Why does Doogie Howser want to destroy the world?

Some of you may have noticed that I post a fair bit about the gays, particularly on Balloon Juice.

Now, some people have asked, with some justification, “Sarah, as a proud, if fictional, Republican Catholic Woman, how is it that you, of all people, are a friend of the homosexual?”

My usual answer is that I am a 92 year old woman in nursing care who likes to get dressed up in bespoke clothing and expensive shoes, get trashed on fine Dutch ecstasy and then go out for a big night of opera and dinner followed by a great deal of loud repetitive music played in dark rooms full of sweaty men, which ends only when I wake up between a Brazilian masseur called João and his even cuter, even better hung brother Jorge, both of whom really like to share.

If it weren’t for the gays, I’d be ugly, naked, barefoot and dead of boredom within two weeks.

I love my gays. And Grammy never said no to a nice pair of boobs, either, if they were offered politely and with good grace.

Indeed, I love all colors of the LGBTTSQQIAPOAO rainbow because I believe that anyone should be able to do anything they wish with their hearts and other squishy pink bits as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else, even if I do have problems remembering what that second Q and both of those As stand for.

It’s certainly better than when I was young, when the accepted terminology was either “queer”, “poor sad Uncle Tommy”, or “Mummy’s friend Roger who does such wonderful things with satin and whalebone”.

Things have certainly come a long way since then. I understand that in some states the gays are even allowed to buy houses together and visit each other in hospital (although not in the South, of course).

Even worse for the Christianists, a number of polls now suggest that a majority of the American population supports the idea of gay marriage, with dramatic increases in support in the last 12 months among Democrats, Independents and people aged under 35.

Most of this change in opinion seems to have come about due to the use by gay and lesbian people of such pernicious and unfair tactics as coming out to their families and workmates and brazenly pretending to be normal, ordinary people.

Thankfully for the opponents of gay marriage, Ben Fucking Shapiro, the man who puberty forgot – last seen revealing to a stunned world that MASH had an anti-war agenda – has his eyes open to this threat to everything that real Americans believe in, and has appeared on the 700 Club with Pat Robertson to sound the alarm.

In what looks for all the world like a really fucked up episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Pat laments how straight actors like Heath Ledger and Tom Hanks are being forced by Hollywood to play gay in order to win their Oscars.

Ben, in his turn, notes that:

They create a set of characters who you spend more time with, in many cases, than your own family unfortunately, people who are funny and witty and who you really want to spend hours on end with, and then they take those people and they have them pursue behaviors that really don’t agree and don’t accord with your personal values and it makes it very difficult for you to then disown those values. …. It makes it difficult for you to say I’m anti gay marriage but I like watching Will and Grace.

I suspect from his wistful tone that Ben likes watching Will and Grace a little too much, but also note that if his awareness of current gay friendly shows extends only to Will and Grace, he needs to get out a bit more more.

Anyway, gay marriage will come one day, my dears, even in America and despite Ben and Pat’s best efforts, because every day more and more people look at their gay children and their gay uncles and aunties and their gay workmates and, yes, even at that nice Doogie Howser, and realize that stopping them marrying the person they love just doesn’t make any sense.

I just hope Pat Robertson is still alive to see it.

[Personal message to Charles: Dearest, Don’t tell your mother but Aunty knows you’re gay. She’s just happy you two boys finally found each other.]

[Cross posted at Balloon Juice.]

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Laugh, clowns, at your broken loves

I don’t often visit the New York Times website.

There is far too much risk that I might accidentally be exposed to something written by David Brooks, at which point I would have to poke out my own eyes with a pair of chopsticks to save my sanity. At 92, I need to hang on to as many of my senses as I have left. As I noted on a thread at Balloon Juice the other day, when I was younger and had fortified myself with a good dose of anti-psychotics, I once tried writing a detailed critique of one of Brooks’ articles, only to end up with a page with the words “David Brooks is a dickhead” scribbled one hundred times.* Ever since then, I have limited myself to writing nasty stories about him being humiliated by old ladies and then posting links to them on his Facebook Wall.

Anyway, this evening I was searching for shirtless photos of Aaron Schock – I know it’s wrong, but I have a weakness for men who look like they’d cry for their mommy during sex – and must have clicked on the wrong link.

On its Room for Debate page, the Times has collected together a team of crack political analysts (assuming that by “crack” one means the wide space between the top of a plumber’s shorts and the bottom of his shirt) to debate the question “Who’s Missing From the G.O.P. Race?“.

Surprisingly, the answer is apparently not “Everyone with an IQ over 4 and Sarah Palin”.

Linda Chavez (whose article is wonderfully entitled “Big Egos Need Not Apply”) distinguishes herself by noting that:

The G.O.P. has a deeper bench than the Democrats…

follows it up with the suggestion that:

the Democrats are going to have a tough time with Hispanic voters, who may choose to stay home on Election Day.

and then plumps for John #notintendedtobeafactualstatement Kyl, who would surely have the brown people and the womens lining up twelve deep to vote for him.

Ramesh Ponnuru’s choice is Jeb Bush. Ramesh is careful to remain forked-tongue-in-cheek:

6) And if nominated, he could save Republicans the expense of buying new bumper stickers by picking Elizabeth Cheney as his running mate.

and even notes that:

4) His presence in the race would also force an overdue Republican reckoning with his brother’s legacy. If Republicans really want to repudiate George W. Bush as a big-government conservative, rejection of Jeb Bush would allow them to do so definitively.

Nevertheless, you can feel the hope for eight more years of Bush oozing out of Ramesh like flop-sweat out of Rush Limbaugh’s back at a Snoop Dogg concert.

Fergus Cullen, aware enough to notice that the GOP has little chance of winning with the pack of whackaloons, assholes and magic underpants wearers who have currently thrown their tinfoil-hats into the ring, pines for “A Mainstream Alternative”. One of his choices is Mitch Daniels, which suggests that by “mainstream alternative” Fergus simply means “doesn’t dribble on himself that much when he speaks”.

John J. Pitney Jr and Dan Schnur each disappoint by actually making sense for whole sentences at a time, concluding that only a fucking idiot would choose to enter the race at this point anyway.

My favorite though is Peter Wehner, who inserts his tongue lightly into Mitch Daniels:

… recently delivered the best speech any major G.O.P. figure has given in years.

– frankly a pretty low bar – but then gets so excited about Paul Ryan I expect Petey had to Windex his computer keyboard afterwards:

He’s the author of the most impressive conservative governing blueprint in decades, and maybe ever … offered a comprehensive, wise and politically courageous answer … rock-solid … extremely popular … excels in his style and public discourse … philosophically well-grounded, a passionate and scrappy advocate for his views … eschews dishonest and ugly rhetoric …. personally modest and unpretentious rather than arrogant and morally preening. Paul Ryan, in other words, is the antithesis of Barack Obama.

Personally, I hope all of these people run. The more clowns there are in the primary clown car – painting their faces black and white, honking their horns, squirting each other with confetti made of hanging chads, and waving fetuses made up with sad clown makeup – the better.

Image: Le Trapeziste Et Le Clown – Charles Giron (1850-1914)

* A fond shout-out to JGabriel, who noted that writing out “David Brooks is a dickhead” 100 times is actually surprisingly entertaining.


Why does Peggy Noonan hate America?

I adore plane travel.

I love the sheer improbability of nine hundred thousand pounds of steel, people and fuel flitting through the air like Nijinsky on a coke binge. I love the fact that there are beautiful women and handsome gay men whose sole function for eight hours is to bring Grammy more champagne. I love not having to elbow incontinent old people in the head in order to watch what I want on TV.

Most of all, I love the fact that I can have a nap and wake up in Amsterdam or Barcelona or Sydney or Rio de Janeiro. I’ve spent most of my life trying to travel to as many foreign places and meet as many foreign people as possible, even if I’ve had to hock my shoes to get there.

One of the other advantages of plane travel is that the enforced down-time waiting in airport terminals gives me a chance to browse around those corners of the internets I usually don’t get to. For example, the other day, while I was at LaGuardia waiting for Gloria’s plane to be refueled, I stumbled across an unusually coherent article by little Peggy Noonan.

I’m not suggesting it is a great article. After all, when Peggy writes, you’re usually just happy if the piece uses recognizable words and the smell of vodka doesn’t filter all the way down through the printing process and transpire off the page. However, I thought her conclusion was interesting, if only because it looks like Peggy has managed to stumble in the gutter and land on her hands and knees next to half a truth:

The whole world is in the Hilton, channel-surfing. The whole world is on the train, in the airport, judging what it sees, and likely, in some serious ways, finding us wanting. And, being human, they may be judging us with a small, extra edge of harshness for judging them and looking down on them. We have work to do at home, on our culture and in our country.

My real problem with Peggy’s conclusion is that the real situation is much worse than she thinks.

The world doesn’t look at America and find it wanting. The world looks at America and worries what the hell it is up to now.

Now before anyone accuses me of being an America-hating Limey immigrant bitch, let me hasten to add that I love this country with all my heart. Any nation that produced bourbon whiskey, blues music, the cheeseburger and George Clooney’s ass can’t be all bad.

Further, many (perhaps even most) Americans are fine, generous, inventive, kind people.

I’m also not suggesting that the rest of the world isn’t messed up as well. One look at the Italian Parliament or the Japanese film industry or the slums of Brazil or anything involving Steve and Bindi Irwin or the Wiggles would suggest that the rest of the world has enough of its own problems to be getting on with.

America is supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave, the refuge of the homeless and the tempest-tost, that more perfect union whose alabaster cities gleam undimmed by human tears.

And yet, most of the time what the outside world sees is a nation of bloodthirsty war-mongers and religious dogmatists who think the way to world peace is more guns and more war, that democracy can be imposed at the end of a Gatling gun, and that drilling for oil, bringing on Armageddon or the fact that the indigenous population wears their handkerchiefs on their heads are legitimate reasons for invasion.

They read their papers and they read about a nation that went to war to throw off the shackles of a hereditary monarchy and then spent the next 200 years replacing it with the most dysfunctional political system this side of Pyongyang, a hereditary argentocracy in which the electoral prospects of a fat multiply-bankrupt television star with a triple combover can be seriously discussed, rather than being relegated to the funny pages.

They wonder at a nation that has the best medical system in the world in which 90% of the population can’t see a doctor without selling either a kidney or their oldest child into slavery – a nation that has the best education system in the world, and yet 72% of the population is so terminally incurious that it doesn’t have a passport and couldn’t find America on a map with a torch and a pointy red arrow marked “You are here”.

They deal with fat tourists from Texas in walk socks and flip-flops who travel overseas merely so they can shout at the locals in English in order to be understood and get directions to the Hard Rock cafe, and thereby avoid being exposed to anything remotely foreign while in a foreign land.

They fear America as a country of cultural imperialists, racists, Jesus freaks and Amway salesmen who want to turn the entire world into a sanitized theme park of sexless talking mice, big-eyed virgins, plastic cheese and expensive time-limited parking.

In the family reunion of nations, America is the crazy aunty with halitosis and a moustache who bails you up in the corner and tells you off because you need to lose weight and stop smoking, while all the while scoffing all the vol-au-vents and bogarting the joint.

America is a great nation. Americans rightly think so. The rest of the world rightly thinks so.

The real problem is that when much of America looks at itself all it sees is a great nation.

The rest of the world looks at America and, however much they may envy or love its wealth and its celebrity and its power, they see a great nation that is often demonstrably, certifiably fucking insane.

Grammy either needs a drink or to stop reading the newspapers. Probably both.

[Image from Artrenewal.org]


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.


One is a vicious creature with no morals that licks itself, and the other is a dog

I was reading the other day that Donald Trump has interviewed Ralph Reed for the job as his campaign manager.

As I mentioned in my letter to those lawyers, while I was staying with Bitsy at Donald’s New York apartment Ivana’s little pekinese Frou-Frou attacked Donald.

Frou-Frou was normally a sweet little thing, but Ivana had been showing it pictures of Donald and poking it, so that every time it saw him it would growl and show its little teeth like Sarah Palin at an NAACP conference.

Bitsy and I were on our way out of the apartment, when we saw Ivana sneaking into the bathroom with Frou-Frou in her arms. Donald was in there having a shower, singing showtunes at the top of his voice – something from “Cats” if my memory serves.

Suddenly, there was a scream from Donald as Ivana lobbed the little doggy over the screen and into the shower.

As long as I live, I don’t think I will ever see anything as funny as Donald rocketing out of his gold and pink marble bathroom, stark naked, hair flapping behind him, stomach flopping in front of him, with his arms flailing and flapping, and with a tiny, furry dog hanging on for dear life to his testicles with its teeth and pissing everywhere at the same time with excitement.

Funnily enough, I imagine Ralph Reed’s first meeting with the Donald was quite similar visually.


In which Sarah tells an inconsequential story about Donald Trump

As I have mentioned before, I first met Bitsy Trump back when she was plain old Mary A. MacLeod and we were both hunting eligible husbands. She was pretty fresh off the boat and still had a brogue on her you could cut with a claymore and an unsullied British citizenship.

Old Fred Trump was a catch, and the two of them were so in love. It was very sweet.

Of course, what none of us knew was that Fred was already married.

He’d got himself into a shotgun wedding back in April 1925 with a girl called Ethel who worked in the typing pool of his construction company. Ethel was beautiful alright, but she had a soul of pure bile, and the marriage broke up very soon after that. Ethel got paid off to move to Idaho and shut the hell up. However, she was a good catholic girl and the marriage had obviously been pre-consummated, so she refused point blank to give Fred a divorce and even he couldn’t manage to buy one.

1937 rolled around. Fred and Bitsy were now happily married, in practice and name if not in actual legal effect.

One day, Ethel showed up one day at their house while Fred and Bitsy were having lunch. Fred hustled Ethel out of there as quick as Rush Limbaugh shepherding a hooker into his bedroom.

Old Fred continued paying Ethel large amounts of money every month for the next eight years. In all that time, he never asked to see or meet his first born son, and Ethel never offered.

Then one day, when Bitsy was about four months pregnant with young Donald, she found out about Ethel. I have no idea how – even years later she wouldn’t talk about that day. All I know is that she called me, and within about seven hours, she and the children and I were all on a plane to San Miguel de Allende.

Bitsy made it clear to Fred that she wasn’t coming back until he was a single man and could marry her properly. There was a discreet little article in one of Hedda Hopper’s columns that suggested that Bitsy had been having “women’s problems” during her pregnancy and was going abroad for her health.

Life went on in both Mexico and New York for the next four months.

Fred made money.

We sat around in cafes and spent Fred’s money on booze and blow.

I happily carried on three separate love affairs with three separate GI Billers – a negro muralist from New Orleans with a ten inch cock and a passion for making love on the beach, and identical twin Brooklyn-Italian brothers with lean hairy chests who both painted exquisite miniature landscapes and both cried out for their mother when they came.

Then, one day late in May 1946, several things happened.

In the morning, I met Keith, my husband. He was down there destabilizing the government for the KGB, or stabilizing the government for the CIA. Or maybe it was the other way around. It’s all so long ago now, it’s hard to say. We saw each other first through a haze of hash smoke, then fell in love over one too many margaritas, and ended up in a foursome that afternoon with both Gino and Alberto.

Happy days.

As if that wasn’t enough for one day, when I got back to the hotel, Bitsy was already packed and a taxi was waiting. She’d got a letter from Fred informing her that Ethel had died in a freak stenography accident and begging her to come back to him in New York straight away.

We kissed each other goodbye and hoisted her luggage and we all piled into the taxi. Then, suddenly, Bitsy’s water broke so hard I thought it had started to rain.

Fifteen minutes later, by my count, we were all gathered around a dirty bed in the nearest hospital and little Donald was screaming blue fucking murder and crapping himself, while a chicken watched from the bed-head and scratched itself.

I have never seen an uglier or a crabbier baby. He was covered in long, yellowish hair that was matted in all directions all over his body, and he cried constantly from the moment he came out, a strident, pulsating, never-ending wail at the unfairness of the world.

It was just like the sound Megan McArdle makes when the gluten-free muffins have sold out.

An hour later we were all standing in the Civil Registry, having been hustled there by the doctor (who was a paranoid about being shot if the forms weren’t right) and an hour after that, they were all on a plane to New York – Bitsy in first class with the older children and with a pillow stashed down her skirt, and Donald being carried by Bitsy’s Mexican maid Rosita back in coach.

Shortly thereafter, in an empty and very private lunch room just inside Immigration, Bitsy and Fred were married, and then Bitsy walked through into America, trying to keep the pillow from falling out, and clutching the documents that proved she was, finally, Mrs Fred C. Trump.

Donald was smuggled out a back door in a large handbag and about two weeks later there was another discreet announcement in the papers that young Donald had been born at the Jamaica hospital, safely within the boundaries of New York.

Of course, by this point, Fred was so rich that I’m sure he had no trouble obtaining the requisite American birth certificate and hushing things up properly.

Hark at me rabbiting on about unimportant things. It happens when you get old.

Image: Maggie Smith / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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

Smug

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.