WAYNE ON THE TRACE

In addition to being my driver and drinking buddy, Wayne performed the essential task of being the non-antisocial member of our crew of two. My preferred strategy in dealing with strangers is to clam up and stare as if I had just completed the dead-man-walking walk and had caught my first glimpse of Old Sparky. This approach works fine at home, but is a distinct handicap when the assignment is to engage with the locals. My preconceptions about locals in the Deep South were formed by 60’s movies, so I fully expected engaging with them to consist of stripping down to my underwear and squealing like a pig. This notion did nothing to ameliorate the intensity of my horrific stare, and that’s where Wayne comes in. Wayne is a talker, and a persuasive one. Wayne could talk a Republican into believing in science. The word “garrulous” comes to mind. I wish it would go back where it came from. My Republican friends already think I’m an elitist since I believe in evolution; I don’t need to be throwing three-syllable words at them. Now see? A perfectly benign little post about my friend Wayne has been derailed. It’s the damn Sunday morning talk shows, forums for people like Lindsey Graham to display their fear of the Tea Party. Prevarication and hypocrisy fills the air, emanating from both sides of the aisle, I hasten to add, although the slings and arrows coming from one side are turbo-charged with rancid testosterone, while the limp missives from the other side fall harmlessly in the aisle, to be trampled by heedless pages. Why can’t we all get along? Or, more accurately, why can’t you all get along? I prefer to stand back and stare.