Now that the naming contest is over, I can get back to my more pressing duties; namely, complaining about everyone I come into contact with. It’s a tough job, but you know —
No. No, it’s not. That was a lie.
I drove down to South Carolina for a weekend, to see one of my oldest, best friends, Kimmy.* First, a note on the Carolinas… In the hierarchy (one which I cannot even begin to explain here) South Carolina is to North Carolina what ConeyIsland is to Disney World: They’re bothfull of inexplicable mystery and strange new smells, but while you can take your kids to Disney World withthe reasonable expectation that they won’t die, not so much with the Cone Land. Now, why is there rivalry between two Southern states both clearly named from the same source? I have no idea, but you have to remember that we’re talking about a people who engaged in the “War of Northern Aggression” for 4 years, neverminding that they didn’t have a canon factory in any of their territory. I’m not saying it’s a dumb rivalry, just misguided. Much like the other Southern institutions of banjo music, the Klan, Clay Aiken and deer jerky.
Here is just a brief smattering of reasons that I like staying withKimmy: 1) I get to stay in their “Muppet Room,” which is a guest room covered wall-to-wall withMuppet memorabilia. You wake up in the middle of the night and it’s like an art-school interpretation of childhood nightmare. Everywhere you look, Gonzo is cackling at you and the Dog Father is gazing down at you menacingly. It’s awesome. 2) Her husband cooks bad ass selections of meat. We had ribs and steak while I was there, and it was only a two-day visit. Also, he made up a new alcoholic-DT-inducing beverage for us. I don’t know what he calls it, but it was like a liquid Almond Joy with booze. Yeah. 3) I can engage in completely feminine pursuits while briefly away from my uber-masculine husband, which means I can watch The Holiday without anyone laughing at me, discuss vaginas without impunity, and go to events like The Southern Women’s Show.
What is this Show, you ask? Oh ho. It’s a smorgasbord of free shit. No, really. That’s it’s actual subtitle. Well, it should be. For $9 (I got in free, since some woman came up and literally handed me a free ticket), you can wander through thousands of booths giving away free things, ranging from pens to ice-cream samples to aborted fetuses.
Yep. Read that last one again.
Ok, so they weren’t ACTUALLY aborted. They were made from plastic. But they were meant to represent aborted fetuses, which I feel is just as bad, if not worse, than having a pink-blanket-lined basket full of fake dead babies.
I was in line patiently (read: tapping my foot and glaring at the neck rolls of the minotaur in front of me, one of the many creatures there who’d clearly invested in the stock of the catchy-menopausal-saying t-shirt company) waiting for my sample-cup-full of cheap Carolina wine, when Kimmy (and this is why we’re friends), snuckup behind me with a plastic fetus and squeaked it at me. Sort of like you would a novelty dog toy. Which is exactly what I assumed it was.
“What the hell IS that?” I asked, laughing as she continued to merrily squeak the pink baby into the faces of passerby.
“It’s an 11-week old BABY.” Bellowed a woolly mammoth, appearing magically out of nowhere (as is their wont, being mammoths). “It has fingerprints already and toenails.” Kimmy and I exchanged glances of impending doom. We’d unwittingly stumbled into a little corner of hell, cunningly disguised as an anti-abortion booth, and slyly placed next to the wine booth. Like alcoholic deer, we’d unwittingly walked right into a Pro-Life trap.
Basket of Fun! (if by
Now, it was on the tip of my tongue to ask why, then, they looked like bathtub float toys, but Kimmy shot me a look. Kimmy, I should mention, is both Jewish and Puerto Rican (A Jewarican, if you will), so she spends most of her time in the South trying ardently to stay OUT of trouble. As you can imagine, I don’t help her out in this arena very much. But she’s stuck with me because we’ve known each other since before puberty. Still, I filed the thought away as a later, hilarious gag to play on some hussy friend who’d just had an abortion — fill her bathtub with these plastic dead babies and maybe some red jello for good measure. Hilarity would ensue, surely.
I was ready to move on to the next, pink booth with free pens, called “Don’t Let God Hit You with His Cancer Stick!” or similar, but the gorgon had us in her mind-melding deathstare, and our way was blocked by both her bulk and her flailing arms, both hands filled with a fistful of fetus. This was when I noticed: She was replinishing her supply of mini-mes from a BASKET. A basket lined in a pink baby blanket. A basket full of fetuses. I was about to blurt out, “What in the good FUCK, lady?!” But then I remembered that I live in a place where “Truck and Tractors” is a bonafide category in the entertainment calendar, and decided that this was not the place to get into a baby brawl.
“AIDS goes right through a condom,” she was shrieking. “RIGHT THROUGH IT! And young girls don’t know that! They think latex will just save their lives, but they are wrong, wrong, wrong.” I glanced at Kimmy, who is a pharmacist, and so clearly the person to dispute such a bizarre, adament lie, but my poor Jewarican companion just shook her head at me, a warning to please, please not get us lynched at the Southern Women’s Show. I sighed and let Crazy Fetus Lady shake another dead baby at me. “And the Guardasil shot? You might as well just get shot with a big ol’ test-tube of LIES.”
“I got that shot.” I finally interjected. Kimmy started backing away slowly, eyeing up the nearest exits and fumbling in her purse for the keys to our inevitably-needed get-away car. “My doctor said it –“
“Your doctor was WRONG.”
I thought, I’m sorry, are YOU a doctor? Or just a peddler of lies? In any case, my threshold for conservative small-mindedness has been breached. Abort! Abort!! Not just the babies — abort this fucking booth of baby nightmare!
“Ok, well, we have to go eat free things and find more wine.” I said instead, lamely. Kimmy dragged me off before I could pillage the baby basket to my heart’s content, which would have made lovely presents, I think.
“You think she owns the car in the parking lot with that bumper sticker, ‘AIDS = when the devil wants to bring you home’?”
“Undoubtedly. Now let’s go pilfer some free parafin wax for our dirty, dirty, baby-killing hands.”
And we did.
* Name NOT changed to protect the innocent. I’ve known Kimmy since the 6th grade. She knows and expects to be occasionally humilated on the public interwebs by me.