This is Not America…



I know when we arrive in Central Florida that this is the Bible Belt. It has a landscape and mentality as alien to me,raised in that (former) hotbed of  Quaker liberalism, Bucks County as would be the moon.

In Central Florida, the completely fallacious Anti-Obama billboards and advertisements don’t faze me. Vince and I tend to giggle and remark that the practice of intermarriage of first cousins can have a detrimental effect on the collective intelligence score of any given town. We are citizens of the world, and as far as we know, not even distantly related by blood, so we feel superior.

The burgeoning Christian “literature” section of the local bookseller, which has expanded from one aisle of shelves to almost five in the past three years strikes me as a bit odd, but I suppose faith can be a foothold in these uncertain economic times. The porn mags still beckon enticingly (if you’re into that kind of thing) from the top shelf of the periodical section and my man, Ed Rendell’s book, “A Nation of Wusses” is on prominent display. This is to say I did not feel threatened by the Christian lit. On bookshelves, it seems, there is an agreement to co-exist.


There are a variety of churches within a 15 mile radius of Haines City. If I had to choose, I’d go with the Baptists across from  Bok Tower. Their pastor seems to have a sense of humor. I believe that real laughter is sacred and any deity who lacks a sense of the absurd, a sense of fun, a sense of humor is not a deity worthy of worship.


The Pentacostals


Which one?


Much to the disgust of gardeners everywhere…


I like the way this pastor thinks. Not his best effort,  but cute nonetheless.

Faith issues aside, we spent the day at the Magic Kingdom on Tuesday.

The bag checks at the entry to the Magic Kingdom are still in place, but nobody poked at my Tampax and sunglass case with a stick this time, they just peeked in my bag, I really don’t know what they’re hoping to find. What happens if somebody pulls out a gun on the monorail before you get to the bag check? You could disguise a Molotov cocktail as an innocent bottle of water, let’s talk possibilities of biological agents…the mind boggles. I put up with the search because you do. The bag checkers are, on the whole, nice elderly people you’d want for grandparents.

I was amazed however, when, following the all day (for me) ordeal at the “happiest place on earth”, a group of rowdy women, close to my own age, pushed their way through the massive but otherwise orderly crowd headed to the ferry which would take us to the parking lot. They shoved a blind woman. This is not the American way. Security was called at one point and the women were escorted to their HQ. Their exit was wildly applauded by the entire mob.

Awful things always happen when we’re in the US. This time it was the shooting in  Aurora, Colorado. I put on my Bambi eyes, looked at Vince and said, “But darling, guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” He said, “Hmph.” For the record, I love game. My favorite Christmas dinner is hazenpfeffer (shot by the Big Man). The Big Man has lots of guns. Beautiful, if you like that kind of thing, but I can’t see it. The guns are kept in a gun-safe somewhere in the farmhouse. The ammo is kept somewhere else, far away from the guns, in the farmhouse. He uses them for hunting. For hunting food that we actually eat. I see the purpose of these guns. I cannot fathom the need for most private citizens to keep and bear handguns. I cannot understand why any citizen of Penn’s Woods can walk into any Wal*Mart in Pennsylvania and buy a gun but is absolutely forbidden to purchase fireworks for the 4thof July. I cannot understand why anyone who doesn’t hunt would want to own a gun. Call me weird and I’ll call you Ishmael and you’ll like it.

But this vacation also found us in Bucks County for a few days. Much has changed there in the past seven years. Many houses along the Delaware have been raised on their foundations because the river floods on a regular basis these days. The nation is experiencing a drought and the river is low at this point, but you never know when that might change.

It seems wherever we go, there is a TV shouting scary news at us from the bowels of CNN. The current drought is a “Drought Disaster”. So what are they going to call it if, (God forbid) we have another dustbowl? I’m not downplaying the seriousness of the drought, but we haven’t reached a dustbowl situation yet and that is, to  my mind,  what you might call a  disaster. Occurences are epic! Of biblical proportions! These are phrases which should really only be used when describing Cecil B. de Mille movies.

By the way, exactly which language are media people speaking these days? When did American English slip into the u-bend of the toilet? For example: Who is the idiot who decided that “vagina” is the correct word for the exterior female genitalia and put it out there for all and sundry to use?  The correct word, people, is VULVA. This is not to be confused with the uvula, that is another funny body part, but it’s in your mouth. Google it.  The vagina is an interior part of the vulva. It is also known as the birth canal. One cannot usually view a vagina unless using a gynecological speculum. There are many more examples of language abuse, this is just my pet peeve of the moment and references to pudenda always get a reaction.

vul·va (vlv)

n. pl. vul·vae (-v)

The external genital organs of the female, including the labia majora, labia minora, clitoris, and vestibule of the vagina.

(From the American Heritage Medical Dictionary)

(Over)hearing conversations in bars and on the street while bopping around New Hope, I was amazed at how unaware people younger than myself are about what “Taxation without Representation” is. It seems to be a battle cry for the disgruntled voter. They take it to mean that they are paying unlawful taxes. The “without representation” part means, according to them, unlawful. It was a pleasant evening. I didn’t bother to bring up Mad King George and no American representation in the 18th century English Houses of Parliament. I just sipped my iced-tea, completely gobsmacked by this wanton display of ignorance.

Meanwhile, Kim Kardashian’s tight and fugly trousers make national news. Mitt Romney is making a complete ass of himself (thank goodness) across the pond, Michael Phelps strikes gold, we go to the Magic Kingdom for a day out while American rights and civil liberties are slowly slipping away in the name of homeland security and the nation becomes more mired in idiocy.


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