Friday, February 5, 2010

East of the Mason-Dixon

My uncle once said to me: "Eric, never trust a fart."

He said this to me right before explaining that we had a "nigger" for a president, ultimately negating any regard I might have held for him politically. The issue here was a pressing matter because in previous elections, I had voted Democratically. I could tell that this was going to be a popular topic of discussion for my family. I use the term "discussion" loosely.

They would become drunk and abrasive. I would bite my tongue.

Being the only gay man in my family, my opinions on these visits were limited to those of blowjobs and makeovers. I was a real treat to any of my female cousins ages thirteen and up. I couldn't explain to my uncle that I had voted the way I did because I believed in any one particular issue over the other. Truth was, I didn't give a good Goddamn about politics. I just hated Republicans. Probably because everyone in my family was a Republican.

My uncle told me all of this while reclining in a white, plastic lawn chair in his multi-acre backyard, swirling a perspiring glass of White Zinfandel and sneering at the fifty-dollar bottle of Sauvignon Blanc I had brought with me from Napa Valley. It was my thank you gift to them - my gracious hosts.

"This shit right here," he drawled, looking at his spiraling vino. "Costs three times less as that shit. Tastes just as good too. 'Specially on a day as hot as today." Then he took a deep sip and leaned up to throw a hand under his chin as he spilled on himself. I trusted this man's opinions on politics and wine about as much as I trusted my own farts.

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