Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Selfish, shellfish

My mom ordered too much clam sauce.

And no, it’s not a euphemism. And ew, if you thought it was. No, mom literally ordered too many cans of clam sauce. Apparently there was a minimum amount you had to order, and so because she was jonesing for clam sauce which you apparently can’t get in the middle of Bumfucknowhere, Nebraska, she caved and she ordered those half a dozen cans from some online clam sauce purveyor.

So now five cans of clam sauce sit on the shelf in her pantry. And rather than consider herself in possession of an embarrassment of clam sauce riches, Mom is desperately seeking to unload a few cans.

The reasons for this are a little complicated, I suppose, if you’re not really familiar with the Midwest, as I’ve noted before. In a nutshell, my mom is becoming more and more aware of her mortality, and just in case she dies, she doesn’t want to be known as the crazy clam sauce lady. She doesn’t want one of her neighbors coming in her house, seeing five cans of clam sauce in her pantry and saying “Well! Wasn’t she fancy!” or “Who in the heck did she think she was?” or “Someone who spends that much on fixing up her noodles maybe should’ve put a little bit more in the collection plate on Sundays.”

Being a vegetarian, and with limited suitcase volume to boot, I was immune to Mom’s clam sauce entreaties, but I did get a chance to marvel at my sister’s mastery of the firm “no” and the change of subject.

The upshot is that Mom will either have to drastically increase her clam sauce intake, or finally, finally make peace with the knowledge that she will be judged by those Nebraskans she leaves behind no matter how hard she tries not to be.

My money’s on the former.

And aw, but Jeezy Creezy, but we do love focusing on all the wrong things, don’t we? Mom tried for an hour to explain to me why farmers hate regulation, because they don’t want the government to tell them they have to, say, terrace a corner of their field to prevent soil erosion – because it’s their field, dammit, and if they want it to erode then who by god can tell them otherwise? Never mind that their actual enemy is de-regulation, and the resistance by their favored Republican party to impose any restrictions on the market – the same market that fixes their prices and wipes out their profits in the blink of a future-trading eye.

If I could talk to them and make them listen, I would tell them that just as the tumbling economy and implosion of major financial institutions created a unique mandate to the US Government to prop up the pillars before the whole damn thing came tumbling down, so too it presented a unique opportunity to require revolutionary but prudent concessions from those same institutions. Concessions that would make their re-growth more efficient and durable. Concessions that would make the huge damn horsepill of a thing easier for us billpayers to swallow. But we didn’t. And the fault for that failure lies squarely at the feet of the last administration, BushCo, and most especially at the feet of their grand poobah of WTF?, former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

The morning after this last election day, when stunned Republicans picked themselves up off the floor – stunned that, after 5 years of catastrophic failures in Iraq, they could not succeed with a Presidential ticket headed by one of the premier congressional cheerleaders of that same damn stupid war – stunned that their selection of a white-trash version of W in a skirt didn’t inspire a majority of the voters to choose 4 more years of ignorant, Jesus-steeped nonsense – stunned that more people than not finally, finally, FINALLY saw through the charade – that morning, Republicans picked themselves up off the floor, crawled to their keyboards and into the studios of idiot-friendly yammer shows and declared that they were going to blame the economy on Obama.

No subtlety, no justifications or obfuscations necessary: BushCo’s follies and criminal collusions were to be recast as the result of Democratic over-spending and general big-governmentalness. “Why the fuck not?” they thought. “It’s the only idea we have right now, and besides, we’ll get at least a couple thousand idiots to buy it.”

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you a couple thousand idiots:

As a general rule, you can pretty much always extract the word "Christian" from any protest placard, and substitute "bigoted self-deluded moron" in its place. This asshat is certainly no exception.

When making irrational arguments, it never hurts to cover all bases.

It's not easy to pull off racism whilst also employing an arcane pop culture reference. Kudos.

Hey, at least he's admitting that the Holocaust happened.

I saved the best for last, didn't I? I mean, as far-out as it seems, don't you think that somewhere, deep down, this dude has the hit the teabagging nail on its crazy-ass head? I do.


Dad E said...

Wow! Too much clam sauce produces white slavery. Got it.

Your segues are marvelous baby, marvelous.

Some Guy said...

Another amazing post, Vikki!

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Well at least your mom doesn't hate America. 9/11, freedom!

SkylersDad said...

I get the idea that the lady in the second photo realized she had extra room on her sign, then filled it in with whatever.

Another great post Vikki.

GETkristiLOVE said...

Next time, don't get into a discussion with mom about farmers and politics or religion when we are trying to get the hell out of there.

dguzman said...

Now I'm imagining GKL standing there with that "OHMYGODAREYOUFUCKINGKIDDINGME?" look on her face, silently willing you to stop engaging your mom in discussions. Hee hee!

Anonymous said...

I know I'm probably missing the point, but were these industrial sized cans of clam sauce? Clams enough to feed the entire freshman class at the local junior college on Italian Night? Or are we talking about the regular size cans? Because I could go through five of those in a week, easy.

Liberality said...

A republican make a concession? I never heard of such a thing!

Grant Miller said...

I find these people endlessly fascinating, actually.

Marshall Park Slope said...

OMG Vikki easily my favorite to date! The Willis thing is unreal...that pretty says it all. Keep doggin it! love it!

bubbles said...

sign holders=freaks

clam sauce? How hard is it to use clam sauce if you don't even have a death date yet? There are always cats on the farm, right? Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

Do these people get together on right-wing blogs and come up with these slogans?

Is the problem that pretty much everyone funny out there is a lefty (PJ O'Rourke aside)?

I couldn't make up "Obama, Whay you talkin about Willis!" if I tried.


Johnny Yen said...

My adolescent son pointed out that these people are acting like adolescents. They'll have their completely non-sensical little tantrums and we adults will be, well, the adults in the situation and calmly go about cleaning up their mess.