It just dawned on me," she said. "You never did answer my question."

"Um, what question was that?"

"When I asked you if this dress made my butt look big."

"Do I look suicidal to you?"

She chuckled in spite of herself. "Well, can you answer it now?"

"Not right this minute," I said. "I'm waiting to see how it looks when it hits the floor. That's how I judge all your clothes."

"You're a shameless perv, you know that?"

"Yeah, but that's one of my good points. And it's even more necessary today, in an era when every last utterance is subject to review by people who can't bear the thought of minding their own damn business."

She gave me That Look. "I can't wait to hear how you blame this on Barack Obama."

"I don't blame this on Barack Obama. I blame this on the people who thought his election was somehow going to Change The World. The people who thought the Summer of Love was about anything other than getting completely fucking wasted and getting away with it. The people who brought you multiculturalism, political correctness, and global warming, or cooling, or statis, or whatever the hell it is this week. Barack Obama is a by-product at best. And we'll never get rid of them until we strangle Henry Waxman with Ted Kennedy's guts."

She raised a pillow, pointed it at my head. "You're so cute when you're ranty. But why Ted Kennedy? He's good as gone already."

"Have you seen him in the last ten years? Hell, there'd be enough left over to hogtie Maxine Waters and make a blindfold for Nancy Pelosi. I am nothing if not a good steward of the earth's dwindling resources."

"If you're such a good steward, hang this up," she said as the dress hit the floor.

"Doesn't affect your butt in the slightest," I announced as I went for a hanger.


"So, about that stimulus package...?"

I looked up and flashed as much of a grin as I could under the circumstances. "My mama taught me never to talk with my mouth full."

"Never mind that. Come up here and talk to me."

"If you say so," I said, and shifted from perpendicular to parallel. "What's on your mind, that you'd actually break off halfway through?"

"You call that halfway?"

I shrugged. "Point taken. So what's up?"

"You're not."

"I've, um, been busy."

"Are you getting, uh, well, tired of me?"

"Why would you say that?" I asked. "What did I do? Or what didn't I do?"

"I don't know. It's just ... well, it just seems like you've changed. A lot."

"How so?"

"I'm not sure. It's just that you seem to break out into these rants more and more, and I don't know what to do about it."

"You could always register Republican," I snickered.

"No fucking way," she said. "And I don't notice you getting down with G.O.P."

I smiled. "Good line."

"She shoots, she scores," she said.

"And it's just as well. They're morons. They finally figured out that they need to stand for something, and turns out, what they stand for is apparently Harvey goddamn Fierstein: 'I just want to be loved. Is that so wrong?' I'd rather be doing the right thing and have people hate my guts. They'll get over it. Or they won't, in which case, screw 'em."

"I'm just making sure."

"I understand," I said. "Or at least I'm willing to pretend I understand, for the betterment of mankind and all that other crap."

"Sometimes I wonder why you ever looked my way in the first place," she said.

"How badly do you want to know?"

"Tell me."

"Well, apart from that whole legs-to-die-for thing, the moment I saw you I wanted to screw your brains out."

"Gee, thanks."

"But I finally figured it out: if I did screw your brains out, you'd still have enough left over to save my ass if necessary. And unlike most people, you'd actually consider doing it."

She laughed. "God, this is turning into one of those I-love-you, you-love-me things, and just when I'm trying to be pissed off too."

"See? I'm good for something."

"And so am I, as you're about to find out," she said, shifting about 90 degrees. "Think of it as affirmative action."

"Or the White House press corps," I said, ducking a pillow.

The Vent

  14 June 2009

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 Copyright © 2009 by Charles G. Hill