So, yeah. Once again it’s time for “Can Lisa keep her creativity streak going?” I won’t bet the farm on this one but let’s give it a shot, shall we?
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1. Stock Market crash 1987: I am going to hazard a guess that NONE of you knows where you were on October 19, 1987. Hell, some of you reading this weren’t even BORN yet! Well, as it happens, I was working at a financial services firm and remember that day quite clearly. I was substituting as assistant for one of the elder statesmen of this firm while his regular assistant was on vacation. As we watched the market plunge, I commented to him “Man, we must be some volatile combination to throw the market on its head like that. For the good of the free market, best we don’t work together again!” He laughed, fished $2o out of his wallet and said “go get some beers with the others. You’ve all earned it today.” (Back in ’87, $20 bought more than two beers so he took pretty good care of us.) And we continued to work together but that was the only time the market acknowledged our potent energy! I even have a tshirt to commemorate the event. It was interesting, to say the least.
2. Moon landing: (Rolls the time machine back even more to summer 1969.) I was 8 at the time and was at YMCA day camp when this event took place. They rolled a tv into the room and let us watch it. Perhaps it would have been more fun to have had it go down as Eddie Izzard envisions it:
And Neil stepped on the Moon and said, “One small step for man, a giant leap for mankind.” Good line but not his line, I don’t think … it didn’t feel like his line, you know? ‘Cause you gotta say something, you can’t go down to the Moon and go, “Oh, it’s all sticky! It’s covered in jam!” You can’t land on the Moon and go, “Fuckin’ hell, I’ve been in that spacecraft (stretching noises ) – Right, I need a piss.”
3. John F. Kennedy’s assassination: I was 3 and actually remember watching his funeral procession on a black and white tv. And I even remember the salute John-John gave as the casket rolled by. It’s become such a cliche to say “Where were you when Kennedy was shot?” and this line from “When Harry Met Sally” cracks me up every time. The two men (Harry and friend Jess) are talking about the age difference between Harry and Emily, a woman he’s dating:
Jess: Emily is terrific.
Harry: Yeah. But of course when I asked where she was when Kennedy was shot she said, “Ted Kennedy was shot?”
4. Robert Kennedy’s assassination: June 1968 – I was 7 1/2 and distinctly remember walking to catch the school bus and being all sad about him being killed. I’m not sure why this affected me so much as my family was not into politics or anything. But it really upset me. His brother (the aforementioned Ted Kennedy) said this about him in his eulogy: “My brother need not be idolized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life, to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.” I believe that is truly RFK’s legacy still to this day.
5. Princess Di’s wedding: Who among us did not get up at 3am to watch this spectacle? (Well, yeah. If you weren’t born, then of course you didn’t. Sit down over there in the corner, young person and learn from your elders *coughmecough*). Remember when she messed up his 37 names? “I take you, Charles John Paul George Ringo as my lawfully wedded husband … to have and to hold until Camilla Parker-Bowels seduces him with her feminine(ly horsey) wiles.” I gotta say – her dress was hideous. All poofy sleeves and whatnot. Bleah. Glad she got a fashion clue later on. And yeah, I got up and watched it.
6. Princess Diana’s death: Oh yeah, I really remember this one. 1997: I was sitting on the couch watching tv and the SO at the time was messing around online playing his dragon and dungeon game (or whatever the hell it was) when I flipped past Larry King and saw the news that there was an accident in Paris. I was glued to that tv into the wee hours watching for updates on her condition. I was very sad when word came down that she died. I even have the newspaper from the next morning. Anyway, as I got up to watch her wedding, so did I get up for her funeral. 20 years from now we are still gonna be hearing conspiracy theories funded by Dodi Al-Fayed’s father. Let them rest in peace (and this from an avowed conspiracy theorist herself!!)
7. John and Lorena Bobbit: For those of you not in the know, here’s the quick and dirty on this couple from the wiki link above: On the night of June 23, 1993, Lorena Bobbitt cut off her husband’s penis with a kitchen knife as he lay sleeping in their Manassas, Virginia, home. She then drove off with the severed appendage and flung it out her car window. Police performed a diligent search and located it, and it was then surgically reattached. In statements to police, she explained that she had cut off the penis because her husband was “selfish” and “wouldn’t give her an orgasm.”
Woman, if that was a rational excuse, there would be a lot of dick flinging going on. Hell, I can personally think of about
10 er, 2 men who would have been minus the appendage in question. I remember when the guys in my office heard about this abomination, they walked around protecting their genitalia for days. Good thing orgasm-giving wasn’t company policy at the time (don’t know what it is now) or else there would have been plenty ‘o penii on the ground! Still, EW. Couldn’t she have just cut off something less important, like and ear or something?
8. Kurt Cobain’s suicide: Well, this didn’t have much impact on me but I do remember where I was when I heard the news. Looking back, anyone could have predicted he would do that. What was that lyric in “Come as you are”? “And I swear that I don’t have a gun, no I don’t have a gun …” Yes, well. I think he did have a gun. (You might too if Courtney Love was your wife!)
9. 9-11: This is probably one we can all relate to. We had a tv on at work tuned to CNNfn and a dude who worked on the 2nd floor came racing in and said “Did you hear?” and turned the tv to another channel. We all watched in horror – especially since we were not very far from the Pentagon which had just been hit. I called my husband and his first words were ” … bin laden”. It was a scary time for all of us. I remember taking Max out for a walk that night and looking at the sky filled with bright blinking stars and thinking to myself “we are all under the same sky” here on earth. It was as if time stopped for so many days. The stock markets were closed and people were just devastated. I bet there’s not an adult American who can’t tell you where they were when they heard the news of this event.
10. John Lennon’s murder (1980) – I was 20 at the time but wishing I were the 19 in Steely Dan’s “Hey Nineteen” (I know. I’m weird. You don’t know the half of it!) I was volunteering at a counseling center (called “Brotherhood of Man”) and had just arrived for my phone stint when I heard that he had been shot. I don’t think I will ever really understand (who can?) what makes someone shoot another like that. What a waste of a life. Anyway, I think I went and bought the “Double Fantasy” cassette tape and listened to it a lot.
11. OJ Simpson Oh lawd, don’t get me started on friggin’ OJ (who is guilty as they come). I watched everything from the S L O W chase to the announcement of the verdict (Stunned, I was). I was at work and we got word that THE VERDICT was coming so a couple of us (idiots) raced downstairs to the big screen tv to watch it read live. What a freaking letdown! I read just about every book on the subject (sad, innit?) mostly because I was interested in how the prosecution presented its case (or not, as it turned out). The best book on the whole thing (IMO) was Daniel Petrocelli’s Triumph of Justice.Petrocelli got OJ on the stand and made him squirm since you have much more leeway in a civil trial than a criminal one. I just cannot believe anyone would remotely find him innocent. GAH.
12. Challenger explosion
At work again (at a job I totally detested) and heard about this on the radio I kept at my desk (to prevent me from lapsing into a coma). I think there was also a tv in the lunchroom or something as I recall. I kept thinking how very sad it all was. I’m not a fan of space exploration, actually, so to me it felt like a waste of many young lives for nothing.
13. And finally, a hometown favorite: Cal Ripken’s record breaking game From the wiki link: On September 6, 1995, many fans nationwide tuned in to ESPN to see the game where Ripken broke the consecutive games played record. It still ranks as one of the network’s highest watched non-football games ever. When the game became official in the bottom of the fifth inning, the numbers that had been keeping track of Ripken’s streak on the wall of the B&O Warehouse outside the stadium’s right field wall turned from 2130 to 2131. The standing ovation Cal received lasted 22 minutes and 16 seconds. Can you imagine something like a 22 minute ovation?? Background: I had moved to Richmond, VA from Baltimore in 1989 and since Richmond had its own AAA club, they didn’t do much coverage of the Orioles. I was a big baseball fan then and missed getting all the news and whatnot. (Pre-ish internets days, kids) – I heard that Cal was going to break the record and tuned in to watch on ESPN. It was awesome. Cal was a class act all the way – never caused a fuss, played like a warrior and stayed true to his Baltimore roots. Plus, I saw him in a mall once and he had the best ass I’ve ever seen. I walked behind him all over that mall just to watch it. heh
Whew! That took me almost 3 hours to write! I’m gonna have to start listing things on my desk if every week takes this much work! :)
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