Let’s be honest, here – GOP gubernatorial inaugurations don’t happen very often in Wisconsin. So I admit, despite being a political veteran of over a decade, I was a little excited to attend Scott Walker’s inaugural ball last night here in Madison.
The first step was deciding what to wear. Never having attended a ball (not even of the headbanger’s variety), I didn’t know what constituted appropriate attire. I had heard some people were renting tuxes, but I didn’t think I needed to go that far. The way I figure it, the top 5% at these events are either rich, powerful, or beautiful. The bottom 95%, where I reside, is simply known as “everyone else.” So attempts to go overboard to get yourself noticed are probably a waste.
Instead, I just settled on wearing a black suit with a black tie, which is just a cheaper way of looking “tux-ey.” (Although not quite as cheap as my next option, which was wearing a t-shirt with a tux printed on it. Or dressing like Mr. Peanut.)
Before I got dressed, though, I had to shower and shave and such. One of the sad realities of becoming an old man in slow motion is the extended hair removal process. I have large gasoline-powered weed wackers to take care of the extraneous hair that has been showing up in various places on my head. Gross, I know, but necessary. But last night, I decided to take a little shortcut and instead shave a nasty hair off my ear with my regular shaving razor. Who would know, right?
I got dressed up, and my wife and I set off for the Monona Terrace. We’re not cool enough to be part of the “late arriving” crowd, so I decided to be part of the “getting a parking spot” crowd. A friend told me he was “working the door” at one of the hospitality suites, and that I could get in. So the entire drive downtown, I was bragging to my wife that I was some kind of VIP. When we got to the room, it appeared that anyone could walk in and get a free beer. I actually think I saw a couple hobos stuffing merlot bottles into their bandana knapsacks before carrying them out on sticks. Thus destroyed my attempt to convince my wife that I’m a bigshot.
But before we initially entered the room, my wife grabbed me by the shoulder and told me I couldn’t go in. She asked me what was wrong with me. I told her I had no idea what she was talking about. “You’re bleeding out of your ear,” she said. And it was true – I touched my ear with my fingers, and there was blood on them. Apparently in the ear shaving process, I had gashed myself, and blood was now running my lobe.
We took off to find the bathrooms, which in the Monona Terrace, are about 15 miles away from the gathering areas. I was able to cram my ear with tissues until the bleeding subsided, then took some extras in case blotting was necessary.
The rest of the night went swimmingly – I saw a lot of old friends and met some new ones. I feel like I must have talked to 200 people. And I got no mentions of my head wound. Maybe if Scott Walker is re-elected in 2014, I’ll one-up myself and hack off an arm.