The conversation moves to Those Stupid Creationists.
· eats only white rice and never brown rice
· who eats all the pickled herring
· watches bad TV
· bunny worshipper
· who lights candles to the full moon and
· who jabs pins in dolls who look like his enemies
living next door to me than
· someone with a PhD in biology
· who teaches at the local university
· who is published
· who always leaves his trash can on the sidewalk instead of bringing it in after trash day
· who never cuts his grass, and
· who leaves the dog poop in his back yard where I can smell it on hot days.
I have had those neighbors – the trash can on the sidewalk for days neighbors and the dog poop neighbors. I don’t know what they believed, but I do know they were bad neighbors. Who leaves so much dog poop in the back yard that you can smell it?
Give me someone who lives in a neighborly way – keeps his property neat and tidy so my property value is maintained, trains his dogs to be quiet even if that scary neighbor walks into her own back yard, doesn’t have frequent loud parties – and I’ll take someone who believes the moon is made out of green cheese over the super educated, super sophisticated jerk. What you believe does not matter as much as how you live.
Sly: We went to the gift shop at the park and they had creationism books for sale!
Clearly I am crazed with hunger and headache pain to even consider arguing with my boyfriend’s father the first time I meet him.
Sly: That’s crazy! Everyone knows creationism is wrong! What kind of asshole believes in creationism?
Asshole? He says “asshole?” “Asshole” is not a company word. It is not a word to be used when one meets people for the first time. It is not a word that I would say in front of him, for sure.
Doris, however, is unfazed by his language. She nods in agreement as she sips her bourbon.
Sly: How can they even let them sell those books?
Me: What do you mean, “let them?”
Sly: It shouldn’t be allowed!
Me: This was a private store?
Me: But you want someone – I am assuming you mean the government – to dictate what they can sell? I mean, you want the government to dictate what people can say? Don’t you support the First Amendment?
Sly: Creationism is wrong.
Doris nods again as she reaches for the bottle and pours herself another inch of bourbon. Maybe joining her is not such a bad idea. Does alcohol get rid of a migraine? My cousin Randy, on whom I had a massive crush when I was 12, only to discover later in life that he is gay, which made me sad for me, but really, did I have a chance with my own cousin, even if he is really a second cousin once removed or a third cousin or whatever it is when your mom and his dad are cousins?
Anyhow. Randy swears by a regular Coke and two aspirin for his migraines. I should try that. With booze. Right now.
Me: Whether it’s right or wrong has nothing to do with it. Either you believe in freedom of speech or you don’t. You don’t get to decide based on content.
Sheesh. Aren’t Sly and Doris supposed to be the tolerant, sophisticated ones? Do I really have to explain the First Amendment to them?
Sly: They shouldn’t allow them to sell books that are obviously untrue.
The cheese cracker I am shoving into my mouth is clearly too late to address my blood sugar/judgment issues.
Me: Isn’t it better for bad ideas to be out there where they can be exposed?
Sly: They shouldn’t be allowed to sell things that are clearly wrong!
People have the right to be stupid. Should bookstores be allowed to sell books about astrology? It’s clearly crap. But do I care if someone else reads her horoscope every morning before making a move? Nope. Doesn’t hurt me at all, unless the horoscope is, “Don’t ever hire someone who has colored and cut her own hair after a job and a boyfriend loss.” Then I’m screwed because then, the stupid beliefs could affect me.
The real issue is who gets to make these decisions. Who decides what is right and what is wrong? People like Sly – his personality, not his political affiliation – always know they would be the ones making those decisions. He would be running things were power to change hands. Which just goes to show he has a poor grasp of history. Except for the ones leading the revolution, intellectuals are usually the first to go. Didn’t he see The Killing Fields?
There is no point in arguing with him, so I shut up. How do you convince someone that it is a bad idea for the government to make those kinds of decisions when he is so sure that power would never be used against him?
My shutting up does not stop Sly from continuing to express his opinion.
 I am saying it to you guys because 1. I am anonymous and 2. I trust you. We are all friends here, right?
 Implied but not said out loud: “It’s just idiotic Christians who believe the crap their church tells them. Trailer-park cretins who don’t have any education and can’t think for themselves.”
 Plus, also – Falling For Gay Men. Who among us has not dated a man whom she later discovered was gay?
 Oh like you have never cut your own hair and then dyed it Clairol #22 Cinnaberry Red. Cast away, sinless long-haired, natural hair color people.