On Thursday, October 12, 2000, at 1:15pm, The Amazon's mother succumbed to metastasizing esophageal cancer. She went very quickly and peacefully, causing family members to suffer very little at their mother's suffering. That was the good news. How, might you ask, can I get moments of humor out of this personal tragedy? Read on. This has little and everything to do with the lady's death.
Upon her mother's death, The Amazon took over the duties as Personal Representative (formerly called an Executrix) of the estate. There's a gazillion thigs to do, and a big part of them is protecting the estate. Here's kinda where I came in:
We are on the outs again. The first tentative stirrings of getting back together were just starting for the umpteenth time when all this began. I told her "Look: whatever is going on between us now, it gets put to the side until we deal with your mother. For that entire period of time, I will be there as your friend if you need me." She did. The hurt and pain was more than she could bear alone, so she called and asked me to head down to Florida, where her mother lived, and where she had gone to be with her mother at the end. After her mother had passed, one of the duties required her going to her brother's house and discuss some of the business. Because (as I have stated before) I'm the guy, and I don't have a say, I drove her there. Here is where I can find humor in a sad situation.
We get to the house, and it's a terribly hard time for these people to have to discuss the business of death. They're trying their hardest, and, for the most part, succeeding. Most of the stuff is taken care of, while I stand there and wait. I see through the window that someone is coming to the door, so I turn to the brother's girlfriend and let her know. She goes out on the porch to see who it is, and the next thing I know, two flamers are walking through the door.
Now, let me qualify here. I don't care what your sexual preferences are. I really, really don't. If you want to flog a dolphin for your personal pleasure, I figure that's your business. I don't happen to approve of it, but again, that's your business. What I have a hard time with (pardon the pun) is when gays or lesbians (and why is there a distinction there? Aren't they all homosexuals? Is there really a need to break it down even further?) flaunt their effeminism (on the part of fags) or their butchness (on the part of diesel dykes) in my face (again, pardon the pun) then I take exception. You want to be gay? Fine. You want to be a lesbian? Fine. I don't flaunt my heterosexuality in your face, so don't flaunt your "alternative lifestyle" in mine.
One of the two gentlemen
is pretty much ordinary. The second is a Shadoe Stevens/Kato Kaelin wannabe,
with the blown-dry bleached hair, the turquoise Miami Vice linen pants,
and the whole effete style down pat. He waltzes in, oozing compassion,
(and the stench of cheap whiskey) and it is obvious that he came over here
just because he saw us arrive. He has to meet everyone, shake their hands,
commiserate with them, and offer any help they might need. When he gets
to me, I shake hands, and he starts asking who I am. Both of us can tell
that I don't want these two
people here, but I answer, he asks me whom I'm here with, and tell him that I'm here with The Amazon. Now he starts getting personal: Boyfriend? Husband? Friend? And it was the way that he asked it. Not in an inquisitive tone, but in an obviously pryinging tone of voice. You can always tell. No tact here, just none at all.
Now, this started
to rankle for four reasons.
One: It's really none of his damned business why I'm there, and what our relationships is;
Two: He's intruding on a situation where even I, as an invited guest, feel that I'm intruding upon;
Three: Our time is limited in Florida, and we still have a ton of things to do, and the sucker (again, pardon the pun) STILL won't leave; and
Four: After 2 weeks of stress, of having to be the strong one with trying to help 4 people cope with the oncoming and finally, death of their mother, I could really use an outlet for relief. (God, the puns are just flying here, aren't they?)
We gotta get this stuff taken care of. We gotta finish up all the other stuff. We gotta drive 400 plus miles back to Savannah, and also a 40-mile detour to drop off The Amazon's sister. All the while, this putz won't leave. He won't back off. He won't mind his own damn' business.
Now, on my main page, it's very easy to see that I am an avid gun nut. Living, and rejoicing in life in Georgia, I learned that there's something here called a "He needed killin' " defense. It really exists. I was seriously thinking and hoping that Florida has the same thing. Not knowing their laws, I didn't take a chance on shooting him.
So, I do the next best thing. Everyone is uncomfortable with this guy here, but everyone else is too polite or grief-stricken to do anything about it. I ask the brother's girlfriend to show me where the bathroom is. We walk down the hall, and I turn to her and say "Look: Either you ask those people to leave, or I'm going to grab him by his blown-dry hair and bodily bounce him out the door." I did not bother to lower my voice, and hardened my NY accent, making it more gutteral. She winks at me and heads back tot he living room. Wild stares at me from the one guy who's just politely standing there. He then tells his friend that they have to go. He sorta starts to leave, but by God he's going to finish his compassionate tirade. The Amazon's brother's girlfriend (you're following me here, right?) escorts him to the porch.
OK. Situation handled. He's out of the way now. The Amazon and her brother finish their business, and we start to get ready to leave. This guy STILL wasn't done. Now he's waiting for us all outside, and begins all over again. I escort The Amazon to the car and open the door like a gentleman. He steps in between me and The Amazon who's now sititng in the car and begins all over again. OK. I've tried. I've really tried. I can't even close the car door because he's blocking it. Then again, why not? In a clear voice I say "Excuse me" and not really waiting (or caring) I shut the door. He barely gets out of the way in time, but I bet I got a few of those blown-dry hairs caught in my door. He looks up in amazement, I walk around to the driver's side.
By the time I get in, he's got his head stuck in (there's those damned puns again) the window. The Amazon has a real problem with people invading her personal space, so she's leaning WAYYYY over to my side of the car. I start the car, and figured "It worked once, why not twice?" and said "Excuse me," again while putting the car in gear. He's not taking any chances this time, so he says goodbye to The Amazon and her sister, (who was with us for this whole episode, but didn't really play much of a part) looks and me and says "You're RUDE!" Now, for a lot of people, many things can go through their mind when something like this happens:
"Oooooh, he really hurt my feelings."
"Gee, maybe I was. Maybe I should go patch things up."
"Well, maybe this is a tough time for everyone and I'm being insensitive to someone who's just trying to help."
And my own personal take on it. When presented a line like this, even though it's cheap and easy, sometimes it works as it did here. I replied:
"And you're an asshole. I can always learn manners. You'll STILL be a flaming asshole."
As I pulled away,
purposely spinning the tires and surrounding him in a cloud of dirt, the
glimpse of shock and increduilty on his face made the entire trip worth
it. Well, not really. The gales of laughter from The Amazon and her sister
are what made it worth it.