Shenanigans and Malarkey

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By Susan Bankston

This month, we’re gonna talk about two things: shenanigans and malarkey.

First, the shenanigans.

Yesterday I noticed that I should have noticed something. The media have been talking about Donald Trump far too much, considering that the Trump alternative—Ted Cruz—is worse.

I’m fixing to tell you an absolutely true, certified military-grade story.

As you know, what grows best in Texas is crabgrass, fire ants, and Baptists.

If you do the math, you might conclude that they accidentally invented a fertilizer to grow Baptists while trying to chemically kill fire ants. There’s really no other explanation, because Baptists, for all their talk about it, never have sex.

Baptists will tell you that we do not cotton to people having sex toys in Texas. Making whoopee should not be fun, so no toys should be involved. In 2003, a mother was arrested by undercover agents for hosting a “passion party” where devices of a sexual nature were being sold to women in the privacy of their homes, kinda like Tupperware. The State of Texas considers lady parties to be obscene. They have not taken an official position on Tupperware, but I suspect it’s okay as long as there are no items that can get an erection.

Now, before I forget where I was going with the story, you need to know that back when this passion-party brouhaha was happening, Ted Cruz was the solicitor general of Texas. That means he defends Texas in lawsuits.

Ancient warriors threw spears at each other. Lawyers mimic that by throwing paper at each other. Court files can grow so large that they need a forklift to carry them around, and this case was no different.

The papers that Ted Cruz filed with the courts had this as its central theme: “There is no substantive-due-process right to stimulate one’s genitals for non-medical purposes unrelated to procreation or outside of an interpersonal relationship.”

Okay, write that down somewhere and figure it the hell out. I do not know what disease you’d have to treat by medically stimulating your genitals, but bygawd, I hope I catch it.

I’m sad to tell you that Ted wasn’t finished with his paper-throwing legal defense. He argued that there is a “government” interest in “discouraging . . . autonomous sex.”

I am not kidding you. You can look it up on the Internet machine or in the damn Encyclopedia Britannica.

This means that Ted Cruz believes the pursuit of happiness should not include masturbation, and the police should be able to barge into your home at any time to see what manner of naughtiness your hand is up to. I guess because they’ve had a lot of practice at saying “Hands up!” I dunno, maybe. You gotta admit that’s a possibility.

Up until Ted Cruz’s goofy argument to the courts, Texas’ policy was that you could own a sex toy, but you couldn’t buy one. Honey, if that law had been upheld, sex-toy craft classes would have had their own HGTV show.

The courts have overruled Ted Cruz’s argument, and that’s when Texas women decided that Ted Cruz was our dildo.

And now for the malarkey.

It was tragically and erroneously reported on the Internet that Sarah Palin was going to debate Bill Nye the Science Guy about climate change. Sarah Palin is a woman filled to the brim with loose ends.

I say “tragically” because I was so damn excited about it that I had to walk sideways to keep from flying. I even had a plan.

Sarah Palin was correctly quoted as saying that she was “very passionate about this issue.” Darlin’, I’m kinda passionate about my car, but I don’t know diddle squat about building one.

My friend Verdelia—you know, the one with a leopard-skin-covered golf cart at the River Oaks Country Club—said that she would even watch Sarah Palin debate Bill Nye on pay-per-view. So, that got me to thinking: how much would I pay to see this debate?

Let’s start with a base payment of 10 bucks. Hell, you know you’d pay 10 bucks just to see which semi-creepy 1980s outfit Sarah Palin shows up in.

If Palin is drunk again, that’s another 10 bucks. If Palin is drunk and Nye is high, you gotta go with $30.

If Nye agrees to tie 100 IQ points behind his back, it’s another 10 bucks to see him drool and still whip Palin.

If Nye walks across the stage and smacks Palin over the head with an atlas, viewing rights go up at least $7.50, right?

If there’s sideline climate-change commentary by Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, they can have my retirement fund, because I’d just die right there.

Then they ruined all my fun when they announced that Sarah Palin wasn’t actually going to debate Nye in person. She is going to debate video clips of him. So she’s going to debate against someone who isn’t there. That means she would be debating autonomously. OMG y’all, she’s gonna be a master-debater!

I wish you May flowers with this thought: I just wish that Republicans were as worried about the wrong person getting a gun as they are about the wrong person getting a wedding cake.

Susan Bankston lives in Richmond, Texas, where she writes about her hairdresser at The World’s Most Dangerous Beauty Salon, Inc., at


Susan Bankston

Susan Bankston lives in Richmond, Texas, where she writes about her hairdresser at The World’s Most Dangerous Beauty Salon, Inc., at
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