And because we're such good friends, in honor of The Cap'n, The Law busted out one of two T-shirts we had made a few years back for The Cap'n's birthday. Unfortunately, I don't have any digitized photos of these T-shirts, but it's fairly easy to describe: Imagine the I ♥ NY logo, but replace the "NY" with a black-and-white photo of Bryant Gumbel, who happens to be The Cap'n's doppelgänger. These shirts are tight. Sadly, we only had the one. I suspect the other, which had previously been in my possession, remains in a dank corner of a certain basement in Cambridge, Mass., but that is neither here nor there. Moving on...
So, The Law popped on the one remaining I ♥ Bryant Gumbel shirt and we walked out the door. Seconds later we hear:
White dude on the street: "Woo! I like Obama too!"
We paused before swigging out of the classy PBR cans we took along for the road and wondered what spurred him to bestow upon us his unsolicited political persuasions. Brushing it off as just another example of DC tooldom, we continued on our way. Until...
African-American woman from a car window: "All right! Go Obama!"
Three more hipster-y white dudes across the street: "I'm voting Obama, too! Yeah!"
After the third incident (we're quick like that), we began to think this wasn't just a simple case of DC political obsession. That is, these people weren't giving us metaphorical fist bumps for no reason whatsoever.
"Whoa. I think it's my shirt!" said The Law.
"But that's Bryant Gumbel on your shirt!" I said. "What does Bryant Gumbel have to do with Barack Obama?"
We paused for a second, before our other friend, Juice (I know -- these nicknames keep getting perpetually more awesome), noted, "It doesn't make sense. It's not like all black people look the same."
And then it dawned on me. "Well, I guess everyone in DC is a racist."
But honestly, if I -- a ghostly pale Minnesotan with Slavic roots -- can point out the differences between Gumbel's features and Obama's, I have a hard time accepting that people in DC -- white, black and pseudo-hipster alike -- cannot.
However, let us not err toward the other extreme. The above observation is not to say no African Americans resemble each other, as the homage on The Law's T-shirt was supposed to demonstrate. Just as I, a 29-year-old white woman, can resemble an 8-year-old white gay boy named Shannon, The Cap'n, a 28-year-old black West Point grad (who's lookin' for his soulmate, ladies!) can certainly resemble a 60-year-old black sportscaster named Bryant Gumbel.
The resemblance is truly quite uncanny.
Special e-note to The Cap'n: We will miss you, your Gumbel visage and your keen one-liners. I'll be checking my mailbox daily for cards featuring pop-up unicorns made by your underlings. Hoo-ah! (And of course, from all your friends and that one guy who said he'd die for you at Local 16 the other night, muwah!)