Going a Milo a minute in progressive Helena, Montana.
You’d think otherwise, but apparently Milo has few friends in Helena, the capital city of Montana, where Democrats abound and the Helena City Commission is aggressively pro-LGBT. So pro that on January 9 of this year it removed gender restrictions in public accommodations where people “ordinarily appear in the nude.”
We can thank Commissioner Robert Farris-Olsen for spearheading the amendment that passed in a 3-2 vote. He was not swayed by the fears expressed by many in the public in his zeal to eliminate this last vestige of gender discrimination.
I confess I was up in the air as to where those public accommodations are in Helena that people would go nude. I guess I don’t around much. Fortunately, I ran into my neighbor, Melinda H., a fervent Democrat. I cautiously brought up the name of Milo, in the way that conservatives always cautiously bring up political or even remotely political subjects with True Believers of Right Thinking.
“So, Melinda, what do you think of the Milo brouhaha?”
Let me correct myself: There is no cautious way to bring up any subject with a Lefty. She hit the ground at 110 mph.
“Milo!” she spat. “#%$! him!”
“Right, uh huh, I hear what you’re saying.” I spoke in calm, neutral tones and turned to head back to my house, but she grabbed me by the sleeve.
“I am the mother of two young daughters, and it FRIGHTENS ME that this alt-right, closeted Nazi fascist, fake speech, hate speech, immigrant pedophile Milo is not only NOT IN JAIL but that his fellow closeted fascist and Tough Immigration President Trump has not sent Milo packing back to England to live with his fellow racist Brexiteers.”
I have to admit, I admire the way Lefties can actually SPEAK IN CAPITALS.
“I understand your concern,” I lied. I was really concerned for my personal safety. Alas, this only prompted her to launch into a diatribe. I folded my arms and settled in for the next ten minutes.
“But I was even more FRIGHTENED AND HORRIFIED yesterday, before his demise! I was with my two daughters at the city pool and the — ”
I impulsively snapped my fingers! The pool! The one place, at least the locker room, where people ordinarily go naked. Some people. I wrap with a towel. My finger snap didn’t divert her.
“ — ‘women’s’ locker room was abuzz with the REAL NEWS about Milo!”
And I admire the way Lefties can speak in italics, too. Though I’ve yet to hear them speak in underlines.
“This,” continued my neighbor Melinda H., “was when Milo’s world seemed to be crashing further and further by the minute. I was a bit worried it might not work out, but my friend Evelyn was there with her wife, Mattie, helping their daughter into her bathing suit, and Evelyn cheered me up, barking that ‘I knew we’d nail that Dangerous Faggot! Dangerous to our little children! This might be the only time in history where a conservative isn’t a total hypocrite. Of course they want to hurt our children! Might as well just rename the Republican Party the Hypocrite Party and quit lying about it. It’s a fake name, Republican Party!’”
I nodded. The way a psychologist nods listening to his patient.
Melinda H. continued. “I was about to tell Evelyn that I’d email my friends at MSNBC, CNN, and the DNC to change their style sheets to replace Republican with HYPOCRITE, but my oldest daughter — just turned nine! — was drying off from her swim when she jumped and pointed to the genitalia of a naked self-defined transgendered woman who was trying to button her blouse.”
I nodded and ventured, “I understand that’s a real problem for men becoming women, learning to button from the opposite direction.”
“And then my youngest – she’s six going on five! – says, ‘Why’s that man in our side and not in the boy’s room?’”
“Kids say the darndest things, don’t they?”
“I don’t like ‘correcting’ my daughters in public, so I whispered. ‘He’s in our locker room because — I mean, she’s in our locker room because he is a woman.’”
“‘He is?’ asked my daughter.”
“‘He thinks she is, and that’s what’s true. So he’s a woman. And it’s okay for him, er, her, to be in our locker room because thanks to the Democrat-run Helena City Council, it’s legal for transgenders to walk naked and proud and without fear. Democrats are not the Hypocrite Party!’”
I asked how her daughters accepted the news. Melinda H. frowned.
“My youngest tried to turn the tables by reminding me I tell her she’s not really a princess when she wants to pretend to be one.”
I threw my hands up! “Kids! Always trying to confuse us with rhetorical logic!”
“Tell me about it! I told her to hurry up and finish drying, that we had to run over to Target on the way home.”
“Target, of course. No right thinking person would want to go to Wal-Mart.”
“No duh! Oh, and at the checkout I spotted something for the girls and said TREATS! They thought I meant candy.”
“They should know better by now,” I said.
“It was a Life Magazine special remembrance edition on Ted Kennedy. I told them I’d read it aloud at bedtime. I told the girls that Teddy was a real prince, but the oldest said he looked fat. I started to give her a lecture on fat-shaming, but she whined that she had to go potty. I think she was lying, but — ”
“But you can’t take a chance!” I said.
“No. So we go to the restroom, and I’m leaning against the wall by the hand dryer. and. of course. I’m scrolling my smartphone for more news on Milo. The updates were coming in BY THE MINUTE! It was like history in the making. The oldest sat in one of the stalls doing her business, my youngest stood beside me. I hate going to DRUDGE, but what the heck, he delivers, and really, this is always the fun time of the chase: THE CRASH! It’s when time stands still but moves a million miles an hour! Crash, Milo, crash! Come on, Drudge! Where’s that blinking red police light!”
I actually agreed with her on that one. You’d think Milo’s public execution would merit a Drudge Alarm.
Melinda H. continued.
“Which reminded me! I opened the Ted Kennedy magazine and finally found a one-sentence reference to Chappaquiddick. You’d think the editors would have cut it but, whatever. It was vague enough, of course, but I tore it out. The girls are too young to understand the complexity of Teddy. I was thinking it really was too bad for him that he wasn’t driving a VW, when a man walked into the restroom.”
“A man?” I was surprised.
“Hello? It’s Target.”
“Oh, right, forgot.”
“He was a nice man. He smiled down at my daughter. I don’t like to judge by looks, but in appearance, he was not unlike many homeless people I see asking for charity at the Target intersection. But there I go, assuming they were homeless. For all I know he’s a nuclear physicist. You know what he said?”
“He said, ‘Hi, little girl. I like your pink pussy hat!’”
Melinda H. looked at me with an expectant smile.
“You mean she was wearing a…?”
“I made one for each of them. For the Women’s March.” And then her smile evaporated. “But my daughter….! SHEESH! She pulled it off her head and hid behind me. ‘I don’t want to be in the boys’ room,’ she whimpered. The nuclear physicist was polite enough to ignore my daughter’s bad manners and walked into the other open stall.”
I was hoping my phone would ring or my wife would call from the door. I didn’t know where to go with this. “So…?”
“So my oldest figures out what’s happening, and I hear this worried ‘Mommy’ from her. I was so embarrassed by both my daughters. I feel like I’ve done something wrong in raising them.”
“We can only try our best.”
Melinda H. grinned. Darkly. Yes, they can grin in italics, too.
“I wish it had been Milo walking into the restroom instead of the nuclear physicist. I’d have gone full bore TIGER MOM! I’d have peeled the fingernails out from under his black nail polish.”
OUCH!, I thought, in italicized, bold, underlined CAPITALS.
Melinda H. finished. “I went back to reading the Ted Kennedy edition, scanning for any reference to the more than one thousand women with whom he shared sexual relations. Finding none, I relaxed and then quickly returned to hunting for Milo news. It’s addictive, isn’t it? I can see why public hangings were a draw back in the day.
“As I scrolled, I couldn’t help but remember Paula Poundstone’s sage thoughts at the time of the Bill Clinton’s impeachment. She said that sexual practices are private and privileged and nobody’s business, period, ever, unless, of course, they’re Republicans or conservatives, in which case, hang ’em high from the nearest lamp post.”
“Like Milo,” I affirmed.