Every four years, just as the leaves begin to turn and that crisp, cool autumn air wafts into the bar, thoughts turn from NFL Sunday Ticket to the Presidential Election.
Even though you always hear that "you're never supposed to talk about politics or religion," both are in actuality common topics of discussion among barstool occupants. I wasn't blogging during the 2004 Election, but it was every bit as heated and tense back then. This is Ohio, after all, and we get a little spoiled, what with all the electoral attention.
Tonight, we had CNN on in the background as Sarah Palin's airplane touched ground in Fairbanks, Alaska, and everyone in the bar was just glued to the television.
You would have thought we were watching a moonshot.
One rather annoying drunk woman started screaming "PALIN! DRILL BABY DRILL! I LOVE HER!" while everyone just stared at her in utter silence. Usually, you'd expect bar patrons to laugh, or maybe even engage her, but they were quiet, and mostly curious, kind of like they were visiting some kind of surreal zoo. You could have cut the air with a knife.
She stiffed me on her $27.00 tab, and we never once talked politics! Oh, except for that one time when she was ordering JagerBombs and, apropos of nothing, she blurted out to my coworker "I'm sick of people telling me they're voting for Obama because he's black!!" and I said, out of turn and kind of meekly, "I've never heard a single person ever tell me that, not even once." So that's probably why we didn't earn a tip; my coworker is still pissed at me for saying anything at all. Everyone has their reasons for not tipping, though, so this is purely guesswork on my part.
Are sports that different from politics? To many, politics is a Skins-Vs-Shirts pick-up game. Hence all the "WOOOOOOT" and "YEEEAAAAH" and "SUCK IT!!" shouting, irregardless of ideology.
I shit you not; this is the song that was playing on the jukebox as Palin, a finalist in "Who Wants To Be America's Next Commander-in-Chief Idol Dance Crew Star" was giving her speech which I can now recite in rote replete with Fargo accent; have I ever told you guys how much I love impersonating regional accents?
I would kill at parties! Email me, I need the money.
(By the way, did you know that "American Woman" isn't about a woman at all; it's about Americans fleeing for Canada while dodging the draft during the Vietnam War? Many thanks to the bar patron who pointed that out to me tonight, as the song played. Fascinating, and I certainly hear the song differently now, even as I type out the lyrics)
American woman, said get away
American woman, said get away
American woman, listen what I say
Don't come hangin' around my door
Don't wanna see your face no more
I don't want your war machines
I don't want your ghetto scenes
Colored lights can hypnotize
Sparkle someone else's eyes
Now woman, get away from me
American woman, mama let me be
- The Guess Who, "American Woman"
Edit: It's September 11. I've surprised myself that this is what I'm posting about today, of all the days on a calendar.