It’s about 2:30 pm right now on election day. In just a couple hours, one of my favorite McGee traditions will resume after a long break: Cari and I will sit down in front of the TV, with Outback Steakhouse take-out food in front of us, and we’ll settle in to watch many, many hours of live national election coverage.
It may sound boring, but we have an absolute blast together … perhaps primarily because we’re as interested in watching (and mocking) the news coverage as anything.
(That part of the fun predates our marriage, even, when we would watch live “breaking news” coverage on Los Angeles television and make fun of folks like Harvey Levin, who famously shouted “GET TO HIGHER GROUND!” repeatedly during some serious flooding.)
I think tonight’s tradition began with the 2000 election, which was the first one after Outback Steakhouse opened up in Tri-Cities. We didn’t have nearly the amount of good restaurants in town then that we do now, so it was an easy choice to grab some take-out food and bring it home. We’ve followed this tradition each national election since, and I think even on most of the smaller election years, too.
That first year, I remember us both trying to stake awake all night while votes in Florida were counted and re-counted. I outlasted Cari and stayed awake until about 2 am, I think, and the election was still undecided. As it would remain for the next 36 days.
But probably our favorite moment happened last time out, in the 2008 election.
We were watching CNN and Wolf Blitzer was leading their coverage, with a cadre of like a thousand analysts on set, too. Wolf was leading an interview — don’t recall who it was, maybe one of the party spokespersons or something like that — and he fired off a question that I also don’t remember. Just as the interviewee began to answer, Wolf interrupted with this:
“I’m sorry, we have to cut away right now. But this is a great question and we’ll get back to it later.“
Wolf Blitzer asked a question then complimented himself on how good the question was!
To this day, Cari and I often ask a question and then announce that our question is great. Cuz we’re kinda dorky. Like Wolf Blitzer.
Here’s hoping tonight’s tradition brings more fun moments like that…..
(Stock image via Shutterstock.com. Used under license.)