Bip bip bip, Bop bop bop.

It’s apparently something past 9am. It’s dark and hot and there are random blinding flashes of light. I’m not exactly sure where I am. It’s possible I’m just at home at Shady Pines and having a stroke. However, I have a vodka/rocks clutched in one hand, which makes me suspect things are going to be ok.

Gloria is off trying to find some coke, after Katie Couric spent twenty minutes begging us for a line and then, when we relented, snuffled the whole fucking gram in the men’s toilet with Lauer. It was good coke too, having been, I am reliably informed, smuggled in from Peru only last week inside one of the spawn of the Jolie-Pitts. A little gritty on the nose but with fine blue notes in the upper register. I miss it already. Gloria had better get back soon, because reality is starting to intrude into the fine French electro.

Gesaffelstein – OPR from adrien cothieR on Vimeo.

Gloria is the only one in a fit state to go hunting for more drugs because her pill hasn’t kicked in yet. Her pill hasn’t kicked in yet because she keeps checking for text messages from Anderson, who promised to be here, but is a no show so far. I do hope he comes. Not only would it get Gloria back in the mood, the last time I saw him – at Splash, I seem to recall – Anderson started telling me a wonderful story about Marcus Bachmann, but didn’t have time to finish, so I still don’t know whether they ever managed to get the GI Joe action figure out again.

The evening has been a bit of a blur, dears. It’s Sandra Frazer’s birthday, so we are all in New York. We started off at a little drink thing at Gloria’s – just a few dozen of Sandra’s besties, all very casual. Gloria, as usual, had laid on the Billecart and the totty in equal measures, so when we asked Sandra what she wanted for her birthday, she pointed imperiously across the room she wanted “that”. “That” turned out to be Ryan Gosling, so we’ve spent the last twelve hours stalking the poor darling across New York.

The party was lovely, except for that bloody Angelina, who cornered me and WOULD NOT SHUT UP ABOUT HER FUCKING CHILDREN. Between that, her unresolved jealousy that I had Brad before she did, and the fact that she smells like someone dumped a bottle of patchouli oil in a birdcage, she’s almost unbearable. She latched on to our little group as we were leaving for the club, even though Gloria had one of her maids wave a little brown baby out the window to distract her. Eventually we managed to ditch her in some diner by ordering coffee and then scarpering when she went to the bathroom. Read the rest of this entry »

Bailin’ Palin (or Why Sarah Palin’s bus tour was cancelled)

Those of you who have been reading my little posts for a while will know that I do everything I can to avoid coming into direct contact with Sarah Palin ever since I was a judge on the Miss Alaska pageant all those years ago.

After that experience, and our little plane trip together, I trust Sarah about as much as I’d trust Roman Polanski around a particularly attractive twelve year old. However, I do like to keep tabs on her and, after reading about her little bus tour, I was determined to get someone on the inside.

My dear friend and fellow Shady Pines resident Sandra Frazer volunteered. In the end it only took one phone call. Sandra crapped on about how unfair the people at Wikipedia are and how she and Marge Albrechtson are both devoted followers of Sarah and, above all, both very rich and slightly senile, and before you could say “You’re so much prettier than that Bachmann woman”, they’d been issued a personal invitation to visit Sarah in New Hampshire.

Sandra and Marge were waiting outside the Yankee Fisherman’s Cooperative in Seabrook. Marge has been skipping her meds and, while she wasn’t in a violent mood, she did keep slapping at her herself to quieten down the squirrels she’d stashed in her knickers that morning before she left Shady Pines. There was a lot of squeaking and complaining going on, although I understand most of it was coming from the pack of journalists who were also waiting there.

They’re such filthy hairy little things, always pissing themselves and biting people for no reason – by which I mean the journalists of course, not Marge’s squirrels who are generally quite well behaved.

Sarah arrived first in her SUV, followed by Todd and Piper and the rest of the entourage in the Palinbus. Sarah was very polite, especially after she spotted that big ol’ diamond ring that Sandra was wearing – the one that Jimmy Carter gave her after he broke off their affair back in 1983. Sandra said it was like one of those cartoons where Daffy Duck’s eyeballs turn into dollar signs, and Todd even had to rush in to wipe the drool off Sarah’s bottom lip. Sarah wasn’t even fazed by the two pairs of beady rodent eyes peering at her from out of Marge’s purse.

Sandra told me that Sarah was looking quite good, although she appeared to be wearing something from Donatella Versace’s Piggly Wiggly collection. Even Todd had made an effort and had worn his best Megadeth t-shirt – the one without any obvious holes.

After Sandra managed, with some difficulty, to get her hand back from Sarah, Sarah fetched Trig out of his storage box at the front of the bus where they keep him when he’s not in use, and then wandered off with him to have some photographs taken next to some dead fish.

Marge and little Piper set about making friends. The only squirrels Piper had even seen were either roadkill or food (and possibly both) and so she was quite impressed when Marge started producing them from her clothes like some slightly confused musician from Hamelin. Soon they were yammering away to each other and they both went off to talk to some lobsters in a tank out the back.

Sandra was left alone with Todd.

Now, Sandra may be 72, but she’s still a well preserved and handsome woman – the result of decades of facials made from pituitary glands untimely ripped from impoverished Cambodian orphans and a large amount of whalebone under the kind of stress that makes diamonds out of coal. She also likes her men big and dumb. Show her a Carhartt baseball cap, a farmer’s tan and an expression of amiable stupidity (cf. Jimmy Carter) and her ovaries start fizzing like Kathryn Jean Lopez in a seminary.

Todd was doing his usual thing of staring off into the distance and mumbling the lyrics of Whitesnake songs, so he didn’t notice Sandra’s quite obvious interest until she grabbed him by the front of his sweatpants, dragged him behind some convenient bushes and pounced on him like Oprah Winfrey on a baked ham.

Fifteen minutes of impassioned kissing later, Sarah arrived back at the bus with half a dozen lobsters under one arm and Trig under the other. Todd’s hair was a little askew and he was holding a clip-board carefully in front of the Little Dude, who pointedly refused to go down, but there was otherwise no sign of what had happened so far.

It was time to head off to the clambake, which was being held at the summer residence of Jeff and Elizabeth Davis, two of Sarah’s staffers, although it took a while to locate Piper, who had been playing hide and seek with Marge. She’d hidden herself in a pile of cod and no one could find her until one keen-eyed fisherman noticed that one of the cod seemed to have a bow in its hair.

Sarah and Piper and Trig and Marge all got into the SUV. They offered to give Sandra a ride too, but she begged off, saying that Todd had very kindly offered to show her his collection of velvet paintings of dogs playing poker, and so she was happy to ride with him in the bus.

Sarah was in her element, chatting to the press when she arrived at the clambake, schmoozing with such luminaries as John Sununu, and watching Piper and Marge playing Hide-the-Rodent with Trig. All was going well until halfway through the evening when Sarah realised that she hadn’t seen Todd since they left the co-op, and wandered off to find him, carrying a plate of food.

Sandra told me, with what I must say was only the merest hint of embarrassment, that when Sarah threw open the door of the bus, releasing a cloud of amyl nitrate and marijuana smoke that must have made Andrew Sullivan’s nose twitch six states away, Sandra was on top of Todd, stark naked, mid-orgasm and shouting “Ride me like Paul Revere!” at the top of her voice.

The words “wild, screaming, hair-tearing hissy fit” apparently do not begin to do justice to what then ensued.

Sarah lobbed clamshells at Todd, followed by the plate, and Sandra heard each of them hit his forehead with a pronounced thud. Sandra extracted Little Todd from her nether parts and made a break for the door, leaving behind her red Dior suit and some very new Jimmy Choos. She says that the last thing she saw before she managed to escape was Sarah advancing towards Todd brandishing a plastic spork and screaming that she was going to cut off his “fucking Levi Johnston”.

I won’t bore you with the sordid tale of how Sandra managed to convince John Sununu to lend her his limousine to get to the airport, or how in Sarah’s absence Marge cornered several journalists and started raving about squirrels and how they want to take over the country – You can expect that to be taken up as part of the Tea Party platform any day now.

In finishing, however, I will just note three things. First, that the news reports, while noting that Sarah and Todd’s motorcade managed to break several road rules after leaving that clambake, just before the Sarah Palin bus tour was “postponed” indefinitely, entirely failed to mention Todd’s amazing ability to drive a bus with one hand clamped to his crotch to staunch the bleeding.

Second – the last time I saw Sarah Palin on the television she seemed to be wearing a very nice red Dior suit and some quite adorable Jimmy Choo slingbacks, which goes to show that beggars can’t be choosers.

Finally, that Sandra came home from her last appointment with the gynecologist – menopause having been staved off for years because of all those Cambodian hormones – with a little surprise. It won’t be easy raising a baby in a retirement home, but we’ll do our best.

We’re thinking of calling it Clam.

[H/t for the image to the gorgeous Rumproasters.]

[Cross posted at Balloon Juice.]

In which Sarah gets shunted onto an Alaska Airlines flight to Anchorage with a layover in Seattle

Those few of you who have been reading my little stories from the beginning would recall the time I spoke about a young Sarah Heath-but-soon-to-be-Palin and her generosity with the chamomile tea at the Miss Alaska beauty pageant back in 1984.

I didn’t see her for a long time after that, which was fine by me. I keep track of her though. I do like to maintain a close eye on the high functioning psychopaths who cross my path. I didn’t make it to the age of 92 by being stupid. I have a friend at the CIA office in Anchorage who owes me a good number of favors, and he sends me an email with updates on young Ms Palin every few months.

(Personal to Sexypants in Anchorage – Keep being a good boy or Mr Spanky will come out, and you know you don’t like that.)

Anyhow, in April 2008 I went on a trip to Grapevine in Texas. That’s where my son Jeremy lives with his wife Dogface and their loutish and ever expanding brood, whose names are Trail, Mammary, Tree, Bagpiper and Math (or something unfortunate like that).

I had a lovely time. I handed out presents and sweets and kisses. I gave the little ones too much red jello and then watched them vibrate around the house until their mother screamed at them. I snuck into Trail’s bedroom while he was asleep and cut off the horrible little rat tail he’d been growing and then planted the scissors on one of his sisters. There were indeed shenanigans.

When it came time for me to go home, Jeremy drove me to Dallas/Fort Worth to catch my plane. I let Tree and Bagpiper come to the airport because they’re the only ones I don’t actively dislike.

When we arrived I handed over some cash to the children, kissed them all goodbye and sent them on their way. I quite like airports – the sense of anticipation, the frenetic energy, the shops full of booze, the obligatory nuns, the hosties in their short skirts and tight pants. Being at an airport is an experience Grammy Sarah likes to experience on her own, thank you very much.

Eventually I went to the Delta desk where I was told that there was a problem with my plane, but they were going to fit me right in on an Alaska Airlines flight to Anchorage, which had a layover in Seattle, but which left half an hour before the flight I had booked. There are advantages to having been a frequent flyer since 1942. The nice young lady summoned up a nice young security guard called Trevor who shepherded me through to the front of the check-in queue and then very kindly walked me to my boarding gate. He was very pretty – blond, sweet and dumb – just like Grammy likes ‘em.

I knew from my briefing emails that Sarah was going to be in town for a Republican Governors Association meeting on energy policy, so I wasn’t surprised when I saw her waiting at the front of the line to board. What did surprise me was that she appeared to be fairly pregnant. My source hadn’t mentioned this to me at all.

I joined a group of old dears from the United Daughters of the Confederacy who were off on an excursion. I didn’t think Sarah would recognize me as I was wearing a pair of Jackie’s old sunglasses (which I snaffled one Christmas at the White House) and my new Candice Bergen wig, but it never hurts to be careful.

I peered out at her through the haze of White Diamonds, mothballs and urine smell that seemed to have enveloped me.

Sarah was wearing a cheap rip-off of a Dries Van Noten thigh-length coat – you could tell from the poor stitching on the collar and around the cuffs – and she was stuffed in to it fit to bursting, like Chris Christie in a thong. It looked for all the world like she’d swallowed a big square pillow. She was nattering away to a man with a face like a dyspeptic badger, who was wearing ski boots, a shell suit and a leather jacket with a Slayer logo on the back. I assumed this was Todd. He nodded agreement every now and then but didn’t appear to add much else to anything. While she spoke at him, she kept patting at her stomach like the baby was kicking.

I was a bit concerned about getting on to the plane without her seeing me, but fortunately a nice flight attendant spotted my Balenciaga jacket and my bespoke Dior shoes and took all us old biddies on to the plane first. Always wear your best to the airport. The gays like it and it can be worth an upgrade.

When Sarah saw that someone was getting on the plane before her, she made a face just like the one that Joan Rivers makes when you tell her there’s no more booze.

I hid in the middle of the group until we were on the plane, and then hunkered down in my seat right at the front with a strategically positioned newspaper.

When I woke up from my little nap, we were in the air and three-quarters of the way to Seattle. Most of the plane was dozing. I took a look around with my makeup mirror while I fixed my face. Sarah and the Todd were two seats behind me and across the aisle at the back of the first class section.

He was playing some kind of electronic game, and he sniggered occasionally like Muttley from Whacky Races.

She in the aisle seat reading Cosmo. Every now and then, at quite regular intervals of five minutes or so, she would let out a little noise and clutch at her stomach, then look around furtively, almost as if she was checking to see if anyone had noticed. This went on for the best part of half an hour.

Of course, all the hosties had on their best “not my problem” faces, so they barely noticed that she was there, let alone her rhythmic grunting.

Next, she jabbed Todd in the gut and made a gesture with her head. Todd reached into his bag and fished out a bottle of water. She had a drink and then, lowering the bottle down to seat level, she splashed water around her feet. A little bit went into the aisle and glistened there. She handed the bottle back to Todd, and then made a little “o” sound of surprise.

Whatever reaction she was expecting from the flight attendants, it did not eventuate.

She pouted for a while and then got up to go to the toilet up at the front of the plane. I pretended to be asleep, but I was still wearing my sunglasses so my eyes were wide open. Just as she passed me, her entire baby-bulge moved directly downwards about eight inches and I saw the bottom of a bright green polyester cushion (with yellow flowers, no less) poke out from under the edge of her coat.

She grabbed at it and barely stopped it falling all the way out, then tried to shove it back in but only made it worse, looked around in panic and bolted for the toilet.

Todd didn’t notice and he only looked up from his game of Donkey Kong about twenty minutes later when she hadn’t emerged and the steward had to knock on the door and make her come out because the plane was preparing to land.

I retreated behind my newspaper again, but I did see that when she sat down she called Todd a name that’s so nasty it isn’t even in my vocabulary.

When I woke up, the plane was deserted and the nice gay flight attendant was shaking me by the shoulder. His name was José. He helped me off the plane and into a taxi and handed me his number as the car drove off. We write to each other every week, and he’s become firm friends with my nephew Charles and his flatmate Kevin, although I can’t imagine what the three of them have in common.

All in all, it was a very nice trip.

In which Bill Donohue provides an example which is both illustrative and apt

A couple of years ago, I went on a church excursion to New Orleans for three days at Mardi Gras time. There are benefits to being on church committees.

This was before Keith turned up his clogs in 2004. I mean that literally, by the way. He was wearing clogs one night for some unknowable reason and decided to go down into the basement and ended up spilling what little brains he had left all over the concrete floor.

It was a lovely funeral.

Anyway, the excursion was quite pleasant. During the day, we visited the sights. We saw some lovely mansions and churches and rode on a streetcar and sipped the odd mint julep. Then we’d all be tucked up in bed at our hotel by 8pm.

After a refreshing nap, Gloria Peters, Sandra Frazer and I sneaked out of the hotel to decry the hedonism and sin. I personally admonished three sinners, apparently convinced at least one young Brazilian gentleman that “o Deus” did exist, and collected 17 strands of beads, which isn’t bad for an skinny 85 year old with a dicky hip. I credit it to my Catherine Zeta Jones wig, the Balenciaga strapless and 75 years of careful moisturizing. The last time I saw Gloria and Sandra that night, they were leaving on the arms of twin Kenyan marathon runners, which I thought was a bit random.

I am wending my way to a point, somewhere, by the way.

I’m old. Fuck off if you don’t like it.

The next day, Sunday, we were going to go to mass at St. Augustine’s Church. We were all gathered in the lobby of the hotel, when Bill Donohue walked through the door with his niece, who seemed to be a young Puerto Rican lady.

He seemed surprised to see me. We know each other from La Roche College. Oh, the stories I could tell.

No, not that. That’s disgusting. You have a filthy mind.

It being Sunday morning, we immediately asked him and his niece to come to church with us, even though she was not, frankly, dressed for the occasion. They accepted, although Bill seemed slightly distracted, and we all piled onto the bus. I sat Bill next to Marge Albrechtson. She was blissed-out on her anti-psychotics that day but still, with the chronic incontinence and the burbling about how much she hates squirrels, accompanied by stabbing motions with her elbows, Marge is not anyone’s first choice of traveling companion.

I sat with the young lady. Her name, I discovered, was Nina. She was nervous about her dress, so we found her a nice shell-pink cardigan and used one of Sandra’s huge Dior scarves as a skirt, and she looked just darling. She was a lovely girl who was working her way through a business degree at night school, while looking after two of the most adorable little brown children you have even seen. She said she hadn’t been to church for three years, and I told her that it was like pole dancing. Once you’ve learned how to do it, you never forget.

She also knew how to score some pretty good e, which was a bonus as Gloria had snaffled my entire stash the night before.

At the church, we all sat in a pew in the middle, with Bill on one side of me and Nina on the other. Nina really belted those hymns when it was needed. She had a beautiful singing voice. Really top class. What that girl can do to “Deep River” would make your heart melt.

In front of us there was a young black lady with three little girls and no wedding ring. All four of them were dressed up fine, each as pretty as a princess with two glass shoes and a pumpkin coach. The youngest was probably six months old, and she gave Nina’s kids a run for their money. Her mother was holding her in her arms and she peeped over her mom’s shoulder and Gloria and I both went “awww” out loud at the same time. It was the little pink bow in her hair that did it.

Gloria and Sandra and I cooed at her for a while, as is the right of any old lady, even wicked old ones. She giggled a bit and then let out a long chuckle of joy when Gloria brought out a little stuffed lion she uses to torment her own grandchildren. This made all three of us laugh, and the laugh spread for a while. Before we knew it, the hymn was finished and half the church was having a little chuckle to themselves but with no idea why.

Gloria handed over the lion and the kiddy said “ta” and then propped herself up on her mother’s shoulder to examine it. After a while, her attention wavered and she spotted chunky Bill’s old frog-like mug, and immediately pulled a face like Sarah Palin gutting a moose off-camera.

The next hymn started.

“We’ve come a long way, Lord, a mighty long way
We’ve borne our burdens in the heat of the day
But we know the Lord has made the way
We’ve come a long way, Lord, a mighty long way

I’ve been in the valley and prayed night and day

And I know the Lord has made the way …”

At about this point, the baby started blowing raspberries to the beat. Just little innocent ones, like she was enjoying the music and wanted to join in.

“I’ve hard trials each and ev’ry day

But I know the Lord has made the way

Wish I was in heaven sitting down.

Wish I was in Heaven sitting down.”

She got a little excited and started singing along to every second word, with a little raspberry on every other beat. Her mother tried to settle her but she was so excited and happy she just got louder. By this point, most of the church was laughing or wondering why the hell everyone else was laughing.

The organist was oblivious and the song just kept winding on, as we all tried our best to sing the words, and over us all the sound of a little girl singing at the top of her voice and making little farting noises.

Bill, of course, looked outraged at this offense against decorum and good taste, and started to glower. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen Bill get angry, but I can tell you that the top of his head gets red and the red filters down till his whole head is like a sweaty beetroot. It’s kind of like watching someone pour raspberry syrup onto shaved ice, only without the promise of a nice cooling treat at the end.

“O, Mary, O, Martha

Wish I was in heaven sitting down.”

Suddenly the baby got off a few good old fashioned meaty razberries, which made her mother laugh, which set Sandra and me off again as well.

“Wouldn’t get tired no more, tired no more

Wouldn’t have nothing to do, nothing to do

Try on my long white robe, long white robe
Sit at my Jesus’ feet, my Jesus’ feet.”

Then the song ended and there was silence, broken only by some muted guffawing and the sound of Bill spluttering as he attained his most beet-like state, and then the little baby shed an enormous load of poo into its nappy, with a thunderous noise and a stench like Rush Limbaugh’s secret basement on hosing-out day.

The priest had to sit down until he could stop laughing. The poor mother was mortified and blushing and laughing all at the same time, and she hustled her kiddies out as quickly and quietly as she could, and Gloria and Sandra and Nina and I hustled out behind her to see if we could help and get in some more cooing, leaving everyone else to recover as they wished.

As I was leaving, Bill hissed in my ear, “Some people are no better than they should be.”

The nice black lady was called Wanda, and her little children had lovely names. I forget what they were as I immediately exercised an old lady’s discretion to forget and call them all “sweetie” for the rest of time. Wanda turned out to be the niece of Father Williams, the priest who had said mass. An actual niece this time, for those who are keeping score.

She was still horribly embarrassed, so we all told her not to be silly, and that it was the best laugh we had had since Father Flarety got his pants caught in a mangle at the last bring-and-buy. Then we shooed her and Nina off to organize coffee and cake for morning tea, while we faffed around with nappies (see above re: how to do things, the never forgetting of) and dandled the baby and taught the older girls card tricks. I had a sneaky bottle of whiskey in my bag, so all the adults had Irish.

When no one was looking I slipped a couple of Marge’s special laxatives into a slice of fruit cake. Underneath the fondant icing is best because if they chew it they just think it’s a lump of sugar.

Mass ended and people started filtering in. I “helped” with the coffee. Bill barged in with Father Williams in tow. Bill was sounding off about the declining morals of the young and the very young. I handed him his slice of cake and he munched away. No Irish coffee for him, I promise you. He kept ranting about how young children these days were not taught about the proper fear of God, waving his hands in the air, until he spotted the little baby. At that point, he pointed one of his porcine fingers right at her, saying “Like that child making farting noises at me in mass.”

Father Williams looked embarrassed and stammered that baby was his grand-niece, but that if she had been rude he was truly sorry.

At that instant, there was a gurgling from Donohue’s stomach that sounded like Cerberus on a busy night in Hades. Then there was a very long and very still silence, broken eventually by a grunt and a tiny little groan, then another long still silence, during which Bill did his raspberry ice trick again, except this time in a sort of unpleasant lime colour.

One more groan, a little whimper and then were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened, as Bill shat himself forcefully and repeatedly, making a noise that had resonance, had timbre, had (dare I say it?) guts, and then fell to the floor like a stone at a church-parking-lot stoning.

As I stepped over him to get at the sandwich buffet, I said, “Some people are no better than they are.”

We still stay in touch with Nina and Wanda. All their kiddies are doing well at school. Wanda has started her own business making wedding cakes. Nina graduated last year and her first album comes out in August. It’s very good. Timbaland owed me a favor. Don’t ask.

Last week, Wanda sent us a photo of them all at the community market garden that they set up after Katrina. Father Williams has his arm around Nina’s shoulder, and the five kiddies are all in a line in height order, leaning on their shovels and grinning. The little one is sticking out her little pink tongue and laughing like Hayley Barbour at an all-you-can-eat-shrimp-and-hooker buffet. The sun is shining, and the corn is waving in the wind. Nina and Wanda are looking at each other with a look I can only describe as love.

Some people are better than they should be.

And we’ll all be blind and eating salmon paste sandwiches…


A few years ago, we went on a bus excursion to Janesville, Wisconsin. If I remember correctly we were going to see the Lincoln-Tallman House, in which Abraham Lincoln slept for all of two nights. That was the trip Marge Albrechtson had the unfortunate incident on the Lincoln bed.

Anyhow, Gloria Peters and I were dropped off beforehand at St. John Vianney’s for mass, while the others went off to see some library or other.

Congressman Ryan was there with Janna and little Samuel, sitting in the pew in front of us. During the homily, which was about “christian charity and the care of the sick”, the congressman dozed off.

I wasn’t surprised. The priest didn’t have any of the oomph our Father McInerney puts into his sermons. To hear Father Mac ranting about the hellfires and the poking in the buttocks by the little grey Cheney-demons with the little grey hooves is a unique and spiritually uplifting experience.

There was a woman sitting beside us with two little children. I assume her husband was off at war or some such. Her children were both dreadfully dribbly and not particularly pleasant all up. The boy had a tail like a rat’s tail running down his neck and badly needed a wash. He too was nodding off. It was an awful sermon.

The priest was burbling on when there was a sharp breath near my ear, and suddenly Congressman Ryan bolted straight upwards. I looked at Gloria and she was slipping her pen-case blow tube into her pocket. It took her three days to make it, but she can kill a fly with a tic tac from twenty feet.

Ryan turned around, with his face all red, and glared at the stinky little lump of boy, who woke up a little bit and looked back at him with an expression of semi-amiable incomprehension. Ryan squinted at him and sat back and promptly went back to sleep.

Five minutes later, Gloria winked at me and loaded up another tic tac. Wham. Right on the tip of the Congressman’s ear. The tic tac ricocheted off into the altar area, and Congressman Ryan said “Fuck” in a very loud voice, which woke up everyone, including the priest.

Being a good politician he, of course, waved it off and apologized for having a bad dream, and the mass went on.

Afterwards, there was a little parish tea, to which we were invited as ladies of obvious distinction. It wasn’t much of a spread. Honestly who serves fish paste sandwiches and Tang in this day and age? It was a dead loss until Gloria and I managed to snaffle a bottle of scotch and two glasses out of the parish priest’s office, and installed ourselves in the corner behind an ornamental ficus to drink “whisky sunrises”.

Both Ryan and rat-boy were there as well. I can’t imagine how his rat-mother got an invitation for her and her pustulent brood. Anyway, the congressman was on the hunt as soon as that little blond mullet in the Von Dutch t-shirt walked in.

Ryan pretty much ignored all the other guests as he chattered his was from group to group trying to get to the other side of the room, where the boy was happily munching on a rather mediocre scone. He ducked around the Bishop, bounced off two women in plain shoes who were standing in the middle of the room, and ended up behind our ornamental ficus. Seeing us scared him so much, he let out another almighty “Fuck!” and staggered backwards into a nun.

After he managed to recollect himself, and had apologized again, he stood in a corner for a while, glaring across the room at the bits of the little boy he could see from behind its mother’s legs.

The little boy had worked out by now that Congressman Ryan had it in for him. It was clinging on for dear life to its mother, but she suddenly walked over to us. I’m not sure why. I may have beckoned to her. I can’t recall. Anyway, the kiddy was left all alone in the middle of the room.

Congressman Ryan grinned like a crocodile (well, sort of like a crocodile but without the little teeth picking birds and the reeds and the mud). He launched himself across the room towards the Bishop, who was standing near the wet bar. Ryan’s hand was outstretched as if for a handshake, and his fingers just happened by accident to poke rat-boy right in the eye. Ryan kept on going and was soon chatting to the bishop about abortion, disclaiming all knowledge of how that “poor child” was so grievously injured and trying to fob blame off on the nun.

An eye for an ear and an ear for an eye, and blame it all on the dribbly proles and the women.

A true republican at heart.

Putting the crazy in “crazy eyes”

Twice the crazy at half the price

I met Michele Bachmann back in about 1993 when she was setting up her New Heights Charter School in Stillwater.

From day one, she was skimming the cream off the books. The school’s stationery bill tripled after the first month, mainly due to the number of boxes of pens and pencils and paper that would come in one door and go straight out the back into Michele’s station-wagon. It bought an extra bus, which spent most the time parked outside Michele’s house, when it wasn’t ferrying her enormous brood of children and foster children to ballet classes and gridiron matches. She would sneak into the staff room, steal a box of chocolate biscuits from the storeroom and then sit and eat the whole lot at one sitting, leaving all the packets on the floor for someone else to clean up.

Directors’ meetings were a veritable orgy of French champagne and caviar. She’d sit there in her big Eames chair (which was, of course, bought by the school, but somehow ended up in her house a few years later), waving a glass of Pol Roger, and declaiming about the “12 Christian Principles” or how “Snow White” was a paganistic, bisexual, group-sex porn film made by the godless elites to harm good god-fearing children.

Denise Stephens and I finally reached the end of our tether when she tried to get the school to open another school in Waumandee in Wisconsin, purely by coincidence on a piece of farm land Michele’s family had been trying to flog off for ten years. That land was so contaminated by chemicals that any dairy cow that stepped onto it would curl up its tail and drop straight down dead.

This was about the time Michele tried to introduce compulsory Creationism classes and ban the school from showing “Aladdin” at the Under-6’s Merit evening. I always suspected that she hated that film because Jafar looked so much like her.

She fronted up to the Board meeting reeking of scotch and hepped up on Ritalin she’d snaffled from one of her many foster-children. Five minutes in, once the crowd had quietened down, Denise stood up and started her speech.

Now, Denise is one of those good Republican women you don’t get very often any more. Rational, sensible, and with an abiding belief in fair play and Christian charity.

Denise slowly and quietly began to outline her concerns, but two minutes in Michele stood up, swaying from side to side, and moving her head from side to side to try and focus her scary snake eyes on Denise. Then she began squawking like a toucan on crack “Are you going to question my integrity?”, over and over again, getting louder each time. I honestly thought she was having a fit, or her brain had just broken.

“Are you going to question my integrity? Are you going to question my integrity? Are you going to question my integrity? Are you going to question my integrity? Are you going to question my integrity? Are you going to question my integrity? Are you going to question my integrity? My integrity? Are you going to question my integrity? Are you questioning my integrity? Are you questioning my integrity? ARE you QUESTIONING MY FUCKING INTEGRITY?”

At last something snapped and she screamed at the top of her voice, “You can’t handle a woman of my integrity. I resign, you fucking atheist bitches”, let out an enormous shriek, pegged her water glass at Denise’s head and ran out of the room still shrieking like a fox that was being waterboarded.

I never saw her again. I understand she managed to get a lot of government subsidies for not farming on her land – not that you could plant a crop on that land without it melting – and then convinced some poor sucker to put his dairy cows onto it.

It seems she’s worked out a much better way to get suckers to pay for her champagne and chocolate binges too.

“Exploratory Committee”, my wrinkled old ass.

Bad eggs

Image: Filomena Scalise /

There was a woman called Jill Carter who used to come to my church.

When there was a bring-and-buy, she never brought anything. When there was a bake sale, she never baked anything. When there was a wake, she used to show up late and snaffle all the whiskey punch.

Meanest woman I ever did meet.

Of course one day, Father O’Reilly fronted her and the next time she came to a bake sale she brought a bundt cake that killed half the Simmons family with salmonella.

Sometimes you have to leave bad enough alone.

Image: Filomena Scalise /

Don’t drink the chamomile tea

Arsenic and Old Lace

I haven’t been able to drink chamomile tea since 1984 when I was a judge on the Miss Alaska beauty pageant.

Being something of an expert in the art of deportment, I was asked to spend some time with all the girls in the days leading up to the pageant. You would not find a nicer group of young ladies – fine, salt of the earth women – with the exception of young Miss Sarah Heath.

I knew when I first saw her that she was a climber who would claw her way over the half-dead bodies of her parents if she thought it would get her mug on television. She had that same cold, mean urgent look in her eyes that Ayn Rand always had – as if someone else had dropped a dollar in church but not noticed, and she wanted to scrabble about on the floor to find it, and the only thing holding her back was the thought that God might see.

Sarah used to make chamomile tea for all the judges. She’d make a big pot, enough for perhaps ten or fifteen people. Then she’d portion it out into little cupfuls of smarm, and bat her eyelashes and say to me “Oh, Mrs Howard, I have some chamomile tea to spare, and I thought of you.”

However, she never gave any tea to any of the other girls. They’d ask and she’d say “I’m afraid I don’t have any to spare”, and then hide that teapot (which just you knew was still half full) under some towels as if giving away some hot yellow water was going to ruin the family fortune. Oh, she was as mean as a rat with a chocolate truffle.

Then, the day of the pageant, she suddenly started doling out that tea to the other contestants as if Jesus himself had come down for the weekend to check on how generous people were being. None for the judges, but even if one of the girls said they didn’t want any, she’d say “I’ll just leave a cupful for you here in case you change your mind.”

It’s funny. Even with a large majority of the contestants that day showing clear signs of having been doped with cheap crystal meth – one poor girl absolutely freaking out on stage convinced the doves from her magic act were trying to kill her, another sitting staring at her own feet and blubbering about the “terrible claws” – Sarah still only managed to come third.

I mean, really, did you see that flute performance? In that cheap lace blouse and the Margaret Thatcher hair cut, she looked like a cut price Detective Mary Beth Lacey without the fashion sense, the comic timing and the ability to shoot a gun properly.

We gave her Miss Congeniality, of course, because none of us wanted to wake up with a moose head in the bed next to us.

She’s much slicker now, I admit, but if you look in her eyes you can still see the young girl in the ugly blouse who thought that everyone else in the world was stupid and would never see through her tricks.

Cheap trash can become rich trash, but mean and dumb is forever.

[Edited to fix Sarah’s maiden name. My old mind does play tricks on me sometimes. Thanks to Raven for his polite and timely correction.]