State of the Union

Photo by Rebecca SchoenkopfWho's the most popular girl in Columbus, Ohio?

Please. Like I even need to ask.

Oh, my darlings, I sort of missed you while I was on vacation, but I sort of didn't, too.

See, it had been a month the likes of which I hadn't seen since I was a wee and traumatized girl: since I, like Mary Poppins, am practically perfect in every way, the universe usually showers me with riches (if not dudes), and I sail along in life with a gentle (and smug) smile on my pouty lips (which were once compared to chunky-style salsa). Yes, usually I'm serene like one of those satisfied ladies who water their gardens from an antiqued watering can while humming along to the gentle strains of Sarah McLachlanor Celine Dion or some other shitty crap like that.

So my instant karma must have got me because my month got worse and worse till I did what any tough-minded professional broad would do: I cried to my boss and made big puppy dog eyes at him and pleaded minor-nervous-breakdown until he magnanimously gave me everyone else's vacation, and then I stuffed my small buttercup of a son into a rucksack and went off like Simon & Garfunkel counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike who've all gone to look for America. Me, I went to Kansas, which left me wondering: Why do we let Kansas have two senators? And why doesn't Kansas have more suicides?

There is something the matter with Kansas.

Also, we went to Maine. And Niagara Falls. And Iowa. And Nebraska, which has absolutely princely rest stops and is lovely, unlike Kansas, which is a skanky pit. We went some other places, too, like New York City, where we drank $14 martinis and did precious little else, and beautiful Joe's Pond, Vermont, where we stayed at the lake in a darling little row-cottage with copies of Pinky and Blue Boy over the little twin beds and which smelled ferociously of cat pee. We went to Ben & Jerry's, where we saw every hippie for a thousand-mile radius, and to Big Rock Candy Mountain, off Utah's Route 89, where I killed a bird. It was one of two killed by me on this trip, while the other (in New Hampshire) got its stuffing knocked clean out and all over the windshield of the 2004 banana-pudding-colored Beetle convertible ("Tabby") I bought in Denver, Colorado, because the VW dealer wanted to charge me $1,200 for the invisible things that had caused my Cabrio ("Wanda") to not start one day after our $990 pre-trip tune-up and then, four days later, with a clean bill of health from two separate mechanics, her check-engine light went on, which was both hilarious and a nicely literary bit of foreshadowing, since Tabby's check-engine light went on four days later, and now a day after the dealer said it was just that the gas cap wasn't tightened enough (how many clicks do they want?), she's dripping green fluid. And stuff. I'd never killed anything before, if you don't count those Siamese fighting fish I accidentally left in my car with the windows rolled up one July or August because I was too drunk to drive home from that one gala. You remember. The gala with the fish. Yeah, that's great.

I have seen America, and it is fat.

My thanks go out to my sugar lump Theo Douglas, who was Deputy Me for about four minutes until he fell and broke his pelvis (and they'll never let me leave the office again), and my nemesis, Mary Reilly, who filled in on the prime real estate that is the back page, with not just her vivacious Clubbed! column but also Eight Days, which seems such a breezy little snap but quickly becomes tedious and irksome for the poor shlub who has to perpetrate it. For her yeoman's duty and frequent references to me, I have decided to bridge the chasm and antipathy evoked by her youth and freshness and also by her thieving ways. Now it's clear: she is indeed a lovely girl, and I'll be needing a new feud, anyone with ideas for which should give me a call. I'm leaning toward Wonkette, as the bitch's been jacking my vibe for months now, and what does she get in return? The master-and-slavish devotion of Savage Love and a gig as convention correspondent for freaking MTV. Ass-fucking, ass-fucking, ass-fucking!

Oh, yeah, and speaking of me-jacking: Register dude? We are not gunning for you. As yet.All we need is a little recognition of our trailblazing ways, and since you ponied up—in your very first column, no less (hear me now, Wonkette!)—we shall let you live. For now. Despite your shameless boldface politics/pop-culture/music/gossip thing. Which is shameless. So even though the rest of my compatriots here at Weekly HQare snickering at you and making that funny vomit sign with their fingers, I think you're swell. I've always had a soft spot for plagiarism.

So. How have you been? Yeah, that's great. Is there anything in the news? I hear Rick Jamesdied. I had a hilarious Courtney Lovejoke saved up for nigh on two weeks—two weeks!—and it turns out Lowery beat me to it. I got nothing.

And what about Larry Agran? I understand he's doing his best Dave Garofalo imitation? I'm not really clear on it. Right now, I'm about as well-informed as your average Placentia voter—thanks, USA Today!—and equally hilarious. Has the Haidl kid done anything stupid and/or criminal lately? He has? Huh. I'm not even going to bother. Fucking Lowery.

Seven thousand miles and 5,000 clams later, I got nothing but heartache. (Please send money.)

I've been on vacation.

See you at Starbucks.


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