Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tea Party Slim limits vacations to red states

Tea Party Slim was packing his RV. I stopped to chat.

“I thought you’d be headed south before now,” I said.

Slim smiled. “There was a Wyoming election to win in November, and then with Christmas and all… Well, we got a late start.”

“Headed to Arizona again?”

Slim smiled. “Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and maybe a few of the southern states.”

“They’ve been having some troubles down in Arizona.”

“In Tucson,” Slim said, “but we never go to Tucson. Mesa and Phoenix, mostly. We have friends in Lake Havasu City.” Slim paused as he hauled bags into the RV. “We like the red parts of the red states.”

“Tucson too blue, I suppose,” I said. “But it was pretty red a few weeks ago.”

Slim looked at me. “Now don’t go blaming the actions of a lone nut on any of us.”

“Any of whom?”

“Conservatives. Republicans.”

“Tea Party members?”

“You liberals like to blame us, don’t you? Hate speech is what it is, hatred toward white Christian conservatives. I see it every day. But are we a protected minority? ” He looked thoughtful as he plucked boxes and bags from the sidewalk and hauled them into the RV.

“New Mexico is a blue state, at least it was in the 2008 election. Went for Obama.”

He stopped and stared. “They have a new Republican governor. And the majority of the Congressional delegation is Republican.”

“Look at your map, Slim. New Mexico is blue. How are you going to get from Arizona to Texas without going through New Mexico.”

Slim looked thoughtful.  “We’ll loop up through Colorado.”

“Colorado’s blue.”

Slim again looked thoughtful.  I hoped this wasn’t becoming a habit.

“You could always take a shortcut through Mexico.”

“And get my head cut off by drug gangs? No thanks. We’ll just take the long way around. We have plenty of time, and plenty of money for gas. We’ll burn lots and lots of carbon products.” He grinned. “Hundreds of gallons, maybe thousands. Greenhouse gases by the tons.”

He was trying to get my goat. But I wasn’t going to fall for it.

“Hope you’re not going to Florida.”

“Blue state?”

I nodded.

“Even with its new Tea Party governor who wants to get rid of all those free-loading state employees?”

“There are so many Democrats in the southern part of the state," I said. "Retired Yankees, and lots of swarthy immigrants from the Caribbean and South America.”

“There’s always Alabama.”

“Too humid. Even in the winter."

Slim disappeared into the RV. He came back with a map of the western U.S. He unfolded it against the side of the RV. We both stared at it.

"You have to go through Utah to get to Arizona," I said. "Utah's reliably red."

Slim nodded. "Good solid conservatives in Utah."

"But you see the problem about getting to Texas from Arizona." I pointed to the big blue block that's New Mexico. "Lots of Hispanics. They were there first."

"You're forgetting about the Native Americans?"

"Don't get all politically correct on me now, Slim."

"But they were there first. Not the Mexicans. Besides, we like the casinos."

"You'll have to skip all those New Mexico casinos, Slim. The winnings all go to Democrats."

Slim stared. "The hell you say."

"It's the truth. Most Indians -- Native Americans -- vote for Democrats."

"I'll just go to Vegas."

"Nevada went blue in 2008."

Slim folded his map. "Time to get moving," he said.

"Enjoy your trip," I said. "If you change your mind about Arizona, I hear northern Idaho is very nice this time of year. And red? It's almost as red as Wyoming."

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