Fried oysters (with fried calamari at the other end of the plate) at Ranch 616: highly edible
Stingray and I have embarked on the Fried Oyster Tour of Austin. The purpose of this endeavor is not so much to determine a gold medalist as it is to simply eat fried oysters as often as possible. Our exertions in this quarter have led us more than once to a huge black naugahyde booth at Ranch 616, where the excellent oysters come with a convenient side of fried squid and two sauces and, if you like (which I do), a glass of Zardetto brand Prosecco.
As far as this spinster aunt is concerned, the ubiquitous Zardetto is the new Budweiser. But this essay, perhaps ill-advisedly, is not about Prosecco, or even, to the extent that any post of mine ever abstains from so a succulent theme, oysters.* It is about the fear and loathing expressed by a woman who encountered Stingray in the washroom queue at Ranch 616 the other night.
Though Stingray is—to borrow a lunkheaded monosyllabic qualifier from Hub (you remember old Hub, the guy whose blogger wife famously opined that a post-nuptial weight gain is the moral equivalent of a vinyl siding swindle)—hot, she does not practice femininity. Her unwillingness to capitulate to the sexbot mandate is, frankly, a danger to the kidneys of certain members of certain classes. To wit:
As our story opens, Stingray, our hero, feeling the effects of the aforementioned Zardetto, was in line for the women’s john. Before long she was joined by an older woman of, it would transpire, somewhat provincial proclivities (we decided later she was Not From Around Here). This gnarly specimen gave Stingray the once-over, detected no “girly” appurtenances, and evidently decided thereupon that S. was a dude (or possibly, as I brightly suggested afterward, a pree-vert). The burning question of Stingray’s rightful claim to a position in the women’s queue thusly settled in her own mind, our villainess initiated butting-in-line maneuvers. But what’s this! She registered great displeasure when apprised, in mid-butt, of Stingray’s resolute intention to use the girls’ can no matter what assumptions had been made about anyone’s genitalia. The woman scrammed, apparently so flipped out by this…this insanity, that holding it in—which, any doctor will tell you, is no good—seemed preferable to hanging around a dimly-lit pissoir with so audaciously androgynous a character as young Stingray.
Why did a hasty retreat the old bat beat? Because Stingray was clearly a reprobate, if not a criminal. According to patriarchy’s gender fraud laws, women must be plainly labeled at all times to ensure that they are a) continuously and easily available for male scrutiny, b) more easily construed as “other,” in order to make discrimination and marginalization and violence against them justifiable, and c) properly processed in social contexts as subordinates or competitors for male attention or bathroom queue contenders. Stingray’s washroom opponent, an enthusiastic apostle of patriarchy, could naught but flee the taint of Stingray’s terrible sexbiguity.
All human interaction is directed by a universally enforced fetish for dominance and submission. Thus, any social encounter, however trivial, demands that sex identifications be established immediately—prior, even, to diagnoses of class and race. This requirement isn’t just some arbitrary folly. There is no room for ambiguity! A dude must know who to oppress, and oppression is often a split-second decision. Say a dude hasn’t leered at a woman in a few minutes, and he feels the need for a self-gratificational ogle coming on. The consequences of leering at another dude are dire; patriarchy permits him to leer only at women, who are constrained to the sex class for that purpose. But he shouldn’t have to interview the next person he sees just to determine whether they’ve got a pussy. For the sake of efficiency, pussy must be clearly marked and plainly evident from as great a distance as possible, so the requisite assholicity can commence with all speed.
This operation is facilitated by the practice of heterosexual femininity, which behavior is more or less mandatory. Our hypothetical dude easily recognizes the warning signs of femininity: there’s makeup and clothing and the tireless pursuit of “beauty,” obviously, but he also detects the deferential head-tilt, the going one-down in social stand-offs, the perma-smile and other supplicatory body language, and of course the quiet desperation.
A woman who repudiates this pussy-identifying feminine drag is an affront to the hive. Censure and other punishments await she who resists. She can also cause great excitement in public cans.
*Indeed, whereas on the surface my blogular secretions may often appear with some regularity and no little venom merely to implicate patriarchy in various crimes against humanity , a close reading will reveal a masterfully occult molluscoidean subtext.