Breaking Down The News
Crazy stuff went down this past week. Here's my take on it all.
I confess. Some weeks, I have a tough time trying to figure out what topic to address for my Thursday Patch contribution. This week was one of them. I considered writing about nothing, seeing as how fruitful that was for Jerry Seinfeld all those years. But before resorting to that, inspiration mercifully arrived...
It was gift-wrapped in the prose of a busy news cycle. Lucky for me, some crazy stuff went down this past week. Here’s a look at the highlight reel, in no particular order:
Did you hear? I know it didn’t get much media coverage (!), but the Space Shuttle Discovery flew over D.C. and landed at Dulles Airport on Tuesday morning. My perch that day was the park that straddles the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. I almost missed the flyover itself because I was equally riveted by the effect it had on traffic. Cars stopped with no warning (I heard lots of squealing brakes and some instances of contact between vehicles), and the right lane of the bridge became an impromptu parking lot.
On that historic day, the air on the bridge felt festive. For a refreshing change, people actually made eye contact and talked to each other…and high-fived and shared photos/videos, too. There were collective oohs, ahs and, “Look, there it is’” (a fun party trick is to sing it to the tune of, "Whoomp, There It Is") as Discovery made its two passes.
Interesting sidebar—I’m almost positive the pilot winked at me on one of his fly-bys. Afterall, he is a federal employee and we all know what they’re like.
That aside, patriotism and nationalism did run rampant that day. In fact, I was fully expecting Mitt Romney to pull up on the bridge, with his dog, Seamus, strapped to the top of one of his Cadillacs. If they made an appearance though, I must have missed them. But I did enjoy my sighting of a lone woman who unselfconsciously sprawled on the hood of her SUV with her head-full of curlers.
On the subject of the Romneys, Ann Romney got in on the action this week, too. Political pundit Hilary Rosen made a pointed statement challenging Romney’s credibility as a voice for women who work outside the home. And like that, it was game on for both the Mommy and Twitter Wars.
In response, one of Romney’s tweets to Rosen allegedly said, “I will cut you.” (No, it didn’t, but you know that’s what she really wanted to say.)
Even political candidate (I wish I was joking) Roseanne Barr entered the fray, “calling [bull-expletive] on your Big Mama story, girlfriend,” to Romney.
Misbehaving federal agencies have been a recent trending topic, too. I’ve seen some of the Vegas footage of the GSA conference. Their money, er, I mean, our taxpayer’s money, would have been better spent on a personal stylist instead of the mind reader. Tearing up the dance floor in a short-sleeved shirt and First Communion tie, while furtively repositioning a comb-over, isn’t how any self-respecting rock stars I know, party. C’mon GSA. If you wanna play the game, you gotta get some first.
Speaking of the GSA, I just learned what it actually stands for—Gonna Spend A Lot!
Not to be outdone, the Secret Service also participated in their own variety of high jinks—starring ladies of the evening. And if you believe the rumors, all “transactions” occurred while running beside a limo and wearing mirrored shades and ear pieces. Kink-y!
News abounded in literary circles as well. Pulitzer Prize winners were announced, but curiously, one wasn’t selected for fiction this year. I heard that there were some challenges during the selection process. It was a dark and stormy night, so judges probably had difficulty concentrating and reaching a consensus.
The sporting world brought some interesting notables as well. In shocking news, Kenyans swept the Boston Marathon. Kenyan men and women demonstrated their fierceness and claimed the top three spots in record-breaking heat. Forget the frivolous book about the French demonstrating how to best raise children. It’s time to find out how to get it done, Kenyan-style. I bet there’s no helicopter nonsense on that continent.
Playoff hockey is alive and well, too. And Washington still has a dog in this hunt with our Caps continuing to duke it out against the Boston Bruins. Every game teeth get lost, stitches get sutured and fists are a-flying. How fortuitous that the Red Cross is headquartered in D.C. That makes the logistics for setting up their new blood bank at the Verizon Center less cumbersome.
And finally, I’d be remiss to not mention the announced, pending union of "Brangelina." It’s official—Brad asked Angie to marry him and gave her a $750,000 ring to help seal the deal. Maybe next week I can explore Jennifer Aniston’s reaction to the news.