Here’s a short update from the Wilds of Oklahoma.
Small town weirdness comes in forms both funny and horrifying. I’m interested in the funny bits, most of the time. Sure, my little puddle of Americana is colonized by its share of mouth-breathing, semi-literate crackers blithering on about “Obama Care,” but you can experience run-of-the-uterus witlessness like that every afternoon on Fox News, and it’s generally more tedious than it is entertaining. So…
First up, a tale of homelessness and deprivation.
I’m sitting in one of my local watering holes, enjoying a frosty mug of beer and a few shots of Wild Turkey. A guy wanders in, settles himself on a stool a couple down from mine. He’s maybe 50, thin, graying. He orders a beer, pays for it from a roll of quarters, then asks the bartender if she has a small box.
“What for?” says she.
“Nothin’. Just…do you have a box?” He holds his hands about a foot apart. “A small one.”
The bartender chuckles, then a look of dawning awareness pops into her eyes. “Oh yeah. Oh shit. I heard she threw you out. Sorry. You want me to check if we have some bigger ones back there? For your stuff?”
“No. Just a small one. Like this:” He holds up his hands again.
The bartender appears confused, so the guy finally rolls his eyes, and reaches in the side pocket of his coat—from which he extracts a gray and white guinea pig.
“He’s been living in there three days, and it’s making him mad. He bites me.”
His lady gives him the ol’ heave-ho and all he’s got left is a pocketful of cranky rodent.
Poor, sad bastard...
So, then, on to Part II of today’s news update.
It’s a tale so mind-numbingly bizarre, shocking, and unsettling, I still can’t decide whether to cry, laugh, or laugh really, really hard.
Just the other evening I found myself in a round of chit-chat with a local high-school kid. He is, I think, 16. He’s all happy with himself, having spent the last few days undertaking a bit of genealogical research vis-à-vis his forebears. There are, he informs me, both “good parts” and “bad parts” to his ancestry. I ask about the bad parts. It turns out he’s some kind of distant cousin to Jesse James, who, the kid says, with complete accuracy, “was kind of a scumbag.” And the good parts? Well, the kid says, preening, “my great-great grandfather, was a Grand Dragon in the Klan.”
Kind of puts a whole new slant on the concepts of “Good” and “Bad,” don’t it?
And that’s the news from the Wilds of Oklahoma, where the men are toothless, the women are potbellied, and the children are beyond freakish.