The Ku Klux Klan - A bunch of adults, out in the woods, dressed in fancy robes, calling each other “wizard” and “dragon.” They have a weird, hard-to-pronounce name, get fancier robes and insignia if they advance in the ranks, and fight vast, imagined conspiracies constructed by other races with weird powers. Is there any significant difference between this and a role-playing game carried too far?
“I want to burn that church.”
“Roll for it.”
“Too bad, Claude. You just get to tell your co-workers that you think Wanda Sykes is weird-looking.”
How do they threaten people? “Beware the vengeance of the Klu Kux… shit. The Ku Klux Klax. DAMMIT.”
Fetishes – It suddenly occurred to me what an enormous financial outlay fetish gear must be, especially if you want quality goods. This must put people in the awkward position of having to borrow someone else’s until they decide it’s worth the investment. Also: furry costumes have be either machine washable or brought to the cleaners. What in the world do you say? “Oh, I entertain at kids’ parties. So, yeah, there’s a protein stain on the… there are a lot of protein stains, actually.”
Bus manners, crustacean department – I’ve been trying to insert this into a post for weeks and it just won’t fit anywhere. Months ago, I was on the trolley to go to work, and a man sat down across from me with a to-go box full of steamed peel-and-eat shrimp. He proceeded to eat them, tail and all, without peeling them, just a-crunching away. Even their little scratchy legs. I texted this to Meg and she refused to believe me, and I don’t blame her.
Bus manners, silent judgment department – My new game is called “White trash or retarded?” You get on the bus, and there’s a large woman wearing dirty canvas shoes, a Tigger t-shirt, and sweat pants. Her hair is unwashed, she’s staring into space, and eating cheetos with her mouth open. When the bus gets to her stop, she wipes her hands on her pants, leaving orange tracks, and tosses the empty package aside as she goes. Nature or nurture? Faulty genes, or careless upbringing? White trash or retarded?
Unpopular prejudices – Most of the retarded people I’ve ever met have been mean and hateful and spiteful and vicious. There’s this weird myth that they’re sweet little angels who teach everyone about love, tolerance, and guardian angels, but I’ve never seen this in action. I blame the Hallmark Channel and all those movies about Families Overcoming Obstacles Through Faith. And when a retarded person is mean to you, what can you do? Push them into the mud? No, because then if someone sees you, you’re being mean to a retarded person, a sweet little angel.
But sometimes they find love – My father used to work at Area Junior College, and like all public servants, had to deal with his share of lunatics. One such was a woman named Victoria Cross, who would take random classes and then show up at the professor’s office hours and just talk about whatever came into her head. She had a retarded husband named Charles, and when they were both somewhere this is how she introduced him: “Hi, I’m Victoria Cross, and this is my husband Charles. He’s mentally retarded.” Just like that. It makes me wish she’d been my mother, just to see how she’d introduce me: “Hi, I’m Victoria Cross and this is my son, Tulane Chris. He can roll his tongue.”
Last retardation note – One day, my mother said to me, “You know, I always thought my first child would be retarded,” and then kept on talking about something else. I am her first child.
On deserts – I would rather go to Iraq than Burning Man. According to my most beloved source, “something I read somewhere once,” the founder of Burning Man bounds around all day asking people what color their urine is. I’d rather be shot at.
On vast governmental conspiracies – I think the Democrats and Republicans are in cahoots. (Yes, cahoots.) Remember the health care debate? People kept just saying words, louder and louder: Families, Americans, working families, working Americans, fairness, responsibility, families, Americans, Constitution. I think the goal is to run us all so ragged we won’t protest when they start making Soylent Green out of us, and it’s working. Sarah Palin is dangerous not because she might get elected, but because she might never be and just keep campaigning, endlessly, like the Ghost of Elections Past, and drive everyone completely insane.
Anne Heche - I hate Anne Heche. I hate every single thing about her. Her face is too pointed in some places and too soft in others, and she always has one of those scraggle-mop “piecy” haircuts. She looks like a mean little songbird, the kind that kills other birds’ eggs or impales beetles on thorns. Her acting is about on the same level as a corpse being made to twitch with an electrode. She wrote a “how I survived child abuse” book, which appalls me on a number of levels. One, she wrote a “how I survived child abuse” book. Who buys those? If you were an abused child, why compare notes, and if you weren’t, thank your lucky stars and move on. Several people, who I’m inclined to believe, also challenged the truth of her account. I can’t imagine anyone would challenge someone’s child abuse story unless they knew otherwise for sure. She also has that shifty look on her face that just makes her look dishonest. She made an ass out of Ellen, which I won’t forgive. Your first is usually embarrassing. God knows, all of mine were. Ellen had the misfortune of already being famous (and in her thirties) when she had her first, and so everyone had to watch her droll and lick and grope her way over Evil Sparrow like a dog with a badly coifed bone. ANYONE who actually cared about Ellen would have slapped her hand away and insisted she behave, but not Anne Friggin’ Heche. And then what does she do? Pulls out that grand old song and dance, “I’m Not a Lesbian, I Just Have Daddy Issues and Want Attention.” (It’s to the tune of “And the Band Played On.” You have to hurry a little, but it works.) Anne Heche only ever managed to be the poor man’s Jenna Elfman, who is herself the poor man’s Tea Leoni. I hope someone puts a rattlesnake in her purse.
The Metric System – I don’t like the size of any metric unit. Liters are fine for beverages, but they’re too small for anything else. Alcohol, ice cream, and potting soil come in gallons, dammit. Centimeters will make online interactions even less tolerable – imagine when someone tries to interest you in a “throbbing nineteen centimeters.” Kilometers don’t impress anyone: “The car broke down and I had to walk five miles” vs. “The car broke down and I had to walk eight kilometers.” Eight kilometers is farther (I think) but since everyone already thinks of kilometers as ladies’ miles, no one will care. It’s like smoking a pack of Virginia Slims or a twelve-pack of Zima. Yes, technically, it’s a good amount, but it’s measured in lame units.