by Dan Bolles
It's been one of those mornings, Solid State.
First, I woke up with the key change part of Meatloaf's "I Would Do Anything For Love" inexplicably stuck in my head — does that song even change keys? In my head it does. And it's epic. And bad. Really, really bad.
Then, walking my beloved sidekick Buckley through Battery Park on our daily constitutional, I stepped in a giant pile of dog poo — at least, I hope it was dog. Uggh.
But the kicker happened at the gas station. Waiting at the counter for my debit card to clear, I glanced down at today's cover of the Freeps which features a big shot of Republican VP candidate — and vaguely school-marmishly hot — Sarah Palin. "She gave a great speech last night," said the cashier, nodding to the paper.
"It was OK," I replied. Out of morbid curiosity, I actually did watch most of her speech. Palin is a mildy engaging speaker. And pandering, right-wing bumper-sticker rhetoric sounds deceivingly wholesome coming from the mouth of a self-described "hockey mom." "She kind of reminds me of Frances McDormand's character from Fargo," I quipped.
"Fargo. The Coen Brothers mov . . . nevermind." I guess the Simon's clerk isn't a fan.
"Well, she's a hell of a lot better than that big phony," he said.
"Obama?" I replied, smirking. He nodded. "Well, I guess I'm inclined to disagree," I said, hoping the conversation might end there. On numerous mornings, I've stood in line waiting to pay for coffee or a Vitamin Water while the middle-aged register jockey has espoused his opinions on myriad topics, from the the global warming "myth" to the appalling "pussyness" of wanting to actually sit down and talk with potential enemies. Without fail, he always adds that he's informed because, and I quote, "I read the Internet." Oh, boy.
"How can you disagree?" He was flabbergasted, his voice rising in volume and pitch. Now I really didn't want to get into it. There's nothing worse than arguing politics with an impassioned stranger.
"I just do," I said, feigning a smile and trying to make my way towards the door.
"Well, you know he hates white people, right?"
Oh. My. God. My jaw dropped. Whatever shred of inner monologue I had prior to my morning coffee evaporated. "That's just garbage," I blurted. Oh, shit. Now I've done it.
"What? What? You don't have a clue, buddy," he sputtered, clearly growing angry.
"His mother is white, dude," I retorted. "His VP is white . . . he is half-white."
"You don't have a clue, buddy," he spat back. "You need to read."
Now I was pissed. "Read?" I guffawed. "Read what? The Free Press?" Gesturing toward the rack of skin mags, "Maybe Juggs? 50-Plus? . . . the Internet?" Admittedly, low blows all. Like I said, I was un-caffeinated.
"Not a clue, buddy."
This was not a winnable battle. "Have a good one, pal," I said as I left the store shaking my head. Or maybe looking for a clue.
Some days . . .