Coming Out of Left Field

Friday, June 29, 2007

Romney, Mormons and special underwear

Even though I've been paying attention to the presidential campaign, and know a little bit about Mormons, until the other day I hadn't been aware of a particular issue. One of the people also staying at our B&B, however, enlightened the wife and me over breakfast. We'd been talking politics, and I said that I was worried about Mitt Romney getting the Republican nomination.

"What the South is going to have trouble with," said our fellow vacationer, "is his special underwear."

His special what?

"Yeah, special underwear," he said. "All observant Mormons have to wear it under their clothes ... it goes up to here" -- he indicated his chest, "and it covers pretty much the whole body."

There followed some jokes about Googling "Romney's underwear" and the "boxers, briefs, or Mormon underwear?" question Romney would face if he ever went on MTV.

"The South will be fine with a lot of things," our informer concluded, "but when it comes to special underwear, they'll be like, 'That's just too weird."

Afterwards, I did a Google search, and found Mormon Underwear, which has a lot of info but few pictures, and blog post on that has one pic.

It's pretty safe to say that no other presidential candidate will be asked about this!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Same-sex marriage ban defeated, 45 to 151

The Mass. legislators did the right thing just now, killing the proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. This means the amendment will not be on the ballot in November 2008, and also means that opponents of marriage equality have to wait until 2012 for another chance at a "popular" vote ... assuming that they try this route again. Hopefully saner heads will prevail, and we can spend our time and money on more worthwhile things.

Two words for anyone who still doesn't understand ...

... why having "the people" vote on marriage equality scares the hell out of me: Sanjaya Malakar.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Adventures in air travel

The wife and I found it surprisingly tricky to get back home from South Carolina Sunday night. Our first sign of things to come was when our ride got lost on the way to the airport in Charlotte; the couple giving us a lift missed the exit, so we lost some time doubling back. (I knew we were in trouble when the husband swore in English.)

Then our 3:55 p.m. flight was delayed until 4:15 p.m. When we asked the desk clerk if we would make our connection, she told us, "You're going to have to go straight to the gate ... you can't go to the bathroom or anything." Hmmmm, not promising.

Shortly thereafter, the desk clerk announced that she was looking for volunteers to give up their seats. My wife had a brilliant idea -- if we were going to miss our connection anyway, why not profit by it? So we came up to the counter to get our vouchers, thinking it would be a quick process.

Two hours later, we and another volunteer were still standing there, waiting to get rebooked and receive our vouchers. It wasn't the poor desk clerk's fault, as the computers went on the fritz. So the poor woman had to call and call and call for tech support, as well as deal with late flights, unhelpful supervisors and impatient customers. At one point, she nearly lost a passenger too; an elderly woman booked on the 5:30 p.m. to Philadelphia had gotten on the 3:55 p.m. flight, and only realized her mistake when the flight attendant made an announcement.

Finally, the computers were back, and the printer (freshly loaded with paper) spat out our boarding passes for the 5:30 Philly flight.

Five minutes later, the desk clerk got on the mike again, and announced that the 5:30 flight had been cancelled. The elderly woman who'd gotten on the wrong plane earlier came up behind us. "Do you want to hear someone scream really loudly?" she asked.

The wife and I, fortunately, had long since decided that the whole affair was hilarious, so this latest development just made us crack up. Since the three of us were still waiting for our vouchers, the desk clerk rebooked us herself instead of sending us all the way back to the ticket counter. Around 7:00 p.m., we finally left the airport with our vouchers, a hotel voucher for the nearby Holiday Inn, and reservations for the next morning.

Monday's flight, naturally, went absolutely fine, though the taxi back from Logan was extremely poky. At least we have a couple of round-trip vouchers for all our trouble. Sometime in the next year, when we have time and aren't feeling quite so poor, we'll take advantage of them ... and we won't go through Charlotte!

Bits and pieces from the wedding weekend

-- The wife and I were picked up at the airport by a friend of my parents. Later on she told me that even though she hadn't seen me since high school, she had no problem recognizing me. "You look exactly the same," she said.

Just as I was thinking that she looked the same too, she added,"But you're too young to have white hair!"

-- The wedding was outside in a very nice little estate. Well, it was meant to be outside; the morning after we arrived, it rained for the first time in a month, and didn't clear up for good until we left. The New England weather jinx strikes again.

-- One-year-olds are very entertaining, even if a certain brother regards them as alien life-forms.

-- Most surprising thing, hands-down: seeing lots of Chinese and Taiwanese people my parents' age doing the electric slide.