Philadelphia, PA -- Republican National Convention
Hey everybody guess what!
I made a new friend at the RNC protests in Philly: Neil Bush!
Who cares if his failed S&L cost the taxpayer a bagillion dollars, I found Neil to be a REALLY NICE GUY! After a nice chat, Neil wished me the best on behalf of the Bush family: This is a true story!
Here's what happened: I, Zack Exley, the man W. Bush called a garbage man, was sitting in a Kinkos attached to a fancy hotel on Market Street Tuesday morning when suddenly I noticed that Neil Bush was right there next to me working on his laptop.
After a couple RNC delegates finished doting on him, I swiveled around and said hi. I introduced myself with my full name and shook his hand. He asked my "station in life." I told him I was working on a book about grassroots organizing. [Due out on Soft Skull press in November!]
"Down here to cover the convention then?" he asked.
"Yes sir," I said. I asked him for an autograph and he obliged without hesitation. I noticed he was left handed, like me.
"You're a lefty? So am I," said I.
"Yep, Just like my old man," he said.
"Zack, I bet you had trouble in school just like me. I can tell you're a very bright young man, but I bet you had a bad time in school, because, you know, we lefties, our brains work differently."
"Yes, I did have trouble in school. I know exactly what you're talking about," I said. Neil had completely won me over.
"School sucks!" he said, "They label kids learning disabled and drug them up, but it's not the kids who have the problem, it's the schools that have the problem."
"Yes, yes!" I said, "Does your brother share your views on this? Cuz I'd sure like to have a guy in the White House who thinks like you on this topic!"
We chatted about education some more. I told him about a job I used to have teaching at a school for learning disabled kids.
He told me about a company he's trying to start that will solve some of these problems using the Internet. He so warmed my heart that I felt like telling him he got a bum rap on that S&L bailout. I mean, how can entrepenuers be expected to take risks if the taxpayer isn't there to bail them out if things go awry?
Eventually I told him I'd better let him get back to work and left. I was so flustered that I left Kinkos without paying for my Internet time. How embarassing! No doubt they were calling my name later on and Neil realized he had given his autograph to a Kinkos cheat!
But the reality warp stayed in effect a moment longer: right as I left Kinkos, passing through the hotel lobby with my autograph in hand, I ran into Larry King!
"Larry!" I said, shaking his hand. He smiled but clearly wanted to get along with his morning.
I pestered him only a little: "I'm Zack Exley...I did GWBUSH.COM the Web site that made Bush say 'there ought to be limits to freedom'...
"Zack Exley!" he exclaimed, "I've heard all about you!" .. NAW, JUST KIDDING! He just looked kind of confused.
Then I showed him my autograph and he looked even more confused. I let Larry go, and spent the rest of the day at the protests, amusing pierced anarchists with my autograph and story.
--- Zack Exley, Philly, August 2