Flying Fickle Finger of Fate – The Advocate, 12/30/2002

The other day I was talking to John Ashcroft. Well, I was talking. He was listening. My girlfriend tells me not to flatter myself, but I swear sometimes I hear clicks on our phone line. You just know that some day it will be revealed that J. Edgar Ashcroft often enjoyed a good threeway. Anyway, I was telling my friend about an incident at the Lesbian Health Conference.

While attending in Washington, DC, two lesbians were standing in their hotel room window watching the world go by. Suddenly the Bush presidential motorcade roared by. Back from a run? Off to the ranch? Late for a war?

The two women were perhaps still miffed that the Bush administration’s Health and Human Services had slashed $75,000 in conference funding just three months prior to the conference. For whatever reason and there are so many to chose from, they flipped the bird in the direction of the tinted windows of the Pres-mobile.

Faster than you can say or feel “a heightened state of alert,” there was a knock on their door. It was fifteen minutes. Two burly Secret Service men entered the room and began questioning them. Shockingly unaware of the universal meaning of the flipped bird, the agents asked, “What did you mean by the gesture?” After the SS men left murmuring into their wristicuffs, the DC Metro police arrived to question the two women. After those uniforms left, the hotel security questioned them.

The night I thought I heard some clicks on my phone, my friend and I were wondering how the suits located the digit dykes so quickly. Where were the surveillance cameras? Was is it another tip from the hardworking people at Shoney’s? Shouldn’t the agents have been out looking for that white or black, young or old, civilian or military sniper in a perhaps/definitely white van? Maybe the middle finger gesture was just a friendly reminder from two health conscious lesbians to schedule another executive colonoscopy? How far did Cher turn back time? Pre-feminism? Pre-magnon? Pre-preemptive?

There are so many bird-flipping opportunities.

Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Offense, has let lapse the charter of The Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services [DACOWITS]. The respected volunteer agency, founded in 1951, had been instrumental in promoting gender integration in the military and, most recently in promulgating the enlightened notion that lesbian-baiting is harmful to all women and to troop morale in general. If the group is ever rechartered, Rummy with the support of the Heritage Foundation, has limited its focus to recruitment, retention and family issues. One Armed Services Committee member objected to gender-integrated basic training saying, “I don’t think that the hand that rocks the cradle should be shooting at the heads of the enemy.” I don’t think the hand that flips the bird on this one should be slapped.

You’d never know it from the daily sports pages, but this is the thirtieth anniversary year of Title IX, the 1972 law requiring colleges to grant equal financing and resources to male and female athletics. With women’s enrollment on the rise, colleges are scrambling to comply, not by increasing women’s programs, but by slashing men’s programs like wrestling and gymnastics, (not men’s football or basketball, you unpatriotic dummy). George Bush, Texas Ranger and Longhorn, has vowed to look into the law and to adopt a “reasonable approach” to enforcement. Preparations are being made for a pre-emptive strike on the University of Connecticut’s Women’s Athletic department.

At a recent United Nation’s conference on children, the US made a big axis of itself and joined with Iran, Libya, Pakistan, Sudan and the Vatican to oppose any language that supported the use of condoms in stopping the spread of AIDS. The message from the deputy secretary of HHS is, “We need to have very strong messages for young people and that is the message of abstinence until marriage, that the only safe sex is no sex and a mutually monogamous relationship.” There was no message for gay young people. The sound you hear is bird flipping.

When asked on one of his many fundraising junkets, I mean policy speeches, where Laura was – and we all wonder, she’s so absent, she’s more Aura than Laura – George quipped that she was home getting the house ready for company, sweeping off the porch. Everybody laughed. Maybe because they knew it wasn’t true. They all knew she makes Condoleeza do the sweeping.

I’ve got to start wearing mittens.