For a country in which only half of all eligible voters go to the polls, it's amazing how the uncertainty surrounding the results of the presidential election has obsessed the nation. During the past week, the media constantly have been giving us the latest scoop on every possible issue concerning the elections, from what color sweat pants the vice president was wearing on his morning jog to why Dubya has that big-ass band-aid on the side of his face, and we've all been eating it up. I've walked into living rooms this past week expecting Cheech and Chong and instead ended up getting Peter and Dan - "Yo, turn down that new Outkast, I think Gore just picked up three votes in West Palm Beach."
So in the spirit of this newfound political fervor, I figured I'd fill y'all in on my experiences from Election Night 2000.
Tuesday, 6:45 p.m. - I settle in for a long night of TV watching. Sadly, it's not much different than many other nights, but at least on this day I feel as if my actions are socially acceptable.
I grab all the essentials of an extended stay in front of the tube-munchies, a six-pack and the cure for my cataracts. With all these necessities in tow, I'm set to watch history unfold.
7:40 p.m. - It becomes clear that the higher education bond will pass in North Carolina. I wonder how much of the money will be used to buy state-of-the-art slop buckets at N.C. State University.
8:30 p.m. - The networks project that Gore has won Florida. As a Gore voter, I'm thrilled with the news and begin to think that he might actually win the White House.
I crack open a Heini to toast his possible victory.
9:30 p.m. - All the networks take back the Florida win from Gore, declaring the race still too close to call and making me anxious about the prospects of four years of Dubya. I crack open a Heini to bemoan our plight.
Midnight - The election is still as tight as two fat men trying to pass each other in the halls of Venable.
My munchies run out, so I falsely tell my roommate Brian that he left his car lights on.
As he runs out into the parking lot to turn them off, I steal a couple of hot dogs out of the fridge - nothing like a conglomerate of pig snouts and hooves in the a.m.
Wednesday 2:30 a.m. - CNN claims that Bush has won Florida and thus is our new president-elect. I feel like regurgitating the Oscar Meyer goodness consumed just a couple of hours ago.
2:45-3:00 a.m. - The realization of the apparent Bush victory sends me into a tirade to John and Keely about how bad our system sucks when the next president of the United States was nothing more than the lame duck owner of the Texas Rangers just five years ago - the worst part being that he wasn't even good at that, as his trading away of Sammy Sosa shows.
3:30 a.m. - Having scared Keely and John into their rooms because of my incessant ranting and raving, I'm left to ponder the events of the night alone. In the noble cause of civil disobedience, I hit the bubbler to protest the election results.
9:30 a.m. - I awake to the news that Bush hadn't actually won Florida yet and that the election was still too close to call. I convince myself that it's better to watch history on TV than to go to history class, especially since I can get the notes from a couple of my roommates.
10:15 a.m. - It now being apparent that the hangovers my roommates have are more than just the political ones the rest of the country usually has the morning after a national election, I hurriedly get ready for my 11 o'clock class.
11:53 a.m. - As I'm leaving class and noticing that a lot of other people look like they've been up late watching the election results too, I also notice that the clothes that I put on that morning are pretty damn dirty. I have an ink stain above the left pocket of my jeans and a Kool-Aid spill on the bottom right side of my shirt. To hide the blemishes, I tuck in the right side of the shirt and let the left side hang down to hide the ink stain, kind of like a frat tuck gone horribly wrong. I tell myself nobody will notice and walk to my next class.
11:53-noon - I see everybody that I've ever known at Carolina, even some people that I didn't even know went to school here anymore.
Even though everyone notices the stains, only a few comment.
I begin to think that I have bigger problems than who our next president is going to be.
Now almost a week later, we still do not know who the next president is, and everything else in the country is pretty much moving along without any major glitches.
All joking aside, the fact that this is possible is a testament to this nation's greatness.
I only ask that if Dubya does win the presidency that he not be given access to too many major decisions; we all know how that Sosa trade turned out for him down in Texas.
Amol Naik is a senior history major from Lumberton. Reach him at email@example.com.