Upbeat Cynicism

what do you mean i lost my mind?

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I was in Chaterhouse Books when I was more or less forced to endure un-muted crosstalk between an American roughly the size of the giant in Big Fish (honestly; must’ve topped 7 and a half feet at least) and a coworker of his, who might’ve been Chinese, ABC, or something in between — his accent was light, but definite. It started out most obnoxiously with readings, for the public benefit apparently, from one of the Bushisms books, each quote followed by braying, honking laughter, occassionally interspersed with such thoughtful observations as “you know, as Governor of Texas, Bush signed off on half of all the executions carried out in the entire history of the US? Four years he was governor, versus, what?, two hundred?” I felt like witness to an NPR kafeeklatsch. Without the cute, bespectacled, soothing-voiced chicks.

It got much more entertaining, though.

They moved out of the humor section, and the American was such a fount of information as I have not encountered in many a year. Did you know that Spielberg’s Minority Report was based on a short story by Isaac Asimov? Or that Stanley Kubrick was going to direct it, but died, whereupon Spielberg took over? Or that Tom Brokaw is a radio broadcaster of some sort? Or that, before Jon Stewart took over, The Daily Show was hosted by Conan O’Brien? Or that copyright ends at the author’s death?

He was, at least, correct about how Vice Presidents used to be elected in the US (the runner up in the election got the number two spot, so the veep was usually of the opposing party to the prez) but, alas, a tiny bit off on when it changed (“like a hundred years ago or something”).

I’m sure there was more high-larity, but I had a headache, so I left before his laser-like precision of mind made my head explode.


Written by [IMH]

4 May 2006 at 8:34 am

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