Friday, November 19, 2010

Sara(h) Smiles, Part 10: People Who Say Frickin'

I began volunteering two weeks ago for the Committee to Elect Sarah in 2012 because it was the right thing to do for my country. I anticipated a lot of resistance or even hostility from those of my neighbors who’ve allowed themselves to be hoodwinked by the lamestream media, and asked nothing for my efforts beyond a feeling that I’d done my bit to help restore America to its traditional pre-eminence among nations. I was delighted to discover that only a tiny handful of my neighbors hadn’t come on their own to embrace the values for which Sarah stands — but not nearly so delighted as when I was informed that, because I’d raised more money for the campaign than any other canvasser in southern Dutchess County my second week, I would be one of half a dozen local volunteers invited to meet the candidate and her family when they visited New York City to publicize her new reality show Sarah Palin’s Iowa.

I wasn’t surprised to learn that we would be dining at Applebee’s, whose macaroni-and-cheese I know to be a big favorite of Sarah and other hard-working average Americans. I was a bit surprised to discover that the restaurant would be closed, while we were dining, to the general public, as the general public has come to include an ever larger proportion of common-sense conservatives. But then I realized that autograph hunters and well-wishers would probably make it impossible for any of the Palins to enjoy their meals. If they could close Luddite Bros. department store in Memphis for Elvis, they can certainly close the Times Square Applebee’s for the next leader of the free world!

We five lauded volunteers were led to a big banquet table, to which a big bowl of guacamole and pork rinds (Todd famously won’t allow tortilla chips at the family table) were quickly brought. We volunteers made awkward small talk and munched for a few minutes before the Palins — all except Track, who of course is in Iraq defending our freedom — entered to the accompaniment of Heart’s "Barracuda," which I’d understood Sarah to have been forbidden to use, but some people don’t let Big Government tell them what music they can and cannot enjoy.

In person, Sarah was a little bit smaller than I’d expected, and a little more wrinkly, but as soon as she said, “Hiya!” and grinned her famous grin, all that was forgotten. She’s got to have the whitest teeth in the world, and a really firm grip for a girl, and enough charisma to float a battleship! I wish I’d had a chance to tell her how grateful I am for what she’s doing for our country, but she had the other volunteers to bedazzle, and macaroni to ingest, and it wouldn’t have done for me to try to monopolize her attention.

All her kids were charmers, aside from the controversial Willow, at whose age one is hormonally incapable of being anything other than brutishly surly. When I offered her my hand, she rolled her eyes as though to say, “I am like so sure!” and put both hands behind her back in revulsion.

Traditional as she is, Sarah and her daughters and the female volunteers clustered at one end of the table, while I and Todd and little Trig and the other male volunteer, Jeff, or possibly Geoff, were left to chat manfully to each other. When Jeff tried to kickstart the conversation by asking what it was about tortilla strips that Todd disliked, The First Dude scowled at him in silence for a long moment before snarling, “I’d be glad to tell you if it were any of your frickin’ business.” Jeff blushed luridly, betraying himself as something other than a man’s man, as both Todd and I, I think, instinctively recognized each other to be.

I normally give a wide berth to people who say frickin’, but this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so I took an excessive swig of my Mountain Dew, belched defiantly, and said that in my view there was no thrill in the world comparable to that of going into the wild and shooting something dead. I expected Todd to offer me his fist to touch my own against and to growl, “You got that right!” What he did, instead, though, was snicker, “You sound like a guy who’s never given the future leader of the free world a mustache ride,” which I found a little ungracious, but of course it isn’t Todd I’ve been going door to door for, nor Todd for whom I and countless tens of millions of other common-sense conservatives will so eagerly vote.

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