Thursday, April 27, 2006
America's Wang
I'm embarrassed. It happens a lot, I know. And no, it's not because I caught the horrible 24-hour Tourette's and shouted out "bastard whoring stinking vagina!" during the Preparation of the Gifts at Mass last Sunday. Why should I be embarrassed? It was an affliction. People who have no sympathy for people like me with disabilities (even the 24 hour kind), I have no time for them or their "opinions." No one said anything directly to me, but old ladies fainting? Judgment City. You faint all you want, Betty Oldperson. I may have said "bastard whoring stinking vagina" involuntarily, but that doesn't mean I didn't mean it. I stand behind my compulsive interjected vulgarity 100%.

I'm also not embarrassed by the fact that, once again, there will be no Friday or Sunday post to cap off this week. I know I did the same thing a few weeks ago around that whole Easter thing, and look, here I am about to do it again. But I'm not embarrassed or even apologetic because, well, I still deserve it. Just as much as I did then. I work pretty hard for you people--up to 11 minutes a day!--to bring you this kind of quality on an (almost literally) insanely regular schedule. So I don't owe you people a goddamn thing. Except my undying love and devotion. Which... you already... aw, you know... come on, don't make me say it...

No, I'm embarrassed because of the reason I'll be unavailable.

I am going to be in Florida.


Those of you who aren't from California can't really understand. There's sort of a rivalry between California and Florida. Our temperate climates compete for the attentions of all the rest of America's soon-to-be-retired. But besides the obvious alternative to your wind-blasted frozen-oven icy hellscapes, there are several points of close overlap between the cultures of the two states that make us uncomfortably similar.

Just going to Florida feels like a betrayal. Though I've never actually been there before, I'm looking forward to forcing it to fit into my preconceived antipathetic prejudices; to compare it to my beloved Cali and to find it wanting.

I. Weather

CA: Mediterranean, dry summers, just a little rain in the winters. Variable elevations means a range of temperature and atmospheric variation readily available.

FL: Tropical, by which I mean humid and humid. Like wearing a full-body suit made of wet suede and then being hit in the face with the occasional water-polo ball. Also: weather occasionally tries to kill you. Which leads us to:

II. Natural disasters

CA: Earthquakes. Constant, but rarely devastating. Is building cities on top of fault zones the smartest thing ever? Probably not. But ooh! Look! Is that Jamie Foxx?

FL: Hurricanes. Annual, repetitive, constant. How long will it take you people to take a hint? God doesn't want you there. If he did, he would have given you a mountain or two to hide behind. But ooh! Look! Is that... oh... no, I thought it was Sylvester Stallone but it's just a gnarled old tree knocked over by the 200-mile-per-hour wind.

III. Spanish-speaking Immigrants

CA: Mexicans. Work hard, keep price of lettuce down, have Cinco de Mayo. And if that weren't enough, they also brought us carne asada.

FL: Cubans. Cranky, distracted by all that Castro business. Tend to vote Republican. No more needs to be said there.

IV. Disney theme-park

CA: Personable, quaint, manageable size, peopled almost entirely by Californians. Still Nazis about cleanliness and politeness, but not on a physical scale that makes my rheumatism act up.

FL: Giant sprawling mess of, like, nine theme parks crowded with foreigners and people from the South. If I wanted to see some kind of culture-clash play out between Giorgio from Napoli and Gus from Possum Holler, I'd... you know what, on second thought, I would like to see that play out. I'm still not going to Disney World, but I can't reject it out of hand, as much as I'd like to.

Mosquitos, alligators, Gloria Estefan... Florida sounds like a world of horrors, one right after another.

I know it must sound like I'm being defensive, but there is the honor of my home state to consider. We've spent a century and more cultivating an image of boorish, overwhelmingly vapid superficiality and I'm not going to stand by and watch it be taken over by some johnny-come-lately from South Beach. We've got gay men rollerblading in thongs out here too, you know.

You can have our citrus industry; our lack of personal dignity, that's ours.

I look forward to reporting back my prescribed findings on Monday.

Until then, pray for me for I shall be in Florida.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 5.0



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