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This Saturday was Laura and George W. Bush's 28th wedding anniversary. The Bushes married in 1977 after dating for only three months. Laura was a librarian and a conservative Democrat; George was lifelong Republican with both an MBA and a DUI to his credit. Before their wedding, George promised Laura that she would never have to give a political speech. Laura promised George that she would go running with him. One of the big lessons of marriage is that things don't always turn out the way we promised: In order for George to become president, Laura had to make speeches. In order for Laura to stand being married to George, she had to take pills.

Anyway, we're sure the happy couple celebrated their day the old-fashioned way: a nice dinner, followed by a short trip to the shooting range and then some unfulfilling sex. But isn't it nice to start off the week knowing we're not the only ones with a hangover?

In other imaginary news, today would be the start of the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings on Harriet Miers' nomination for Associate Justice to the Supreme Court. But it isn't. Because that's silly.

Today is also Little League Girls Day, in honor of New Jersey's brave foray in equal opportunity sports for tomboys in 1973, when that state became the first to allow girls to play Little League baseball. This was a fantastic idea, however, it would have been great if, at the same time, they had released a statement telling girls that they did not necessarily have to play baseball. Some of us got hit on the head a bunch trying to prove that fish did not need bicycles, etc. And then, maybe, we accidentally caught a ball while trying to shield our pretty-pretty face with our glove, and got made shortstop. It was all very upsetting.






Today is Election Day. Here's a hint: We're not voting for President, and we're not electing this month's Office Fire Marshall. If you can guess who we are voting for, you win a can of Chock Full O'Nuts and a Canadian visa.

Those wacky Californians and their special elections. They're having another one today, in order to safeguard against gerrymandering, which (we once learned on "Mathnet") is a process of redrawing political districts in order to influence elections. The bright idea here is to turn this over to a panel of retired judges ... cuz they don't owe anyone anything. Also, they're going to make it harder for teachers to earn tenure. Goddamn teachers. We're all pretty sick of their flashy ways.

Today is also "Cook Something Bold and Pungent Day." Our neighbors are celebrating already.






East Germany opened the Berlin Wall today in 1989, but no one remembers that. Rather, they remember the rabble-rousers who tore down the now totally meaningless wall the day after, because it made better television and produced better souvenirs. And no one, absolutely no one, remembers that all of this happened because Hungary had, some weeks before, opened the barriers between Hungary and Austria, making it sort of silly to have this pile of stone and wire standing in the way of people who could just take, like, a long walk and wind up at their destination anyway. But never mind that: Who wants an awesome paperweight?

The poet Anne Sexton was born on this day in 1928. Sexton was known for her depressing poetry, which won the Pulitzer Prize and the affection of 1990's-era coeds the world over, and for eventually offing herself by sticking her head in the oven. Or was that Sylvia Plath? We get them confused. Anyway: Dead.

It's also National Young Readers Day. For any young readers who are reading this now, F-U-C-K is how Mommy and Daddy made you!





Karl Rove will address the Federalist Society's annual lawyers' convention in Washington, D.C., today. The Federalist Society was founded in 1982 by a group of conservatives and libertarians who wanted to "reform the current legal order," in their view, a liberal interpretation of the law, largely regarded as the law itself, by allowing lawyers, judges, and legal experts of all kinds to duke it out with each other in an organized forum. The Society's organizing principle is that "the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be." One assumes that directly after blotting the cappuccino foam from his lips, Rove will call Sam Alito and tell him there's been a big mistake.

Today in 1865, Major Henry Wirz, the superintendent of the Confederate POW camp in Andersonville, Georgia, was executed by hanging, making him the only American Civil War soldier ever executed for war crimes. Andersonville, originally built to contain 10,000 prisoners, eventually held over 30,000, many of whom were forced to live without shelter, or adequate food or water, in the kind of heat only Georgia can provide. Twenty-nine percent of the camp's prisoners died.

Speaking of war crimes, Tim Rice was born today in 1944. If you've never dated anyone with an irrational love of musicals, you don't know that Rice wrote the lyrics to "Jesus Christ Superstar," as well as one or two Disney movies featuring animals that talk. And good for you.






Today is Veteran's Day, which, as Kurt Vonnegut once observed, is not sacred in precisely the same way as its predecessor, Armistice Day. Armistice Day began at 11:11 on November 11, 1921, when England, France and the U.S. each buried an unknown soldier to honor those who served and died in World War I. Veteran's Day began in 1954, when Eisenhower signed something. Supposedly, people stop working at 11:11 on November 11, in order to commemorate the holiday. However, those of us who work in offices know that it's pretty hard to tell who's celebrating, and who's merely maintaining the status quo.

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Reynolds will hold a summit featuring VP Dick Cheney in New York this weekend. Which is weird, 'cuz, like, they're on the same side, right? Those of us who grew up in the '80s remember when a summit used to mean something. Maybe Cheney will agree to turn over his nukes, or something. Anyway, there will probably be strippers.

Sunday is also Sadie Hawkins Day. We were hoping to discover that Sadie Hawkins was some sort of excellent pro-sex feminist, but apparently she's just a character in an old cartoon. Anyway, ladies, this you can totally ask the fella of your choice to "dance with you," if you know what we mean. And we think you do.




Jen Hubley used to live in Boston. Now she's in New York. Go watch her blog her pants off at


INCOMING! runs every Monday on The Black Table.