No, this is fine

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  1. Gee, I wonder what SNL will open with tomorrow?
    You know who I feel sorry for? Rudy's bartender last night.

    Unfortunately, there's another innocent victim here as well and it's me. See, I had a stellar Rudy Giuliani anecdote but between this and the Borat movie, my story is now pretty much in the garbage can. Oh well, I've been living in the past on this blog for weeks. Why stop now?

    Remember when Rudy was America's Mayor after 9/11? He was on TV every day attending funerals or going to the emotional World Series between the Yankees and the Diamondbacks. As I recall the next year the Yankees got chased by the California Angels but that World Series in New York right after 9/11 was as powerful as a sporting event ever gets.

    Rudy was a tough guy back then having prosecuted John Gotti and other Mafia types. I know personally I would never have the balls to do anything like that. Frankly, I admired his tough-guy persona. I remember his one request of President Bush was that when we caught Osama bin Ladin, Rudy wanted to throw the switch.

    It's hard to imagine that version of Rudy these days as it's clear that he's lost a lot off his fastball. I first noticed this on a cable news show last year where it was clear Rudy had done a face plant into a martini or two before arriving.

    That being said, when I found out he was coming to Portland back in 2002, I wanted to go. This was living history and I was a columnist for the Portland Tribune so I got on the media list. When he walked into the room at the Convention Center it was impressive. I've been in rooms with some pretty powerful politicians but Rudy had real gravitas. At least he used to.

    Here I have to make the standard Jacobin pledge that I was not a fan of his politics and Republicans in general, but come on, this was the year after 9/11 for Christ sake. So there I was in a room full of local media all asking questions about the World Trade Center and suddenly, I got one of my weird inspirations. I decided I would try to ask a funny question. Even now the idea seems crazy.

    If this thing had gone bad I would have been fired and been the object of great scorn. The voice in my head was going, "Don't do it. No, do it, no, don't do it." I went for it. I might not have the balls to prosecute John Gotti but I have comedy balls. Wait, that didn't sound right.

    I stood up and asked him, "Mayor Giuliani, you are closely associated with one of the biggest disasters in recent American History, so my question is what did happen to the Yankees this year?" At first he looked stunned, then he started chuckling before finally breaking into a laugh. I had no idea what he said at this point - I was stunned - but they played his answer on the local news with their announcer asking my question.

    When it was over, Rudy made a beeline over to me and shook hands and we chatted for a minute. He had gotten a huge kick out of the whole thing. I'm sure he hadn't had many good laughs since the Towers came down and so I was proud of my Rudy anecdote. Or at least I used to be. That sound you hear is my Rudy anecdote going down the drain.


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