Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Mamma's Right Wing Loves

“Damn Clinton and his privates!” Mamma declared in a rage. “The Arabs wouldn’t have had a chance in hell if our President—the leader of the free world—had behaved like a diplomat instead of a sex-crazed Sigma Alpha Epsilon brother. He’s up there in the Oval Orifice with a Cheshire cat grin smeared across his face concentrating on his willard instead of on national security and foreign policy.” She had vented—a pearl of sweat forming on her brow line in the process—but it had been brief, a mere moment of undignified behavior. Mamma quickly collected herself, adjusting the starched collar of her pink Lacoste tennis dress, tweaking her gold earrings for reassurance.

“I think you’ve gotta thing for ol’ Clinton and you’re just afraid to admit it,” I teased, glancing at her over the top of my People magazine. Mamma was poised on the divan by the picture window, engaged in one of her favorite pastimes, right-wing website surfing. The absurdity of her sleek, silver Dell laptop amidst the antique furnishings of her Alexandra Mauve sitting room was lost on Mamma. Our decorator had gone to great pains to duplicate the Czarina’s wall color for her—the last Russian Czar, Nicholas II, and his wife Alexandra were her obsession. Something about their tragic demise enthralled her. Really, the fall of anything captivated Mamma’s imagination—her Confederate Complex, I called it. As a member of the landed, Southern bourgeoisie, Mamma used to cite the War of Northern Aggression (never, ever referred to as the Civil War) as the most disastrous moment in our nation’s history. Then, along came Clinton.

“Really, Mamma,” I pressed on, trying to get her riled up, “the way you get so agitated... Are you sure you don’t have a crush on Slick Willie?”

Motionless, she sat there amid her purple, pondering the ruin of her country at my hands. Mamma was predisposed to hyperbole, dramatics—ruinous thoughts—all the while sitting perfectly still, a gorgeous smile spread across her face. Such theatrics didn’t make her disingenuous—quite the contrary—she was the most real, 55 year-old child I had ever known.

“Oh, come on now,” I continued, “he was happy as a pig in slop during his two terms—let it be.” My absurd statement wasn’t any fun unless she blushed, scratched the side of her neck in discomfort. “We inherited a damn fine economy on account of him and his so-called depraved, left-wing policies. Does it really matter who he slept with?”

“I never thought I’d raise a child with such loose morals,” Mamma said, her jaw tensing, jamming down the space bar with her long index fingernail. Her vein, our vein—from brow to hairline, smack in the middle of the forehead—pulsated quick and blue, the one feature we shared. We were in a race to the finish, blue blood pounding away.

“Rush warned us that the liberal media machine would infect our youth. Cancer, he called it—one big, fat malignant tumor teeming with Yankee talking heads. They’re going to get you Belle, ravage you with their idealistic rhetoric until you’ve elected another gonorrhea-riddled, cocaine-snortin’ Democrat into office.”

Our household revolved around conservative talk radio and internet. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Matt Drudge were the golden trifecta, beguiling Mamma for at least six hours a day. George Will and his musings entered the picture at night—the Fabio of her political fantasies. Mamma had plenty of right-wing love to go around.

“Here’s an idea,” I said, thickening and elongating every vowel, extracting consonants. The accent always deepened when I spoke to mother on important issues. “Why don’t we resume this conversation in two years when Little Dubya’s first term is over? You know, take a step back, evaluate the two men and their presidential legacies.”

“Game on,” she said, for a moment sounding like one of those Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity brothers. “If my George’s legacy beats Clinton’s, you’ll go and work for the media outlet of my choosing—”

“And, if I win,” I said, cutting her off, “I’ll quit pushing paper for the conservatives and do whatever the hell I want—in New York City.”
She touched her neck, her gold earrings and resumed trolling the internet for proof that all was right within her conservative world.

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