I arrived at work later than the sorority sisters, presumably because I had a more enjoyable night. They didn’t talk about the party, again, presumably because they knew I had a more enjoyable night. This was fine with me. I was too tired and hungover to pretend to care what they said anyway.
As the day progressed, my workload again non-existent, I searched Alta Vista or Lycos to Google the Reporter. It brought me to his magazine’s website where he had already posted a boilerplate article called “Election Postmortem I.” Well, isn’t that exciting!
Sadly, I thought it was special to have any sort of presence on the web. This was still early in internet history and well before anyone knew that a blog would become something other than the sound of two fat thighs rubbing together.
I browsed the magazine’s site for a bit, getting reacquainted on the situation in the Middle East, continuing preparations for Y2K, and an exposé of Geraldo Rivera, but mostly looking to see if there was a hot picture of Reporter I could forward to my friends. As I putted around, a new article appeared on the front page, also by Reporter: “Election Postmortem II.” Two articles on the web!? He must be on the up and up.
I started reading “Going Down with the Good Ship GOP.” He was comparing the election night party to the movie Titanic (which had just come out on VHS in a special two-tape limited edition set, right before everyone switched to DVDs).
I read on: Republicans losing, the band playing on, the ship slipping deeper into the night, its only storyline being that of two star-crossed lovers…
Wait? What? That couldn’t be. I’m not important enough to be on the internet. Much less be featured in an online-only article.
Reading on: comparison to RNC chairman to a love child between Kermit the Frog and Ned Flanders, a crappy tribute to Ronald Reagan, crappy Trent Lott speech, beautiful woman, the eye, slimmed down version of Lady Monica, flirt. He ends the article asking “where’d the cutie go?”
This was all too much. Not only did Reporter blatantly miss the grand staircase parallel in his comparison to the Titanic, but he wrote publicly for seven people that I was beautiful.
I forwarded it to all of my friends, my parents, co-workers at Brooks Brothers, everyone on the D.C. program, my pre-school teacher’s assistant, the conductor of the Metro I took that morning, the entire Burr listserve, the cast of Melrose Place, The Congressman’s staff, and John Glenn so he could read it once he got back to Earth.
I piped up above the computer gaming noises and tried to be nonchalant about being mentioned in an article about last night. The sorority sisters politely acknowledged my comment, seething with jealousy. I didn’t forward the article to them because I figured what they were imagining was probably better than what was written. If that was possible.
The next night we had an evening class back at the dorms, and I was super smug. I had forwarded the article to everyone on the D.C. program. I sat quietly with my vodka waiting for the gushing to begin.
There was a middle-aged man leaning on the wall, presumably our evening’s entertainment. I turned to the syllabus to see if the person was important enough to stay sober for.
The professor’s introduction and my recollection of the name happened in tandem, doubling the effect: he was the editorial director of Reporter’s conservative magazine and from what I remember from a hazy conversation, also Reporter’s boss.
He moved to the front of the room and stood behind the podium, immediately singling me out because of the Lewinsky description he probably edited himself, “So I understand you met one of my reporters the other night.”
Obviously, this is reprinted without permission…