Friday, February 18, 2005

Peter in Flames

There has been much whining over the fact that the winners of Iraq's election are yet unclear. As for me, I continue to sit in amazement that this thing went off so well in a nation where the electorate stood to suddenly finding themselves a lot less alive for committing the mortal sin of showing up at the polls. As opposed to me, whose largest electoral concerns are deciding which loudmouth git in the voting line to hurl sewer water upon first.

Not that it always goes entirely smoothly for us. For example, the highlight of Election Night 2000 arrived when Peter Jennings’ set burst into flame. He was droning about the electoral college in his candyass Canadian accent: “And of course the race is aboooout deadlocked at this moment, as we wait for the-- excuse me, but I do believe we are on fire here.” And the camera cut away to show... some television-necessary equipment, which was black and electronic and very millennial looking. But whatever it was, flames were shooting out of it and we were watching it Live. A producer tore across the set with a fire extinguisher, and then George Stephanopolis’ wireless mike cut out and Peter Jennings started laughing at nothing at all and we still didn’t have a President and that is when it occurred to me that it was going to be a very, very long time before I or anyone else knew exactly what in the world was going on but that some way, somehow, Jesse Jackson would be involved.

At times I fill life’s brainless moments-- staring at a red light, hands lax on the steering wheel, or sitting on the toilet, examining the tile grout-- with the thought, “I wonder if, somewhere in the world, anything is happening, right this very second, that will wind up affecting the history of the world.”

This never fails to fascinate me. Who turned to their spouse mid-Nixon administration with, “Can you imagine the absolute poo that would go down if the President were at this very second handing out hush money and secretly taping every word uttered inside the Oval Office?”

But that night, a very great deal of Something Historic was going on right in front of me. I never went to bed at all. I sat and I watched slashes of blue or red sweep across huge electronic maps; a majestic American tidal wave of we-have-our-ship-together, let’s-decide-this-thing-once-and-for-all certainty starting with Maine, seeping down to my Ohio, rouging the down South and across the Rockies and finally over the shards of Hawaii-in-the-box. The race was tight, and it had been messy, but in the end, Democracy Would Triumph, the System Would Work, and power would be peaceably and with certainly shifted to a new face appearing on savings and bank calendars.

Messsssssssssy. But, you know, it works. Except in Massachussets, where each lever, no matter its placement on the ballot, seems to automatically find the slots marked "Tax-Increasing Cheesesteak-Desecrating Bad Driver" and mashes its way to another glorious term for one & for all.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Now It's Just Tink v. the Ohio State Buckeye

Let us reopen the Files of For Some Reason, Things Like This Seem To Happen Only To Me for an update on last month's Groping By Eagle. The Eagle has released the following statement via his spokesman, Ryan Geoffroy:

"I would like to apologize for any traumatic harm The Eagle may have caused you, whether real or imagined.

"As a close personal associate of The Eagle I feel it is my responsibility to keep him in check, and sort of work public affairs issues with issues with him from time to time.

"As such I would like to state that The Eagle has several medical conditions which typically cause problems when we let him loose in public such as poor eyesight, and a rare form of gigantism which severely limits his fine motor skills. I do not believe this rack feeling incident was at all premeditated, and therefore unintended."

Okay. I'm calling off the lawyers, Eagle. But the Jerry Springer appearance still stands.

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