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**PRINT: FRIENDS FROM CINCINNATI: Installment 24 features this part coming-of-age short by Chicago's Patrick Somerville, author of the Trouble collection of shorts out in 2006. | PAST BROADSHEETS |

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Claudia Sherman

Waiting out the vote in LA is particularly gruesome, since the East-Coast polls close at 4pm Pacific Standard Time. Thus, one is forced to listen as the states fall, one by one, like a series of squishy death knells. Below is a true account of just one such story.

3:00PM-6:00PM: Still at work. Am getting 5-min election updates by e-mail. Youngish, quasi-hip "industry" people are hollering back and forth between offices about electoral votes and "shite"--literally, as one of them is British, and continues to lambaste George Dubb with various permutations of "piss-off, dodgy wanker".

6:00-7:15: Driving home listening to NPR. Cursing. Smoking like a fiend, swilling Diet Coke. Unwilling to allow the usual traffic niceties, instead smacking steering wheel repeatedly with flat of hand and shooting venomous glares at Nader HQ, next door to office.

7:15-11:15: Break leg running up stairs to get home and turn radio back on. Carve pumpkins (2) angrily. Bake cookies. Melt shit in (still-hot) oven. Make toy lobster out of felt and sequins for boyfriend. Harass recently declawed cat by taunting her with her lack of opposable thumbs. Drink flat, tepid 2-litre of Diet Squirt, which tastes of neither lemon nor lime. Am clearly possessed by ancient Japanese demon-spirit of disturbance and industry. Intermittently: cursing, gesticulating wildly, kneeling & pleading to a higher power. Water plants. Scrub all sinks in house. Draw horns on all Bush pictures in recent newspapers. Cry.

11:15PM-12:30AM: Boyfriend calls to say his penis-y sportscar is broken. Go collect him in big American sedan. Still listening to NPR. Bush just won. Insides begin to feel like a salad of flaccid radicchio, stale cotton candy, and antifreeze. Refuse to let mustachioed BMW driver with a Bush bumper sticker onto the highway, instead forcing him to drive on shoulder for 100ft.

12:30AM: Arrive home again. Radio saying that Florida must be recounted.

12:45-6:00: Psychotic, unable to sleep. After finishing lonely box of Dunhill Blue Milds, scrounge butts and kill those as well. Begin reading Macmillan Encyclopedia of Insects with wild look in eyes.


3:42: Eat half loaf of garlic bread, as maintenance of tsunamial adrenaline level has depleted energy stores.

6:00: Just as about to embark on fascinating educational journey into world of caterpillars, realize it is, in Midwestern lingo, "fuckin' early".

6:00-8:00: Sleep fitfully, kicking boyfriend and cat vehemently. Be told was muttering in sleep "I'm sorry, Al."

8:00AM-10:30AM: Drive boyfriend to work in the Valley (ugh). Drive to crappy post-production job.