24 September 2008

Fray Bash - The Grownups Table

Fray Bash - The Grownups Table
09/24/2008, 6:52 AM

It's in a small corner of the big Fray bash, wedged in between the end of the buffet table and the door to the men's room, that we find Kazillions, Jack Dallas, and Kent Lansville huddled around a small round bar table, trying to balance their drinks and plates on the tiny surface. Jack's plate is right in the middle of the disk, and as he tilts back in his chair, his body appears to tumble forward out of him: a straight back and neck extruding forhead, jowls, and an impressive Texas paunch (that is, in truth, a shadow of its former self). Kaz holds his plate and a cup in either hand, neither eating nor drinking, but he seems content. He's sandy-haired, gray touching the temples, with green eyes looking straight ahead out of a nondescript face slightly doughy with a decade or two of inactivity. Kent's wirier, leaner, taller, and more tightly wound than the other two men. He hunches over the table vying Jack's plate for a spot to set down his beer, which Jack rebuffs with an economy of movement. Periodically the door behind him opens and bumps the back of his chair.
"Goddamn," he says. "They told me this was the grownups table."

"Typical liberals," says Jack.

Kaz turns his head toward Kent and says, "Now, it's true that liberals have frequently tried to bear the mantle of maturity, and I admit that I'm not always satisfied with the bona fides of every Republican out there. But the truth is that the left wing wants its cake and wants to eat it too."

"Ha!" says Kent. "I tried to tell that to artandsoul earlier. We were talking about foreign policy, and how Obama wants to negotiate with Iran, and then tried to take a tough line once he saw McCain doing it. They're floundering out there, no idea how to handle the realities of the world stage."

"It's a typical liberal fault to project their own unseriousness onto Republican candidates. It's why they can't take McCain's sophisticated foreign policy plans and why the depth of Sarah Palin's executive experience bothers them so much. I admit that I feel a certain, how do you say it, humor, at their discomfort."

"Yeah, sure," says Jack. "Liberals suck. Now. Artandsoul... She got big tits or what?"

Kent: "What? Dude, she's nice. We were talking."

Kaz: "It's endlessly interesting to me how liberals are never manly enough to talk to a woman decently. As a parent, and a brother, I can assure you that they're always intimidated, don't treat women like human beings at all."

Jack looks at his plate, and hauls himself to his feet. "You know what, the shrimp's good. I'm gonna go get some more shrimp. You two, uh, you two watch my spot." Jack takes a last look at Kaz and Kent and then totters away in the general direction of the crowd. Kent edges Jack's plate, which is still half full of shrimp, to the edge of the table and finally sets his beer down next to it.

He sighs. "So Kaz, how's the market treating you these-- Goddamn!"

Schmutzie's just slammed the door into the back of Kent's chair. He stands their for a moment, with his Brunello Di Montalcino (which he's drinking straight from the bottle) wavering ever so slightly. "Sorry, man," he finally says, "I was thinking about those crepes. Munchies, you know?" And with an apologetic smile, he takes a swig and walks over to the buffet table.

"Here's how we can tell the economy's doing fine. Liberal doom and gloomers, which I objectively call chicken littles, can still afford fine wine from around the world. The free market continues to work its magic, there's real wealth here, and yet all they can seem to do is blame conservatives, as if this small economic bump had anything to do with real conservative policies."

Kent's normally taught shoulders are starting to slump a little. "Yeah, I guess. This bailout isn't really conservative. Hey, look I'm gonna--"

It's at this point that Urquhart swaggers by, top hat askew and monocle dangling from a ribbon. He's got rundeep on one arm, and topazz on the other, and he's wearing a big shit-eating grin on his face. Topazz whirls around and calls out "conga line!" to anyone who can hear.

Kent scowls at Urq. "Now why the hell didn't he sit with us?"

"Ayn Rand proposed that rational self-interest is the only real source of altruism in a fair society. Of course, Dems and Libs..."

"Will you shut the fuck up, already!"

"...obviously prefer socialist..."

(Thump.) "Goddamn. So where's the end of that line, anyway?"


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