I Meant Six Long Months

When I was in high school, my parents got a satellite dish, which meant we got the CBC, which meant that my friends came over every Friday night to watch the new episodes of The Kids in the Hall. Furthermore, we also got Comedy Central and HBO, which meant that my friends came over all the time to watch old episodes of The Kids in the Hall. So we watched a lot of Candian sketch comedy, is what I'm trying to say.

Anyway, my favorite recurring character on the show was Mark McKinney's Darryl (pronounced dah-RILL, of course), an artist/ waiter who had in stupidity what he lacked in talent (On one of his own paintings: "The unicorn is stuck on the aircraft carrier and cannot get off!" On customer service: "Sorry. No hot food. It seems the chef isn't speaking to me." And then there was his admission that he's only able to daydream about a miniature Oompah band playing music in his head, and his utter bafflement that other people are able to daydream about anything they want). In one episode, Darryl is waiting tables, and there's a line of potential diners watiing to be seated. One asks, "How much longer will we have to wait?" and Darryl answers, "About five minutes." "You said that twenty minutes ago." "Ah, yes-- but I meant five long minutes."

This scene came to mind this morning as I read General Petraeus's recommendation that the U.S. not even think about a troop withdrawal for another six months-- which, it seems to me, is what the administration was saying six months ago. And probably six months before that. "Let's just give our troops/ the newly-elected government/ the surge some time before we pull out-- we agree that things were bad before, but now we're on the right track. Give us six months to prove it." And then, six months later, "Did we say six months? We meant six long months."

Man. I miss the 90s. Melrose Place had us captivated. Everclear was releasing music that was actually kinda good. Men wore vests. The biggest controversies in our culture was whether an ex-football player and Leslie Nielsen co-star killed his wife and whether or not the president should be impeached for enjoying blowjobs. Most importantly, there wasn't some fabricated, never-ending war going on; in fact, when Clinton did use the military to try to hunt down Osama bin Laden, those tough-on-terror war hawks in the right-wing blabosphere claimed that he was trying to distract us from his own oral fixations-- remember how people used the phrase "Wag the Dog," based on that shitty movie that David Mamet and Barry Levinson vomitted onto the screen? Man. Those were the days. These days, the media doesn't say a negative word about our president even as he's listening to our private phone calls and awarding no-bid contracts to the vice president's company. In the 90s, people speculated publicly about what the president's penis looked like.

In hinsight, I wish I'd partied like it was 1999 when it actually was 1999-- if I'd known what was coming, I would have tried to do more drugs while I was young.

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