Wednesday, November 03, 2004

24 hours I would rather forget

It started yesterday morning. I got up late and had a slightly lazy morning at home owing to the fact that I knew I'd be stuck at work dealing with elections until early the next morning.

One of my shamefully-bourgeous habits hiring a cleaning service to come in and remove the top layer of crud once every two weeks. (I started this last year, and it has definitely improved my bachelor pad standard of living.) The normal arrangement is that they are supposed to come Tuesday afternoons. Only their definition of afternoon keeps creeping earlier and earlier. Yesterday it creeped to 11:30 AM, a time when I was happily ensconced in the shower with the bathroom door wide open. I knew they had arrived because I heard people walking around the house. When they realized I was in the shower, they were apparently too flustered to turn off the burglar alarm. So the atmosphere of confusion was enhanced by a loud siren started emanating from the roof of my house.

I staggered out of the shower in a towel, shut off the alarm, and made peace with the assembled masses.

Believe it or not, the day got worse after that.

I finished dressing and cleared out of the house, only to discover (of course) that my truck wouldn't even begin to turn over. It just made a sickly clicking sound when I turned the key. So I bugged one of the cleaning folks to give me a jump start, and things were looking up until I got about a block away and the car died again. Admitting defeat, I called Triple-A, who said they would send someone within an hour to tow it.

They told me that they could call me when the driver was 25 minutes out, so I decided to take a chance. The most important thing I had to do yesterday was vote. So I abandoned my car and hoofed it from my house to the polling place. (I know, I should have voted early. I've already heard that one.)

After waiting in a short line, I was signing my name on the voter roll when my phone rang. The AAA dude said that the tow truck was on its way. So I boogied into the booth, pressed the button for Kerry, and skeedaddled. But as I was walking out the door, AAA dude called back to say that he had screwed up, and that the tow truck was actually already waiting at my car. Ack! So I double-timed it back down to my house, luckily making it before the tow truck driver got fed up and left.

Next was the ride over to CarMax, all the way listening to the tow truck driver tell me how much better his personal truck was than the borrowed truck he was using.

After dropping off the car, I waited around until a friend from work picked me up, and then worked until sometime in the neighborhood of 3:00 AM. (Typical election night in the newsroom: bad food and stressed people yelling a lot.)

Finally went to bed around 5:00 AM, at which point there was still hope that the mysterious provisional ballots in Ohio might yet salvage the Kerry campaign. By the time I woke up at 11:00, the illusion had worn off, and Kerry had called Bush to concede.

So I sit here now digesting the fact that I live in a country full of people who think the Iraq war has been a success, that the economy is just dandy, thankyouverymuch, and that the most important public policy issue for the new millenium is making sure that Steve and Roy can't marry.

Furthermore, the mechanic just called. We've now broken the $500 mark.

Today I am 29 years old.

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