Saturday, February 19, 2011

Obama or McCain supporter in 2008? What say you?



I observed this charming ornament--and testament to the virtue and sophistication of American culture--hanging from the back of a giant-work-monster-action pickup truck.

Parked in the handicap space of my daughter’s ortho building.

As you can see, the license plate (I digitally changed two of the letters) is from Alabama, and based on what I overheard in the truck owner’s conversation, I gather the truck’s owner drove around forty-five minutes to come to the bustling metropolis of Rome, GA, where the miracles of modern medical care are readily available.

( )

There. That parenthetical space is for you, dear reader, to insert your own far-too-easy and cliched joke about Alabamans [Alabamians(?)], their teeth (or lack thereof), and the need to drive out-of-state to receive orthodontic treatment.

(Okay, I can’t resist a good cliche. Here’s mine: How does one straighten a tooth?)

In the movie Amadeus, there is a fabulous scene in which Salieri, who has heard of Mozart but has yet to see him, entertains himself by winding his way through the attendants of a grand gala to which Mozart is a guest, carefully studying the faces before him, searching for the face of pure genius, challenging himself to discern Mozart’s identity by Salieri’s own conception of what genius must look like.

I thought it would be pleasurable to play the same manner of game. As I walked from the parking lot into the waiting room, I wondered whether I would be able to correctly identify by appearances alone the person with the sensitivity, refined taste, and gentle classiness to be the proud owner of a plastic boob ornament?

Is the face, in fact, the window to the bosom of the soul?

Unfortunately, the game turned out to be a bust—in a manner of speaking. The room only had three people in it. One person was a professionally dressed middle-age woman. The other people were an older man and a young teenage boy, presumably the man’s grandson. The boy was wearing a t-shirt that said “Feelin’ lucky?” on the back, but unfortunately I did not have the pleasure of seeing the front of his t-shirt.

Alas. And if that was not disappointing enough, the conversation I overheard simply gave the game away.

The older man spoke to the woman, and the following dialogue ensued:

“Yuh from Rome?”

“Nearby. Silver Springs.”

”Huh. Ya know’f Rome’s got a Dick’s Sporting Good Store?”

“It doesn’t. Probably the closest one is in Kennesaw.” (Kennesaw is a suburb of Atlanta.)

Kennesaw?! ……..Huh. I don’t get around to Kennesaw—wait, no, I’ve been there a cupla times to go to some gun shows. Where’s the Dick’s at?”

(The woman explains where it’s located.)

“Huh….I reckon that’s near the new Walmart. Yeah, we live in Alabama. Gotta big ol’ creek we overlook.”

”Oh, that must be really nice. Is the creek large enough for kayaking?”

Kayaking?! I suppose. I know this much. It’s called a creek, but when folks see it the first time they say, ‘That ain’t a creek. That’s a river!”

“Oh, that sounds lovely.”

“It’s nice all right. Suppose you can say this boy here (pointing to his grandson) pretty much lives in Paradise!”

“Hmmmm…..I suspect that may be a matter of opinion.”

At which point I nearly laughed out loud.

We can’t play the Salieri-Mozart game, but we can play a different one. Do you have enough information about this man from the little I’ve shared with you to confidently guess his politics? So here’s my question to you:

Who did this man support for president in 2008 and how much money would you be willing to bet on your guess?

This is not a trick question. I do not know the answer. Also note: I said “support,” not “vote for.” Obviously since the man is American there’s a good chance he didn’t vote.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

The funny thing is -- people in Alabama call themselves "Alabamians" (even though they don't live in "Alabamia")

I had the misfortune of living there for a year.

Mike Bailey said...

They say this, but is this correct usage?

Steven Taylor said...

I have this need for some sort of Harry Baals joke here, but that would just be juvenile, wouldn't it?

But the answer is McCain, McCain and more McCain.

I say so as a political scientist in permanent exile in Alabama, so I must be right.

Steven Taylor said...

BTW, when I saw the thumbnail of the photo on FB, I thought it was of thiskind of thing--hence the hilarity of the Baals joke.

Anonymous said...

There are so many things that "Alabamians" need to be corrected on that I figured their self-referencing was a "pick your battles" thing.

Julie said...

I think it is safe to say this man would not support bleeding heart liberals who are trying to take his guns away. He is no dang Commi Socialist. (don't mention his trading of food stamps when purchasing his weed... that's different...)

I teach many teens who are being raised by fine people like your Alabamian teet dangler. I can guess the artwork hanging in the house!... In the living room: the head of the buck he shot back in 1989. In his bedroom: something very artsy and special. It glows when you turn on this special black light bulb. It's got a tiger huntin' snakes and sh*t.

Julie said...

P.S.
What is really making me smile right now, is the image of you taking photographs of his lovely ornament. I just imagine this guy seeing you, and feeling like he really has something special there.

To his friend:
"Man, check out these sweet little t*tties back here. I got them at Spencer's in the mall. People love 'em. Some guy in Rome was takin' pictures of them when I drove Jr. to the teeth Dr."

M N Taylor said...

I interviewed for a job in Alabama some 15 years ago. When they spoke of colleges in Georgia they seemed ready to salivate.

Mike Bailey said...

Steven Taylor: Do you know I read the "Harry Baals" reference three times and did not get it? I wondered if you were referring to something biblical--some demon-worship or something.

And, as is perfectly clear from my post, oh, I'm perfectly neutral about which candidate this gentleman supported. But seeing how you're an Alabamian political scientist, I suppose I must defer to your judgment.

And Julie: all I can say is that this was hilarious enough for me to read to Julianne. She not only LOL, but she actually lol'd loudly. Her only comment was: Julie is HILARIOUS!!! So....thanks for the posts!

Mark: Always good to keep things in perspective! Thanks!

Andy D. said...

1. Salari v. Mozart = irrelevant. What we got here is, "This is my son Walker, and this is my other son, Texas Ranger." That's what we got he'ya.

2. What kind of a man puts a pair of t#ts on his ball hitch? The kind of man who finds the truck stop sold out of a pair of truck hitch b#lls like he went in for, that's who. Same guy.

3. Georgia vs. Alabama. Look. On this one, we've sorta got a Us vs. Them deal. I don't know how to choose. I'm just siding' with the dude with the t$ts on his bumper. So Bailey youse best be hittin Amazon.

4. I actually suspect the truck belonged to thu Orthpdontist. But hey'll, that's jus me y'all.

A.

Mike Bailey said...

Andy D:

1. I concede the point.
2. I concur.
3. That the choice is difficult is too painful to contemplate.
4. No, the ortho is a lovely and sophisticated woman. Or so I force myself to believe since our children's collective teeth have earned her the equivalent of a new addition to her house. Or as you might prefer, a huge new bass boat.

justcurious said...

I think you could make a robust argument for his "Hefner for Pres" campaign.