Checked more than twice
In a twenty-four-hour period from the afternoon of Christmas Eve to the afternoon of Christmas Day, I collected the following deep insights and observations from my parents:
Dad: “Why are all women on welfare so fat? They sure don't look like they ever go hungry!”
It's probably because he watches Fox News all the time, where I'm sure there's a rule against showing skinny welfare recipients. This year Dad forgot to mention that the women are always black, too, and many of them drive Cadillacs. (We know about the Cadillacs because Ronald Reagan told us about them years ago.)
Dad: “Her husband certainly isn't much to look at. You'd think she could have done better for herself. Well, I guess ugly people want to get married, too.”
One of our distant cousins was at Christmas Eve mass with her new husband. In the spirit of the holiday, Dad shared his view that the boy wasn't pretty enough for marriage. At least this time he wasn't bad-mouthing the spouse of his most recently married granddaughter. Since the grandson-in-law just helped Dad fix his car, it may be that he has become better looking in Dad's eyes.
Even if I do say so myself, my family is full of lovely people. With rare exceptions, the women are all dark-eyed beauties. The men tend to be presentable and reasonably proportioned. This has become a kind of fetish for Dad, who purports to find ugliness all around him, but I refrain from pointing out that he's not the movie-star-handsome man of his youth anymore. And handsome is as handsome does.
Mom: “Sean Hannity was in Fresno to help the farmers. He did a special show on it.”
Yeah, I know about that. But why point out that Hannity was there merely to exploit an opportunity? He pandered to the depressed agricultural sector of the Central Valley because its most visible rivals for California's reduced water resources are the Marxist environmentalists of the heavily Democratic Bay Area. (It doesn't take much to be a Marxist these days.) Apparently all of the water in Northern California actually belongs to the farmers and dairymen of the Central Valley. (How clumsy of God to have delivered the water to the wrong part of the state.) The residents of the San Francisco Bay Delta fear that water diversion will allow salt-water intrusion to destroy their ecosystem and fisherman in the Bay Area see their livelihoods threatened by water shortages. But it's nervy of them to want water to preserve their occupations.
Dad: “If the EPA isn't controlled, it's going to destroy agriculture in California.”
Environmental standards are terrible. Good thing the Environmental Protection Agency didn't exist in the days when the Kesterson reservoir was being poisoned and Tulare Lake was being sucked dry.
Dad: “Good thing global warming kicked in and saved us from a cold winter!”
Everyone knows that a single winter of exceptional snow and cold suffices to disprove the existence of a long-term warming trend. Dad gets upset when I point out that the climatologists he cites as counterweights to Al Gore (presumably the only source of pro-AGW information; the former vice president holds the IPCC in thrall, you see) agree that the globe is warming. Tim Ball and John Christy accept the existence of the warming trend; they simply argue that it cannot be significantly affected by human activities. (Ball is one of the most prominent scientists with actual credentials featured in Dad's cherished copy of The Great Global Warming Swindle.) No doubt the data indicating that 2009 will be one of the hottest years on record is fraudulent stuff ginned up by the communists in NASA and the UN.
Dad: “Scientists have discovered an extract from tomatoes that can clean cholesterol out of your arteries. It's available in pill form.”
Normally I get my doses of medical woo and pseudoscience from Mom. Nice to see that Dad is pitching in. He gave me a print-out from the Internet promoting a “bioactive, patented extract from ripe tomato that helps the blood flow smoothly.”
They lost me at “bioactive” and “patented.”
By the way, the product's website says that daily consumption of the product is required to maintain its efficacy. Big surprise.
I learn so much on my visits to my parents. Bless you, Mom & Dad, for always being willing to share, but your eldest son has a good reason for the stunned expression on his face.