So much as a lug delicately
dons his daisy-fresh, tidy-whities before playing
some smash-mouth, in-the-mud rugby, I showed my unexpected
I admitted, “I actually admire some traditional
Republican values. I’m all for fiscal responsibility.
I’d like to see the government spend only what
it takes in. The current administration, in borrowing
every third dollar, is pre-taxing the babies. And
I’m a fan of states’ rights. I wish that
every tax-paying gay American citizen could pursue
life, liberty and happiness and marry everywhere,
so I hope that the feds honor the states’ freedom
of choice and don’t amend the constitution to
restrict civil rights for gay folks.”
But then right away, the Righty het hubby swerved
our chat into sex.
“The problem I have with gays is that they
wanna put their gayness in my face!”
“Oh, you’ve seen those gay pride parades,
with the leather and the bare buttocks. And have you
seen Will and Grace? It’s nothing but
gay, gay, gay.”
“So you think people should keep their sexuality
“So you’re anti-Pamela Anderson?”
(Being a courteous guest, I didn’t tell him
that I consider Pamela Anderson to be a drag queen,
a person who has drug out gender to a hilarious extreme,
a person so femme that she makes the Marilyns, both
Monroe and Manson, seem butch.)
“That’s not true!” my sister yelled
from the other room. “He goes bug-eyed whenever
she’s on tv!”
“And when straight people get married,”
I said, “and drive around town honking their
car horns and towing cans and streaming crepe paper,
you’re against that flaming heterosexuality
“That’s not flaming heterosexuality.
They’re celebrating a sacred union. And they’re
quite discrete. Not like those gays.”
“Ahh, I see,” I said, thinking about
all the times I’d seen brides hoist their skirts
and tuxed fellas ratchet garters up their thighs,
while het guests whooped as if it were a good old-fashioned
Since we were already talking about sex, I tiptoed
“But why Iraq? It’s costing hundreds
of billions, which will be borne by the babies.”
“Well, remember how we entered late into the
“Oh, yeah, we let France be pummeled twice—and
America wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for
France. And we watched while London burned—and
they’re our best buddies.”
“And that was wrong, right?”
“Right,” I agreed.
“Well, by attacking Iraq, we’re not
“But Iraq didn’t attack us.”
“But they eventually would have attacked
us,” he explained.
“I can’t say for sure. It might have
taken fifty years.”
“So we’re pre…retaliating?”
“Yep. That’s it exactly.”
Applying that logic, 9-11 was Islamic pre-retaliation
for Iraq, Part II, also known as Vietnam, Part Deux.
The concept of pre-retaliation muddled me, so I
leapt into the last taboo topic: religion.
“But didn’t Christ say that we should
turn the other cheek?”
“Christ didn’t say that we couldn’t
attack those countries that are going to attack us.
Ahh, I couldn’t escape pre-retaliation.
“No, Christ didn’t talk about pre-retaliation,”
I said. “He talked about loving others. We can
then infer that we shouldn’t attack countries
that didn’t attack us.”
“So you’re inferring Christ’s
I was afraid to answer, lest I be compared to one
of those evangelists that have tête-à-têtes
with God and emerge the next day saying, God says
you gotta give me another guhzillion or he’s
gonna hoist me up to Heaven!
“Well,” I said, hoping to slip away
under the cover of vagueness, “I think it’s
kind of obvious.”
But the only thing that was obvious was that my
muddlement was becoming monstrous.
I rued that I ever that I ignored the axiom, “Don’t
discuss politics, sex or religion.”
But then my brother-in-law surprised me.
“So what do you think of Wal-Mart?”
I admitted, fearing that any response would return
us to pre-retaliation.
“I agree,” he said. “It’s
bad for America. Bad for small towns. Bad for American
“Really?” I said.
“Oh, yeah. Ever seen a small town downtown
a few years after Wal-Mart arrived?”
“I’ve seen plenty and they aren’t
pretty. So you don’t shop there?”
“Nah,” he said. “I don’t
mind paying more to protect American communities and
“Wow,” I said. “We agree.”
And that wasn’t the only place we agreed.
We also agreed about people driving SUVs while talking
on cell phones.
“I avoid them like I’d avoid drunk drivers,”
I said. “They’re 5 times more likely to
crash and ‘cause of the size of their vehicles,
they’re 6 times more likely to kill me in a
collision than they are to be killed.”
“And that’s not good citizenship,”
My green tea clinked on his scotch on the rocks.
But I didn’t sleep well that night. Perhaps
it was the caffeine. Perhaps it was the jolt that
a lad on the Right can surprise a lass on the Left,
that there’s more to some Righties than the
jingoism, bombast and dogma of their leaders.
Perhaps it was because I still tried to untangle
the sticky faux logic threads of pre-retaliation.
But I suspect is was fear, fear of knowing that
Right-minded drivers were as likely to swerve from
chat-distracted drivers in monstrous SUVs as me—and
with so much swerving on the road, life is less safe
McKy is the author of It
All Began With a Bean, which answers a child's
true query: "What would happen if everyone in
the world passed gas at once?" Her work can be
found regularly on Raw Story weekends.