THE BROAD BRUSH
Generally when The Loved One drives me to Soma on a Saturday morning the most we offer to each other in the realm of conversation are grunts. We understand each other enough to know that human verbal intercourse is not biologically possible before we have our caffeine.
Today is different.
This Penn State thing has been on everybody’s mind this week. Even The Loved One, who doesn’t know a Nittany Lion from the Nattily Attired, has followed the story.
What In The Hell Is A Nittany Lion Anyway?
And she’s come to a conclusion.
“Here’s what I think,” she began as she negotiated the construction zone at 3rd Street and the Bypass.
My first instinct was to grunt. I reached down deep into my reserves of civility and said, “Yes, my precious angel?”
“Every man, except you and some other men I know, is a child molester,” she said.
I sat up straight. I surely wasn’t going to grunt at this pronouncement.
“That’s what I believe. There are just too many incidents. It happens far too much. The only thing I can say is that the only man who’s not a child molester is a dead man.”
Wow. Normally I feel somewhat itchy about carrying the XY chromosome, what with fellow males like Rush Limbaugh, Gene Simmons, and the Rev. Fred Phelps running around loose. (Then again, the Double-X set can claim Ann Coulter and Michele Bachmann, so there!) Anyway, I suddenly felt awash in guilt by association.
If Rush Is A Guy, I Don’t Want To Be One
“But darling,” I protested, “Methinks you’re hyperbolizing. Yes, we hear about child molestation but that’s because it’s news and news usually is the unusual.”
The Loved One shook her head. “It happens everywhere. And what about the way men look at teenaged girls?”
“Well,” I said, “you have to consider this. Wouldn’t it be natural for men to look at a female just as soon as she reaches sexual maturity? I mean, a fourteen-year-old can be alluring because she’s already grown all the necessary appurtenances. But laws and mores forbid us from acting on those instincts so most men don’t.”
“That’s just what I’m getting at,” she countered. “Women see things differently than men. Women feel that if you’re thinking about it, it’s just as bad as doing it. Take ‘Lolita.’ The men who saw it probably thought, ‘Oh, it’s just a movie.’ But it deeply affected a lot of women who saw it.”
At this moment I thought I’d hit upon the coup de grace. “If what you say is true, ” I said triumphantly, “why do you exclude me and these unnamed other men you know. Aren’t we, then, child molesters, too?”
I waited for The Loved One to relent and say, “Yeah, you’re right. I exaggerated.”
And waited. And waited.
By the time we reached Indiana Avenue, I’d shrunk into a corner of the car seat. If the Prius had an ashtray, I’d have jumped in.
She pulled up in front of Soma, we kissed each other goodbye, and I watched her drive off. My wife. MY love. The woman who posits that I’m a child molester.
Marriage is a fascinating experiment.
Remind me to tell you about the time The Loved One called me gay because I knew all the words to “There Is Nothin’ Like a Dame” from “South Pacific.”
ONE IN FREAKIN’ TEN
The Herald Times (log-in required) reports this morning that voter turnout for Tuesday’s local elections was 10 percent.
Yup. Ninety percent of the enlightened, educated, broad-minded populace of Bloomington, Indiana and surrounding environs chose to give the finger to democracy.
Oh, sure, the election was pretty much a joke. After all, Mayor Mark Kruzan and City Clerk Regina Moore ran unopposed. And every single Republican who lives in this blessed county ran in the election (that would be three GOP-ers overall.)
And The Winner, In A Unanimous Decision, Is…
But there was a semblance of a race for the three at-large seats in the Bloomington Common Council. Chris Sturbaum faced a nominal challenge in the 1st council district as well.
The Me Party-ists won so many of last November’s Congressional contests in large part because voters who actually possess cerebellums stayed home.
Maybe we’re not so smart after all.
So far, the Indy Colts are the worst team in the National Football League. Their record stands at 0-6.
It’s a civic embarrassment. The combined record of the Colts and the Indiana Hoosiers would be an execrable 1-15. Yech.
Clearly these are not glorious days for professional and collegiate bone snappers and ligament rippers in the great state o’Indiana.
Something had to be done so the Colts’ Jeff Saturday, a mountain of gristle and muscle who plays center, called a team meeting this week. Apparently, he roared at his mates and then revealed to them the secret to winning which he, a 13-year veteran of the human carnage that is NFL football, has learned.
He spoke about his revelation later in a press conference. “…[I]t needed to be said and I said it,” Saturday explained.
The secret? Saturday told his fellow Colts they must “play better.”
LESS IS MORE
Speaking of sports, who do you think will have the better basketball season — the Pacers or the Hoosiers?
My vote is for the Pacers. They probably won’t play a single game now that the NBA lockout talks have devolved into the coldest of labor wars.
YOUNG MEDIA MOGULS
Laid my mitts on a couple of local publications I’d never seen before this week. One is put out by high school aged kids, the other by college students.
“The Antagonist” is a monthly publication of Brad Wilhelm‘s Rhino’s Youth Center. Rhino’s caters to kids from the ages of 13 through 18. The fall issue of “The Antagonist” is devoted to horror, natch.
You’ll find some fairly fascinating stuff within its semi-glossy pages. James Pfister lists some of the haunted sites in and around Bloomington. The IU Career Center, so the story goes, is ghost-infested because abortions were performed in the place many years ago. Who knew?
A kid named Ricky pens a fairy tale with a moral and the aforementioned Pfister rates local buildings in their efficacy as safe havens in the event of a zombie invasion. The fourth cover features a colored pencil drawing of Puffy the Vampire Bear.
“The Black Sheep” bills itself as “A college newspaper that’s actually about college,” which I suppose is a jab at the IDS for running stories about silly things like local news and world events.
The tabloid provides a guide to lying to loved ones when the college student returns home for Thanksgiving. There’s plenty of value in that. Hell, I’m 55 and I still fudge things when I report back to the clan for the holidays.
An attached photo also endorses alcohol as a therapeutic bracer against the onslaught of kin. Count me in again. Man, I’ve contemplated dosing myself with morphine when forced to rub shoulders with my blood relations.
On the other hand, “The Black Sheep” descends into over-weening snarkiness at times. Here’s an example. In a piece about IU being an alcohol-free campus, the writer types, “… it is supposed to be dryer than Mother Theresa’s (sic) corpse’s vag.”
So “The Antagonist” is refreshing and creative while “The Black Sheep” is world-weary and shock-jock-y. That can describe the difference between many 14-year-olds and 19-year-olds.