Excerpt: Page Five of Eleven

01 - 02 - 03 - 04 - PAGE05 - 06 - 07 - 08 - 09 - 10 - 11

Three days in Austin aboard the Obama/Clinton Press Show


by Ethan Persoff, http://www.ep.tc

The following is an eleven page excerpt from a larger work in progress
focusing on the upcoming Presidential election, with an emphasis on Texas and the upcoming brokered National Convention in Denver.

Bathroom Scene / Getting Inside / Security / Assigned Seat

My day begins by first getting cleared at a preliminary outdoor security gate and then a brief walk uphill to find a long line of media waiting at the door. Following this is a half hour in line to pick up credentials, and then a forty five minute wait in a new line to get through security. As expected, the entire security experience is very thorough. Airports or Customs are nothing compared to this. Everything I have is dumped on a table and examined individually by high-ranking police. Next is a metal detector, and a bomb sniffing german shepherd (if needed) ... Everything except being frisked, but I'm sure that's an option too. It's all very cordial and respectful but nerve wracking in the way all security is nerve wracking. I mean, when is anyone comfortable with others going through their personal items? And when I mean go through the stuff, I mean it. Each book is fanned out and flipped through, each computer screen looked at with the buttons tested, each wallet peaked in and thumbed. The good news is I anticipated this, and really am down to the only things I'll need for the day - which isn't much beyond a laptop, ID, few toiletries, camera, some pens and paper. But really, it's pretty interesting to have cops in thick gloves (leather for some, latex for others) unzipping, squeezing, and poking everything in your possession. But honestly, given the debate tonight I have to say I'm not only comfortable with the security experience, but I welcome it on some level. Texas doesn't have the best history with Presidential Democrats.

Anyway now we're in the building. Ah, the fresh space of a secured air tight cement enclosure. I've been told that I have an assigned seat in Press Room 2. I quickly go to look it over before running off to the priority at the moment, Pissing. I had a lot of coffee at breakfast.

Welcome to the CNN Restrooms
The Best Political Toilet in Television

Man I love the signage here. The CNN Political Toilet does not disappoint. The facilities are immaculate, sparkling clean and perfectly lit. The acoustics are not a hair too bright nor too dull, and the reflection in the mirror is immediately flattering. Ample soap and hot water. One could easily broadcast from this space without any embarassment. I'll be drinking a lot of coffee and water today and am glad to see such concern for everyone's full experience. I approach the CNN Political Urinal #2. There's no signage calling it this, it's just a feeling.

Immediately to my left arrives someone to use CNN Political Urinal #1. I do the customary look up to the ceiling tiles thing and continue my business. Soon this person breaks the silence with his own icebreaker, "Best seat in the house" with a little grunt that I have to laugh at because it sounds exactly like Jon Stewart's Dick Cheney impression. I counter, still looking up, "Yeah, you wouldn't believe the SECURITY it took for me to get in here."

Immediate silence. I mean the sound of total halted unease. I'm quickly aware of the reason why and somewhat more sober to making any more jokes about security to anyone today. This place is tense as shit. I have to see the guy who stopped talking to me, so I flush and look to the left. What I now see is someone closely examining me, mustached with big glasses, and more than a little worried. I knod to him, and adjust my credentials so he can now see them. I wasn't aware these had to be in view at the toilet. But you know what? They apparently do. He knods a 'right, right' and only then does he suddenly resume peeing! My security joke, along with lack of a visible press pass had completely brought his system to a sudden emergency stop. Or maybe something else just went on, who knows. Ah, Austin, you have to love this place. I wash my hands to the sound of this man's now very audible urine flow and leave the restroom.