Wednesday, November 3, 2010
My Very Own Rocky Mountain High
So here's a little story about the origins of a loser. It's a bit embarrassing, so I don't tell it too often. But it's topical today, so here you go.
The Associated Press just finally declared Democrat Michael Bennet the winner of a very close Senate race in Colorado. According to Talking Points Memo:
"Bennet had been written off by some after he struggled to win the party primary in August. He faced a strong challenge from Republican Ken Buck, who was backed by Tea Party members, and Bennet appeared destined to become one of this cycle's Democratic casualties. But in the end, helped by a series of gaffes committed by Buck, Bennet managed to pull it out."
I hadn't been following this race, but the name Ken Buck rang a bell with me. Took me a little while to remember why.
When I was an underclassman at Princeton University, the people running the main university dining halls decided, at some point, to crack down on people taking food out of the halls to eat later. Apparently there was an epidemic of students just dying to smuggle tough, gristly chicken wings out for delayed consumption. Or maybe it was those awesome "omelets" made out of melted tires. Who knows.
Nobody really took this edict too seriously -- except for one door-checker. One tireless defender of law and order. A big man with big principles named Ken Buck.
My friends and I thought the policy was ridiculous, and we'd seen this future Tea-Party lunatic stop people and make them return half a slice of pizza before exiting the hall. So we decided to Get Away With Something. We didn't care about the food -- as noted, it wasn't really worth stealing. We were just in a mood.
So I stood outside the dining area, by a disused turnstile, while a friend of mine handed off a small paper bag of...donuts? hot dogs? Who knows...to me from inside. And as I headed toward the door, I heard a commanding, stentorian voice ring out:
So I ran. And what did Ken Buck -- the man who, decades later, would refer to an alleged rape as "buyers' remorse" -- do? He did what any sane, rational right-wing nutjob would do. He left his post and took off in pursuit. He chased me down Nassau Street and around the corner into Holder Courtyard, where he tackled me to the ground. Then he held up my illegally acquired bag of inedible gruel and shouted triumphantly, "WHAT'S THIS?"
Now, this is the embarrassing part. Old Ken was quite a bit stronger than I was, and he managed to drag me all the way back to the dining hall in an iron grip. The university officials were kind of douchebags about the whole thing, too. I guess they felt they had to back up their man. I was friends with Ken's boss in the dining hall, however, and one of his fellow football team members. Both of whom later went to him and basically said, "What the fuck is wrong with you?"
Whatever it was, I guess it's still wrong. And I haven't heard the name Ken Buck since that day; I had to check Wikipedia to see if he was the same jizzbucket I remembered. Lo and behold, he was.
I don't know where you are or what you're up to now, Ken old buddy. Well, I guess I do know where you are: Colorado, not Washington. But as you pursue your tireless quest to improve the moral fiber of America, if you should happen to stumble across my humble little blog posting...well, please just take this final sentiment in the spirit it's offered:
I hope today hurts like a bitch.