Don't get caught in traffic

Indignity Vol. 4, No. 6

Don't get caught in traffic
Chris Christie. Photo: Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Why Did Chris Christie Bother Heading for the Exit?

GOOD EVENING! YOUR editor started physical therapy today, and that used up the time and energy that might have gone into writing a main-event newsletter post. I've always found exercise incredibly tedious; I have a vivid sense-memory of sitting on a hard wooden bench in my middle school gym outfit of blue shorts and red t-shirt and utterly choking on the boredom of counting off whatever it was I was doing with a dumbbell in the weight-training unit. Between that and the cross-country unit, pounding over hard-frozen ground in the skin- and lung-searing depths of winter, middle school physical education did a powerful job of teaching me that the pursuit of fitness was loathsome and to be avoided. People talk about exercise endorphins all the time, but I've never felt one.

So I wasn't thrilled to be operating what the therapist called a "bike" but was more sort of a sit-down step machine, on its easiest setting, for 10 minutes, of which 3 minutes and 39 seconds were accompanied by the "heart in a blender" song. Apparently that's Eve 6? I appreciate the Eve 6 guy as a social-media poster, but musically that was the era when I flipped the dial away from the alternative-rock station so much that eventually I just took it off the analog pushbutton presets in my Civic.

It wasn't even difficult, the so-called bike; it just annihilated those 10 minutes of my life, was all. Getting up from a chair 20 times in a row, now, that was an aerobic workout. Lying on my side with my knees bent and raising the top knee a few inches off the bottom one—grueling effort, there. Working through a proximal-muscle disorder means the smallest and stupidest things are the hardest. A few weeks ago, after a day of walking around doing things almost like normal, feeling good about myself, I started making a simple macaroni and cheese only to discover that running a pound of cheddar up and down the box grater felt like putting the shot. Whichever little inconspicuous core muscles were supposed to take care of that particular job were still offline.

Anyway, while I was busy doing that, Adam Serwer published a very good item at the Atlantic discussing the same sorts of Fourteenth Amendment questions around how to deal with Donald Trump that I've been fuming about:

Given that no one is suggesting that the Electoral College or the Supreme Court or the Senate can simply be ignored simply because they are antidemocratic or because many Americans don’t like them, the question is why the Fourteenth Amendment should be ignored. And here, the answer seems to be that Trump and Trump supporters retain a special power of constitutional nullification that no other American constituency possesses...

Despite Trump’s loss of the popular vote in three straight elections, many commentators across the political spectrum regard him implicitly or explicitly as he regards himself, as the unassailable avatar of Real Americans, whose conservative beliefs grant them a superior claim to political legitimacy, one that supersedes the political rights of every other American and the Constitution itself.

Also former New Jersey governor Chris Christie is reportedly dropping out of the Republican presidential primary, which seems like a bafflingly arbitrary decision for a protest candidate who was never going to win anything. Maybe he's trying to get away when it still looks like his own choice, before he formally suffers the first of his crushing defeats, so the Trump voters can't take credit for driving him out? But if the entire point was to defy Trump, it's hard to see what good it does to quit now.

The Washington Post reported that "one person with direct knowledge," speaking "on the condition of anonymity to disclose private discussion," said Christie doesn't want people to say that Nikki Haley's inevitable loss in New Hampshire was his fault: "Christie feels that people have to see on their own that Haley won’t be able to defeat Trump, and that he does not want to be blamed for being a spoiler in the race."

Since when does Chris "Traffic Problems in Fort Lee" Christie care about making other people mad at him? Why not stick around till Haley and all the other people trying to run as soft semi-alternatives to Trump have been bludgeoned out of the race? It won't be that long! And then Christie could have taken sole possession of whatever the irreducible anti-Trump sliver of the Republican primary vote might be. With a little persistence, and that 10 or 15 percent of the voters behind him, he might have bobbed back up as the only person left in the debates—the only only person, since Trump would never bother. It's not as if Christie has something else to do.


New York City, January 9, 2024

[No stars] Whatever brightening the day was able to do had already reached its peak by the time the shutters opened in the morning, and what they opened onto was not especially bright. The gray kept getting darker, and before long the splatting rain came on to go with it. The draft of fresh air from the window was miserably cold no matter how narrowly the sash was open. It hurt to slip feet into the slides out on the balcony, cold and stiff as they were. A raw chill got in between the toes in seconds. Hour by hour, the rain kept getting heavier. The older boy came back from evening rehearsal drenched, backpack and all. Wind gusted at the ductwork and the bathroom door thumped in its frame.


Indignity Morning Podcast No. 195: A cute little mouse.

Tom Scocca • Jan 10, 2024


READERS OF INDIGNITY who have previously benefited from the Bluesky-code generosity of other readers of Indignity are now steadily paying it forward by providing us with even more codes for the still-beta social network. If you haven’t already gotten a code from us, we have lots of codes. Email and we will award Bluesky codes to those who respond, one per reader, first email, first served.


WE PRESENT INSTRUCTIONS for the assembly of a sandwich from The Presto Book of Menus & Recipes, by Delia Thompson Lutes, Editor of Modern Priscilla, Director of Modern Priscilla Proving Plant. Author of ''Table Setting and Service," "A Home of Your Own," and "'The Gracious Hostess." Published in 1928, now in the Public Domain and available at for the delectation of all.

Buttered toasted bread
Canned chicken
Mayonnaise dressing

Between two slices of toast put first lettuce, then a generous slice of chicken, two or three slices of tomato, two slices of crisp bacon, and mayonnaise dressing. Garnish the top slice of toast with a lettuce cup filled with dressing.

If you decide to prepare and attempt to enjoy a sandwich inspired by this offering, be sure to send a picture to


The second printing of 19 FOLK TALES is now available for belated Holiday gift-giving and personal perusal! Huddle up against the cold with a cozy collection of stories, each of which is concise enough to read within the snowy part of a wintry-mix storm.

HMM WEEKLY MINI-ZINE, Subject: GAME SHOW, Joe MacLeod’s account of his Total Experience of a Journey Into Television, expanded from the original published account found here at Hmm Daily. The special MINI ZINE features other viewpoints related to an appearance on, at, and inside the teevee game show Who Wants to Be A Millionaire, available for purchase at SHOPULA.

FLAMING HYDRA will launch in January of 2024. The FLAMING HYDRA Holiday Preview Spectacular, a rich sampling of the writing and art you’ll enjoy as a subscriber to the forthcoming daily newsletter, is available now for your inspection. FLAMING HYDRA is the work of 60 world-class talents, but that’s just one reason to subscribe. FLAMING HYDRA is a 100% cooperatively owned, ad-free publication with no owners and no investors; just a bunch of writers and artists working together and splitting the proceeds equally.

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