Certainly nothing will delight you more than to be apprised of a few instances of patriarchal oppression noted in and around Spinster HQ over the last 48 hours (I originally wrote “24 hours” but I forgot to finish the post yesterday). Two are from real life, and two originated on PBS. I’ll do the PBS ones later; this here post will stick with the real life episodes. Because they are personally anecdotal in nature and contain many first person pronouns, you may wish to skip them. I know I would.
Real Life Episode #1
As you may recall, I have recently come into a buttload of feral donkeys. I am the world’s foremost expert on everything except feral donkeys, so I email a reputable donkey rescue. I ask whether they can recommend any local donkey clubs or wild burro support groups or Central Texas donksperts who can help me with my new donks.
The reply to my query comes from the chieftain of the rescue organization, a chap calling himself “Burro man.” Because patriarchy is our social order, Burro man responds, not with anything remotely resembling an answer to my simple question, but with a useless mansplaination on how to train donkeys. As if I had asked “will you please explain in six sentences or less how to train donkeys?” Because it is totally possible to explain donkey training in six sentences or less.
Burro man’s donkey training method, incidentally, is to corner the animal in a pen with a section of portable panel. Boy, I can hardly wait to get out there and try to put the squeeze on a terrified, 500-pound feral donkey with an 80-pound piece of steel tube fencing. Nobody’ll get hurt at all.
Thanks a bundle, Burro man.
Real Life Episode #2
I invite a recommended fencing contractor over to give me an estimate (so I can fence in the aforementioned donkeys). Instead of the fun conversation about fence post diameters and brace configurations I had so joyfully anticipated, the discourse immediately takes a most unpleasant turn. I am dismayed to perceive that Mr McFence is one of those white dude megabores who blabs nonstop, not about fences, but about himself. And about his even more megaboring family.
With the result that I can now assert without fear of contradiction that I rank as the world’s Number 1 expert on this McFence numbskull. If Alfred A. Knopf called and said, “Hey Twisty, how’s about you ghost-write McFence’s autobiography?” they’d have the finished manuscript on their desk in less than a week. If I took a test and the essay question was “McFence’s views on corruption and the radical Muslim agenda in the Obama presidency may be said to precisely mimic those of Fox News pundits. Discuss,” I would totally ace that test. If the amount of McFence’s daughter’s annual salary was the answer on Final Jeopardy, I would totally win the big money. I know where McFence was born, the name of his church, and the names, occupations, and geographic locations of each of his forty-seven adult children (who were expertly raised by the sainted wife who really wears the pants in the family).
Oblivious to signs of my increasingly excruciating boredom, such as my grimace, my pulsating obstreperal lobe, or my repeated attempts to discuss fencing, Mr McFence will not rest until he has revealed more tedious details of his personal life. I would spare you, but then you wouldn’t know the true extent of my pain. So: he is 67 years old, he recently lost 40 pounds, he’s a Tea Partyer, his family are holy rollers, he wants to move to Alaska, he’s “part Cherokee,” and (like all Central Texas contractors) his favorite client and best friend in the whole world is Willie Nelson, especially now that Willie has fired all the “druggies” and has accountants who pay up promptly.
It’s as though he’s been cribbing from a list entitled “The Main Things Spinster Aunts Couldn’t Care Less About.”
You are undoubtedly familiar with the version of this guy who lives in your town, so I hardly need mention that during the course of our encounter, McFence runs out of A material early on, and is obliged to recycle most of his monologue three and four times. Maybe he thinks I won’t notice because I’m just a dumb donkey farmer.
At first it is unclear to me why my presence is required at all, since he is so determined never to let me speak. I eventually catch on that my role during the delivery of this epic soliloquy is to nod each time I am informed that that he’d been a Marine sniper “in Nam” where his best buddy sniped “over 300 kills” and “the V-C” had a bounty on his head.
Finally, after a hour and a half and many failed attempts, I manage to steer his attention toward a topic that is more fascinating than his mass-murdering Army buddy by many orders of magnitude: cedar posts and wire mesh. After the stunning revelation that McFence’s LDL cholesterol is down from 188 to 130, and before suffering for the 3rd time the gripping information that his son works as a landscaper on the coast, I actually pry an estimate out of him. He is silent for about 34 seconds while he does the cipherin’ in his head. He’s so quiet I begin to wonder if his astonishing profusion of empty babbling has in fact ruptured a vocal cord. But it is not to be. Horribly, he gets a second wind. McFence goes on to tell me how honest he is, how he’s just plain folks, how the good lord is looking out for him, and — don’t pretend you didn’t see this coming —
“I treat my wetbacks like family.”
It was a most painful way to learn this lesson, but believe me, I will never again leave the house without packing my Mr T in Your Pocket Talking Keychain. The most excellent device ever invented, Mr T in Your Pocket is used to advise dipshits to shut their piehole with your choice of 6 of the beloved A-Teamer’s most colorful catchphrases, including “Don’t make me mad, grrrr!”, the succinct “Shut up, fool!”, and of course the iconic “Quitcho jibba jabba!”
Incidentally, Mr T in Your Pocket is identical to Radical Feminist in Your Pocket, except that Radical Feminist in Your Pocket does not actually exist, probably because in it “Don’t gimme no backtalk, sucka!” has been replaced by the rather more romantic phrase “Please remain still while I saw off your racist mansplaining pencil-dick with the rusty machete they issue all humorless hairy feminists in Women’s Studies, fool!”
Next time: Little Niggling Instances of the Redoubtable Efficacy of Patriarchal Oppression, Part II: Shit I Saw on PBS.