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Friday, November 05, 2004
Drunk with power...and that pitcher of Manhattans pitched in too
It's a super-late America's Worst Mother where we find a hung over Meghan dealing with George Bush's successful conquest of America in much the same way she handled Mr. Meghan's successful conquest of his administrative assistant; by drinking herself unconscious:
There's a creaking sound, and the bedroom door opens. "Mummy?" It is Molly. She studies my face for a moment, her expression grave. "Did we win?"
Outside a sudden gust of cold wind whips at the few golden leaves still clinging to a maple tree on the street. Inside, inert and exhausted, I scarcely dare answer.
"Provisionally," I croak, in a voice from the crypt.
Molly climbs in next to me and snuggles under the blankets. From upstairs come the smothered sounds of singing and reproach as the other children get dressed; from downstairs rises the smell of coffee. My legs feel like Jimmy Hoffa's must have, at the end.
"Don't worry, Mummy," Molly says comfortably, tucking the sheets under my chin. Abruptly she switches topics and her manner becomes guarded. "Doesn't Paris have to wear white socks?"
"I don't know that it matters," I reply, climbing past her out of bed on to feet that feel like cartoon anvils. In passing, I wonder what campaign Molly has launched about socks and why she wants me to commit preemptively to an opinion of what color her brother's should be, but mostly I am wondering what is wrong with me. Have I ever been this tired before?
Yes. Mummy was hitting the "medicine" pretty hard the night before and the kids (Formica, Profumo, Alabaster, and Tsing Tsao) are having to rummage through the dirty laundry to find clothes because Meghan is "tired". At the breakfast table Meghan nurses a Bloody Mary and complains that "the scrambled eggs are making too much freaking noise" before tossing back another handful of aspirin:
"Phoebs," I say, "Please don't sing at the table."
"...swish your bushy tail!" Phoebe finishes with a brilliant smile, and innocently picks up her toast. Thus are tiny victories won over siblings.
"Hawaii went for Kerry," says my husband. "Meg, are you all right?"
"So...tired...." I tell him, lifting my face off the plate. "I think I'm suffering a post-election, post-traumatic Nervous Anxiety Collapse," I explain, realizing as I say it that it's the case.
So that's was the uptight drunken suburbanites are calling it these days. But then the reality of the New Bush Order rears it pasty-white, talks-out-the-side-of-it's-mouth face:
"Mummy, there was such a scene!" Molly cries, fizzing with excitement as she drags her ten-ton backpack into the car. "In one class, the teacher was really upset, and a girl threw up, and one boy burst into tears because he thought he was going to be drafted into the army!"
"Now can we send You Know What to — ?"
"What's 'drafted'?" Paris asks.
"It means you have to become a soldier if you're old enough," I say, pulling away from the curb.
Faced with the prospect of Profumo eventually being drafted and sent off to
protect Hallibuton's profits bring democracy to Middle-Eastern swarthy people so they won't be tempted to move into Michelle Malkin's neighborhood, Mummy springs into action by making her son appear a little, well, you know:
"For some reason when people think of Hawaii, at least in my case," Paris puts in, "they think of the hula" — he pauses to wriggle hula-like in his chair — "and tropical waters, and volcanoes, and that kind of thing."
My husband and I grin at each other. "Um, why do you mention it?" I ask, and feel the fearful weight on my heart shift a little.
"I don't know," he replies, shrugging amiably. "It's just when someone said Hawaii, I kind of did the hula."
So it now looks like Profumo will be joining that touring company of South Pacific after all, where he will get to visit many midwestern states, observe the people in their colorful native garb, and find out that they don't cotton to his type and "No" he can't get married there, Funny Boy.
Next week: Profumo discovers that, try as he might, he can't wash that man right out of his hair.