I forgot to mention that I went to karaoke last Tuesday. The State of the Voice is a bit better, obviously. But my upper notes are still lost to me, so I kept it to low songs and only sang twice. I did fine but for the second song, “Wherever You Will Go” by The Calling, I could feel where my voice was this close to giving out. If I had needed to go just a little higher, it would have been disastrous! I think if this voice crud continues much longer, I’m going to have to switch to country music. And man, do I hate country music.
I’m still drinking the tea every day, doing the tenting with the peppermint oil. I’m tired of the slightly sore throat and the laryngitis. Mostly I’m tired of being so housebound. I isolate enough already. The last five weeks have just made it worse.
I have a doctor’s appointment a week from tomorrow. Pretty amazing I could get one so quickly. It’s a two-hour drive, but there really isn’t a decent ENT around here. Such is small town living. Lots of specialists require you going outside the county.
By the way, when I say small town living, I don’t mean it’s entirely rural. True, this county does have more cows than people. It’s Beef Country! But it’s a regular little town. We have chain restaurants and gyms and a library and a mall and two movie theaters (though no stadium seating). But this town is surrounded by a whole lot of nothing. No matter which way you drive, once you leave town it’ll take you a while to get anywhere.
This is pretty much a retirement community. Sure, we have families with little kids and schools and all that, but the average age in this county is 52. The AVERAGE age. That’s me. I’m 52. Whenever I go somewhere like the VFW or the American Legion, I’m the kid in the room.
It’s the cost of living, the lakes and fishing and golfing, and the weather. All of those attract people, particularly from up north. I mean, I don’t care much about any of that. I don’t fish and I don’t golf. But apparently lots of people do.
We have a strong “snowbird” contingent. Snowbirds live up north in the summer months and move here for the winter months. Clearly, they’re the poorest among us.
My county also has a rather strong conservative population, which is rather fun if you’re a filthy snowflake liberal like I am. Big Trump country here. I think liberals were outnumbered by over 1-1/2 to 1 in the 2018 midterms. If you don’t have an (R) after your name as a candidate here, you probably shouldn’t waste your time. That sounds awful to say. I apologize. I’m awfully cynical. Of course, run if you want to. We need a diverse ticket. You just won’t win.
That’s because you’ll still see lots of classic bumper stickers like “LOCK HER UP!” zipping about town. And “TRUMP THAT BITCH!” is another favorite. I saw one of those pulling into a Baptist church parking lot a couple of Sundays ago. Can we get a big amen? Pickup trucks with decals on the back of their cabs showing Trump punching Hillary in the face – I’ve seen more than a handful of those and nobody seems to be in a hurry to take that crap off their car, even though we are over 2-1/2 years past the election. And they say WE can’t get over Trump winning. Yeah.
I don’t want to paint with too broad a brush. There are plenty of great people here. It’s not all back-woods “Deliverance” types by any stretch. But it doesn’t take long before you find people that still think Obama is a Muslim from Kenya. And they won’t be polite enough to use his name. No, it’ll be the “N” word. I’ve heard far worse than that. There’s a lot of racism. And sexism. And homophobia, And islamophobia. This whole county is full of isms and phobias. But that’s true of many little towns in the south, isn’t it? It was even worse when I lived in Mississippi. But it’s gotten pretty bad since the 2016 election. It’s like now that Trump is in office, people feel they have permission to be come out and be the bigoted pigs they really are.
After living here for over 15 years, I’ve just learned to pick my battles. Yes, it is frustrating living in a red county and it’s rather difficult for me not to speak up sometimes. Though I am rather strongly in the non-confrontation corner by nature. I hate making waves. I mean, I will, but I hate it. Did you miss the part where I mention I have some pretty hellacious social phobia?
You go into any sports bar or restaurant in town with TVs and you can be sure if there are multiple TVs, Faux News is on one of them. I have yet to see CNN or, Good Lord Above forbid, MSNBC on any public TV in the area. And they buy that Fox & Friends crap around here hook, line, and sinker. Just like they buy anything Trump says…even though the same people were calling him a stupid piece of shit less than four years ago. It’s maddening, but then, that’s the world we live in now. A mad, mad world.
I have my free-thinking islands of snowflakey goodness around, don’t worry. I know people here that can see the evil emperor has no clothes on. We sometimes gather to commiserate over the fact that we no longer have an intelligent, competent, honest person sitting behind the Resolute desk. And we wish for a time traveler to come from the future, go back in time to October, 1945, and slap a condom on Fred Trump’s dick. Well, I wish for it. My other friends may not be quite so geeky.
Right, enough about the Orange Dotard for now. It’s been nice cutting back on my news consumption so I don’t see quite so much of him.
In other news, I am working on a short story that a friend challenged me to write in a collaborative project. It is not going well. Not only have I not written a short story in forever and a day, but it is just…ugh. I feel like I’m plodding through and creating this ridiculously awful screenplay because it is mostly dialogue and worse than even Vogons could come up with. I have three possible endings in mind and I don’t know which one I want to use, nor do I even know if any of them will even work. And I have 16 days to complete it.
It’s also Sunday, which means I get to join in on that wonderful game of satanic fun, Dungeons & Dragons Online for a few hours! (Seriously, when we were teenagers, people in my town tried to stop us from playing D&D because of Satan!) Killing hordes of kobolds and undead is very relaxing. The only part is my old high school buddies like playing at a decent hour, which is before noon my time, which is hardly what I’d call “decent.” Guess I should hit the hay. I am the opposite of a morning person.
I hope you enjoy what’s left of the weekend. Unless you’re in Australia, where it’s already Monday. Bummer. Hey, it could be worse. You could be a test-reader for my short story.