The drunk uncle shows up for a holiday dinner bearing a nice juicy ham and a box of chocolates for the hostess. He brings little bags of candy for the kids wrapped in bright foil and bows and for the host he has a bottle of Scotch. He smiles and greets everyone by name, hugging the women and giving the guys a fraternal squeeze of the shoulder and then goes off to the kitchen to mix drinks.
At dinner he performs the honor of opening the wine and pouring for everyone. He stands at the table, lifts his glass and makes a jocular speech remembering to thank the hostess for a lovely meal and then he veers off course and makes some off color joke at which point the host guffaws loudly and gets Drunk Uncle to sit down and start eating.
By the end of dinner Drunk Uncle has become argumentative and crass. He has teased and cajoled the children to tears, making derogatory comments about their perfectly good manners and stinging them with insults about their appearance. He provokes the other men into arguments about sports or politics, calls them ‘shit for brains’ and then blames his foul mood on the kids being too noisy and the food being a huge disappointment which has put him a bad mood. He screams at everyone, blaming them for everything that is wrong in the world and spins out of control until someone finally walks him out of the dining room and gets him to go horizontal on the couch in the back room where he passes out for the night.
In the morning the family wakes to find Drunk Uncle in the kitchen making bacon and eggs and squeezing oranges for fresh juice. The table is set and there is a center piece of fresh flowers. He welcomes them into the kitchen, pours coffee and serves breakfast. He promises the kids that next time he comes he will take them to the park and out for pony rides. He sings the praises of yesterday’s meal to the hostess. When he leaves he hugs everyone and thanks them for another great holiday – the best yet. The family waves good-bye, never even considering the idea of calling Drunk Uncle on his egregious behavior of the day before.
And so it goes with our Drunk Uncle Georgie who hung out in San Diego strumming a guitar and raising money on Tuesday while people died of thirst and heat prostration in New Orleans. They died because there were no medical facilities, because hospitals ran out of fuel for generators. Wednesday he flew back to Crawford, TX (because the White House is under renovation, wink wink) and slept soundly while others sweltered in the heat and endured the incessant crying of hungry children. Finally on Thursday, after people had been left to rot in human waste and dead bodies he flew over New Orleans to get a comfy, air conditioned look at the destruction. It wasn’t until Friday that he made a personal appearance at which time he pointed his finger away from himself but at no one in particular and declared that the relief efforts had been unacceptable and that help is needed and is on the way . On Saturday he asserted “”When you talk to the proud folks in the area, you see a spirit that cannot be broken,” followed by “In America, we do not abandon our fellow citizens in their hour of need”
Yes Unckie George – we did abandon our fellow citizens in their hour of need. The babies and the old folks who died are gone because we weren’t there for them. Their hour of need came, was ignored and with its passing so went theirs. For the proud survivors, they used their spirit to do the only thing they could do – loot Walmart to get some supplies.
But never mind – a Drunk Uncle is always warm, always caring, and always makes just the right promises. He is guilt free and focused only on the positive – on the promise of a new, fresh tomorrow. And the most noble thing about a Drunk Uncle is that he will never prevail upon his friends and colleagues for anything. For example, side kick Dick Cheney is still on vacation in Wyoming and Drunk Uncle has yet to demand he get his fat ass back to Washington to do some work. Oh those crazy Drunk Uncles – if it weren’t for them we might all have to face reality.
and the Washington Post reports today that 46% of our nation’s citizens approve of the way Bush has handled relief efforts. It’s enough to make me weep.
Oh, well done. This is a great post.