We had a great time planning our wedding and our honeymoon over the course of two years. We wanted to time our wedding day so we could take a two month honeymoon in a year when the Legislature was not in session. (Read about our honeymoon in “The Pleasures of Being a Father”.) Only one hitch along the way.
On the Wednesday before Our Saturday Wedding Day I was picking up my campaign literature for a volunteer mailing that night. My fairly new Taurus pulled into my campaign printer’s parking lot smoking. “What the f***?,” my printer says and starts tinkering under the hood. Ten minutes and ten blocks later I pull into the State Office Building newly constructed underground parking lot and it’s smoking worse than ever. Five minutes later someone comes screaming into my office “Your car’s on fire!”
Now, not only was the trunk filled with very important campaign literature that couldn’t possibly be reprinted before the volunteers showed-up, but it also contained my prized baseball bat.
Just the weekend before I’d gone 11 for 12 at the plate and the coach, whose bat it was, came up to me and said, “Take it – it’s got your name written all over it.”
“Oh My God!” I scream back and race for the elevator to the parking lot. Too late. Smoke was so billowing you couldn’t see one Reps.’ car from another. The Fire Alarm was also screaming. A terse, but calm, message came over the building’s intercom: “This is not a drill. Everybody exit the building quickly but slowly.”
“Well F***!” I think, and join everybody outside watching the fire engine race-up too big to fit into the parking lot entrance. The firemen pull up a grate and start jumping down into the basement level dragging their hoses with them. Later, I learned, landing on Rep. Kalina’s brand new Ford 150 Pick-Up, scratching it all over. The Chief comes up to me to get details. I tell him what I know and mention that if there’s any chance of saving my baseball bat that would be great. About 10 minutes later the Chief re-emerges holding my baseball bat aloft. “We got the fire out everybody,” he announces to the assembled multitude, “and even saved Rep. Dawkins’ baseball bat.”
Tomorrow: Malicious Reporting