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.

Holding the tiger by the tail

I see that little Scotty Walker has been in the news in Wisconsin trying to stomp on unions.

Now, I’m a lifelong Good Republican Woman. I voted for Alf Landon and every Republican candidate since (with the sole exception of George W. – that boy was dumb as mud). I believe that big business should be able to boss workers around if they want, whether they are in America or one of our many tribute nations. I fully support microchipping, chemical castration and welded on manacles if that’s what it takes for me to be able to buy a bespoke Galliano dressing gown and have it air freighted to Spokane for under $15000.

(I’ve noted before that although most of my horrible stories are about Republicans, I’m sure that that is just because I have spent so much of my life with Republicans, rather than that most Republicans are horrible people. I must try to think of a horrible story about a Democrat.)

Despite being a lifelong GRW, even I know that Scotty has overshot on this one. He seems as dumb today as he was in school back in Plainfield – dumb as a banana split with extra chunky nuts and a side serve of mean.

Let me explain. I was a primary school teacher for much of the seventies. We moved around a lot because my husband Keith’s cover for the last part of the decade was as a high ranking Klan official.

We lived in Plainfield, Iowa for a couple of years, and I taught Scotty when he was at the local primary school. I remember he used to look at me as if I was speaking Cantonese, when all I was trying to do was get him to put his pants back on after I’d changed his nappy.

Anal incontinence is so unpleasant in a nine year old.

I caught that boy torturing a cat one day. At least, he was trying to torture it, but he’d let one paw escape and it had hooked one claw right through his nose and out one nostril. He’d immediately stood up in shock, and so the cat was hanging full stretch from his nose, yowling like Ayn Rand on a coke bender, while he flapped his arms and batted at it with both hands.

I didn’t see him for years after we moved towns again, until I was at a Slate party in the mid nineties, where poor dumb Scotty was in the corner having a frighteningly similar experience involving Megan McArdle and a drop zirconia earring.

Stupid is as stupid does.

Flying fish eggs and a nice trip to the ballet

I’ve noticed that dreadful Donnie Trump all over the news, speculating about what I suspect will be the most successful Presidential campaign since Rudy Giuliani. Because most of the eighties is a bit of a blur, I have been trying to dislodge a little anecdote for a couple of days. This one finally came back to me during my afternoon nap, along with a rather cunning plan to send speed-laced brownies to Michele Bachmann.

Mary Anne Trump (or Bitsy, as we used to call her) was a friend of mine from way back. We first met just before WWII at some nightclub or another, where we were both on the prowl for eligible husbands. She caught a richer fish than me, I have to say, although I can’t complain.

Bitsy and I used to write to each other every week once we got married, and we’d always visit when there was a new baby or a christening or a funeral. I saw little Donnie get baptised – baldest, screamiest baby I’ve ever seen. He’d rip the dummy out of another baby’s mouth as soon as look at you, and then try to sell you his soiled nappy.

Bitsy and I didn’t see each other much during the sixties and seventies, what with all the moving around from tin-pot little African and South American nations that Keith and I did. International espionage is so hard on friendships.

Anyway, we got back in touch in the eighties, mainly by post again, but in about 1989 Bitsy wrote to me to tell me that she’d moved into Trump Tower to stay in Donnie’s place for a couple of months, and invited me to come visit.

Well, can I tell you that you have never seen anything like that apartment? It was like someone had paid Louis XIV to throw up all over a football field. Pink walls edged in gold leaf, gold tap fittings and smug pictures everywhere on the walls of Donald dressed up like Dionysus at a particularly drunken revel. It was a bit like living inside Liberace’s head.

Donnie and Ivana were feuding by that stage, of course. Bitsy told me that the fights had started almost from the beginning. I quite liked Ivana – she was a climber, of course, but quite lovely nonetheless.

It all came to a head one night at dinner. It was just the four of us seated at a dining table made for twenty. Donnie and Ivana were at either end, Bitsy and I in the middle, opposite each other, which was nice because we could chat and ignore the other two, who weren’t speaking anyway.

We’d just started on the Ossetra caviar when there was a yelp from Donnie like he’d been shot. We looked at him and saw that his eye was leaking black goo and he was clawing at it with his rubber-gloved fingers.

Ivana was sitting there grinning like a monkey with a spare handful of poo. She was holding her little bone caviar spoon in one hand and bending it back with the other. She flicked it and another spoonful arced along the table over our heads and hit Donnie right in the other eye, which kicked his head back and knocked his wig off, so it flapped behind his head like a dislodged fruit bat trying to get back into its tree.

He lurched out of his seat and headed for her with his arms outstretched, his hands clutching and his hairpiece flying, at which point she cackled like an extra on Charmed and let fly with a positive flurry of fish eggs. He kept trying to advance on her, but her aim was quite remarkable, and every time he got a few feet forward, she’d whop him in his face with another hit. When she ran out of caviar, she flung the spoon (getting him a good glancing blow on the ear that must have hurt like badly done buggery), then she just grabbed lemons out of a bowl on the table and pegged them at him.

The first one got him right in the middle of the forehead. The second and third ones got him right in the nuts, and he dropped onto the ground just behind me, wailing like three quarters of a cat, while Ivana followed up with the caviar bowl, a salt cellar and her mobile phone (which, if you remember what they were like in 1989, must have made quite a dent).

At that point, she stalked from the room and slammed the door.

When Bitsy and I finished our creme caramel, Donnie was slumped against the door burbling and crying that he just wanted his little Vanky-pops to love him and squeeze him and make him pay for doing the naughty things.

Bitsy and I had to step over him to get out.

Bitsy just sighed, and we went to see the premiere of Beethoven Romance by that nice Peter Martins at the Lincoln Centre, which was just lovely.