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Names changed to protect the drunk and disorderly.

Issue Date: Friday, Nov. 05, 2004

When I was in college, full of piss and vinegar, I came home after a few semesters full of ideas and, truth be told… bullshit. I thought I was open minded and educated, smarter than your average bear after courses in political science, sociology, psychology and social psychology I thought I really knew what I was talking about.

After many years of my father’s face turning red in forced silence from watching me give my allowance to the homeless and sending it overseas to help out Sally Struthers, he saw me turn eighteen. He saw me enter the workforce at an even younger age than my peers at fifteen, so he knew I wasn’t a slacker, he just wanted to know if I had exercised my right to vote.

I stammered about the man and how unfair life was.

Unfair. Unfair. Please.

This was coming from a middle class white kid, my tuition was paid for and I had a place to live and never had to worry where my meals were coming from as long as I was in school.

Small Veer: Sure, I had been the subject of reverse discrimination at the hands of the Smithsonian Museum… a few summers before after applying for an internship I received word that because I wasn’t a poor, handicapped kid, or better yet, an ethnic poor, handicapped kid, that they couldn’t accept my internship… and you can bet your sweet ass I still have that letter. End Veer.

So my father asked me what my ideas for making America a better place were… I spouted off about equality and better heath care and giving more back to the poor, your standard Democratic Party platform…

My father did not miss a beat.

“Susan,” he said, “How are your grades this semester?”

I replied, “Well, Daddy-O, I have been working so very hard. I have been taking several labs this semester and it has really been quite a load of work, but I have buckled down and really have applied myself. I’m proud to say that I made the Dean’s List this semester and I have a straight 4.0… All A’s!”

I did a little dance around the ottoman in the living room.

Then he said, “Baby, that really is great, I am so proud of you and your hard work. I know that you really wanted to make the most of your education and I am so glad that you were able to get into this school and that you are doing so well. So tell me, how is Lisa* doing?”

“Well, you know Dad, she really didn’t get to have fun in high school and I guess when she got to college she just went a bit nuts. She hasn’t been going to class that much, she stays out late at night and I think she’s in danger of being put on probation if she’s not careful. Actually, it is pretty much already in the works, her mom is going to kill her.”

“Oh really? Why is that?”

“Well, she missed a final because she got sick from staying out too much and her grades are falling.”

“What are her grades like?”

“Well, if she’s lucky, she’ll squeak by this semester with a 2.0.”

My father then told me, “Susan I am so proud of you for doing so well, and Lisa is your friend right? You love her right?”

I replied, “Yes sir.”

“Here is what I want you to do. I would like for you to give her one of your points.”

I just looked at the man like he had lost his mind.

He continued, “If you give her one of your points you will have a 3.0 and she’ll have a 3.0, everybody will be equal and everybody will be happy, Lisa will get to stay in school, you’ll get to keep your friend and her mom won’t kill her. Eeeeeveryone wins.”

And then he sat back and crossed his arms.

I sat there and looked at this man who gave me life, I have half of his chromosomes, I beat him in a foot race (finally!) at the tender age of 14, he’s fair and loving and funny. I feared that he had lost his mind.

I spoke up in a voice that I fear was a bit on the whiny side, “But Daaaaaaaad, that’s MY 4.0… I earned it!”

He patted me on the knee and said, “Welcome to the Republican party Sweet Pea.”

*Names changed to protect the drunk and disorderly, and after all this is only an anecdote. Somebody asked me (the lovely Kath McCall wrote about it) today why I vote the way I do. This pretty much sums it up.


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To understand this dear reward (above) at all, you must hie thee on and read gatsby’s grape ape entry and my comments.

And because of said comments he sent me my very own dream turtle in an email titled wee gift with these words attached, “my purple monkey is booked solid so i ordered you a tangerine turtle. hope he proves helpful.”

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