Flaky, Nutty and Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs

Most Saturdays when I was a kid, my dad would make us waffles, sausage or bacon and dirty eggs for breakfast. For those of you who don’t come from a Southern or rural background, dirty eggs are scrambled eggs that have been cooked in the same skillet as the sausage or bacon in the left over grease. On Sundays, there wasn’t really much time to cook breakfast because we went to church pretty early. So Mom always made us those canned Pillsbury cinnamon rolls with the icing and orange juice from concentrate. But the rest of the week we had cold cereal for breakfast, with the occasional Malt-O-Meal thrown in for good measure.

Let me just come out and say it, I’m a big fan of cereal. Probably not quite on the Seinfeld level but pretty close. Whether its the sugary, honeyed, no-nutritional-value-whatsoever kid’s cereal or the fiber-filled, hearty, good-for-you adult cereal, I pretty much love them all. So today, I thought I would rank the top five cereals in both categories.

Top 5 “Adult” Cereals

#5. Shredded Wheat – I’m not talking about the wimpy spoon sized shredded wheat but the original kind that were called biscuits under the serving information. You would put two biscuits in your bowl and have to smash it up to actually eat it. It just has a really great crunchy flavor.

#4. Life Cereal – Now I know this was marketed as a kid’s cereal with the whole Mikey likes it bit. But it really isn’t. If they added any sweetener to it it was certainly a negligible amount. The great thing about this cereal is that it pretty much stayed crunchy in milk forever. You could pour yourself a bowl, go mow the back forty, and it would still be crunch when you get back. I’m not sure why you would want to do that because then the milk would be all warm, and I can’t stand anything but cold milk on my cereal. But hey man, if that’s your thing, whatever. Far be it from me to tell you how to eat your cereal…

#3. Grape-Nuts – Despite the confusing name; there are no grapes or nuts in this cereal. And despite the disconcerting feeling that I’m on the verge of breaking a tooth every time I eat it, I love this cereal. This is the king of the stays-crunchy-in-milk cereals. I imagine that if scientists could genetically engineer a milk that would instantly saturate breakfast cereals, rendering them nothing but mush, you could deluge Grape Nuts with the stuff and it would still be rock hard. And it tastes good as well.

#2. Cheerios – Who doesn’t like cheerios? Loving Cheerios seems to be hard wired into the human genome. The next time you go to a mall, look at the all the babies being pushed around in strollers. What are they stuffing into their faces? Cheerios. I have always loved this cereal and, even as kid, was slightly suspicious of it’s inferior, bastard half-brother Honey Nut Cheerios. Give me a bowl of Cheerios, slice half a banana into it and pour some cold milk on…mmmmm pure breakfast nirvana (the heaven-like state of being, not the band).

#1. Kellogg’s Raisin Bran – It was tough to decide between this and Cheerios for the number one slot, but two scoops pulled through. The great flavor combination of the naturally sweet raisins and the bran flakes is just impossible to beat.

Top 5 “Kid” Cereals

#5. Count Chocula – I had a fierce internal debate on this one. I’m a fan of the cereal with marshmallows in it, but which one to choose? You’ve got your Lucky Charms which are magically delicious. And then as counterparts to Count Chocula you have Franken Berry and Boo Berry. But Count Chocula won out because of the Chocolate. Most kids like chocolate and the translation to cereal is usually pretty tasty.

#4. Corn Pops – The great thing about Corn Pops is that they’re not overly sweet like some kid cereals. They have just the right amount of sugar to really compliment the corn taste. I also think that the corn puff is infinitely superior to the rice puff, which is why I always preferred these to the Super Sugar Smacks.

#3. Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries – I never was a big fan of Cap’n Crunch (any of the varieties) when I was growing up. Although they do stay crunchy in milk, they also have a tendency to cut the roof of your mouth. I became a fan of Crunch Berries however when my wife was pregnant with our first daughter. For whatever reason, she craved Crunch Berries throughout her pregnancy and it was the only cereal we had in the house. So there’s probably a sentimental reason for my liking them so much now.

#2. Cookie Crisp (chocolate chip) – I remember the first time I saw a commercial for this cereal on TV. I was stoked! The slogan was great: “You can’t have cookies for breakfast, but you can have Cookie Crisp!” The first time we got a box, my mom had to ration it or I would have eaten Cookie Crisp cereal for every meal. There’s just something great about having chocolate chip cookies (one of my all-time favorite cookies) as a cereal. I still love this cereal.

#1. Fruit Loops – Whenever I was a kid and given the choice of what cereal to get, Fruit Loops would usually win out. They stay crunchy in milk, the’ve got a great fruity taste and they turn the milk into an ambrosia fit for the Olympian gods. You’ve also got to love Toucan Sam.

Honorable mention. Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs – I know this cereal doesn’t exist, but I really wish it did! Calvin’s favorite cereal exemplifies what kids look for in a cereal: chocolate and sugar in copious amounts.

The Man

No, I’m not talking about the man.

My friend and I owned a computer store and we had a customer (let’s call him Brian; the names in this story may or may not have been changed to protect the innocent – which may or may not be me). He was, shall we say, somewhat less than reputable. He managed a pawn shop and had several “side businesses” one of which was selling used computer systems out of his trailer house. To get the idea of what kind of guy we’re talking about, he once was offered “relations” with a guy’s wife as payment for a computer system he had built; he gleefully told us he had accepted the offer as payment in full. One day, he calls to find out if we had any used sound cards in stock. I told him we had several and he said, “Alright, I’ll send my man over to get one.” This is the person my friend and I started referring to as “the Man”.

First, a brief description: The Man was pretty short, 5′ 4″ maybe 5′ 6″, but he was stocky. Less in a chubby way and more in a muscular wide-built way. Shane, my business partner, said that he looked like one of those old depictions of an Aztec god; real short and squat and wide. He had dark hair, a dark complexion, and his face was scared by what had to have been the worst case of acne of the twentieth century (it looked a little better than the surface of the moon). He was usually dressed in sweat pants or cut-off shorts and a tee shirt. In fact, the only time I saw him deviate from the sweat pants/cut-off shorts/tee shirt combo was the time he came into the store without a shirt at all (agh. I just threw up a little). He rarely spoke and when he did, it was in a voice so quiet that one had to strain to hear it. If you met him and heard him speak without knowing any of his back story, you might think of him as a nice though shy, unassuming person that was a little down on his luck rather than an unhinged maniac that could blow at any minute.

The first time Brian mentioned the Man, it confused me a little since I had never known anyone outside of a character in a book or movie to have a “man”. So, I inquired who this “man” was. And thus begins our sordid tale.

Brian had been out driving one day and had hit the Man with his car while the Man was crossing the road. I imagine that one or both of them was in some advanced state of inebriation. Somehow he managed to convince the Man that the best thing to do instead of calling the cops and/or going to the doctor, was to come home with him. At some point they struck upon an arrangement that suited both of them. Brian would provide the Man with room and board and in return the Man would sign over his monthly social security checks to Brian and run various errands for Brian.

There were a couple of things that Brian thought that we should know about the Man. First, he was an avid nudist (agh! I just threw up a little bit more), but that we should never mention the fact in the Man’s presence because he didn’t want his mother to find out. Now I though this an odd prohibition since a) I didn’t know the Man’s mother and b) even if I knew the mother of an avid nudist I could never conceive of a time when I would casually say “So, what do you think about your son’s avid nudist ways.” The second thing we needed to know was that the Man had a bit of a hair trigger temper. Said hair trigger temper could be unleashed when the Man was nervous, anxious, embarrassed, in unfamiliar surroundings, in times where he felt he might be being laughed at or mocked, or really, anytime at all. An example of one of those times was when the Man had wrecked Brian’s old trailer house when a buzzing fly was annoying him. Now you might think that maybe he broke out a window or two trying to get the fly with a rolled up magazine. Or you might think that he used several cans of bug spray filling the trailer with noxious fumes and toxic residue. You’d be wrong. The Man dispatched the pesky little fly with a twelve-gauge shotgun, reloading several times before the fly met it’s ultimate and grizzly demise.

My most harrowing encounter with the Man was on a bright sunny morning. I was at the store alone because Shane had gone to the bank to make a deposit and get some cash for the petty cash box. Actually the anticipation of the encounter was worse than the encounter itself. Brian called on the phone and the conversation that ensued went something like this:

Brian (very casually): Dude, we’ve got a little bit of a problem.

Me: What’s wrong.

Brian: Well, I sent my man over to get those parts we talked about yesterday…

Me: No problem, I’ve got them all together and ready to go.

Brian: Yeah, well that’s good, but my man is already on his way over there and I forgot to give him cigarette money.

Me: So.

Brian: Well, when my man doesn’t have his cigarettes he gets really agitated and nervous.

(my mind immediately flashed back to the hair trigger temper speech and remembered “agitated” and “nervous” being mentioned, then it flashed back to the fly story)

Me: Dude! Holy shit! What am I supposed to do?!

Brian: Well, just tell him that I called and give him some cigarette money, I’ll pay you back.

Me (my voice is rising in pitch and volume): Dude! I don’t have any cash on me! Shane just left for the bank to pick up some petty cash! What if he’s not back by the time the Man gets here! Oh man. Is your gun in your car?!

Brian: Yeah, its in there. I don’t know what to tell you dude.

Me (Yelling): Oh, come on! you don’t know what to tell me? I’m gonna die today because you sent your crazy-ass Man over here without cigarettes and now he’s gonna freak out all over my store! You suck, man! You suck! (just then the door ringer chimes, indicating that someone has just walked in) Oh, shit! I gotta go…I’m going to kill you if I get out of this alive! Don’t ever do this again!

I slam the phone down.

My heart is racing a mile a minute and for a few seconds I freeze. I’m panicked. Nervous. What am I going to do? Time is standing still. Ages seem to pass. Should I go up front? Maybe its a customer. There’s a door at the back of the store. Maybe I could make it out that way before the Man sees me.

Then I see the doorknob to the office door slowly start to turn. My life flashes before my eyes. I think of all the things I haven’t done. And now, to die like this. The door slowly opens…Shane walks into the office. I slump down in the chair, relieved with the fact that I probably won’t die today. As I’m explaining the situation the door chimes again. I grab a $5 bill and go out and there he is…the Man.

I say, “Hey, Brian just called and said he forgot to give you cigarette money. Here’s a five.” I held out the $5 bill and he just stood there staring at me. Immediately I started to sweat. Did he feel like I was mocking him? Was I making him nervous? Was he going to freak out after all. After a few seconds, which seemed like eons, he took the five, and walked out the door. We didn’t see him again that day. Evidently, he went to the store around the corner and got his cigarettes but forgot to get the computer parts. That was fine by me.

And some day boys and girls, if you’re not good, I’ll tell you another story about the Man.

Restroom Etiquette and the Old Man

I’m an IT guy and I work in a government call center that hires a lot of “temporary” workers. Now, some of these workers have been here for twenty years but they are “temporary” none-the-less. Because of the temporary nature of the work, most of the call agents are retirees. I imagine the average age of the people on the call center floor is above 65.

One of the unfortunate side effects of this working environ is the decided lack of restroom etiquette. I’ve spoken with several of my peers and they all assure me that my conception of bathroom etiquette is pretty much universal for our age group (early to mid thirties). Check thisout for a pretty comprehensive compendium of the rules as I understand them. I’m not sure why, and I don’t know if there is any definitive proof of this, but old men seem to regard the restroom as a sort of social club. They always want to clap you on the back while you’re standing at the urinal and discuss the latest gossip, politics, weather, or whatever. Maybe back in the 50’s and 60’s people weren’t allowed to talk in the office and the restroom was the only place co-workers could communicate with each other. That’s the only theory I can come up with. But it doesn’t stop at the urinal, I’ve had old men try to converse with me while I was in the stall. Which is the last place I want to lose focus. One time I was in the stall next to one of the old guys and having a particularly rough go of it.  Things were a bit noisy and as I finished, I hear from the next stall, in the most pronounced Texas drawl imaginable, “Heh, heh. Download complete!” I let out a deep sigh, a la Napoleon Dynamite, and left the restroom feeling sadder for humanity as a whole than when I went in.

One of the other issues I’ve noticed about older denizens of the workplace is that no matter how large the urinal, they seem to urinate directly on the floor in front of it. The restroom on my wing is cleaned something like 12 times during my 8 hour shift and yet it never seems to be clean when I go in to use it. There’s always a pool of drying urine in front of the urinal that I have to maneuver to avoid. I understand your eyesight is one of the first things to go when you get older, but does it get that bad? And even if you’re blind, can’t you hear (or feel) that you’re pissing on the floor and adjust? Maybe, if they weren’t talking and joking so much they could pay a little more attention to what they’re doing.

The only solution for these issues that I’ve been able to come up with is separate restrooms. We already have the Men’s/Women’s designation.

I am calling for the 60 & Older designated restroom. Thank you for your support.

The Times, They Are A-Changin’?

Let’s talk a little politics, shall we? Specifically, the current Presidential race.

Barack Obama has swept the recent Democratic primaries (I believe he’s won 10 in a row) and is now, at least in delegate count, the front runner for the nomination. With his fresh young face, his rhetoric of “Change We Can Believe In” and his Kennedyesque qualities, his possible nomination is making Democrats’ collective pants go crazy. The problem with the whole, I’m-the-candidate-that-will-clean-up Washington bit, is that it doesn’t work. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a pleasant bed-time fairy tale, but its just that, a fairy tale. Mr. Smith doesn’t go to Washington anymore. Actually, I take that back. He does, but when he gets there he’s told to shut up, vote the party line, and if he’s a good boy, he might make it on a committee after he’s paid his dues. Now Obama hasn’t been around long enough to be a hardened Washington insider so his “change” rhetoric might play for a while, but sooner or later he’s going to have to articulate actual ideas he has about policy to back up his vague and ambiguous calls for change.

Now, as a Republican, the Democratic scenario provides me with conflicting emotions. On the one hand, I think that Hillary would be an opponent that McCain could beat. She is nothing if not polarizing and I think more people hate her than love her. On the other hand, while I’m not a Clinton hater (I don’t believe that Bill was the devil; I don’t believe he should have been impeached; I think he accomplished some good things), I ama Hillary hater and nothing would please me more than to see her lose the nomination which, in her mind, was predestined to be hers. But possibly the best scenario, for Republicans, would be for Obama to cruise in to the Convention with a sizable lead in the delegate count and for the Super Delegates (fighting for truth, justice, and the fact that we know what’s best for the people) to give it to Hillary. Then you’ll probably get a bunch of pissed off Democrats who’ll take their toys home because they don’t want to play anymore and stay away from the polls, a prospect that can only help the Republicans.

On the Republican side of things, McCain has the nomination wrapped up, although the “miracle worker” Huckabee can’t quite get it through his thick skull. A guy I work with said that what Huckabee doesn’t realize is that if Jesus came back today, it would only hurt Huckabee because the only people that support him would all be “gone with the rapture” as it were. I’m not really a fan of McCain. I was really getting warmed up to the idea of Romney in ’08, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be. I’m one of those group of conservatives who thinks that McCain would have felt far too comfortable as John Kerry’s running mate if he had accepted the offer.  Historically, Independents like McCain so that’s good for us. And he’s not quite the apostate that some make him out to be. He’s pretty conservative on social issues and foreign policy, and he’s talks a fiscally conservative line. But there’s the sticky issues of McCain-Feingold and the fact that he’s always wanting to jump in bed with the Democrats at the most inconvenient times (usually to upset the plans of his party’s sitting President and his personal nemesis, GWB). My personal impression is that, sometimes, McCain’s only guiding principle seems to be: What’s best for John McCain. But, as all good Republicans, I’ll get in line and support him come election day.

Speaking of election day, and like, actually voting on said day, one of my favorite aspects of this year’s political season has been the Republican (in name only) candidate Ron Paul’s campaign. Every day, from mid-2007 on, I would see on the front page of Digg at least half a dozen articles/blogs extolling the greatness of Ron Paul. Or articles/blogs about the “Mainstream Media” trying to subvert his candidacy. If you believed the buzz on the internet, Ron Paul was Washington, Lincoln and T. R. all rolled into one and ready to kick some Washington-insider ass. You’ve got to love a guy who says he’ll disband the IRS and the CIA on day one of his Presidency.  I’m holding a Ron Paul business card that I picked up and on the back of it it says “Ron Paul is #1”. It goes on to say “Ron won more straw polls than any other Republican (21 of 43 straw polls across America); Ron placed third or better in 79% of all straw polls (34 of 43 across America); Won national debate polls on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC News and C-SPAN; Ron Paul is the most-mentioned candidate in blogs according to Technorati.com since May 2007; More ‘Cash On Hand’ than McCain, Huckabee, Tancredo and Hunter combined (Stats as of 11/17/07)” On the front, it has his campaign slogan, “Hope for America”. I think in an effort to be more truthful, he should change his campaign slogan to “Ron Paul, you can’t buy crazy like this!” It’s too bad for Paul (although good for America) that none of those bloggers or people polled could actually find the time to get off of their fat lazy asses and actually vote (maybe they were too busy playing WoW). When I look at CNN’s Election Center 2008 website it shows that he never got more than 8% of votes in any primary. I guess that’s what you get when you rely on people who write anonymously from their mother’s basement as your base.

Anyway, the one thing we can probably all agree on is that, so far, this political season has been much more interesting than any of us thought it would be. I can’t wait until both candidates are decided and we get to see them duke it out until November. And then…back to business as usual.

Drunk and Stupid

A friend of mine and I started playing guitar at about the same time in high school and, like most guitarists, developed a love for Blues music. There was a local bar that would have a blues jam once a week. They had a house band but anyone could sit in on a few songs. We went just about every week. One night we’re sitting at a table a row or two back from the stage with the bar on our right, nursing a couple of beers. There was a guy at the bar that was very conspicuously inebriated. He was kind of swaying on his stool and would order his next round with a loud shout. He seemed like he could have been the inspiration for the John Lee Hooker song, “One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer”. Anyway, the band had just finished a pretty good song and a new guitarist was getting on stage to do a couple of songs. All of a sudden the guy at the bar swivels around on his stool (almost falling over in the process), steadies himself, and in the classic drunk-guy-in-a-movie-half-slur-half-shout style bellows out “Hey! Quit playing that n-word shit, and play some goddam Charlie Pride!” The room got pretty quiet, and he turned back around to face the bar and knocked back a shot. It took a few seconds for the irony of his statement to sink in, but you could hear muffled laughter as the band ripped into the next song.

What is love all about?

“to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part.” 

 So it looks like one of my friends and his wife are going to get a divorce, which is always sad. He said something the other day that made me stop and think. His wife was in an accident a few years ago and hurt her back. She’s not really disabled but it has kept her from doing a lot of things. She finally got surgery and is due to start physical therapy which should bring her back to normal. The problem is, she’s kind of lost the will to do, well, anything. She doesn’t really want to do anything other than sleep all day and watch TV all night. Anyway, the other day, my friend and I are talking about the situation and he says “you know, I just didn’t get married to be a baby sitter”. My first thought was: well, who did. But it made me think about our attitudes towards marriage and love in general in these the aughts.

How many of us when we got married actually listened to our vows, thought about them seriously, and made a thoughtful, conscious decision keep them. Now I would say that most people still go into marriage with a sober disposition and best intentions. But how many of us really think about the vows that we make during the ceremony. Probably not many. I myself am married and am completely committed to my wife and kids, but I didn’t spend any time pondering the vows that I made on my wedding day before the actual event. It seems like the vows have become really just part of the rote process of the ceremony. The church official or judge asks you to repeat a series of words and you do so because its required. But I don’t think many of us really stop and think what we’re saying.

Really, when it comes down to it, to keep the vows like the ones at the top of this post you have to have something that is really difficult to have: unconditional love. That term is used often when speaking of marraige but its really difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. Think about it, unconditional love means loving someone without condition, no matter what. Its a selfless love that refuses to take oneself into consideration. Its a love that remains regardless of the situation or circumstance. Its definitely the ideal but is rarely achieved in reality. Probably the closest thing that we experience to unconditional love is the love for our children.

But if unconditional love is out our reach (maybe), how do we expect to remain in a marriage for life? And what’s different now then back in the day when divorce wasn’t the norm?

I think the answer lies in the way we look at love itself. When I was in high school my pastor told me something that I have found to be absolutely true. Love is not a feeling. It is a choice. It is choosing every day to keep the commitment you have made to that other person regardless of how you feel, regardless of their behavior and regardless of the conditions you find yourselves in. That’s it. This definition of love doesn’t play well with the crowd of course because it doesn’t really sound all that romantic and doesn’t fit the scenarios we’ve grown up seeing in books and movies and in our heads. We’ve conditioned ourselves to think of love as a continuous passionate embrace. But the problem with love as a feeling is that feelings come and go. The feelings you get when you’re first dating someone, when you first hold hands, when you first kiss all go away or change because they’re just feelings. I lived in Pittsburgh, PA for a year and a half and a guy I knew had a friend who lived in a strict Hasidic community in a suburb up there. They still did the arranged marriage thing, which seems to us like a crazy throw back to the middle ages. But their divorce rate was non existent, something like one half percent. The guy said the secret to their success was this: from childhood they were taught that they were always, in every situation, to put their spouse before themselves. That’s beautiful. That’s real love.

I didn’t write this post to dog or judge my friend. None of us are even close to perfect. His situation merely made me stop and think. I have two daughters. When I look at the world today and our attitudes towards love, marriage and commitment it makes me worry about what it will be like for them when they’re old enough to start looking for someone to share their life with.

Fun With Politics

Well, its campaign season and the primaries are heating up. We’ve already had a couple of toss ups by the front runners on both sides. It’s always funny to see (Check this out). And as usual, Candidate B who, according to Candidate A, is sure to ruin the country will eventually become the running mate of Candidate A and so forth. It’s also the time when the media, candidates and everyone else talks about how vitriolic the rhetoric has become and how polarized our politics have become.

Recently, I have been reading a lot of books about the Revolution and the Founding Fathers. Every time I hear someone mention how bad our politicians have become, I want to direct them to the nearest library. Because the Founding Fathers, while being the brightest and best generation of political thinkers of the modern era, also, for the most part hated each others’ guts. They didn’t just spew a torrent of partisan rhetoric, they genuinely believed that the opposition was either: a) going to ruin the country through it’s own stupidity, negligence and/or incompetence. b) was conspiring with merchants, banks, royalists and other evil-doers to ruin the revolutionary ideals the country was founded on. or c) Satan (or one of his closest advisers).

One of my favorite Jefferson quotes involves a letter to James Madison about Patrick Henry of “Give me liberty or give me death” fame. Jefferson intensely disliked Henry, mostly because, using his highly effective rhetorical style, Henry had helped to crush the religious freedom bill that Jefferson had supported in the Virginia legislature. In a letter to Madison, Jefferson bemoaned that Henry’s whirlwind oratories always seemed to overwhelm Jefferson’s own studious and eloquent prose, and concluded that the only thing that they could do was “…to devoutly pray for his death.”

My other two favorite quotes involve the Jay Treaty with Britain signed in 1794. The treaty, although masterminded by Alexander Hamilton behind the scenes, was hammered out by British Diplomats and John Jay, the Supreme Court Chief Justice. Most Federalists admitted that it was only a small success, but the opposition, with Jefferson and Madison in the forefront, HATED it. One new yorker painted this lovely sentiment on the side of a building he owned: “Damn John Jay. Damn anyone who won’t damn John Jay. Damn anyone who won’t sit up all night with a candle in his window, damning John Jay.” Even Jay himself said of the weeks after his return that he could travel from Boston to Philadelphia using only the light from his burning effigies to guide his way.

John Adams and Jefferson had been fast friends since their Continental Congress days. Adams had chaired the committee that was tapped to write the Declaration of Independence and had deferred to Jefferson allowing him to write it. They had served during the war, with Benjamin Franklin, in the diplomatic triumvirate that eventually hammered out the details bringing France into the War on the American side. And even though they were of different parties (although back in the day, all of the politicians considered themselves above belonging to a party and only used words like party, faction and partisan as insults), Adams, after being elected President with Jefferson as Vice President, offered Jefferson a prominent position in his administration; almost a co-presidency if you will. And yet during the next four years Jefferson schemed, plotted and maneuvered to frustrate most of Adams policies. The divide became so great that they stopped talking or corresponding with each other for 12 years until a mutual friend, Benjamin Rush, convinced them to rekindle their friendship.

Of course the main bout on the political card for the founding generation would of course be the “Controversy in Jersey”, the “Tiff on the Cliff”, the “Duel for the Jewel”, Aaron Burr versus Alexander HAM-il-tooooooooon! Yes, these guys hated each other so much that, despited the fact that Burr was the sitting Vice President, their differences could only be solved by pistols a ten paces. This episode of course ended Hamilton’s life and Burr’s political career.

So there you have it. At least our current political leaders aren’t shooting at each other…um, except Cheney…oh well.