I was born so close to the United States that I could practically pee across the St. Lawrence River onto upstate New York. In fact, I once actually did cross the bridge to Ogdensburg just to take a leak on the USA. If you’re an American, that probably pisses you off, but if you were a teenage Canadian boy, you’d probably find it funny.
But a little more than eight years ago, I watched a presidential election stolen, and I vowed to stay out of the United States until it was once again a democracy, not a banana republic. I had so little respect for the nation that I wouldn’t set foot on its soil — not even to, well, soil it.
For four years and another four after that, I kept this oath, with one exception; I had a brief layover during a trans-Pacific flight last spring. But surely airports don’t count; they’re kind of international territory, after all. Anyway, I didn’t do much in the hour I was there except go to the bathroom.
Today, I watched a new president sworn in, a much better man than the last. He tripped over his words slightly during the oath of office, but then gave an eloquent inaugural address that threw arms wide open to once again embrace the other nations of a world that the previous government had worked steadily to alienate. But what I heard was this:
(But please go to the bathroom before you come next time.)
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