“These people are ‘dumb as dirt,’ beginning a senate campaign in Buffalo, New York,” we said. “How could they be so stupid?” Even Texans knew better than that. An all expense paid trip to Buffalo on January 17, when we figured the snow might be the deepest, was once one of the prizes at the Mud Dauber Festival at Luchenbach, Texas. Not for winning the song-writing contest, mind you, but for losing. It explains why Texans have so many award winning country-western songs. We had an extra incentive. Buffalo was so good-natured about it that they sent T-shirts emblazoned with a big, hairy buffalo above the message: BUFFALO, THE CITY WITH NO ILLUSIONS. They may have had less than a cutting edge chamber of commerce, but we loved them for their grasp of reality.
Nothing much has changed there in decades. I think it’s a law. But that was all to change. Hillary Clinton was going to save the day for Buffalo and all of western New York with a four part economic plan she filched from Robert Rubin, when what was needed was instructions on how make 100,000 dollars with a 1,000 dollar investment in cattle futures.
We had visions of Hillary dressed as The Little Match Girl, freezing, trying to keep warm by striking matches while huddled in the snow outside the windows of people she wished would pay her some attention. She froze to death, of course. Same as before. Happens sometimes to runaways with a dumb plan.
As Hillary Clinton was running out of matches in Buffalo while revealing her true self — a vagabond scratching at windows and looking for a handout, her poll numbers were dropping like rocks in a pond. Meanwhile, back in the big city, Sarah Brady and her merry band of emasculators at HCI had just lost the most recent round in congress in their attempt to litter the landscape with more, happy eunuchs. Why so many seem puzzled about how such things could come to pass, is something of a puzzle. One could find out from any “real” woman. It was their shameful attempts to steal the rightful hallmark of women who demonstrated “softness,” seduction, and true femininity and to demonize the symbols or substance of power that they abhorred or coveted for themselves.
About that time, either the gun manufacturers finally came up with the where-with-all to swell the campaign coffers of certain members of Congress, or the numb-skulls finally peeked into their own trousers and got the “message.” That being a demonstration of the true agenda of out-and-out lunatics as Sara Brady began putting the face of Joe Camel on poor little Eddie Eagle, the mascot of The National Rifle Association’s school firearm safety program. “Joe Camel with feathers,” their web pages were screaming. Gun safety meant — no guns, now, safely handled, or not, and certainly, no guns later. A world safe for quaking virgins, untamed shrews, and squeamish females, not only from the stylized faces that looked like male genitalia on beasts of burden as they cleverly promoted cigarettes under siege, but safe from guns, period — the historically recognized phallic symbols of choice of discriminating men, everywhere.
Why it has taken so long for men to catch on is anyone’s guess. Maybe they didn’t serve in the military. It’s difficult to see how any missed the “Freudian slip” in the naming of Hand Gun Control, Inc. We don’t have a National Gun Association and for good reason. It’s a point not missed by the rawest of Army recruits who learned the proper nomenclature of weaponry from drill instructors yelling at the top of their lungs, “This is my rifle, this is my “gun,” one is for shooting, the other’s for fun”
Many of us howled with laughter when we heard Hillary’s handlers were having her wear pink suits to have her appear “softer.”‘ Aside from the stupidity of admitting that underneath, she was a “hard” woman who needed to be disguised, her handlers failed to drape the Steinway Grand legs. They were clad in combat boots the size of boxcars, and large enough to stand on the neck of the entire country. It didn’t work, of course. Even the hide of an entire pink elephant was not ample enough to conceal a hardened thief who had not only stolen the color rightfully belonging to “real” girls, but was now using it in an attempt to steal an eighth of the US economy in the form of the health care industry.
It remains to be seen if she trots the color out again in her effort to be seen as the Martha Stewart of Westchester county, “standing by her man,” It might be better she stick to wearing her usual, blue. Blue being the color of criminals, heartbreakers, and other evildoers on the road to Hell.
If we believe such things, it’s understandable. Walter Mosley titled his mystery novel, Devil in a Blue Dress, then the rock group, Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels became famous for the song, Devil with the Blue Dress On, and poor Bobby Vinton, to this day, still sees Blue Velvet worn by a real heartbreaker through a torrent of relentless tears. By the time Bill Clinton realized he had been cast into some kind of Hell, as well, over a dress of the same hue, the idea had pretty much taken hold. A blue dress could not only draw one into a web of murder, blackmail, dirty cops, and even dirtier politicians, but make a full grown man bawl like a baby. In the end, such a garment had the power to topple a government, even one headed by a man who possessed a legendary talent for maintaining his balance on the edge of a razor blade.
How blue came to be the color of ‘devils,” I have no idea, but it was Robert Ardrey in The Hunting Hypothesis who suggested that pink might be the color of true “devils.”
Our own Skyler O’Reilly knew it and she had never read Ardrey. The legendary airhead of record may have been the only girl who ever graduated from our school who never read a book, much less one with a chapter on seduction. With Skyler, knowing such things was a matter of pure, primal instinct. She could have written a book on it if she could write. Some of us weren’t even sure she could read, but offered up daily prayers on the outside chance that she might actually give us some real competition by cracking a cookbook.
More than one of us thought she graduated because she never failed to ask Father Bill and Brother Peter, who chaperoned at our school dances, to take a turn around the floor. They may have given up women for the priesthood and brotherhood, but possessed little courage for saying “no” to a girl who could really “boogie-on-down.” Others thought it was because of a willingness on the part of any number of adoring boys to take on extra homework, while others simply attributed it to a belief in miracles — Not much of a stretch for those steeped in such occurrences in a high school named Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic High School.
At length, Skyler’s “miracle” probably had something to do with some parochial school version of “social” promotion. A policy hammered out in hysterical, late night sessions of the school board due to a need to maintain some semblance of “order” for those who had taken “holy orders” and a healthy climate safe for other “holy innocents” who had the misfortune of choosing the teaching profession in her parish.
She lent a great deal of weight to at least one of Ardrey’s theories. He opined that if Homo sapiens had developed a preference for frontal coitus, it had less to do with learning anything at all from the likes of missionaries and more to do with an interesting triad of things, “pink,” and all located on the anterior side of females. If they had less facial and body hair than men did, he went on, it most likely disappeared due to a need to reveal such attractions. He pretty much nailed down his theory by pointing out that primates, such as baboons, who had not evolved thusly, nevertheless were still in the picture only because they possessed bright-pink posteriors. Some of us were almost sorry to hear that. Poor Ardrey. He spent a lifetime to solve a mystery that Skyler had solved by the time she was in junior high school — the puzzling mystery of why women insisted on the wearing of lipstick.
If any of us ever doubted the power of pink, Skyler reminded us on the night of senior prom. She arrived, not in the company of one of her homework hunks, but a “dork” whose father nevertheless had a great deal of money. The “number” she wore was as near as I can describe it, just that. A perfect figure “eight” of skin-tight, pink faille that narrowed at her ankles before flaring out at the bottom in a sweeping tail of swishing, pink tulle. The dancing lights from the mirrored glitter-ball revolving on the ceiling of the gym had just lured a shimmering, wet mermaid from the depths of God-Knows-Where and landed her on the “deck.” Flesh-colored faille melted into flesh-colored flesh in the dim light of the dance floor, and all without the saving grace of a single fish scale strategically placed to obscure anything at all.
With the exception of Sister Michala’s having suddenly assigned Father Bill and Brother Peter to parking lot duty, the only thing that diverted anyone’s attention from Skyler’s magnificent pink tail, was possibly the largest and most expensive white catleya orchid we had ever seen. It danced on her wrist, mocking a roomful of lesser blooms. The boys kept staring, mouths gaping like mesmerized sailors of yore who had just seen their first fish of note. The girls were staring, too; gasping from the cloying odor that comes from of a roomful of suddenly ugly corsages made up of cheap carnations. And all in a sea of bell-skirted Little-Bo-Peep cotillion ball gowns embellished with hundreds of yards of cascading, white ruffles, ball gowns that nevertheless, might just as well have become hideous burlap bags.
Except for an occasional five-year school reunion, we don’t see her much anymore. We may have accepted her as being “a little fallen angel, ” as Sister Bertillia used to say, “only a little lower on the rungs of the ladder to Heaven” than the rest of us, but do find it prudent to keep her at a distance. Any girl so savvy, who once had the ability to drive intelligent boys destined for medical school into slathering sailors willing to sign up for the Merchant Marine, and nice girls into gold-mining harlots of the nearest cabaret might possibly have honed her skills. Who knew what calamities might ensue once she’d had years of practice?
We never did decide just where she was on that “ladder to heaven, ” but have no doubt that she was some “fallen angel.” After some consideration of the ongoing dialogue about whether we are “rising apes” or “fallen angels,” I can only suggest that the Hillary Clintons and Sara Bradys of the world, who think they can get us all to “Heaven,” best leave the “pink stuff” to professionals. Not only does the ladder have little room for big, pink bottoms hidden by blue “power suits,” but Skyler will make it to Heaven ahead of all of us. Rumor has it that she just learned to bake cookies.
February 16, 2000
Judith Vinson is a Texas rancher.