Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Intellectual Disabilities

Found this old, unpublished post languishing in the dusty drawers of my blog today and thought I'd share it, uh, anyway.  This was written four (four!) years ago, when we were all trying to get our heads around the fact that McCain had chosen Palin as his running mate.  I had written a longer, more politicized version that gathered several scathing nasty comments from fans, not of the Flip Side, but of Palin, and I chose to scrap it, wanting to keep the focus on generating positive vibes and juju, and not feeling armored enough to deflect so much negativity.

It's fun to laugh about it now, thinking about that insidious, strangely sublime pairing (after all, the brilliant Tina Fey would not have been able to trot out her own brilliant "you betcha" version of Sarah Palin had she not been catapulted into the spotlight), and how much fun it was to make fun of her despite our absolute terror that she just might get elected.  And it's a little wild to remember how we thought that it couldn't get much crazier than this.

And now, four years later, we learn that it can get crazier.  It can always get crazier.  And thank god for the funny people out there who offer up some much-needed comic relief during election season.

I'm a tad bit worried that I might have inadvertently contributed to the McCain/Palin campaign yesterday.

Dominick and I were walking into our local Stop and Shop yesterday afternoon. There was an older man standing outside, wearing a bright yellow vest emblazoned with "Helping God's Special Children." He held a canister in one hand for donations, and a bag of tootsie rolls slunk on the ground next to him. As we passed him, he shouted out to Dominick, who was wearing his Red Sox hat, "Do you play ball?" Dominick looked at me, as if to ask, "Mom, what kind of a question is that?" I raised my eyebrows. "Ah, yeah," Dom said, still unsure as to why this total stranger was asking him such a seemingly obvious question. The guy tossed Dominick a tootsie roll, his reward, apparently, for answering correctly. "Thank you!"

On our way out, I gave Dominick a dollar to put in the man's handy canister. And of course, after he did so, he was awarded with yet another tootsie roll, and as we crossed the street to our car, the man called him back and asked him if he had any brothers or sisters. Dominick did not miss a beat this time. "Yes, I have fourteen of them." (Actually, he wouldn't have thought of lying; he dutifully answered with a simple yes, and a thank you, when handed a third tootsie roll.) Score!

When we got to the car, I inspected the tootsie rolls, which I quickly noticed were covered in customized "The Knights of Columbus Thanks you for your Support" wrappers. But it was when I read the other side of the wrapper that I thought that perhaps I had just given a dollar to the McCain/Palin campaign:

"Helping People with Intellectual Disabilities."

Oh well. I'll double my usual donation to Obama, and maybe I'll get a box of junior mints.  ;)