Over the weekend, we attended a party thrown by my aunt and uncle, who have a lovely little cottage on Cape Ann, high atop a hill, with a terrific view of the ocean.
It was from that charming vantage point that I succumbed to the evils of the wicked elixir known as Corona—which, for me, when attending a family function, is kind of like drinking spring water with a hint of lime. They went down fast, and they went down easy.
This would have been well and good, except that, a few beers in, the little cerveza-soaked devil on my shoulder actually convinced me that it would be a good idea to ask my mother if she had watched Barack Obama’s speech a couple of nights earlier.
Soon, I was engaged in the intellectual equivalent of a “Matrix”-like shootout, during which I had to dodge verbal bullets that had been loaded into the mouths of several family members by any number of right-wing, talk-radio, Fox News-spewing fuckheads.
And I tried, oh, really, I swear, I tried to disengage, to call a truce, to go back to talking about something, anything other than politics, a conversational third rail that the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections taught me I should stay away from at all costs when around my family, for no good can come of it.
But they insisted that I listen to their (woefully misguided) opinions, and there is something hardwired into my DNA that makes it almost impossible for me to hear struggling middle-class citizens espouse the virtues of the very same political party that is standing on their throats without slipping into full-on “You Are So Unbelievably Wrong And I Must Now Verbally Bludgeon You With My Anti-Karl Rove-ian Neo-Con Whack-Job Baseball Bat” mode.
Eventually, they tired of poking me with their pundit sticks, and I managed to clamp my hand over the mouth of the devil on my shoulder … though, when the sun went down, and a chill began to set in, he managed to dress me in a long-sleeve “Obama ’08” t-shirt. Hey, I was just trying to stay warm.