I feel like this happens to me a lot: it’s sort of late and I’m walking behind some girl on a pretty deserted street, and since I’m sort of a fast walker, I start inching closer and closer to her, and she doesn’t look back right away, but I can tell that thing clicks inside her head, you know, the “oh someone might be following me” click-thing, that happens to the best of us, but of course I’m completely innocuous whatever, yet I don’t really know how to communicate this to her: oh don’t worry, that I’m not harmful, not a purse-thief, blah blah blah. And this goes on for however long it takes me to overtake her stride, and then when I finally pass her on the sidewalk, I always get that look like she’s telling herself, “I was all worried over that? Some 5 foot 6 inch (on a good day) white-boy wearing a vest?” As if I disappointed her or something. One time I actually coughed when I was behind someone, cause I guess I figured this would communicate something, that I’m not a mugger, (cause muggers don’t cough do they? ). But it just got her more scared, she broke into a run, no I’m kidding but this business is hard, don’t you think? Anyway, have a good night all.
Monthly Archives: March 2007
This week’s Vice-President is: Garret Hobart!
Born: June 3, 1844
Died: November 21, 1899
Vice-President #: 24
Under: William McKinley
Dates: March 4, 1897 – November 21, 1899
Fun Facts: Like Levi P. Morton, James Garfield also asked Garret Augustus Hobart to be his Vice-President, but Hobart turned him down (if he had said yes, he would have been the 22nd President).
The Republican machine recruited Hobart to give McKinley’s ticket a pro-business edge (as Hobart was a very successful and wealthy businessman). He was a strong supporter of the Spanish-American War, so strong that President McKinley reportedly used Hobart’s pen to sign the declaration of war after the “sinking” of the Maine.
In early 1899 he started having fainting spells, then died of heart failure. He was the sixth Vice-President to die in office. If he had lived into McKinley’s second term, he would have been the 26th President of the United States, instead of Big Stick Man.
I was walking from my apartment to the Lorimer subway stop, as large trucks bobbed up and down amidst the potholes, and I got thinking about “the bump.” It was mythical when I was about nine, well I guess it was literal back then, but it’s mythical for me now: I took the bus to school everyday in Merrick, Long Island, and there was this unmarked bump on our route (the fact that it was an unsanctioned bump made it that much for exciting for us young tikes) but it only really became “the bump” when a certain light was green and the driver was able to get enough speed going over it. Matt Sherman would stand look-out (remember he was the kid that vomited once every year in class) and if he saw the light green he would alert us squeakily, “It’s the bump!” and we’d then stand up on the seats and start jumping up and down (our driver that year was way lax btw) we’re all smiling at each other, giggling with anticipation, and then BAM we’d go over the bump, sheer pandemonium, the smaller of us (me) would go flying, I hit my head on the ceiling of the bus once, but it was so worth it! Oh I miss the bump. I miss the bump big time. Well, what can you do? Poop.
This week’s Vice-President is: John Tyler!
Born: March 29, 1790
Died: January 18, 1862
Vice-President #: 10
Under: William Henry Harrison
Dates: March 4, 1841 – April 4, 1841
Party: Democratic, Whig
Fun Facts:Tyler was the first Vice-President ever to accede to the presidency after the death of a sitting President (and our first Vice-President of the week that was also a president!). Article II of the Constitution is vague as to whether Tyler’s title should have been “President of the United States” or merely “Acting President of the United States” yet both houses of Congress in 1841 voted that he should be given the title of President (this vagary was cleared up by the 25th Amendment).
Harrison was a Whig (the only other Whig President was Zachary Taylor) yet Tyler vetoed almost every bill submitted by the Whig-controlled Congress. He was officially thrown out of the party in 1841 and thereafter became known as “the man without a party.” John Quincy Adams, former President and later a Congressman, proposed the first impeachment resolution against a President in 1843, arguing that Tyler misused his power of veto. The resolution did not pass.
The final year of his presidency was marred by a freak accident: 2 cabinet members (the Secretaries of State and Navy) were exploded when the main gun aboard the USS Princeton fired during a demonstration.
My friend went on this date last night and she came back from it alone (which tells you something) but in recalling the events of the evening, she divided the date into 2 parts: before she realized he was wearing two different color shoelaces and after she realized he was wearing two different color shoelaces.
Before the incident, things were going pretty well, they were at some cute coffee/pastry place, she thought his pattern-baldness was endearing, he even touched her hand out of nowhere, and according to her, “It didn’t feel weird, it felt safe.” (these are her words!)
But then she drops her spoon and while grabbing it looks under the table at his shoes: and yeah, the world changed, of course. “One green. One red,” she whispers back and forth in disbelief. “One green. One red. Like Christmas colors? Holy Christ.” Ok, she’s been under the table too long, she has to pull things together.
She picks her head up and peers across to him: but he doesn’t look the same. “Gosh, was he really that bald a minute ago?” He smiles at her (whoa is that a crown?), “Everything ok?” he cups his hand over hers again, but this time it doesn’t feel safe, it feels clammy and dangerous. She fakes an itch on the back of her neck just to get out from under his thick paws. (Oh man he really needs to cut his fingernails). One green. One red. “Who was this guy?” her mind was racing, “Was he a clown?” “What other conventions does he break cause he thinks he’s super-eclectic?” And it just went more and more downhill after that.
But I assured her (while cupping her hand in mine) that it was better that she found out about his shoelace-habit early on, God forbid she’s married to this guy and he breaks out those shoes: one green, one red. Talk about a dealbreaker, right? Argh!
I won’t lie, I have a slight-tendency to jog briskly when crossing the street if a car is sort of coming, even though afterward when I’m on the other side, I realize, “Wow, I really didn’t have to jog,” cause that car is darn farther away than I thought. And there’s always some guy on the other side that’s seen the whole thing that gives me this look, you know, like, “Calm down there,” he’s shaking his head, and yeah I get sort of embarrassed, cause I overreacted, misjudged, whathaveyou, but that’s just who I am.
If a leaf falls on me from out of nowhere, five or six times out of ten I’m probably gonna jerk wildly thinking it’s bird-droppings or a squirrel or something. I guess I have one of those nervous-dispositions we’re always hearing about, constantly jumping to the conclusion that more often than not spells death or, at the least, a good old fashioned maiming. But hey, constantly trying to maintain your cool is hard work (i.e when you trip and then pretend it was the beginning of a skip) so I’m getting ahead of the game by declaring to the world: I’m a jumpy mofo. Yeah so if there’s a wasp on the subway (this happened, for real) I’m gonna freak the heck out, seriously. Bring it on danger, I’m ready to wince.
This week’s Vice-President is: Thomas Hendricks!
Born: September 7, 1819
Died: November 25, 1885
Vice-President #: 21
Under: Grover Cleveland
Dates: March 4, 1885 – November 25, 1885
Fun Facts:Hendricks was running mate to Samuel J. Tilden in the famous presidential election of 1876, where Tilden received 250,000 more popular votes than Rutherford B. Hayes, but neither had the necessary electoral votes for victory. Congress established the “Electoral Commission” which consisted of 15 members: five from the House, five from the Senate and five from the Supreme Court. An 8 to 7 vote made Hayes the 19th president, yet democrats still referred to him as Rutherfraud B. Hayes throughout his term.
Also, Hendricks is the only vice-president to appear on US currency without also being President; he appears on the “Tombstone” $10 bill of 1886, (named for the shape surrounding Hendricks’ head in the center of the bill).