Mar 162002

Spring Break Vacation Journal, Day 1

Dear Diary,

My perpetually inebriated traveling companions have finally left me alone in the motel room while they attend a wet T-shirt competition. Good riddance, I say. Let them revel in lowbrow bacchanal debaucheries. For the satisfaction of my own carnal pleasures, I need nothing more than a clear transmission of C-SPAN – the motel’s set suitably fulfills this criterion – and a rousing Senate Judiciary Committee appointment hearing.

As luck would have it, the Republicans have nominated Judge Charles Pickering Sr. to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Democrats have a single-vote advantage, and they’d love nothing more than to riddle Pickering with bullet holes and watch the nominee go down in a brilliant, gasp-inducing blaze of tarnished glory. This oughtta be good.

Day 2

Dear Diary,

My friends returned late last evening and promptly set fire to the beds, threw the television out the window, and let a strung-out prostitute nearly choke to death on her own vomit in the bathtub.

Needless to say, the cops were called and my companions wound up in the pokey, the hooker wound up in the hospital, and I got kicked out of the motel. That’s OK because the destruction of the television left me with no reason to stay.

Luckily, I found a relatively deserted tavern that will let me watch the Pickering appointment hearings on one of their gigantic projection sets. The political backbiting is intense, and that bodes well for the country. As long as the Republicans and Democrats are deadlocked over petty partisan disagreements, they won’t be able to get much done and, typically, inactivity among lawmakers is a good thing for the American people.

Day 3

Dear Diary,

The Pickering appointment hearings are every bit as nasty as I was hoping for … and yet I fear I’m developing an emotional investment. Pickering is, not surprisingly, an old fogey whose physical appearance doesn’t exactly engender sympathy, and yet I feel sorry that he faces certain career crucifixion at the hands of reckless politicians. The American Bar Association awarded the man with their highest possible performance rating, and his public service record is, by all accounts, highly commendable.

The Democratic majority in the Senate Judiciary Committee has only one tangible piece of evidence against him: an essay he wrote in law school (some forty years ago) in which he described methods on how the state of Mississippi could strengthen its laws against interracial marriages. Hardly Mein Kampf, but the Democrats need something to lynch him with – not that I’m naA_ve enough to believe the Republicans would behave any better were the roles reversed.

In other news, I’ve relocated to more peaceful lodgings, but I fear the tranquility will soon be shattered. The parents of my incarcerated friends wired me some bail money for their out-of-control progeny.

Day 4

Dear Diary,

Pickering’s immolation at the hands of the Senate Judiciary Committee is complete, and yet that’s the last thing on my mind. I just found out the prostitute who passed out in the bathtub a few days ago still hasn’t woken up. Should she die in the hospital, my friends face possible criminal charges.

But, then again, I’m not sure if I even consider them friends anymore. They imbibed too much alcohol, trashed a motel room, aided a hooker’s coke habit and then left her to die.

It really is repulsive to see ridiculous and immature games being played with the lives of innocent people.

Not that this sort of behavior is a generational thing.

Jon Watkins is a senior majoring in English.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

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