Jenkins Winthrop, from Caldune Petroleum, joined other fossil-fuel company CEOs for a meeting with the president in the Oval Office. That night, over dinner at his mansion, Winthrop told his lover—the Energy Department’s social-media representative, Stewart “Stewie” Pringle—that under Trump, the coronavirus pandemic means “fuckin’ Christmas in April” for Big Oil: gigantic tax breaks, gigantic grants, suspended EPA rules, and nothing for renewables. “What a surprise, ha ha,” Winthrop said.
“Did you practice social distancing at that meeting, ha ha?” Pringle asked.
“Yeah, and I hoarded fuckin’ toilet paper too, ha ha.”
Considering I have several Everests of unread books to tackle (someday, Christina Stead), perhaps I shouldn’t spend time hate-ish reading Maureen Dowd’s column every week. By “hate-ish,” I mean perhaps I revere MoDo for the success she’s enjoyed despite—or more likely because of—her snarky insubstantiality.
And if you want snarky insubstantiality to the extreme, dudes and dudettes, check out her latest, Dowdier-than-usual column, “A Meme Girl Mash-Up,” in today’s New York Times. The very first sentence, which mentions Tina Fey and Mean Girls, gives us Dowd’s trademark celebrity name-dropping and pop-cultural referencing. Two sentences later, Dowd opines “Politics has never been filled with so many mean girls[,]” thus displaying her misogyny; she always depicts non-masculine traits as unfavorable. However, her “bitchyyy lunch table” comprising Mitch McConnell, Rudy Guiliani, and other nasty, male and female Republicans who worship Trump the “Queen Bee” did surprise me, since she almost always disparagingly feminizes Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, who behaves either unwomanly or too womanly. Not to worry, though—Dowd soon enough designates the Democrat Mike Bloomberg as a wanna-bee.
And also not to worry, Dowd then hates on Hillary, criticizing her for, during that presidential debate, not calling out the Donald for his stalking-esque behavior (though if Hillary had called him out, do you think Dowd would have reacted favorably?). By the time Dowd notes that “Trump…is now scratching Bloomy’s eyes out[,]” the retrograde gender attitudes will make you feel like chasing a blonde, busty secretary around a desk.
Margaret Hamilton (back as the Wicked Witch of the West), Betty White (pre-Golden Girls), some disco, and (ahem) the band KISS—this hour-long special sounds gay as hell. Too bad I never watched it. I might have, but before I could do so, Mom suddenly drove my siblings and me to her sister’s house for an overnight stay; Aunt Inez, the intellectual, didn’t own a TV. Since the divorce, Mom had spent time by herself to (in her words) “relax.” Okay, she deserved to “relax,” but she’d denied me my main relaxation method. Though her behavior did piss off Inez.
In 1973, Paul Lynde joined the hospital sitcom Temperatures Rising, retitled you-know-what for its second and final season. According to Wikipedia, he played a grouch named Dr. Paul Mercy. (Get it?)
I don’t remember if I watched even a minute of this show. But then, as a nine-year-old, I may have gotten distracted by my parents’ constant arguments about trivialities, such as that comic panel The Family Circus—Mom loved it, Dad despised it. (I loved it, too, but in secret, those tubby, stubby children amusing me with their cute malapropisms.) People still cared about the funnies back then, amazing.
I may have watched some snippets of this lame sitcom as an eight-year-old in 1972. As with so many other kids back then, I’d watch anything on TV—good, bad, it didn’t matter, as long as it numbed my mind. Anyway, I remember nothing about this show except hearing the, uh, flamboyant Lynde say “Eeeeugh” after his supergenius son-in-law has once again done something idiotic, though perhaps I’ve made up this memory. Perhaps my status back then as a closeted gay boy in a gay-unfriendly environment has compelled me toward imagining myself as precociously hip.
I know I had a three-month relationship between marriages, twenty years ago, but I can barely recall the guy in question. He wore blue three-piece suits, and had a mole on I think his right cheek. Otherwise, nothing. I can’t even remember his name—Dan? Stan? We must have had sex at least once, at least I have the feeling we did, which makes my haziness regarding him a bit surprising, since I never forget a sexual partner, even the lame ones. Perhaps as I’ve grown older, my brain has started sorting out the chaff; everyone wants a chaffless life.
Yo, incels: I know why the worst Chads nab the hottest Stacys. Years ago, those Chads started feigning Chaddishness. They pretended they’d lost their virginity during grade school; they pretended their sexual conquests totaled in the quadruple-digits; they pretended they didn’t have crushing student-loan debt. And eventually, the fake Chads turned into real ones. Stacys drool over male confidence, real or not, the best way to distract themselves from worrying about climate catastrophe (or about Black Lives Matter, depending upon the Stacys’ politics).
Sex can both enlighten and pacify you; thus, dicks with chicks epitomize purple haze: a red-pill/blue-pill combo.
My most memorable job? Working for the Meat-a-Mat during my senior year of high school, 1947. Not only did I feel sophisticated working there (we were across from the train station—ah, the allure of travel!), but I also, occasionally, as we said back then, got lucky with our female customers. Though I cut down my meat consumption decades ago (I turn ninety this year), I gotta admit that the finest cuts look damned impressive, and they make you look that way, too, when you sell them. You can’t say that about, say, carrots, despite how they improve your eyesight.
Vomiting prodigiously into the azaleas before the appalled guests that sweltering June night, in the backyard of Eric and Caroline McCafferty’s Cape Cod-style mansion, during the Joe Biden fundraising dinner (five thousand a plate, a hundred grand raised), Wayne Pellis (Caroline’s younger brother, thirty-one, unemployed, uninvited, unsober) wondered if raccoons or wolves or other animals from the overlooking hills would lap up the regurgitation, or if Caroline would have one of the Latino (or Latinx?) servants hose off the flowers, which had appeared last year in some magazine called Manor Illustrated (no doubt a purveyor of socialist propaganda, Wayne thought).
Holy shit, I still remember the biggest party I went to in high school. This was April 2019, my sophomore year, at my friend Ashlee’s house. Just a small gathering at first, maybe eight or nine people, but like in the movies, small gatherings involving teenagers never remain that way for long. Pretty soon it seemed half the students at our school, Central Valley High, had invited themselves. The booze most definitely flowed; I got wasted on whiskey and ended up making out with the school’s star quarterback, Cole Demello, in the backyard as his buddies cheered us on. What an honor. He might have ended up fucking me right there, ugh, but Ashlee’s parents returned a day early from their visit to relatives in Cleveland. Her parents had texted and voicemailed her with the news beforehand, but she’d been too busy smoking weed to check her phone. Priorities, right? Anyway, her dad’s a cop with a temper, so we all went home pretty quickly. Then he beat the shit out of her. Then she told the world via several tweets, even posting photos of her tenderized face, causing a massive Twitter uproar for a few days. He got suspended without pay from the Center Township Police Department, pending the results of an official investigation; and Ashlee and her mom moved out; and Ashlee’s mom filed for divorce. Happy ending, right?
Wrong. Soon he got unsuspended, pissing off Twitter for another day or two. He didn’t spend a minute in jail or even get charged with anything. So much for the official investigation. Well, he did have to take anger-management classes in order to keep his job, but take it from me, those classes hardly ever work. (Not hanging out with crazy, violent people works better.) Ashlee’s mom dropped the divorce proceedings, and soon the three of them became one big happy family again. And after the school year ended in June, they moved to Cleveland, and I haven’t seen her since. They’ve all disappeared from the Internet, in fact. Meanwhile, I really shouldn’t hunt down Cole, but I know I’ll do so eventually, due to my masochistic nature.