“Can I Trade You My Right-Wing Husband?”

The Confessions of Neo Don Quixote and a Decidedly Over-the-Hill Holden Caulfield

Yup, there are times, more frequent recently, when my wife would prefer to trade me in for a good deal more circumspect cocktail-party companion. And I confess, I’ve developed a condition that can only be construed as eminently self-destructive. Moreover, I confess, it’s true, that I do tend to go off when someone says just about anything that unashamedly betrays them as a person who would, for example, admit to buying into the party line being peddled by Daschle, Gephardt, Bill, Hill, Crazy Al Gore, Chucky Shumer, Willie Brown, (our own Mayor of San Francisco, AKA “IL Duce”), et al. And really, I suppose I should heed the now famous admonition immortalized by Rodney King; “Can’t we just all get along?”

Up to this point, I’m having trouble, getting along, that it is. But hopefully chronicling this will be a start in the sort of therapy I need to get over it or get used to it. (By the way, you’d be justified in asking, what is it that I need to get over? More on that in a minute.)

But here’s a case in point, an example of my troubles. The other evening, while out with my extended family at a trendy Italian restaurant, I “went off” on our waiter who had the temerity to be outspoken about his leftist, socialist ideology. Only when I did it, I wasn’t just with my wife, who’s now developed a very “short fuse” over my condition, but was also accompanied by my mother, father, and our two pre-adolescent boys. The occasion was my wife’s birthday. (Boy, I guess you’re thinking… you really know where to pick your fights.) It was a doozy.

The exchange went something as follows. After being seated, we inadvertently asked our bearded, portly waiter what his recommendations would be. Of course, we meant the dinner specials, etc. But I suppose, fielding this question on such a regular basis, our witty leftist was ready with his lugubrious reply, “Always wear white at night and always vote Democrat.”

Now, given my condition, this set me off because, the way I saw it, this condescending, self-indulgent, boob was invading our turf with his socialist agenda. He wanted ply some of what I found to be pitiably weak leftist jabs in order to assuage his boredom and humiliation he would otherwise suffer, being subservient to and waiting on us, the backward bourgeoisie. His contempt was thinly veiled. I waited until he walked around to me to take my order before I fired my first salvo, “Sir, may I ask you… what other country do find the socialist model to be working to your satisfaction?”

You see, this condition I have causes me to want to go “toe to toe” with the socialists among us, verbally that is. But let me digress here for just a moment. I don’t refer to someone who freely admits to voting for Al Gore in the last election as anything other than a socialist. (For the sake of brevity, I won’t begin to enumerate the macroeconomic holocaust of an unrestrained Gore presidency) I notice they don’t now call themselves liberals and certainly not socialists. Oh I know, they were new Democrats and now they’re progressives, whatever that means. Hey, it’s obvious, if Bill Clinton has taught us anything, it’s that they speak in code, one meaning for them, one for everyone else.

But I’ve digressed. The waiter answered my question, “Oh, I’d say, France, Canada, Italy, for starters,” he said with a self-satisfied grin.

I volleyed, “Oh, you mean all those once-proud countries which couldn’t possibly defend themselves militarily without taxing the American Rich? “

I thought, ah hah! I have the guy staggering toward the ropes. He was muttering something as he backed off. Just then my wife broke in to my moment. “Larry, you’re ruining our evening!” My mother and father were giving me their looks of gravest consternation.

My oldest boy joined the chorus with, “Dad!” Next, I caught a smirk registering on the leftist’s cowering face. In his mind, he’d been vindicated and I, sent to my corner.

But what was rather astonishing to me, my youngest son, only seven years old, then got out of his seat, came over to me and said, “It’s okay, Dad.”

What did he understand of this condition of mine? A moment in time, gone forever.

By | 2017-02-28T07:31:41-08:00 January 17th, 2001|California|Comments Off on “Can I Trade You My Right-Wing Husband?”

About the Author:

Larry Kelley’s life was utterly changed by 9/11. On the day after the attacks, on his way to work, he was struck by the sudden realization that World War III had commenced. Like most Americans he desperately wanted to find out who were these people who attacked us, what could ordinary citizens do to join the battle and how can those plotting to kill us in future attacks be defeated. Mr. Kelley has written scores of columns on the dangers of western complacency.