January 2009 Archives

Supreme Court Justices at the Inauguration

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supreme court justices clarence thomas john paul stevens antonin scalia john roberts obama inauguration

Four of the Justices made an appearance at yesterday's pomp-fest. And here's a snapshot of their conversation.

This past week I took the third trip to Texas of my life, and my third trip to Texas for a deposition. This time I was taking the deposition instead of just sitting in, so the trip was of greater moment. It was also a trip to Dallas, so I had the Dallas Theme stuck in my head the whole time. I resisted the urge to antagonize Dr. M by buying our son a Dallas Cowboys teddy bear at the airport.

After three days of questioning witnesses on topics that could be charitably described as "so boring that you want to slam your head against the wall to make sure you can still feel something, dear God, anything," I parked myself at one of the many bars at Love Field airport for my usual end-of-business-trip overpriced airport beer. Against all odds the little bar in the little airport was serving Widmer Hefeweizen, so I ordered one up and squeezed a lemon wedge into it, as one does when drinking such things. An old Texan sitting next to me witnessed this spectacle and, apparently unaccustomed to seeing nancy-fancy city boys squeeze fruit juice into their beers, leaned over unobtrusively and said, "Wussat?"

"Hefeweizen," I said, using the correct German pronunciation ("w" as "v" and "z" as "tz"). "It's a German-style wheat beer."

The old man made a face that indicated understanding but not interest, and went back to sipping whatever watery American lager he was drinking. A few minutes later he turned to two strangers sitting on the other side of him and began telling them dirty jokes, and one racist joke about Michelle Obama. The two men laughed enthusiastically at all of them and it was difficult to tell whether they were simply humoring him.

Later in the evening I was standing in line to get some dinner before my flight and I sneezed into my sleeve, which is how you're supposed to do it when you don't have anything more proper to sneeze into. A young woman in front of me said "God bless you" and then very shyly and politely asked if I would like a tissue. I declined, which in retrospect was kind of awkward since she had already pulled a travel-sized tissue container out of her backpack. I realized that in my Hefeweizen-addled state I may have sneezed more loudly than the social setting called for, and the woman may have been bothered by it, so I apologized, and she said there was no need to apologize, again with large degrees of shyness and politeness. So she was nice.

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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