Thursday, December 18, 2014

Teaching Pigs to Sing

I have this motto I live by that originates with the late, great author, Robert Heinlein: Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and it annoys the pig.

Well, the other night at my local watering hole I broke this sacred rule. See, there's this guy (I'll call him Bob) who is always trying to lure me into a political discussion. I have always avoided this because I know he's a Republican. Don't ask me how I know. I can just smell it.

Any way, after several drinks he was still goading me, so I said, "Bob, I don't want to discuss politics with you because you're a Republican, and it's impossible to have an intelligent conversation with someone who doesn't accept facts as reality."

"Well, facts are questionable."

"No," I said, "that's what makes them facts."

"Not really."

At this point I was already kicking myself for going this far and scanning the bar for an empty stool. There were none. So I made one more attempt to at least get him to acknowledge the existence of facts.

"Look," I said, "it's 8:30. It's dark out. That's a fact."


"It is also a fact that under Obama we've had 57 straight months of private sector job growth."

"Well, I don't know."

"Look," I said with some impatience, "it's a fact. You can look it up."

"Well it depends where you look it up."

"Do you watch the news?" I asked.

"Yeah, I watch Fox News.They're great."

"So there's your problem," I replied, "There have been several studies done that show Fox News viewers are actually less informed than people who watch no news at all."

"I don't believe that."

"Of course you don't," I muttered.

Tired of punching myself in the face, I decided to put an end to this futility and finish my drink.

"See," I said, "this is why I don't argue with Republicans."

"I'm an Independent."

Well goddamn it.

"Oh really," I said, "Who was the last Democrat you voted for?"

"I don't remember. Hey, what do you think about Dr. Ben Carson?"

"Ben Carson?" I said, doing a spit take with the last of my vodka rocks, "He's a shit head!"

"No he isn't!"

"Ben Carson is the Republican equivalent of Stephen Colbert taking a selfie with his 'Black friend.' They think it proves they don't hate Black folks." Actually, I did use the N word here for maximum effect.

"He's a neurosurgeon."

"Yeah, and he also compared Obamacare to slavery!"

"Well, he meant that it would get like that and the unions are ruining jobs and blah, blah blah..."

At this point I actually put my fingers in my ears and started singing "La la la la." I got up abruptly from my bar stool and went outside to have a smoke, sadly missing Bob's scintillating explanation of why Dr. Ben Carson is a combination of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Jesus. I waited outside until I was certain he had finished talking then resumed my seat at the bar. Fortunately, my friend Phil came up and started talking football and Bob found someone else to irritate: my wife, God love her.

As Phil and I were arguing the finer points of the West Coast Offense as opposed to the critical importance of a franchise running back like Demarco Murray, I could hear my wife behind me saying over and over "I don't want to talk about it, Bob!"

Which is exactly what I should have said in the first place. Heinlein was right.

©2014 Kona Lowell