classes, leaving work, cheering and crying.

I saw how people squeezed in to see Hillary Clinton, how they spilled out of a ballroom to get a glimpse of John McCain.

And yet, in last year’s general election, only 46 percent of registered voters showed up.

Enough. There’s a war on. People are hurting. Even eBay, where the world finds things, is losing 10 percent of its staff.

Register. Vote. Feel like you’re doing something.

In the meantime, take heed of Andrew O’Keefe, 23, a student at Seattle Central Community College who provided the philosophical paper bag I needed to breathe into.

“It will be all right,” he said. “I’m going to go to school, go to work. Just keep on keeping on. We’ve always done it, right?”

Nicole Brodeur’s column appears Tuesday and Friday. Reach her at 206-464-2334 or

Whitworth Elementary. Got it.