Hurt Squirrels
As If It Were Yesterday
9/11/2003 2:26 PM
I wasn't alive when JFK was assassinated, so I never really understood people who remembered weird little details about that day. Until September 11th, 2001. My biggest memory on that day was I watched an episode of The Simpsons.

The day started like any other. I had just gotten to work and was listening to the radio. The guys of the local morning show began their segment with the sports guy, who mentioned that he had just heard a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. At the time, no one made much of it. Details were sketchy and everyone seemed to think it was a small Cessna that caused no major damage. They continued one with their usual banter for another ten to fifteen minutes.

At that point, the news guy joined them with more details. He told them it was a large passenger airliner and turned on the TV in the studio. It was just then that they watched a plane slam into a tower, with the understandable "holy shit" exclamations. The DJs assumed this was taped footage. The news guy composed himself and said, " This is live. That was a second plane."

It was at that point that I hopped on the Internet in search of more information. I was joined by several million other with the same idea and every news site had screeched to a halt. Eventually, I managed to get some information via Usenet newsgroups. During all this, I found time to give Patty a call. She works evenings on Tuesdays (I'll always remember this was a Tuesday) and was still in bed. I told her to get up NOW and turn on the TV. She was still half-asleep and the magnitude hadn't quite sunk in, so I had to stress what a big fucking deal it was.

Later that morning I realized I wasn't going to get any work done that day, so I went home to watch TV. For a good seven hours straight I watched the reports and the images we've all had burned into our brains. Good grief, it was depressing. By 6:00pm, I was numb and couldn't take it anymore, but I couldn't bring myself to turn off the TV. Just about every channel was doing some sort of coverage. On a whim, I switched to a local UHF station. Regular as clockwork, they were showing their usual Simpsons episode.

Bless them.

Some might think it was callous or heartless of them to go on with business as usual, but it was exactly what I need. A little slice of normalcy from September 10th. A break from the doom and gloom. Something to distract me for 30 short minutes.

Of course, it didn't totally distract me. In fact, I have absolutely no memory as to what the episode was about. Very odd from a day when the most minute things seem crystal clear. It is, however, my biggest memory of the day. It was like plunging into a nice cool pool on a 87° day with 93% humidity.

I can't wait to start bemusing younger generations with this one.

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