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Sizing Up Your Opponent

A litmus test to keep ’em honest.

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Illustration by Blase Distefano.

We are required to have a national election in two years and, tragically, someone has to win. Clearly, America needs to get better at picking the right candidates. 

In an effort to get this done, the staff and patrons at The World’s Most Dangerous Beauty Salon, Inc. are kickstarting this effort with…  

How to Tell If Your Political Opponent Is Exaggerating Their Political Accomplishments 

• You’re pretty sure that your opponent isn’t old enough to have freed the slaves.

• Claims to be governor of “the greatest state in the union,” but is actually the governor of Texas.

• Claims that the thick ozone in Houston is an important source of vitamins and minerals. 

• Has more expertise in extramarital affairs than in foreign affairs.

• In addition to claiming he walked on the moon, also claims that Sister Alfonse over at Our Lady of Perpetual Virginity hit on him first.

• You’re pretty sure that no one named Rhonda signed the Declaration of Independence.

• After an exposé by CNN, she’s backtracking on her claim that she single-handedly slayed the Night King and his army of night walkers beyond the wall and reclaimed the Iron Throne for House Targaryan.

• Adds extra syllables to make accomplishments seem more impressimitative.

• Claims he never touched alcohol during his entire term as Australian prime minister—but if he did, Mexico paid for it.

• Despite all evidence to the contrary, claims he does not use the Twitter handle @HugoBalls.

• This many eyes haven’t simultaneously rolled since Madonna released “Like a Virgin.”

And the #1 Way to Tell If They Exaggerate Their Political Accomplishments: 

• Bragging concludes with, “…and on the seventh day, I rested.”

It’s time to talk about Texas.

Right this very minute, while you’re foolishly sitting there without a damn death-grip on your wallet, the Texas Legislature is meeting in Austin and figuring out ways to hold you upside down to shake all your money out.

In Texas, we allow the Legislature to meet and pass laws every two years for 140 days, and nothing more. Upon reflection, we wish we had made that two days every 140 years.

We pay them $600 a month, plus all the live armadillos they can steal (which is far too much money, not to mention the stock for fine purveyors of tchotchkes everywhere). Our lawmakers support themselves off of graft and kickbacks. 

This year, the opening day of the 86th Legislative Session corresponded exactly with the day Donald Trump made his build-my-wall speech on television. Texas lieutenant governor Dan Patrick could not attend the Legislature’s first day because, as he explains, he was in Washington DeeCee “helping” Trump write his television speech. Nobody on God’s green earth thought Trump’s speech was any damn good, proving once and for all that when Trump and Patrick work on anything together, one plus one can equal a big flaming tootin’ zero. 

Lt. Governor Patrick is a giant supporter of the so-called bathroom bill. If Patrick had his way, transgender Texans would be required to use the bathroom corresponding to the gender they were assigned at birth. Patrick has thrown wall-eyed snot-nosed hissy fits over his bathroom bills for the past two legislative sessions, and he was soundly defeated both times. 

Patrick now says he will not introduce the bathroom bill during this legislative session. Wanna know why? He spent one damn day with Donald Trump, and he’s learned how to play the game.  Now he’s explaining why he’s not introducing the bathroom bill by saying, with a straight face, “When you win the battle, you don’t have to fight the battle again. I think it’s been settled, and I think we’ve won.”

No, Patrick, you lost. You did not win. I do not care how you spin it, you lost. Defeated. Humiliated. Trounced. Conquered.

Honey, Patrick doesn’t know whether to wind his ass or scratch his watch.

The new reality is to lose, and then declare you won. That would mean Germany won WWII, the Astros repeated their World Series victory this year, nobody remembered the Alamo, and from now on you can call me Miss America. 

One day. Patrick spent only one day with Trump. I swear this stuff is contagious.

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, and I hope someone dreamy kisses you flat on the mouth. 

This article appears in the February 2019 edition of OutSmart magazine. 

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Susan Bankston

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

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