"Of the people, by the people, for the people"

I spent much of today thinking about Andrew Leonard, Katherine Coble, the government, and whether or not I’m slowly converting to libertarianism*.

Leonard (as part of my ongoing series–“I read Salon.com so you don’t have to”) is talking about some jackass on his plane who repeatedly complained to the flight crew because he didn’t like the shirt that some other jackass was wearing.

Leonard reflects on the incident:

But as I sat and seethed my way through a six-and-a-half-hour flight, it seemed to me that Mr. 23D was a symbol of everything I hate about a specific strain of cultural censoriousness that courses through our society. Your behavior offends me, so you must be punished. How dare you breast-feed in public, or believe in evolution, or love disco music? Your sexual practices, weird religious beliefs, choice of shirts — whatever it is, the fact that you are doing it bothers me, so it must be stopped! Especially if there’s any chance that the “children” might be harmed.[emphasis mine]

In this, Mr. Leonard and I are in complete agreement. People seem to think that they have a right not to be bothered, which is just utter bullshit. You have no right to never be offended, but, in return, there’s nothing that says that you can’t let the people who offend you know you find them offensive.

It’s just jackassy and weird to bring in the authorities when you’ve not been really injured and you’re not going to be.

And I don’t believe that it’s the government’s roll to involve itself in outlawing behavior that offends people but doesn’t actually harm them. In fact, I find that offensive (so, you know, maybe I should petition Bill “The Kitten Killer” Frist to sponsor a bill outlawing legislation designed solely to protect people from offensive behavior, since I find such legislation offensive).

And, as previously covered today, I think government is inherently corrupt and corrupting.

So, in some respects, I suppose I’m for smaller government, kind of**. I’m definitely for less policing of my personal behavior.

But here are the questions I keep meaning to ask the libertarians–and I know I’m usually snarky about things I disagree with, but this one time, hand to heart, I actually am really curious and promise to listen respectfully (But don’t go telling me to read someone. I want to know what you think, how you make sense of it.)

Coble says “These things that are the bailiwick of the individual–caring for the sick and needy–are now being handled by our drunken Uncle Sam.” And I think this, for me is a really dense sentence, so I want to handle it in two parts.

1. When y’all talk, I see a lot of emphasis on individual responsibility, especially a strong emphasis on individuals taking care of each other either through individual action or charitable donation. Correct?

1a. Let’s say that little Timmy needs a bone marrow transplant and his parents don’t have the money. So, they turn to charities and they host car washes and put their little coffee cans with poor Timmy’s photocopied image taped to the side in all the local gas stations and, all told, they come up with $10,000. That’s a shitload of money for a lot of poor people, but it’s a drop in the bucket towards the cost of saving Timmy’s life. Under your system, would Timmy just be out of luck?

1b. I’m on the board of a local non-profit agency that, in part, raises money for community health initiatives (to be sufficiently vague). One of the problems we have is that, after 9/11, though the healthcare needs of the people in the communities we serve have not changed, the country’s charitable dollars have gone elsewhere. We predict that, because of the hurricanes, we’ll continue to see depressed funding of our programs because, when things happen, people don’t give in addition to what they usually give, they just move their giving to the places that catch their eye. Under your system, how would you foster sustained giving, such that these programs (and more like them, if there aren’t any government agencies) could continue to function from year to year? Or are they also just out of luck when the fancy of givers flies to something else?

2. Coble says, “And we’ve elected to allow our money to be taken from us by force,” and makes reference to how our “drunken Uncle Sam” now has our money. So, it seems like you guys make a clear distinction between the government and the governed. Does that mean you think Lincoln was full of shit? That this is not a “government of the people, by the people, for the people”?

Because, corrupting nature of politics aside, isn’t the government “us,” too? It’s not really “they” who are stealing “our” hard-earned money and using it to provide poor people with luxuries like food or heat. Isn’t that we who are “stealing” our hard-earned money? Doesn’t it make sense to have a mechanism in place to pool the resources of the people in order to take care of the worst-off of us in ways that individuals just can’t?

Do you really believe that, other than not infringing on their rights, you really have no obligations to your fellow Americans? If you do have obligations to your fellow countrymen, why not use the government to meet those obligations?

Anyway, I’m just wondering and I’m curious to hear from you.

*I’m not.
**Sorry, this blog lacks smelling salts. Maybe in the next upgrade.

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Scattered Things

1. My dad writes a humorous Christmas letter every year and every year he calls me at work to read it to me. Yesterday afternoon, I got to hear this one. The part about me is devoted to the extraordinarily large afghan I’m making. I wish someone–maybe even me–had thought through the problem with having an afghan over five and a half feet wide back when it was only, say, an inch and a half tall. But now? Now that it’s close to five feet tall? I don’t need the constructive criticism.

2. So, I finally gave up and switched everything over to the blue coat. And in the process, I found my walking hat, and, stuffed inside the walking hat? Mrs. Wigglebottom’s jaunty walking scarf. See, it’s finally almost dark again in the mornings when we walk and since I’ve traded bright orange for dark blue and she’s mostly a deep dark brown, I wear a bright orange hat and she wears a bright orange scarf. I think she likes it. Or at least, she doesn’t seem to mind.

3. Barista brings us the disturbing story of the suicide of professor from West Point. Bill Hobbs posts about this idiotic idea to wear red on Fridays in support of our troops. No word on how the troops in Iraq will know we’re wearing red. Perhaps they will use their psychic abilities.

How are these two things related?

In this way: Honorable soldiers deserve honorable leaders and they deserve honorable missions. Uncritically supporting whatever this group of dishonorable madmen send our soldiers out to do is not actually supporting our troops. Wearing red, as if to say, “Well, you know, whatever’s going on over there is all right with us, because you’re doing it and we support you,” is asinine.

You want to support our troops? Insist that they have honorable leadership.

4. Yes, I know I regularly argue that corruption is just an inescapable byproduct of government. And, yes, I’m regularly baffled by people who seem surprised and outraged by it. I’ve had this fight very recently with the Butcher. I argue that we can’t be surprised by corruption in government because government is, to some extent, immoral and, therefore, the people who govern well cannot help but be tainted, to some extent, by immorality.

I’m not saying we have to accept that. Or revel in it. But, my god, we have to stop being surprised by it. And we especially have to stop with this “Well, the President is a good man.” Is that man the president? Is government immoral? Then he is not a good man. At least not without a vigilant populous to insist on honorable behavior.

5. Is there a giant bra/purse conspiracy? You know how it is when you are searching for a new purse (or even how it is that you must be out searching for a new purse)? You can’t ever get a purse that’s exactly right. It’s either a little too big or a little too small or it’s in a color that you love, but that you know is going right out of style the minute you turn your back.

And is it not like that with bras? Are you not out constantly searching for the perfect bra that’s going to lift you up and support you and make you feel marvelous (in this way, a good bra resembles a good gospel choir, I think)? And when you find one, do you not buy three? Which, in theory, seems wise. But then, when you wear them for long enough and you begin to realize the flaws in the design, now you have three bras that aren’t quite right.

The Professor always has very nice looking tits. They sit right up where they should and fabulously peek out of her shirts like flirty movie stars. If this is not a testament to a woman who knows how to bra shop, I just don’t know what is. Little does she know, but I’m hauling her ass out to do just that this weekend.

I have nice tits. They deserve a bra that makes them look amazing in button-down shirts.

Hot Apple Cider

Whew, it was cold out there on my walk home!

On days like today back when I lived in the little house on Polo Road with Miss J., she would get out a big pot and line the bottom of it with Red Hots and fill it up with apple cider and put it on the stove to simmer and melt the Red Hots.

I’d be in my room writing and she’d be in her room writing and we’d tell ourselves that we’d work for an hour, have some cider, and then go back to work. Usually, we’d actually do that.

But sometimes, we’d sit around holding the warm cups in our hands, talking about literary theory or boys or the crazy antics of our friends.

I used to walk to the little house on Polo Road, too, with about as much enthusiasm as I do to this place, which is to say, not much. But I’d come up the back yard and see the warm glow of the light in the kitchen and Miss J. at the sink or the stove, and it would make me glad to be home.

Here, when I get home, the house is dark and I unlock the door to the smell of an unclean litter box. But as I stumble in and search for the light, I hear the dull, quick thuds of a tail smacking against some piece of furniture someplace in the darkness, and then, there, in the middle of the room, blocking my path, is a girl happy to see me.

She doesn’t make me warm cider, because she lacks opposable thumbs, but she makes me glad to be home, just the same.

Just What Kind of Feminist Are You?

Yeah, so I’m still irritated about this piece of business over at Kleinheider’s*. Feminism is not some monolithic well-articulated philosophy hell-bent on ruining the lives of men**. (That’s just a happy side-effect***.)

For me, feminism is about promoting a belief that women have worth, that our experiences are valuable, and that we should have opportunities to make the most out of our lives. I don’t believe that there should be any places that are off-limits to women; I think we should have the right to self-determination; and a right to free self-expression, especially sexually.

I don’t believe that feminism is a moral position and I get irritated with people who do. Feminism ought to mean that we are recognized as fully human, as capable of evil as the next person.

But at heart, I’m selfish, and there’s certainly a way in which much of my feminism is not about changing your mind: do what you want; just don’t get in my way.

So, obviously, if I want folks to get out of the way of me doing the things I want, it does sometimes become about changing your behavior. There are a lot of ways that y’all–men and women–are fucked up, and it gets in my way****.

I don’t want to be a man or be like men, because I don’t think men are better than women. I don’t think how y’all are is something I should aspire to. I also don’t think it’s something I should shirk from. I’m not in competition with you. I don’t want the things you have because I think you’ve had them for too long and now is my turn. I want the things that would make my life easier. I just want space to be myself, fully.

But at heart, I’m a feminist because it makes me happy*****.

And, the more I talk to some of you, the more I think I’ve waited too long to articulate that. Being a feminist makes me happy.

It makes me happy to believe that I have inherent worth and that I ought to be able to do what I want when I want with whom I want and, as long as I’m not hurting anyone, I shouldn’t be punished for it. I like knowing that I can support myself and sometimes splurge on my friends. I like having roll models who resemble me. I appreciate efforts to see facets of the sacred as feminine because I feel that being a woman has facets of the sacred inherent to it. I like being able to read and write and vote and drive and go to school and speak openly in public.

It’s true that things are different than the used to be and that negotiating relationships is tricky. But isn’t that kind of cool? Here we are, kind of freshly birthed into this new paradigm, and we get to try together to figure out what it means. I think that’s cool and, though at times painful, bound to be fun.

I think feminism is inherently optimistic, advocating, as it does, for the belief that there are people of value everywhere.

*And not just because, if it’s true that we feminists are singlehandedly responsible for ruining marriage, I’m getting cheated out of my exciting social life full of leading poor married people astray. If you are a married person who needs to be led astray by a feminist, I guess drop me a line. I’m not sure how we schedule this crap and to whom we report my success at ruining your life, but let’s have fun first and figure out the bureaucratic nightmare later.
**Many of us feminists are hoping that our Marxist tax structure will ruin the lives of rich people and since most rich people are men… Voila! Two oppressive birds with one stone.
***I’m kidding, obviously.
****To return to Kleinheider, I’d like to have a discussion with him about the ways in which both feminists and anti-feminists trade on this notion of the moral superiority of women and how that’s detrimental to men, especially when it comes to deciding who gets kids, but the piece he quotes has such a fun-house mirror definition of feminism that I feel defensive from the get-go. If Kleinheider would stop endorsing idiots without comment, we could have an intelligent exchange of ideas, but instead, I’m loathe to admit the ways in which I might agree with him, because I don’t want folks to mistakenly believe I endorse all that nonsense.
*****This must be very shocking to the folks who believe that Maureen Dowd is the epitome of feminism. Take a moment to recover.

[Edited to add: I love you, Fritz. You are totally my internet boyfriend. Or son. How old are you again?]

A Crossroads Like No Other

As everyone is well-aware, Kanye West and 50 Cent are having a big feud over President Bush. West, as we remember, famously declared that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson then countered that he had no idea what West was talking about, that the hurricane was just God’s way of getting his message across. 50 Cent then went on to praise the president and bemoan the fact that he could not vote for Bush, because Jackson is a felon*.

This got me thinking about CMT’s Crossroads. As you know, this show takes artists from across genres who are, presumably, fans of each other’s music, and puts them onstage together.

But, as is so obvious that I’m loathe to get into it, country music and rap have tons in common–violence, love of guns, bad-ass masculinity, big concerns about authenticity, name-checking fellow artists in songs, promoting a lifestyle presumably looked down on by the dominant culture, love of booze, emphasis on the importance of the role of the producer, etc. etc.–and yet there’s been no real rap/country Crossroads**.

Now, Tim McGraw did do that duet with Nelly, but, let’s face it, it sucked. It was a ring tone in search of some phones and nothing more. And I’m not seeing too many other rappers admitting a love of country music or visa versa.

But what if we could put folks together by politics?

Imagine 50 Cent on stage with Darryl Worley.

It might be enough to rescue both of them from their equally bizarre and mediocre careers or, and we can only hope, it would ruin both of them forever.

*Thus proving how little Jackson understands about how politics work in predominately Democratic places like NYC and Chicago, but that’s neither here nor there.
**No, Bob and Bocephus don’t count.

The Bay Area Is Not Talking

Okay, when something monumental happens, you can sometimes understand why the mainstream media overlooks it, but you expect bloggers to uncover all the important stories.

Well, I checked The Bay Area is Talking (sister blog to our lovely Nashville is Talking) and I checked Bruce’s site and it appears I’m going to be the first blogger in either Nashville or the Bay Area to bring this amazing and yet disturbing story to your attention.

Please click on this link. And then answer for me the following questions:

Why would anyone do this?

Why would 60,000 people want to develop this skill?

Is “Iron Crotch” the best or worst name for a martial art? I can’t decide.

The International Harvester Dude

As you may recall, when I graduated from college, I went back to my parents and laid on the couch watching repeats of “In the Heat of the Night” for a month until my mom made it clear that I could not spend the rest of my life dreaming about Bubba Skinner and hoping that none of my college friends knew what a failure I was.

So, I got a job at the local newspaper.

One of the most fun things about working at the newspaper is that the police scanner was always on. And, since the town was tiny, not much happened.

Here are the two things I remember:

1. There were three city police men, not counting the Chief. One night, one of the police men got on the scanner looking for the Chief, because he had caught the other two police men taking pictures of teenage girls wearing nothing but police hats and holsters while posing on the hood of one of the police cars.

Nothing says, “Do what you want, folks” like a town having to replace half its police force at once.

2. One night, the police went to break up a party out in the country. They hollered for the kids to come out of the woods and get their asses home, but the kids wouldn’t come. And so they called all the kids’ parents and reported that their cars had been found abandoned out in the country and so if the parents wouldn’t come get them right then, at two in the morning, the cars would be towed.

Anyway, one of the weirder people I encountered that year was the son of the owner of the International Harvester dealership in town. He was my age, or maybe a little older–the son, not the owner–and he was surprisingly bland looking.

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen any people like this, but it’s like there’s nothing distinguishing about them. They aren’t ugly or too good looking or tall or short and they don’t have dimples or a kind of grin that makes you feel like they might be up for some no good. And, seriously, the minute they leave your sight, you can’t remember what they even looked like.

That was this guy.

And at least once a week, he would call me at work and ask, “When are we going to go out?” and I would say, at the encouragement of the ad department, “As soon as you ask me.” and he never did.

Which was fine with me.

But (and because), the mind-blowing part was that he was fucking both his fiancee and his fiancee’s mother and everyone in town knew it. I still think back on how bland he was and marvel.

Maybe liking non-descript men runs in families and he was just lucky enough to find such a family.

But it makes no sense, when the hottest man in town, who worked for the city and thus could take him some “long lunches,” would fuck anyone who asked. The other woman in my department and I had a grand old time driving around in the afternoons, me leaning way out the window, her leaning over me, hollering at him and his crew as they leaned against their shovels, shirts open or off, dirt caked on brown ropey arms, late sun sparkling on their sweaty shoulders…

Mmm.

Anyway, the International Harvester dude. There was one more weird thing. Even though he was incredibly forward with me on the phone–“I’m just sitting here on my boat, out on the river, thinking about fucking you”–whenever he came into the office, if I was out front, he’d get all red and stare at his shoes*.

And yet, he got two women, two related women, to sleep with his shameful ass. That must have been one fucked up family dynamic.

*Let me just offer you this bit of advice, gentlemen, women will put up with a lot of uncouth behavior if it seems like you can back it up. But, if, after calling someone at work to talk about her cooter, you can’t even meet her eyes when you see her in person, she’s never going to fuck you unless she herself is very fucked up.

The Butcher is an Idiot

Some drunk chick rear-ended the Butcher on his way home from work. The Butcher, as you may recall, is driving our only car–my car. My car.

The Butcher was fucking magnanimous to that drunk idiot. Yes, when she asked him if they just couldn’t take care of it between them, and he smelled the booze on her, he said “Just give me your insurance information.”

Yes, it’s very easy to be magnanimous in your sister’s car.

It’s fine. The back bumper is a little dented. But it’s fine.

I’m just tired of feeling like the only god damned person in this house who is holding things together. I mean, no, it’s not his fault she hit him, but god damn, we have one car. We can’t lose it. Shit like this just cannot happen. Worse shit than this cannot happen.

But you know, we’re pretty powerless to stop it from happening.

What if something happens to the Butcher? You know, what if I’m all alone here with the cats and the dog and the killer hobos? You think this is a fucked up place now, imagine if I had no one to count on.

And yet, the person I count on most is a twenty-five year old idiot who thinks he can coast through life sticking it to the Man by depriving the Man of the Butcher’s talents.

Tonight, the recalcitrant brother called me to talk again about the Butcher. “You know, I don’t want to stick it to the Man, I want to be the Man. I want to be that lazy fucker who sits behind the desk all day while other people bust their asses,” says the recalcitrant brother. “The Butcher needs to get his act together. What would he do if you died?”

This is disjointed, I know.

I fret because it feels like if I worry about all the small things, I can distract myself from the utter terror I feel when I think about how many mammals depend on me, and what a shitty, shitty job I do providing for them.

And I just can’t do it alone. I desperately need to believe that there’s some one watching out for us, that luck, even a little bit, is on our side. Because, if it’s just me who’s in charge of providing everything for the folks in this household, we’re really screwed.

And I wish that the Butcher got that, how afraid I am every day that I’m on the verge of failing him, that I’ll fuck something up and we won’t have money to pay our bills or we’ll lose our lease or the car or whatever.

I don’t want him to want better for himself just because I want more money coming into the household. I want him to want better for himself because, right now, he’s depending on me, and I’m not someone you can depend on.

I’m not responsible. I don’t understand finances. I don’t keep house. No one goes to the vet or the doctor as often as they should. The recalcitrant brother wants me to talk to the Butcher about seeing a shrink or going back to school, as if I’ve got my shit together. As if I’m the grownup.

Everything’s fine. I know everything will be okay. It’s just a little dent and he’s not hurt.

He’s even gone to Walmart to buy more yarn, so I can continue to distract myself from the knowledge that it’s just me here, and the fear that sooner or later, my luck will run out.

Mrs. Wigglebottom Saves the Day

There’s no need to do chores when Mrs. Wigglebottom is more than happy to go on a walk. And so, instead of doing the dishes, we went out to see what was going on in the neighborhood.

Nothing much.

We have a peppering of birds in the sky and someone is being lifeflighted to Vanderbilt, judging from the helicopter.

When we do our usual walk, we make a giant P, with us living at the foot of said P. When we got back to the point we turned right at, Mrs. Wigglebottom and I wasted a good half hour playing three of our favorite games.

Mrs. Wigglebottom’s favorite game: Stick (or Ball). She finds a stick she thinks must be irresistible to me. I pretend to want it and she delights in keeping it from me. I’m sure Mrs. Wigglebottom would enjoy more traditional games like “Fetch,” if only she could understand the concept of letting go, but it’s safe to say, Mrs. Wigglebottom lets go of nothing.*

My favorite game: Jump (which may be combined with Stick, if one can get the stick from her). I find a stick I think must be irresistible to her and I hold it up at about shoulder height and she flings herself into the air and tries to get it.

The other game we both like: Smack your bottom. In this game, you just say “Smack your bottom! Smack your bottom!” while hitting the dog on the butt repeatedly. Fuck if I know why she likes this, but she does. Of all the games we play, this is the one I most hope no one notices.

I also caught myself singing while we were walking. It’s weird, because I was thinking how much I like Audioslave, but I was singing “Worked all the summer, worked all the fall, had to take Christmas in my overalls. But now she’s gone and I don’t worry. I’m sitting on top of the world,” which has to be the saddest happy song I know**. I mean, my god, if your heart doesn’t break for a man who works so hard that he’s even working on Christmas (and what a nice phrase “take Christmas”), it must break when you realize that, once his woman left, he was all out of things to fret about.

If you aren’t a fretter, you might not understand just how low it is to have nothing left to worry about, but, let me tell you, it’s pretty far down.

You’d think there’d be more blues songs written about dogs, but I don’t know of any off the top of my head. Here, though, is a bit of dog blues written millennia ago by Homer***:

While he spoke
an old hound, lying near, pricked up his ears
and lifted up his muzzle. This was Argos,
trained as a puppy by Odysseus,
but never taken on a hunt before
his master sailed for Troy. The young men, afterward,
hunted wild goats with him, and hare, and deer,
but he had grown old in his master’s absence.
Treated as rubbish now, he lay at last
upon a mass of dung before the gates–
manure of mules and cows, piled there until
fieldhands could spread it on the king’s estate.
Abandoned there, and half destroyed with flies,
Old Argos lay.

But when he knew he heard
Odysseus’ voice nearby, he did his best
to wag his tail, nose down, with flattened ears,
having no strength to move nearer his master.
And the man looked away,
wiping a salt tear from his cheek

Shoot, if old dying, loyal Argos doesn’t bring a salt tear to your eye, you’re just lacking a heart. Ugh. Let’s not leave this post on such a sad note.

Homer, give us something we can dwell on this evening:

That was the scar the old nurse recognized;
she traced it under her spread hands, then let go,
and into the basin fell the lower leg
making the bronze clang, sloshing water out.
Then joy and anguish seized her heart; her eyes
filled up with tears; her throat closed, and she whispered,
with hand held out to touch his chin:

“Oh, yes!
You are Odysseus! Ah, dear child! I could not
see you until now–not till I knew
my master’s very body with my hands!”

Tee hee.

*Those of you who want to make smart-ass comments about the ways I resemble my dog may do so at this point.
**As opposed to the happiest sad song ever–“You are My Sunshine.”
***Fitzgerald’s translation.

Grouch

I told the Butcher to take the car so that I would be forced to clean the bathroom and do the dishes and do some shit for work.

So, I’ve called the Professor and tried to call the Man from GM and I’ve read all the blogs I can think to read and I’ve watched a shitload of rap videos and now I’m listening to classic country and I was working on the afghan, but it’s apparent that I’ve both misjudged how wide the thing should have been* and how much yarn I’d need to make something that wide long enough. So, now working on it just depresses me because I’m going to run out of yarn before it’s done.

And I don’t have the car, so I can’t go to Walmart, which is too bad, because I’d even rather go to Walmart than face what awaits me this afternoon.

I’m really going to have to go upstairs and scrub that tub unless the phone rings right now.

Okay, now.

Well, fuck me. Thanks for nothing, citizens of Earth.

*I imagine all of Duluth, Georgia will be able to wrap itself comfortably in this fucker. I considered unraveling it, but decided that was just madness and procrastination talking, and will just forge ahead.

Bitching About the Bitchin’ Camaro

If I could have one thing back, I’d want my first car–that gold 77 Caprice Classic–the car we called The Beast.

I drove The Beast, most of the boys had Camaros*, except the jackass who had a Grand Am, and the guy who had an old two-toned F150, Shug’s cousin drove a minivan, the snotty girl drove a little S10, and so when we’d play cat and mouse out in the country, The Beast was the best chance at escaping the Camaros, for the same reason I could always beat them drag racing, if I got to pick the quarter mile–I never had to slow down for gravel.

Just a minute ago, it sounded like rain (though it doesn’t look like it’s raining, so I suspect it’s just an audio trick of the interstate traffic against the retaining wall–a river of cars sometimes sounds like water) and that got me thinking of driving The Beast around in the dark through the corns and the beans listening to Jim Morrison sing “My Wild Love,” which, like all Doors songs, I suspect, in real life sucks, but I love it.

On my way back from Georgia, I heard “People are Strange” on the radio and I was kind of brought up short. It’s so hard to hear songs you love with fresh ears, but sometimes circumstances align and you can hear what you heard that first time when you realized you were hearing something new and strange and that you must hear it again.

I’d love to see if a girl can slide behind the wheel of a car she still dreams of, and feel something new and strange that she must drive again.

*GM discontinued the Camaro** because they thought it was a car for trailer trash and they felt that it was bad for their image (Ha, ha, I bet you wish you had something to compete with the Mustang now that you need the money). After that, I didn’t feel too bad about buying a non-GM car, jackasses. I’m glad the Corvette is the car of old rich men overcompensating for their lack of self-esteem and that driving one doesn’t say “bad ass” so much as “rich fucker.” (Except the Stingray, which I love.) I’ve reveled in your marketing problems since the day you sold us rural kids out. Don’t believe me? I’ll put you on the phone with one of your engineers, who can attest to my weekly mocking of your crappy commercials.
**HOLY SHIT!!! I had to footnote this footnote to point out that this will be the topic of conversation with the Man from GM today. I bitch about this all the time and he’s been totally silent. Fucker. But that is beautiful.

Thanksgiving in the Alternate Universe

Y’all, this was really the nicest Thanksgiving I’ve had since the recalcitrant brother got drunk and passed out in the bathtub. Nobody fought. No one cried. No one quietly prayed for death.

We sat around and watched a lot of football and ate and just hung out. It was really nice.

Maybe this is how normal families do it: they get together and enjoy each other’s company and they use things like holidays as a way to come together and check in with each other and make sure everyone’s okay. And then they just hang out and watch some football.

So, of course, now that we’ve seen what a nice time together might be like, this is the year they aren’t coming down for Christmas. Dad says it’s because he has to do two services Christmas Eve and two Christmas day and then I’m gone, as usual, the 26th through the 31st, and the Butcher is working and the recalcitrant brother is working and so they’re just going to stay home and send packages.

While I was at Kroger with Mom last night, she told me that the truth is that they’ve put so much money into my brothers recently they can’t afford to both come down here and buy everyone Christmas presents, but my dad is too proud to admit that.

At some point we may find ways to be open and honest with each other, instead of using our time in the soft drink aisle at Kroger as family therapy time, but until then, I’m going to just go ahead and pretend that it’s about church and not money. That can be my little gift to him.

"Why Did You Let Them Talk to the Parent with No Memory?"

So, if you’ve been following the gripping tale of Sarcastro’s Thanksgiving, either at his place or at the Boy Scout’s, you might be thinking of the Professor’s comments from the other day–“How’s it go? Alcohol just heightens whatever emotion(s) you are already experiencing.”

Well, America, if this is true, we can discern a few things about our favorite truck-driving libertarians.

1. Sarcastro will argue with anyone, even the girls in Playboy. He incredulously refused to believe that Miss December had a dog that weighs 150 pounds. Yes, folks, Sarcastro reads Playboy. I’m shocked, too.

2. Though I’m still not exactly sure what he was getting at, I think the Boy Scout was offering to do my laundry. At least, he really wanted me to mail him my laundry. If I may take a moment to address him directly– Darling Boy Scout, it’s very kind of you to offer to do that particular chore, but really, if you want to help out around my house, I’d much prefer you offer to do my dishes.

3. The women in my family must just love obnoxious men, because my mom was totally loving talking to them on the phone. I tried to bribe her with a cookie into giving me the phone back, which, folks, has never failed before, and she just smiled and turned her back on me and cooed, “Well, I just don’t know. Let me think for a minute if there’s anything B. would rather you not know about. Tee hee hee.”

Once she got off the phone, my dad was all “If they want to know stories about you, they should have asked me. Your mother doesn’t remember things; I do. Plus, I had the people in the church calling me all the time keeping me updated.”

“Yes, and that would be exactly why I didn’t put you on the phone.”

“Well, B., you know I like to talk to the guys who put up with you, just to thank them.”

“They suggested going out to lunch with you and Mom some time, so the opportunity is not lost.”

“Well, we could hang out here until lunch tomorrow.”

“Then, thank god they’re sitting in Georgia.”

Anyway, boy-oriented folks, I tried to convince them to make out and send me the video so that I could share it with y’all, but they didn’t seem interested. Our loss, I guess.

Brilliant Ideas, Not Mine

The recalcitrant brother had this brilliant idea that a person could create some kind of garbage disposal for showers, that would somehow chop hair into non-clumping bits.

The other brilliant idea came up over dinner the other night when I was over at the Professor’s eating meatloaf with some of her 57 lovers. There was her cute boy and her philosopher and awesome sweet potato fries. And wine, lots of wine.

Anyway, we were talking about how a philosopher might publish a book that would actually make money and her philosopher had this brilliant idea of doing a series of books explaining what various famous philosophers would think of sex toys–“Wittgenstein on Sex Toys,” “Heidegger on Sex Toys,” etc.

And then the Professor suggested that there might be a series of sex toys that went with the books, so that one could buy a dildo shaped like, say, Nietzsche or Dewey.

Sadly, I was unable to fully participate in the conversation, because I was distracted by the thought of a vibrator shaped like Einstein. Yes, even then, I knew he wasn’t a philosopher, and so I said nothing, but sat there quietly imagining.

Her cute boy gave me a ride home, which I thought was very nice. I’m starting to think that, as nice as having 57 lovers would be just in terms of feeling fabulous, the best side-effect has to be the fact that you always have a bunch of folks who can chauffeur you around.

I was feeling grouchy and antagonistic, though, so I don’t think I was very good company.

Anyway, going to the zoo seemed like a good idea, but it was so cold that we went to the Science Center instead. That was my personal hell. All these kids and bright flashing lights and noise and my parents yelling at the recalcitrant brother who was yelling at his kids who were just yelling about everything, I guess to be heard over the other kids who were also yelling.

It was chaos. I tried to hide upstairs, but my mom found me and piled all the coats on me. I guess that part, hot and tired, hidden under coats, wasn’t too bad.

Hmm, We Might Be Bad Hosts

By the end of the evening, the family was split into three camps who were all very tired of each other: the parents, the kids, and the grandkids.

Somehow, the recalcitrant brother convinced my parents to take his kids back to the hotel and the recalcitrant brother stayed here.

This was good fun, just the three of us hanging out, bitching about Bush* and reminiscing about baseball games of yore. We all agreed that it was something to have gotten to see Dawson play, but my brothers preferred seeing the Sox. This lead to the realization that my uncle was taking the boys to baseball games all the time and I was sneaking into Cubs games only because I knew somebody who knew somebody who was fucking someone who worked for the organization.

Fine. I might not have gotten family bonding time, but I bet I had better seats**.

Anyway, yesterday, we turned off the heat because, with so many bodies in the house and the oven going all day, it was a balmy one million degrees in here. Men were taking their shirts off to sit around and watch college football.

But I come downstairs today and not only is the house freezing, there’s the recalcitrant brother on the big green couch and does he have any sheets or blankets?

No, the poor man is covered in a big yellow afghan*** and a bath towel.

Yes, the Butcher thought that a bath towel (and not even one of the big ones from upstairs) was appropriate covering for a man who had to sleep on a couch in a house now hovering around 60 degrees. I’ve now turned on the heat for him.

Still, all three of us thought that this was one of the better thanksgivings we’ve had. No one got upset. The cutting criticisms were reserved for the turkey preparations. The dog was laid back even in the face of my littlest nephew continually trying to climb on her. There was plenty of football to watch, which kept the men occupied, and plenty of Playstation to play, which kept the boys occupied (you haven’t lived until you’ve seen the littlest nephew running around singing “I am evil Homer” from the Simpsons game) and Mom had a blast making cookies and eating all the coconut thingies when she thought no one was looking, and I worked on the afghan.

We even formulated a plan for today: to go to the zoo. My dad is worried that it’s too cold, but I figure the kids will run around and be fine and wear themselves out. Can you imagine? We sat around and discussed what we might do, like civilized adults, before hand and now we’re going to execute said plan without anyone being like “Well, you live here, what is there to do with kids under 10?”

I’m a little disconcerted, honestly. Is this what it’s like to have a nice visit with them? I guess there’s still time for bullshit, but we made it through the meal in one piece and no one snuck off at any point, so I think we all made it through the meal in one piece sober.

And so I’m pretty happy.

*Yes, I can hear you laughing.
**I would argue that there really aren’t great seats at Wrigley. The best seats we ever had, right in with the players’ families, something smelly and wet dripped on me from the upper deck the whole game. Had we not been so close to Mark Grace, I would have moved.
***But what a good afghan it is!

What I Cooked for Thanksgiving

One 18 pound turkey stuffed with an apple, an orange, some bay leaves, some poultry seasoning. Would have been delicious if Dad hadn’t insisted that he would not eat it unless we let it cook for another hour after the button popped.

Green beans with mushroom soup and fried onion bits. Turned out fine.

Sweet potatoes with marshmallows. Yum.

Mashed potatoes. Lumpy, just like I like them. No one dared complain.

Gravy. Woo-boy, did the gravy suck. Too thick and tasteless.

Those coconut, chocolate and butterscotch chip bars. The littlest nephew helped me. That was good fun.

Dinner conversation included the following:

“B. has a blog.”

“What?”

“You know how those idiots–including your sister–put all their thoughts on the internet for everyone to read for free? That thing.”

“Thanks, Dad.”

“My sister’s a blogger. You’re the reason everyone hates the president.”

The Detroit Lions Rule!

We’re “watching” the game. The Butcher is watching and about dying of outrage over the officiating, but seems resigned to watching his favorite team lose. I’m working on the current afghan. I’m a little concerned that I may be remembering the recipient of said afghan as being a little broader in the shoulders than humanly possible, as it seems very wide.

But, and here’s the happy part, Mom is snoring, Dad is snoring, and the dog is snoring.

So, yes, they got here this morning at 9 and the men proceeded to camp out on the couch and bark orders into the kitchen at my mom. I tried to insist that the Butcher cook the turkey, but Mom wouldn’t hear of it. Unfortunately, Mom seemed content to leave all of the plastic parts in the turkey and so I did have to step in to make sure we were going to have an edible bird.

My dad was outraged that we hadn’t already started the turkey. He thought we were going to eat at noon. I asked him if he’d ever met the recalcitrant brother, because that dude never gets anywhere in a timely manner. I predict he’ll be here by two and we’ll eat at four.

I only wish the Lions were a good enough team to tie Atlanta and send this game into overtime. The longer we can keep everyone asleep, the happier I’ll be.

Happy Thanksgiving

The Super Genius has one of the most ingenious ideas (hence the name, I suppose) for Thanksgiving, of taking a moment to say something you are not thankful for, just to be contrary.

I am not thankful that my parents don’t drink. Not only don’t they drink, they’ve managed to foster some kind of atmosphere where the three of us kids also feel compelled to not drink in their presence. Since my family is bat-shit crazy, this tends to make family get-togethers a gruelling exercise in terribleness. But I always assumed everyone was miserable.

Recently, I found out that the recalcitrant brother and the Butcher were frequently sneaking outside to smoke up during these occasions. And have been since high school.

Oh, fuck you, my dear brothers, who found an escape and did not share! I am ungrateful to you, you bastards.

But I am grateful that the five of us can mark yet another year of getting on each other’s nerves. I hold out hope that this may be the holiday that we all get along and enjoy each other’s company. I’m looking forward to seeing the nephews and I’m excited to watch the Butcher prepare the meal. However it turns out, I’ll let you know.

In the meantime, be safe and have a happy holiday.

My Liberal Agenda

Honestly, I suspected that any discussion of liberal men would circle back around to Walt Whitman, but instead, we’ve arrived at Mark Twain.

Sometimes we’d have that whole river all to ourselves for the longest time. Yonder was the banks and the islands, across the water; and maybe a spark — which was a candle in a cabin window; and sometimes on the water you could see a spark or two — on a raft or a scow, you know; and maybe you could hear a fiddle or a song coming over from one of them crafts. It’s lovely to live on a raft. We had the sky up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made or only just happened. Jim he allowed they was made, but I allowed they happened; I judged it would have took too long to make so many. Jim said the moon could a laid them; well, that looked kind of reasonable, so I didn’t say nothing against it, because I’ve seen a frog lay most as many, so of course it could be done. We used to watch the stars that fell, too, and see them streak down. Jim allowed they’d got spoiled and was hove out of the nest.

America, I know you. You skimmed through that and skipped until right here to see what I was going to say about it. So, just keep this one sentence with you–the most beautiful sentence in the American novel, if you must keep anything: “We had the sky up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made or only just happened.”

I don’t know if you can get the weight of that sentence from the paragraph. But here are these two beings who aren’t men–one because he’s just a boy and the other because he’s fugitive property–talking philosophy and theology.

Do you get that? Do you see how stupid it is for people to object to Huckleberry Finn, as if it’s racist because of the word nigger, when Twain is continually insisting that we recognize that Jim, a piece of property, has a life of the mind, when Twain is insisting over and over again that Jim, who isn’t considered a man at all, is the only true man that Huck knows, the only man who truly gives a damn about this poor kid? Do we miss the gift for the fucking wrapping paper every damn time, America, or what?

Anyway, Huck the blogger wrote me an email about the whole liberal man discussion (which is what got me thinking of Twain). I’m going to share it with you:

Oh, it pains me so to see you pitching fuel into the conservative bon-fires. I know you’re offering food for thought, but to add my 2 cents, we liberal males aren’t all tweed-wearin’, pipe-smokin’, organic gardenin’, candyasses. Some of us are crazed, gun-totin’, cat-kickin’, carnivorous anarchists.

3 words: Hunter S. Thompson

Some of us are against gun control. Some of us view PETA’s and abortion clinic picketer’s tactics as cut from the same annoying cloth. Some of us hunt and kill animals for sport. Some of us enjoy red meat, black gas station coffee, cornbread, gravy, Milwaukee’s Best, death metal, and pussy.

For me, to be liberal is to allow people to be free from fundamentalist and government oppressions. To despise the powerful elite and empathize with the common people. To avoid the slippery slopes that open easy-access routes for fascist controls. It’s not whining about sports team names or cigarette ads. That kinda crap gives liberals a bad name. It’s about fighting against the government’s filthy habit of consuming our personal freedoms.

In other words, you can’t discount the freaks like me, the liberal libertarians. Sure, we may be nice guys, even “creepy” nice guys, but one thing is for sure. We sure as blackest hell ain’t a bunch of sensitive kumbaya-singin’ wussies.

Again, in case you missed the most important part, here it is: “For me, to be liberal is to allow people to be free from fundamentalist and government oppressions. To despise the powerful elite and empathize with the common people.” (Though, to be fair, I also loved–“Some of us enjoy red meat, black gas station coffee, cornbread, gravy, Milwaukee’s Best, death metal, and pussy.”)

Okay, I do have a point, which we are going to get to in a second, but let’s talk about the libertarians I know–The Contrarian, sitting over there on the coast bitching about how the conservatives in South Carolina are too in love with Jesus to be of any use to him; Sarcastro… well, I get your emails, I know you’ve already formulated your opinions; and the Boy Scout, whose dog has a Bill Clinton chew toy. Why do I put up with such nonsense?

Because each of them is ferociously engaged with life in a way that about knocks me over. There’s a large contingent of conservativeness that is about establishing and preserving order. Not for these yahoos. They seem to thrive on confronting the chaos*, on challenging themselves and the people around them. I mean, is there anything off-limit to Sarcastro? If so, I haven’t seen it. I’ve been trampled under foot a few times, but, my god, how can I not respect a man who never met a boundary he didn’t want to cross?

Which brings us back to Huck and to a strain of liberal men I adore, the fierce ones (see Huck, Chris Wage, Steve Pick, etc.) who not only have never met a boundary they didn’t want to cross**, they really get that those boundaries are kind of arbitrary bullshit anyway.

And, my god, when you read Huck talking about despising the powerful elite and empathizing with the common people, how can you not be reminded of that other Huck? How can you not be in love with this crazy idea that all the best, most interesting shit is happening among and with the regular, everyday folks?

If there is some liberal agenda, Huck’s totally got the first part and Donnell Alexander’s got him covered with the second crucial point. So, here it is, my liberal agenda spelled out in the words of the crazy liberal men I love:

“For me, to be liberal is to allow people to be free from fundamentalist and government oppressions. To despise the powerful elite and empathize with the common people. To avoid the slippery slopes that open easy-access routes for fascist controls.” (Huck) “It’s about completing the task of living with enough spontaneity to splurge some of it on bystanders, to share with others working through their own travails a little of your bonus life.” (Alexander)

Amen, my friends, amen.

*With, of course, guns blazing.
**Which brings us, of course, to why the libertarians are convinced they can convert me. In this regard, our world-views compliment each other enormously.

Some Cool Stuff About Mrs. Wigglebottom

  • When she’s afraid, she hides in the tub.
  • She once had a tick on her belly and I didn’t have any rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover* and so I thought that vodka might do the trick. So, the poor girl laid there on her back in the bathroom while I yanked at a big bloody tick and then poured vodka over the wound and she didn’t even flinch.
  • She barks at red lights.
  • When I leave her in the car, she sits in the driver’s seat until I get back.
  • She hates parades.
  • She once jumped into a tree at my mom’s and got stuck a good eight feet up in the tree. I had no idea how I was going to get her out of the tree, but she eventually fell. Luckily, she landed in a good sized Illinois snow drift.
  • When I first got her, she’d stand upright at the edge of my bed watching me sleep.
  • When she’s happy she has this kind of frolicking gate.
  • When she’s really happy, she gets down very low to the ground and kind of crouches like a frog and scoots sideways very quickly, back and forth, while snorting. This happens very rarely, but when it does, it’s hilarious.
  • She loves the cats and it hurts her feelings that they don’t like her. Every day she tries to play with them and every day they turn up their noses at her and pretend they’re too good for her, and then she has to come up on the couch and cuddle until she feels better.
  • Still, every once in a while, I find long cat hairs on her belly, which leads me to believe that they might be all sleeping together during the day.

*I’m sure most of you know this, but if you don’t, the easiest way to get ticks off dogs (or people, for that matter) is to take a tissue and soak it in either rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover and put it over the tick. This will cause the tick to back out and make it easier to remove. For pets, it’s a lot less traumatic than matches. But, hey, if you want to put matches near your kids, more power to you.

Iraqis Agree On One Thing

Well, let’s give credit where credit is due: this administration has finally succeeded in bringing together the three major Iraqi ethnic groups and getting them to find some point of agreement.

That point?

That killing U.S. soldiers isn’t really so bad.

Take it away, Salah Nasrawi from the AP:

Leaders of Iraq’s sharply divided Shiites, Kurds and Sunnis called Monday for a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S.-led forces in the country and said Iraq’s opposition had a “legitimate right” of resistance.

Sure, they say that terrorism wrong, but take a look at who has to die in order to move an act from “resistance” to “terrorism.”: “killing and kidnapping targeting Iraqi citizens and humanitarian, civil, government institutions, national resources and houses of worships.” Did they just forget that soldiers are not immortal?

No, as Nasrawi reports, “In Egypt, the final communique’s attempt to define terrorism omitted any reference to attacks against U.S. or Iraqi forces. Delegates from across the political and religious spectrum said the omission was intentional.”

Jesus Christ. My dog could run a war better than this administration and she spends 20 hours a day sleeping. I could run a war better than this administration and I’m a hippie liberal commie who opposes this war with every bone in my body.

Because here’s the thing. You cannot half-ass your way through a war. You can’t say “oh, well, we’re going to take down this dictator and liberate these people in their own country,” because people do not want you sticking your nose into their business*. Even if they don’t like their evil dictator, they don’t want someone else coming in and telling them how to take care of shit.

If you are going to go to war, you’ve got to be intent on smashing the shit out of the people you’re at war with. You can’t have some kind of fucked-up idea that you can go to war with a government and not with the people. You have to be prepared to be merciless.

And, I’m sorry, but this is exactly why the current administration sucks at warmongering. The truly scary people, who get that there’s no room for mercy and acquiescence in the midst of a fucking war, people, a war that we are in right now (argh!), are cowards who are hiding behind some kind of compassionate conservative idea that we can liberate the people of Iraq** and all the troops will be heroes and that heroism will rub off on an administration that barely knows what bravery looks like.

So, every time you turn around, it seems like this administration is almost purposefully making things as difficult for our troops on the ground while at the same time deflecting criticism of the war effort by suggesting that any criticism of the administration hurts the troops. Never mind that letting the people who are supposed to be on our side in the country we’re at war in decide that our forces are fair targets hurts our troops a hell of a lot more.

What these folks need is a simple checklist for war-mongering:

1. Have you been attacked by said country?
2. If not, does that country have resources vital to your economy?
3. Would you benefit from being in direct control of said resources?
4. Will your allies understand?
5. If not, can you bribe them into understanding with the resources you’re soon to come into?
6. Will the countries neighboring the country you’re about to invade understand?
7. If not, are they sufficiently afraid of you?
8. Are you prepared to do whatever it takes to win control of said country?
9. Is your army prepared to go to war?
10. Do they have the training and equipment they need?
11. Say you get over there and you decide you don’t really want that country, are you prepared to keep your people in power until the first generation of resistance to you is dead?***
12. Do you have the support of your public?

Since the administration asked itself none of these questions and seems unprepared to actually, you know, invade and occupy Iraq, but instead is doing invasion and occupation lite, I think we should just cut our losses and get the hell out of there.

*Right? One can take an army into France and deliver them from the Germans because France was attacked by outside forces. But no one’s stupid enough to say that we liberated the Germans from Hitler, because everyone understands that Germany had the leader it thought it wanted, and even now people are like “Fucking-a, Germany, what the fuck is wrong with you? Were you insane?” No one is stupid enough to see the Nazis as Hitler’s victims.
**This actually gets right to the heart of my objection to torturing people. Of course, I don’t think we should torture people because it doesn’t work. But I also don’t think we should torture people if we’re trying to run a “moral” war–which is, at its heart, what a war of liberation claims to be. Well, we cannot run a moral war (if such a creature exists) through immoral means.
***This is the part that makes me most irate. Why are we handing power over to the friends of our enemies? Give the country back to people who cannot remember what it was like before we got there.

The Creepy Nice Guy

Sorry, y’all, I got caught up in the thought of all the conservative blogging men I know enslaved to me and doing all my housework while naked and thus got distracted from the important bits of yesterday’s post on the problems with liberal men.

So, I wanted to start out by saying that I think we can’t discount S-Town Mike’s objection that we can’t discount inter-faction fighting between people all competing for the same pool of vulnerable co-eds. Fair enough.

But again, W. leads to enlightenment, as he asks for clarification between the “creepy nice guy” and guys who are nice. This is somewhat hard to explain, because a lot of it has to do with just the vibe the creepy nice guy gives off.

Let’s take the Wayward Boy Scout for example. When we came out of the strip club, he opened the truck door for me. Did I mind? Not at all. Why? Because he was being nice* and I assume that, in his paradigm, holding doors for women is his way of saying “Yeah, I’m probably not going to shoot you.”

But, and here’s the problem, the creepy nice guy will also hold the door for you. The creepy nice guy will buy you flowers. The creepy nice guy will pay for your meal. See, the creepy nice guy will do all the things regular guys who are nice will do, but with a difference.

Most straight guys** do nice things for women because they want the women to know they like them and want to be liked in return, in hopes, I presume, of eventually getting laid.

But the creepy nice guy does these things because he hates women.

The creepy nice guy doesn’t send you flowers because he saw them and thought how beautiful you’d think they were and thus might be inclined to fuck him. The creepy nice guy sends you flowers because he wants to prove to you and to everyone around you that he is a nice guy and so, if you won’t fuck him, it’s because you’re a bitch.

Dwell on the fucked-up-ed-ness of the creepy nice guy here a moment. Once he decides that you’re the object of his affections, he already presumes that 1. He’s inherently attractive to any woman he meets and so 2., if you don’t respond properly to his gestures, it’s because 3., you’re a man-hating whore, because 4. he apparently possesses the ability to read minds.

So, you can see our dilemma when men do nice things for us. If we don’t know them very well, it’s hard to discern whether they’re behaving those ways because they like us or because they’re just waiting to hate us.

But I actually think that it’s point 4. that sheds real light on the problems between liberal women and liberal men. There are now creepy nice guys who have become so thoroughly familiar with feminist thought that we liberal women mistake them for guys who are nice, thoughtful, and on our side. When really, no, they are just the same old creepy nice guy who both thinks he deserves better than us and is shook to the core by the fact that we might not want him.

And the fact that he presumes to know what we’re thinking, because he’s already read all the theory, well, obviously, in the face of that, it’s nice to sit across the table from someone who will regularly say “Where the fuck did you get that idea?”

Conservative men, I theorize, are benefiting from the expert camouflaging skills of the creepy nice guy within liberal circles. And, I surmise that, if it appears that all the easy girls start pursuing conservative men, the creepy nice guy will, once again, change his spots to blend in with that crowd.

*Well, and I’m planning on someday opening a car door for him, just to see how uncomfortable it makes him, but that’s just my own sad way of amusing myself.
**And yes, I’m making broad generalizations. If you don’t like it, the line to suck my butt starts over there.

Tub Troubles

Furry Lewis sings “The girl I love, she’s got great long curly hair.” From this, we can deduce one of two things. Either Furry Lewis was a better amateur plumber than I am or his girl washed her hair outside.

Because, believe me, once you’ve pulled big wads of my hair out of your bathroom drain, you’re not feeling so loving towards me. You’re definitely not going all the way to Brownsville to see me.

I had that fucker apart in two places and it’s still draining slow. I’m sure there’s some big wad of hair and dirt and dead skin way up there where I can’t get to it, but now I’m tired and pissed off, so I’m just going to bed.

I can put in light fixtures. I can take in a dress with nothing but a little duct tape and a commercial break. I can even change a tire, if I can get the lug nuts to move. It irritates the piss out of me that I can’t get the water out of my tub. Gravity should be on the water’s side and the water is heavy and should be able to push whatever’s stuck in there out of the way.

I wonder if I could get a really long pipe cleaner in there to get things moving. Or firecrackers…

Catching Up Over Burritos

The Professor took me to lunch over to Qdoba, which is slowly growing on me, I must confess. She wanted to explain the many ways that having 57 lovers has taxed her lately.

Seeing her limping towards me made me slightly concerned that they were taxing her physically as well as psychologically, but it turns out that she’s fucked up her ankles yet again*. How bad was it? I was so distressed to see her in so much pain** that I threatened to email her brother and get her mom involved.

Sadly, for me, as I was waiting for her, I came to realize that the days of wearing the orange jacket are over until spring. I’ll have to empty my pockets and fill up the pockets of the blue coat instead. And, even more sadly, the blue coat has no pocket for my screwdriver, so I will have to leave that in the orange jacket.

As we were eating, the subject of the Butcher came up and she asked me if he’d even bothered to clean the house. I said that when I got home it was so surprisingly clean that I wondered if he’d had a girl over.

And then, I saw on the end table the reason for the cleanliness–a contraption so exquisite that I was almost moved to touch it. I will not tell you what it is, but you’ve been reading long enough to guess what could be so special to the Butcher that he would feel the need to make the house ready for it.

Anyway, we have a bunch of apple tobacco in the freezer, so maybe that will finally get used up.

*Just due to falling down, not due to the rigors of kicking the shit out of the patriarchy.
**Though, for some reason, her hair looked spectacularly cute today.