I like to keep my nose firmly stuck in other people’s business and so one of the joys of staying in a hotel is the unrivaled access it gives me to people I don’t know at all. Last night, sitting on a patio overlooking the Pacific Ocean, I was joined by a woman from Texas. We got chatting and when she discovered I lived in DC she said ” Oh, I’ll be there this weekend. I’m going for the tea party rally.” This is not an event I will be attending myself.
“I’m going to the Glen Beck fundraiser at the Kennedy center too” she said. ‘They raise money for Wounded Warriors and 95 per cent of the money goes to the troops and their families” I agreed that this was a worthwhile cause and an admirable administrative success.
“The seats are $500” said Sam. “Of course I had no intention of paying that. My friend said if you go early you can get in for free. They’ll have lots of entertainment–well, they have to for that money” I have no idea whether or not there are free seats at this event, or whether my new friend will get in. I do know that in Laguna Beach she was staying in a hotel that cost around $500 a night. It was not immediately clear how wounded warriors were going to benefit from her participation at the Kennedy Center. 95 per cent of nothing at all is remarkably close to 100 per cent of nothing at all.
“Have you been to these events before?” I asked “First time” said Sam. “It’s the illegal immigrants. They cost our state $836 million last year. My husband says more like $836 billion. Not that I have anything against immigrants of course–my people were from Canada–it’s the illegals. You have to do it the right way”
“How did you get involved?” I asked. “The Buy-cott” she replied. I looked at her dumbly.
“You know, in Arizona. Supporting SB1070. The people against the bill are boycotting and that’s hurting business in state. So we went from Texas to spend money in Arizona, a whole group of us. Shopping–that’s something I can get behind.”
Her cell phone rang. Her husband had woken up from his nap and she had to go “Pleased to meet you” she said, extending a bejweled hand. “Thank you–I enjoyed our chat” said I.