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Published: Thursday, 11/10/2005

Election Day triggers a time-warp hangover

Ohhhh. My head is pounding.

Not sure, but I think this might be a hangover. Ohhh yeah, yeah, that's it. It's a hangover, all right.

A time-warp hangover - because overnight, it all morphed back into 1994.

The year started with Tonya Harding thwacking Nancy Kerrigan, remember? And O.J. showed us what a low-speed freeway chase looked like.

Oh, and we skipped the World Series this fall. (That #*&$ baseball strike!) And in Washington, the GOP took control of the House and Senate.

Of course, speaking of elections, new mayor-elect Carty Finkbeiner just gave his victory speech the other night.

"What time is it?" called out the new mayor's supporters on election night.

"It's Carty time!" they shouted back to themselves.

This was Tuesday night at Gumbo's, that restaurant at The Docks where Mr. Finkbeiner's victory party took place.

(Whoa, hold up. "The Docks"? That would be what, exactly? And whadya mean, we have to wait "a few more years" to find out?)

Yeah, see: A time-warp hangover.

Hmm, 1994. What else is going on this year? Well, did you know that this year, for the first time, chain bookstores outsold independents? (Nah, don't worry about Thackeray's.)

This is also the year that the White House put up something called a "Web" site, and also the year when Internet commerce takes root, meaning "Spam" is still defined as a potted-meat product.

For Carty Finkbeiner, this week's election signifies a clean slate.

I mean, c'mon, if Toledo elected this guy by such a righteous margin, it can only mean that despite whatever flaws we might have noticed before, we're willing to set them aside and give him another chance, right here in America, land of second (sometimes even third!) chances.

Mr. Finkbeiner's campaign slogan was one of persuasive resolve: "Carty gets results!"

But, you know, Bill Buckner got results, too. Perhaps we should be less interested in "results" for their own sake, and more concerned with "outcomes."

Ah, but I'm getting ahead of myself - something I swore to I would not do today. Personally, I believe as an article of faith that people can change, that we have within ourselves the ability to evolve, and that each new beginning deserves to be judged on its own merits.

That's why I hereby pledge to start this new mayor's term with an open mind, a closed mouth - and unblinking eyes. A new perspective for a new administration, right?

Hey, you know how when you hear a song that was popular, oh, 10 or 12 years back, all of a sudden you're right back there again? Well, I just know that years from now, when I hear Whitney Houston sing 1994's Grammy Record of the Year, "I Will Always Love You," it'll have me time traveling right back to the dawn of this new mayoral era!

(Although I still can't figure out why I always envision Hizzoner belting out this particular song to all of Toledo ...)



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