Emily and I are in Cazenovia for the weekend, barely. Decades of inbreeding and exposure to elevated levels of cosmic radiation have finally taken their toll on the men and women of the US airline industry: it appears that we’re in the waning days of air travel. Our flight was delayed — everyone’s flight was delayed. Time lost its meaning, the captain sang the Flipper theme song to us over the intercom, and everyone was inexplicably wearing shorts. The situation is very bad. And as unpleasant as it was to get to bed at 4AM, our ordeal will no doubt pale in comparison to that of the poor soulds who’ll be flying after us. God help you all.
Still, there were some bright spots during our time at BWI. First, there was this:
I really can’t think of a lifestyle more debauched than driving your boat around, pickin’ up boat groupies. It’s as if on the last day of 1979 all the swingers were rounded up and banished forever from dry land.
But — speaking of deviancy — the more interesting sighting was a real life Ron Pa/ul supporter:
He was accompanied by a profoundly androgenous brother sporting a Mao bag/women’s-cut pinstripe jacket combo, and a paunchy father who presumably could have done more. But of course the most striking thing was the t-shirt, the back of which featured the URL of ronpa/ulhq.com, your and my unofficial center for Ron Pa/ul advocacy. Could this young man be part of the legions of Ron Pa/ul enthusiasts (“Paul Bearers”?) whose internet evangelism has put Paul into solid contention for the MySpace vote, and prompted National Journal to enthusiastically declare, “Please stop emailing us“?
It seems likely. There was definitely a wild quality about him — an ungroomed Van Dyke on his chin, a flash in his eyes, and a threateningly big class ring on his knuckles — that evoked the mix of iconoclasm and feverish irrationality that necessarily define a political candidate hellbent on dismantling the government.
More disturbingly, I watched him use an actual, honest-to-god pay phone — twice! Now sure, not everyone can afford a cell phone. But this guy and his family looked solidly middle class, and I’m pretty sure his dad had a phone clipped to his belt. Could he just not be trusted to borrow it? Had dad received one too many expensive cellular bills filled with cold-calls to Iowa on Dr. Pa/ul’s behalf? Or is it simply that a court-ordered psychological evaluation had barred him from cell phone use? Whatever it was, I’m glad that we’re unlikely to cross paths again (except perhaps in Second Life).