Cold Iron - 236
June 1, 2022
Cold Iron – 236
It's been almost a year since I've run into Pete the Pissed and his wife, Maxine the Maudlin. We're not all that big a municipality but Pete and his wife like to fly low these days. He told me once that every time he opens his mouth he gets the wry eye from someone and all he's trying to do is point out that, as a country, we have many choices but we seem hell-bent on choosing the wrong ones. Our elected choosers, he likes to say, have oat bran for brains. He said Maxine has kind of an advantage since, being depressed most of the time, she doesn't have to worry about letting the fools get her down. She's down and that works for her.
Anyway, I was recently at Best Buy straightening out a billing problem when I ran into the two of them. They looked good even though Pete's beard was down to his waist and Maxine's hair was pretty much covering her butt. Maxine, to my surprise, was obviously pregnant.
"Congratulations," I said to her. "Do you know the sex?"
"That's how I got pregnant," she said.
"I meant -," I began.
"You're so easy," Maxine said. "It's a girl."
"Have you chosen a name?" I asked.
"Well – the five most popular names right now are Olivia, Emma, Charlotte, Amelia, and Ava. We gave those a big mull and decided to name her Beacon."
"A great light," I said.
"We were going to name her after you," Pete said, "but we thought G.K. sounded a little harsh for a girl. We don't like harsh."
"Nor do I," I said, "and it's a harsh enough world as it is."
"Speaking of harsh, I have an issue, my friend," Pete said, "a point to be made."
"I couldn't imagine you any other way, Pete," I said. "What'll it be? Abortion? Ukraine? Amazon rain forests? Baby formula?"
"There's a formula for making babies?" Maxine asked.
"I believe you know what it is, Maxine," I said.
"Just punching you in the belly, G.K.," she said.
Clearly, Maxine was in an uncharacteristic good mood.
"Baby food formula," I said. "There's a shortage. But Pete – what's turning your crank these days?"
"Speaking of bellies," Maxine began, "I'm going to go and rest mine over there by that giant Best Buy logo."
"You're in our thoughts and prayers, honey," I said.
"A matter of integrity," said Pete, "of honesty and fair dealing."
"Possibly just good manners."
"Ah!" I said. "The glue that holds it all together."
"If you say so," he began, "but as you know I have for these many decades been a man of the Democratic Party persuasion. Moderate on some issues, progressive on others, even conservative on occasion. I like to think that if I were in Congress, I'd be one of those lonely souls willing to reach a hand across the aisle to encourage discussion, even compromise. These days, of course, I'd probably end up losing that hand."
"I believe you draw a fairly accurate picture of yourself," I said, "and of our times."
"But the Republicans, my friend, they stick it to us in a manner that is untoward and I tend to be a man who favors the toward."
"How so?" I said. "The sticking?"
"They refer to us as the Democrat Party."
"Indeed," I said. "That has annoyed me on occasion."
"So, so petty, G. K. They want to maintain that their party is 'democratic,' too, which, if you think about it, is kind of a stretch with King Donald calling all the shots."
"The Republicans are closet monarchists, my friend," he said, "but they're slowly opening the door of that closet. I believe they'd support the Former Occupant if he said he was running for king."
I had to laugh, then, with Pete being on his usual roll.
"Anyway, turnabout is fair play so from now on I'm going to call the party of Lincoln and the elephant the Republigun Party. Seems kind of fitting, you know?"
"Republigun?" I said.
"Yes, sir. Republigun. It's their sweet spot, the juice that makes their red souls tingle," he said, "as their worship of the Second Amendment allows for repeated mass killings all over the goddamn place. They revere jellied zygotes in a woman's belly but they don't give a damn about the slaughter of children in their schools."
"So, it's Republigun," I said.
"I could find no proper obscenity," he said, "but Republigun works just as well."
G.K. Wuori ©2022
Photoillustration by the author