The Most Important Political Event of Your Lifetime

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Last Saturday was euphoric. The minute AP called Pennsylvania for Joe Biden, my Brooklyn block erupted, with strangers cheering and clapping and blasting YG and Nipsey Hussle’s “FDT (Fuck Donald Trump)” in celebration. It was jovial, and then it passed—everyone well aware that a centrist in office means there’s much more work to be done, but struck by unfamiliar relief. I saw random people crying and dancing and hugging one another. I felt a weight lift off my shoulders as I walked around to adjacent neighborhoods, curious to see how others were commemorating the announcement. I only wish the excitement could endure.

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But here’s the thing—I don’t know if this was the most important political moment of my lifetime, but it certainly felt that way, at least, for a few hours. And so, for this week’s Pissing Contest, I want to hear about your own. To date, what has been the most important political moment of your lifetime? Did you celebrate or mourn? How did your family and friends react? Where were you? Who were you? Feel free to get as poetic and melodramatic as you want.

But first, let’s take a look at last week’s winners: These are the most chaotic meals you’ve made for yourself.

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Ergates, this just made me sad:

Several years ago my partner went to work in a lab in France for several months and I found myself in the house alone. Despite being the one who did the shopping and 95% of the cooking normally I found I really couldn’t be bothered to cook just for myself. I had quite a lot of toast and cereal, but sometimes I couldn’t even be bothered with that.

The low point was when dinner consisted of a small (thumb sized) piece of gorgonzola and half a small tin of Scooby Doo spaghetti, cold, from the tin.

Snide-O-Mite, flavor-wise, this seems... bad:

One of my loser friends in college ran out of milk so he made Kraft mac and cheese with beer instead.

And he ate it.

He was also high.

TampaBabaYaga (Name changes reflect identity crisis), I’m into it:

I have no idea where this came from but it is a comfort thing from my lower middle class, 1970s blue collar roots. At no time would my parents have endorsed this. White bread, 2 Kraft singles, several bread and butter pickles, Kraft Catalina dressing and French’s yellow mustard. I don’t know why.

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“Not a real” DrDonna, Spam, eggs, and soy sauce sounds good! Throwing cream cheese in there, though? You’ve lost me:

In college, I made...bad choices, food-wise. To the point that the idea of “midnight bacon” transformed into an event, “Midnight Bacon”. But the worst dish I ever made was something of a conglomeration of several bad ideas, coming together as one.

The first thing was that this was around the time I discovered Spam, and as a cheapo college student, I was absolutely eating way more of that cheap, delicious meat-like product than was healthy. However, going to all that trouble of carefully slicing it into neat little sections got old, so I decided what I would do is simply shred/mash it with a fork, and then pan-cook the result like it was ground beef. In addition, I ended up adding some more protein by scrambling up a couple eggs, to mix the Spam into. My general modus operandi when making scrambled eggs was to add some soy sauce instead of salt, and I unthinkingly did so this time as well. As one last middle finger to my arteries, I also chose to add some cream cheese, because when making mistakes I like to really lean into them.

Now, I’m a firm believer that every meal needs to have a good balance of meat to starch and/or grains, and I was a bit low on rice at that point, so I decided that what I would do is eat the Spam on saltines, which weren’t my first choice but did have the benefit of being actually in my possession.

So, at this point, I have managed to create the saltiest food known to humans. It hurt to eat, it hurt my mouth, and it settled like lead in my stomach. I felt palpitations even after eating it. But I also had to eat the whole thing, because otherwise that’s a whole meal’s worth of money, thrown away. It was miserable, disgusting, and saltier than drinking seawater.

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fignootin4, was it painful?

When I was 10 and just starting on my latchkey journey, I looked forward to my post-school snack. It was almost always breakfast food- pop tarts, a bowl of cereal, eggos.

One day for some reason I decided to see what a frozen waffle tasted like before toasting it; I guess this was one of those times when “kids are weirdos” and so I took a bite. I must’ve like it because I started taking bites before toasting waffles, which eventually turned into just eating 2-3 frozen-ass eggos as a snack. Not cooked- just pale-as-the-full-moon frozen waffles, from the freezer to my mouth. The chef’s kiss I eventually concocted was liberally dousing each eggo in salt-the salt had to cover the bottom of each “pocket” so no waffle was showing through. This was in regular rotation until at least 14 or 15. I’m not sure how I don’t have hypertension now.

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Cartoonivore, I’ve been there:

On nights when I’m really tired and really stressed, I buy a big bag of frozen French fries from the Safeway, heat them up in the oven, and eat them all.

I know it’s not the most radical thing in the world, but I’m still not proud of it.

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GrumpyCupcake, not sure why I find your entry inspiring, but I do:

Box of stuffing mix and a can of cranberry sauce. Thanksgiving was a long time away but I was stoned and craving it. Delicious, honestly.

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Drop those experiences in the comments below.

No. Senior Writer, Jezebel. My debut book, LARGER THAN LIFE: A History of Boy Bands, is out now.

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DISCUSSION

I was in college, a driver for a local politician who was running for U.S. House of Representatives. He was just “a guy I knew” and it didn’t hit me at the time what a big deal it was he was running for national office. I got the driver gig because a friend was an intern/staffer, and no one else wanted to drive around middle-of-nowhere Iowa in the dead of winter. I also got paid in casseroles and hot dishes at the various rural American legions, so why not?

One day we got word of a rally happening in Iowa City (the big city!) for the then-Democratic candidate for Iowa governor. This was the early days of cell phones, and only one person in the car had one (and it wasn’t a smart phone), so we were scrambling trying to figure out where this rally was, how to get there safely from this town hall we just finished in the boonies, and could our guy get on stage to say a few words too?

We get there, the rally is outside, it’s fucking cold. I’m standing off stage right, teeth chattering, and there’s a little bit of hubbub about the guy right behind me, getting ready to walk up on stage to say a few words in support of the gubernatorial candidate.

He gets up and there’s applause. Never seen him before. He starts talking. Good speaker! Very motivational, love the cadence and content of his speech. He finishes, more applause, and he exits stage right to go back to standing right behind me. I say “nice job up there!” and he smiles this mega-watt smile and says “Hey, thanks! Your guy was really good too, I think he’ll win.” Then he leaves.

I find out years later that the friendly, impressive speaker was Barack Obama, then a baby senator out of Illinois.

Anyway, the governor won his race, our guy won his race, a few years later Barack won his race. And the Iowa dudes who won their races shepherded in a brief but amazing wave of sane, liberal policies, including Iowa becoming the 3rd state in the U.S. to legalize same-sex marriage. It was an amazing time to be an Iowan for those few years. Now, not so much.

I will always remember that day, the smell of the inside of the tiny car and the casserole leftovers, getting spoken-word directions not by street numbers or cardinal directions, but by local landmarks like “turn left at the second barn with a fence around it” and then cursing everyone involved for not telling me that we’d be standing outside for a rally. That I stood next to, saw, and spoke with Barack Obama didn’t even register for years, and it still blows my mind.