First of all, this is the 400th Right About Now. This comic has grown and as you can see I have quite the story to tell.
Balticon was right before the recall and I got really sick. I lost my voice at the end of the con, and had to take it easy. I was doing much better when June 5th rolled around, confident that Scott Walker would lose. I mean. he is nothing but a corporate whore and who wants that representing themselves?
So, instead of a series of comics selling Tom Barrett, I was drawing 300. That was my own short coming in this story.
Linda, our Wisconsin hero, was at her hotel and I went to pick her up. I drove her down to DC on the Baltimore/Washington Express way, which is not the fastest way to get there or the easiest traffic wise, but it has the best way to come into the city, and I drove her around, showing her the Capitol building, Chinatown and telling her an embarrasing story about Hooters in Chinatown.
I did a photo project for a class I was taking and I spent the day in DC taking pictures. Well I took a shot of Hooters in Chinatown because I noticed something. When you go to Chinatown and you see a familiar chain, like say Subway, and you see the three characters next to Subway, those characters phonetically sound like Subway. Hooters was a long 5 character sign, and I wondered what it said.
As luck would have it, someone in this class was from China. Unfortunately, no one knew their sex. It was like the Saturday Night Live sketch "It's Pat." Some of us hung outside the bathroom before class to see which one they would go into. It was embarrassing. Well, I had the inclination to ask this person what the sign said. They looked at it for a moment and said "Bird of the night" and used their fingers to make rings around their eyes. I mentioned that their logo was an owl and they said "Yes, Owl, it says owl."
Then they asked the most hard question to answer. People from China are very modest. Even if you are friends with someone there are just things one does not talk about in certain places. They asked me what Hooters was. I said "It's a bar that serves chicken wings and the waitresses are well endowed and show it off." That was as polite as I could make it. I would hate for this poor person, if they were female to wonder into a Hooters off the street and be shocked by the inpropriety of the employees' uniforms. They did not understand what well endowed meant. I tried some other, more tactful ways of saying "gargantuan boobies." Eventually, I acted it out by flashing them my cleavage and signed as I said "Big boobs." They blushed and looked away finally understanding what I was trying to say...I did not end that day with the nuance I was hoping for.
Linda and I laughed at this story and we found a great parking spot a block from the capitol and we went to "Bullfeathers." Bullfeathers is a place where people who work on the Hill go and hang out when their work is done. Once there, we met up with a friend of mine and Linda's. We went in and ordered dinner. Bullfeather's is a bit of a Republican hangout, because the name of the place come from Theodore Roosevelt's expression. It was filled with Animal heads and a great staff. It is rare to have a waiter that was that good and personable and busy. The food was good, too, but DC is full of great restaurants.
Sebastian saw Linda's buttons and flirted with her friend, then invited us to the National Democratic Club. This is a club where current and former memebers of Congress and their aides go after a day on the Hill. Apparently, they were one of the last places in DC to stop smoking inside and Senate Minority Leader and turtle impersonator Mitch McConnell use to come to have a drink and smoke a cigar. Once the club finally banned smoking he stuck with the Republican National Club which is supposed to be beautiful. It was built in the 1920's. Maybe one day I will find myself there...
We came in to see the returns. Boy did I feel out of place, I almost wore a shirt and tie (but with jeans and sandals), but instead, I rolled in with my "Vader is Coming, look busy" shirt and flannel shorts and my backpack. Linda's friend left shortly after that, Sebastian escorted her to the Metro and left Linda and I to our own devices. We felt out of place not knowing anyone. Needless to say, I for one stuck out like a sore thunb, but I ignored the glances to my direction of people wondering why someone dressed like an Occupier was among the 1%. I walked around like I owned the place. The returns came in and Malhan Mitchell was beating Kleefisch handily with a small percentage in and when I saw that, I pointed to the TV and let out my holler! Mitchell is up! I got a few dirty looks from the other patrons, but I didn't care. Sebastian came back and left to go home shortly after that but we were welcome to stay. Linda and I were going to finish our drink and leave. They had called it for Walker and we just didn't care anymore.
On the way out, Some people were fascinated by Linda's buttons and we were introduced to Jim Moody. Jim Moody represented Milwaukee from 1983 to 1993 and now teaches Economics at University of Maryland. Jim sat us down, we had another drink and we watched the returns. Unfortunately two Congressmen (And I would name names if I recognized them.) wanted to watch the Nat's game on that TV and Jim stood up to them and fought for his people from Wisconsin (Because according to him, that night, I was from Wisconsin.) We had a lovely conversation, and Linda cried a lot. Her heart was in Wisconsin, wanting to raise her voice in song with her brothers and sisters at the Capitol. Hell, so did I. I drove her back to the hotel, put on NPR to hear the BBC call it for Scott Walker and just started yelling at the radio. I came home, crawled into bed, and cried until sunrise.
The next day, I had a relapse of my "Con Crud" and it took a few more days to get heathy again. I have been blessed with having surreal luck at times. I've met my fair share of celebrities and have had amazing experiences. This was another one. I'm glad I got to share this with someone who fights every day against the tyrrany of Scott Walker. She is a hero, and I'm glad we both had a cool story about how we saw democracy die.
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