Friday, October 29, 2004


Explain It Again!

"Explain it again, Laura," George says, the famous bewilderment coming over his famous face. Laura, of course, has lived with it for close to a quarter century. It isn't famous to her. To her it's a target, a bag that she has to keep telling herself not to punch.

"They're still the same God," she says, forcing a smile onto her face and a note of cheerful patience into her voice. "They're just running on different tickets."

"I still don't get it," George says. "That would be like Dick and me running on different tickets."

"Not exactly," Laura says. "You and Dick aren't the same person." And she can't help it: her eyes stray for just one moment into his lap, where the limp thing lies that hasn't been a part of George's person in well over a decade. Not that she misses it that much--she's a good Christian middle-aged woman, certainly no sex-starved teenager with hormones raging and morals in the gutter--but, you know, sometimes ...

"Oh," George says, "I think I get it. Yahweh and His Son Jesus Christ are on the same team but they're playing in different leagues. Sorta like off-season ball."

"That's one way of thinking about it," Laura says.

"So what you're saying," George says, "is that it don't really matter which one of em I vote for, I'm still voting for my Guy."

"I think that's right, George," Laura says absently, her thoughts wandering. They've been at this absentee ballot for hours now. She has excellent concentration, unlike some people she could name--quick irritable glance over at George, again--but enough is enough.

"Okay," he says. "I think I'm ready to punch it now." And he does, hands it over to Laura triumphantly.

"But George," she says. "Did you really mean to vote for Blattodea?"

"Do what?" he says.

"You voted for Blattodea," she says.

"No I didn't," he says. "I voted for Yahweh. The Big Man! My Guy."

"No," she says, "you voted for Blattodea. See? You lined Yahweh up with the wrong hole."

"Hell, that's okay," he grins. "That's how I got elected in 2000! Maybe it'll be lucky for Yahweh this time around too!"

"I don't think so," Laura says. "This time it's going to be lucky for Blattodea. See here? Look how the ballot is set up so the less, um, attentive voters will think they're voting for Jesus or Yahweh but will actually vote for Blattodea."

"That Rove," George chuckles, shaking his head a little. "You gotta hand it to him!"

"What," Laura says, "you think Karl's behind this?"

"Who else?" George says. "He was always telling me what a great god Blattodea would be."

"B-but," Laura says, and to her great surprise, her lip trembles a little, the corners of her eyes feel hot, "Karl is dead. Poor man, what he suffered: first turned into--that thing, then a carnivorous plant ... then cut down in his prime by Jerry Falwell with a machete ..." And now she bursts into tears and runs from the room, face buried in her hands.

What the fuck? George thinks, grinning after her. Oh, well, he thinks: women! Think I'll go have a beer.

And he does.

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