Sept. 30 - Our heat doesn't work.
You wouldn't think that'd matter this early in the fall. I wouldn't. But it does. It's getting pretty goddam cold in the apartment, and the extended weather forecasts are cluttered with downward-pointing arrows.
It's the kind of weather where everyone you meet says, "Brr! Fall sure came quick this year!" or, "Gettin' a little nippy out, ain't it?" And since they're saying it Danish you smile and nod like the idiot you are and wonder what they're saying.
Trine checked with out neighbors yesterday to see if there was some trick to turning the radiators on. There is indeed a trick: you have to wait until October 1, when the complex activates the heating system. Our neighbors were all cold also.
Since we're only one day away from getting heat I suppose I shouldn't complain about typing in gloves, or trying to read what's on my monitor through the frost on the screen. So I won't.
* * *
There was a kid I went to school with who used to brag about her family having come over on the Mayflower. It irritated more of us than it impressed, I think, but she was quite proud and wouldn't leave it alone.
As I've gotten older, I've met and learned about a lot of other people whose ancestors came over on the Mayflower. It's always a point of pride for them. "My people were here ages ago," they seem to be saying, "way before your lousy people."
Fair enough. But it seems to fair to ask what kind of people we're talking about. Because getting to America isn't in itself anything to brag about. Lots of murderers, rapists, and lawyers have come to America. The descendants of John Billington, for example, probably don't brag too much about the fact that on September 30, 1630, that pilgrim distinguished himself by becoming the first Englishman in the colonies to be hanged for murder.
But then, my family's just a scrappy bunch of 20th-century immigrants. What the hell do I know?
* * *
On September 30, 1955, teen idol James Dean was killed in a car accident that probably could have been avoided if he had had his car inspected and tuned up regularly, obeyed all posted highway signs, and driven only when alert and sober. On the other hand, if he had survived, today James Dean would probably be tottering aimlessly around celebrity golf tournaments, pimping life insurance or antacids, and writing tell-all memoirs.
On September 30, 1927, Babe Ruth hit his 60th home run of the season. (Mark McGwire was born on October 1, 1963, however, so this no longer matters.)
Today is the birthday of Fran Drescher (1957), Johnny Mathis (1935), Angie Dickinson (1931), Elie Wiesel (1928), Truman Capote (1924), and Buddy Rich (1917).
It's Independence Day in Botswana.
© 2003, The Moron's Almanac