Tuesday, May 12, 2015
The other day Lefty Davis swung by
to pay me a visit which is always welcome. Lefty is a pretty good guy and I enjoy seeing him show up periodically. He's also in and out of Alaska on business and every so often we chat about people we both know.
Lefty has two things that I can count on. When he show up he will invariably have the adult beverage I happen to be in the mood for. If I am in the mood for a particular brand of beer Lefty will invariably show up with a six-pack of it.
The other thing I can count on Lefty for is to call me on the phone while I am sitting on the toilet. I don't know how he does either of these two things but he does. It's one of the reasons I take my cell phone with me when I head to the throne and place it within arm's reach.
Part of the ritual of a visit from Lefty is that we watch the news together because he and I tend to bounce off of each other with our running commentaries. We sort of share the same sense of humor.
We were watching one of the news programs drinking the Dos Equis he brought along. They're all the same when you think about it. CNN is about the same as Fox when you look at the big picture. It's all been screwed with by the various spin doctors.
Suddenly Lefty shot out with, "Screw that nigger faggot retard!" I was kind of shocked and turned to him agape.
"There, I said it!" he grinned. "Got all three of 'em in one short sentence!"
I was confused for a minute. Lefty never spoke like that. He certainly wasn't homophobic. He wasn't a racist. He had dated a black girl some time back. He said they broke up simply because Lefty's career made him travel too much. Personally I think it was because Lefty is too much of a party animal but that's neither here nor there.
It was Lefty that had brought me the news that a Down's kid I knew had died. Both of us considered ourselves to be her friend. Louise was one of the happiest people I had ever met. Truth is, I learned a lot from her. For one thing she never let the weather get her down.
Once I had asked her if she found the constant rain to be depressing. She simply replied, "No, I just get wet." in a matter of fact voice. Those five words changed my life for the good.
Lefty also passed word on to me when Bob Hatcher passed. We both knew Hatcher. He was the OSHA guy in Kodiak and did his job with a lot of class. We respected him. He was a former GI that served in Kodiak in a segregated black outfit. After the war he returned to Kodiak and married and raised his family. Bob was a good guy and was well respected. He was also a real character sometimes.
"What bringeth this delightful outburst to be bestowed upon us?" I asked.
Lefty looked thoughtful for a few seconds.
"You never hear the Italians referring to the word 'wop' as the 'W word', nor do you hear Norwegians calling 'squarehead' the 'S-word', he said.
"Yeah, and I never heard an American Indian call 'wagon burner' the 'W-word'," I replied.
"Wagon burner?" Lefty snickered. "Where did you hear that one?"
"It's my all-time favorite racial slur," I said. "Not because it insults Native Americans but because of the context of where I heard it for the first time. First time I heard it ws in Ketchikan. What made it so funny to me is that there has never been a covered wagon within 1000 miles of the place. Calling a Tlinget a wagon burner is a real joke."
"Yeah, really," answered Lefty. "For what its worth, Louise Strongbow was the sweetest girl in town. She was happy, cheerful, upbeat and a total joy to be around. She used to ask about you when I'd run into her because you were good to her. That being said, she was retarded."
"This man speaketh the truth," I answered. "Yes, Lefty, she was retarded. It is indisputable. She was in fact retarded."
"I remember some guy groping her. I walked by and socked him right in the ear and knocked him off of his stool," Lefty said.
"Get kicked out of the joint?" I asked.
"No," he replied. "The bartender bought me a drink."
"Figures," I said. "We all used to keep tabs on Louise."
"Anyway," he continued. "The gays don't like being called 'faggots' which is fine by me. I won't call them that but you can bet your ass I'm not going to go around calling it 'the F-word'. Besides, we already got one of them... I suppose it will eventally be called 'the other F-word'."
"Yeah," I replied. "Then 'retard' or 'retarded' is going to become the 'R-word'.
"Pic, I don't use a whole lot of slurs and neither do you," said Lefty. "I never heard you call Louise retarded. You referred to her occasionally as a Down's kid which is fine because she was. I've never heard you use the word 'nigger' or 'faggot' in any context except to quote someone like LBJ."
"I don't just because of the way I am," I replied. "But you can bet your ass that I'm sick and tired of the Gods of Political Correctness telling me that something as petty as a slur is unmentionable...Especially the two faced liberals like Denise Rafael."
"Who's she?" asked Lefty.
"Ahh...some broad down at the bar I used to hang out at that's a real do-good liberal dipshit. One night I had to listen to her go on and on about how welfare and social programs are the most wonderful thing in the world," I explained. "Of course, after a couple of drinks she sidled up to me and quietly said 'Besides, welfare keeps the niggers downwhere they belong instead of in our neighborhoods.'. That's a direct quote. Word for word."
"Lot of that going around in liberal circles," said Lefty.
"Lot of it going around in our circles, too when you think about it," I shot back."That kind of crap knows no bounds."
"I suppose," he agreed. "Anyway, I am not going to run around using a bunch of slurs but I sure as hell am not going to cave into the PC crowd by calling them the N or the F or the R word."
"Nah. Neither am I," I answered. "Which leads to another question. How come everyone else like the Italians or the Norwegians or the Jews don't get up in arms over this kind of crap. Or the Indians."
"Which Indians?" asked Lefty. "Feather, dot or Cleveland?" I didn't take this as a slur, it was more of a clarifier. Blame Colombus. He was lost. He thought he was in India. I suppose if he thought he was in Manila Bay I would have grown up playing Cowboys and Filipinos.
I said that to a couple of Filipinos once. They sat there confused for a second until one of them figured it out and told the other in Tagalog. They burst out laughing and handed me a beer. They kidded me about it for weeks.
I got along pretty good with the Filipino community in Kodiak. All it generally takes is a sense of humor.
"Cleveland," I answered. I was playing into Lefty's sense of twistedness. "The people that gripe about Chief Yahoo are just a bunch of do-gooders with nothing else to do. Remember the Fighting Whities? I got one of their T-shirts."
"Oh, yeah. I remember," said Lefty. The team in Colorado that named themselves the Fighting Whities to put down another team that had an Indian name. It kinda blew up in their faces because it took off. They sold about a jillion shirts, though."
"It can't be all bad," I replied. "They got my fifteen bucks!"
"Truth is, we really don't give a damn, Pic." he said. "Neither of us really give a damn. We go around treating people the way we want to be treated and leave it at that. Screw the PC crowd!"
"That's about it," I replied."That's about all anyone's going to get out of me. What this country needs is another Mel Brooks. He made all of us look about as stupid as we really are."
"Ya got that right," agreed Lefty.
The news switched to something else but we were bored alread. The news ritual between us was over.
Neighbor Bob wandered in. "Siddown and listen with your ears and not your mouth. This here's Lefty Davis and he and I are going to watch this movie." I said. "In about fifteen minutes you'll figure out why. It's "True Grit' with the Duke."
After about an hour of listening to Lefty and I doing our running commentary and playing various roles Bob figured out where he belonged. He played a pretty good Matty Ross.
To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY