Kinky Talk

1 10 2007

My mind is a goofball jambalaya. Every now and then it goes off on its own tangent, amiss from reality and not too far from the downright strange. This is one of those times. For some reason, my creative juices get flowing and I know that I need to write. Unfortunately, most of the times this happens I am behind the wheel of a large automobile without the means to pontificate. Not tonight, however. Welcome to my “other” life. The one that haunts me.

I am standing behind a podium. I haven’t been behind one of these since I inducted my future brother-in-law’s little brother into the National Junior Honor Society while I was in the eighth grade. I am no stranger to the stage (only stranger than most), so I make the most of my opportunity while ignoring the flash of bulbs and the spotlight stare of the incredulent.

The audience of interrogators got right to the point: Why was I supporting Kinky Friedman in his second run for governor? Did I agree with all his views? And, most importantly, did I think he had a Jewboy’s chance in Palestine?

Typical of me, I answered in reverse.

No, I didn’t think he had a chance to win “the” seat at the mansion. That chair was reserved for well-oiled, polished, bred-to-be-toadies whose money can push them far further than sales of some old CDs.

His views? To be completely honest, I didn’t know what all “his views” were or are. The only thing I cared about could be summed up in one word: conviction. He absolutley believes in everything he is fighting for and no amount of money or sway can alter how he feels. In other words, a voter would be getting exactly what they voted for – not another lackey serving special interests or a guy who would be tempted by the lifted skirt and perfumed inner thigh of big money.

And why was I supporting him?

Well, if the above paragraphs are not enough, allow me to tell you a little story.

I first met Kinky at a micro-brewery in south Austin. We were both sitting on the patio so that we could more easily hide our contraband (my cigarette and his cigar) from the morality police. I, of course, knew who he was. But the thing that struck me was that he made a concerted effort to find out who I was. And, once he did, he made no overt effort to call my by name in every sentence (a sure buzz-kill). In fact, he ended up calling me ‘Leemer’. Yup. That is how the nickname started.

Anyway, he asked me what I thought the most pressing need of the state was. Needing absolutley no time to consider my answer, I replied “education”. Then I elaborated.

“I’ve read all the statistics that state that American kids cannot even find Washington D.C. on a map and I find it utterly embarrassing. And I chalk it all up to the fact that people who would make excellent teachers end up choosing other careers just to survive. To live. I wish I would have known when I was a student the sacrifices some of my teachers made in order for me to get an excellent education. Lewis, Boardman, Lybbert, Brock, and McKee. They are the true heroes, yet most have moved on to other posts because of familial duties.

“And the beauty of those teachers? They weren’t geniuses or anything. They just knew how to teach. Hell, I’m a smart guy. Smarter than most, anyway, but I couldn’t teach to save my balls. I have three friends that are currently teachers and they stay in the profession because they actually give a shit. Two are bilingual educators and the other tries his best – often succeeding – to get his kids to buy into his program. And their paychecks are the equivalent of peanut shells.

“Those are the people I want supported. Those are the people who need representation. Me? I can find a job, and I might change a life or two. But those teachers have the ability, the sway, to change many. Make teaching an elite job, instead of a fallback option, and you have my vote.”

He tilted his cowboy hat up to the brim of his forehead and peered down at me. The smoke curled from his cigar like the word ‘sassafrass’ written in cursive. I watched the smog dissipate as I contemplated the political suicide I had just committed, even though I am not an outspoken politics junkie and he was, in truth, nothing more than a dark horse candidate, albeit one with a good cause.

Finally, he spoke.

“Have you ever seen ‘Butt Bongo Fiesta’?”

Sorry. Actually, his reply was, “Let’s do a shot. Welcome to my team.”

—–

There you have it. An odd glimpse into my brain. I’ve never met Kinky, but I imagine it would go down a lot like that.

Shit, Austin has already started to infiltrate me. Pray, everyone. And thanks for playing along.

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One response

1 10 2007
Dawn

My only regret in life is that I didnt find you soon enough to procreate with you.

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