The New Yorker arrives even later in the week here than it did in Indiana, so it was Saturday before I finished Sy Hersh’s debriefing of Gen. Antonio Taguba in re: Abu Ghraib. This was Saturday morning; I was lying on a lounge poolside, waiting for Kate to swim her event in the Lakeside Swimming Association meet. (Breaststroke; she came in second.) When I finished I put the magazine aside, fumed for a few minutes and then flipped open my phone and started going through the address book, vowing to call the first person who was likely to be awake — it was still early — and tell them how much I have come to loathe the Bush administration and everyone in it.
Lance Mannion’s wife, the Blonde, has a first name that starts with A. So I called the Mannion Manse, in the faraway Hudson River valley. The Blonde answered, and I said, “Have I mentioned lately how much I fucking hate the Bush administration? Have I?”
It occurred to me that I was sitting within earshot of a bunch of other parents, and they may not hate the Bush administration. This is a suburb, after all, and not the sort with a gay pride parade. I recently went through my zip code’s political donations via one of those websites that tracks such things, and discovered I live within walking distance of a lot of people who gave four-figure sums to Rick Santorum and George Allen. Scary. It also occurred to me that even though there were no children nearby, they might not be comfortable with the sort of casual profanity people use in zip codes more supportive of Barack Obama and stricter CAFE standards. I made a quick decision, dropped the profanity, continued the harangue. I mentioned Gen. Taguba, the wholesale looting of the national forests, the castration of the FDA, what an evil evil evil man Donald Rumsfeld is, and so on. (I left out Santorum and Allen, but only because I couldn’t find a news peg.)
“George Bush’s approval ratings are in the 20s?” I barked. “They should be in the teens. In the single digits. Name Redacted, Name Redacted, a few more right-wing feebs, and that’s it.”
The Blonde agreed with everything I said, of course. We affirmed one another’s narrow viewpoints, discussed the kids and the jobs for a bit, and hung up.
And now I have another reason to despise the party in power. They have turned me into that which I hate — a raving loon howling into a cell phone, disturbing the peace in a pleasant setting on a lovely, cool June morning.
Well, they started it!
That was Saturday morning. Saturday afternoon we went to a family reunion/birthday party down Ohio way. It was thrilling to see Alan’s cousin Joanne, always sure to enliven the joint. She used to be chancellor at Fort Wayne’s IU/PU branch campus, and told a funny story about having to defend a purchase order for a few gross of unlubricated condoms, an item that set phones ringing at every stop on the line. They were to hold water samples for a student’s research on declining water levels in Lake Chad, selected because they were cheap, clean, sturdy, could be written upon with a Sharpie, stacked in a carton, etc. Alan’s family is aging at the same rate everyone else’s is, and when the conversation veers into who died, who’s dying, who needs a donor kidney, etc., it’s nice to have someone around who can make small talk about Trojans.
My life is so boring, I should join a book club.
Do I have bloggage? A bit:
Serena Williams can kill a man with her thighs, and don’t you forget it.
Don’t wear your nice jewelry around the plumber. Especially when he has a rap sheet.
I can’t tell you how often I dodged golf balls around Foster Park, a public course that attracts a lot of, shall we say, not-Tigers. I wonder how many cyclists they’re hitting today, with those big drivers. When the gardeners have to wear hardhats — a cautionary tale for those who live near the fairways. (Note: Broken link fixed.)
I’ll be more awake later, when the coffee kicks in.