Hundreds of mourners passed through South Carolina’s Statehouse to pay their final respects to Strom Thurmond. Many people brought flowers and other items to leave by the coffin in a make-shift memorial. Trent Lott put all his future political ambitions down and quickly left the building.
A recently completed study in the United Kingdom discovered a link between alcohol consumption and rectal cancer. The research team found people who consume more than fourteen drinks a week are three times more likely than non-drinkers to develop the disease. The report came with the following warning, “if you go out to your local pub on a Friday night, drink fourteen shots of tequila, pass out, and wake up in a strange bed with one or more unknown male partners and a sore behind, you might have rectal cancer.”
The U.S. Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a Texas “homosexual conduct” law which imposes a $500 fine for same-sex couples who engage in oral and anal sex. When asked about President Bush’s views on the matter, soon-to-be ex-White House Spokesman Ari Fleischer commented, “The President is actually quite pleased with this decision. Now nobody on Capitol Hill can complain after the next election when all those Democrats in Congress take it up the ass.”
While being completely organized has never been one of my strong points, I have yet to forget my girlfriend Kristin’s birthday. One reason for my impressive track record in this area is the fact that we have only been dating for a year and a half. The other, and by far more relevant factor is the consistent effort on Kristin’s part to make sure I remember. After twenty-three casual verbal reminders, three email messages, and one formal printed birthday “wish list,” Kristin did everything humanly possible to ensure that May 27, 1976 was a day not to be forgotten. And don’t even get me started on the “Countdown to My Birthday” lighted, animated marquee sign she constructed (at, I’m sure, considerable expense) in the living room.
Last year I made Kristin a website that anyone in the Internet-free world can go visit at Krisser.com. The site contains a collection of her writing along with various photographs of places she has visited over the years. While the website probably isn’t going to cure cancer or get any new Democrats elected to congress in 2004, it’s a fun place to poke around from time to time. Kristin really enjoys having her own website, despite the constant disagreement with the web design team (that would be me) about the image on the main page showing her in a moderately low-cut t-shirt. But, she does admit that it is better than a picture of me showing too much cleavage.
This year I decided to take a less traditional approach to Kristin’s birthday. While I could have simply gotten her something off her birthday list, I wanted to surprise her with something else. As I drove to the local Wal-Mart I used a highly specialized process of meditation specifically designed to make me think like Kristin. When I arrived at the store I was a five-foot-two, red-headed, nine-fingered woman. Fortunately, nobody else in the store was aware of my transformation.
After about twenty minutes of shopping, I decided on a set of steak knives, and a headset for her cell phone. As I was heading towards the checkout area, a motorized bubble making machine caught my eye. Not literally, thankfully. It basically consists of a series of plastic loops that get immersed in bubble solution and then move in front of a small fan. It looked like fun and was consistent with my birthday shopping mission. I picked it up, paid for everything, and went home to wrap Kristin’s presents.
I swear I didn’t know it at the time, but one of these seemingly innocent gifts might very well be [NOTE TO READER: prepare for sudden topic change.] TURNING MY GIRLFRIEND INTO AN ECSTACY ADDICT!
A few days after Kristin’s birthday, I saw an anti-drug advertisement on the television. It turns out that blowing soap bubbles is a common activity for people high on ecstasy, also known on the street as “E.” Or is it “X”? Well, the word ecstasy doesn’t even contain the letter X, so now I’m not quite sure. And why do the letters “CS” make an “X” sound?
Putting my annoyances of the English language aside for the moment, the commercial displayed half a dozen other types of ecstasy paraphernalia. After letting the facts digest for a few moments, I called Kristin at her office to address the issue. Here is the gist of the conversation:
Her: Thank you for calling, how may I help you?
Me: The game is over, Madame Lovejoy. I know you are hopped up on E!
Her: Huh? Is that you, Omar? This is Tiffany. Do you want me to get Kristin for you?
Me: Oops, um, yeah. Thanks.
Kristin: What’s up? I was in the back room catching up on some filing.
Me: So are you an ecstasy addict?
Kristin: Uh, no. Why would you think something like that?
Me: I found out people who get high on it like soap bubbles—and you have a soap bubble machine.
Kristin: Well, honey, you bought it for me as a birthday present. It wasn’t even on my wish list.
Me: STOP TRYING TO CHANGE THE SUBJECT! And what about those angel wings? That is another sign.
Kristin: I don’t own any angel wings. Maybe you are the one on drugs here, Omar.
Me: What, are you going to pretend I don’t spend time carefully examining every image of that Victoria’s Secret catalog you get every few weeks? Every issue has women in various states of undress wearing angel wings.
Kristin: You are driving me nuts.
Me: And the television commercial told me that small stuffed animals are another sign. You can’t deny that you have a large basket of them on the living room floor.
Kristin: HELLO! Those are for the dog. You love watching her play with all the squeaky toys.
Me: Things are worse than I thought. Now you are giving your dog drugs? Have you no sense of right and wrong?
Me: Hello? I can’t hear you. Must be some problem with the phone line…
Well, that phone call didn’t seem to resolve anything. Kristin is still denying being an ecstasy junkie, and this whole episode has put a bit of a strain on our relationship. While I’m not really sure if I learned anything here, I have decided that next year I’m going to just pick something from Kristin’s birthday wish list. And I might even consider buying her one of those silly, girly DVDs she is always talking about starring some silly, girly actor like Hugh Grant and/or Colin Firth. If that isn’t a sign of true love, I’m not sure what is.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer sent a memo out to all his employees critical of open source software and the companies who support it. “Complicating the situation are companies, like IBM, whose support of Linux has added an illusion of support and accountability.” The memo went on to say, “This, obviously, is in direct conflict with Microsoft’s illusion of support and accountability.”
Despite intense lobbying efforts by Microsoft, the city of Munich, Germany decided to stop using Microsoft Windows in favor of Linux, a popular open source operating system. In an official document explaining the situation, the government explained, “It was a tough decision to abandon the Microsoft corporation– we have the highest levels of respect for their continued attempt to take over the world.”
In her new book, Hillary Rodham Clinton says her husband’s relationship with Monica Lewinsky caused so much pain that, at one point, Buddy the dog was the only member of the family willing to keep President Clinton company. “I’m really not too surprised,” she explained, “since they both just wanted to have their way with whatever submissive bitch was in the vicinity at the moment.”