Monday, March 25, 2013

Overheard At Starbucks: The Coolest Conversation Ever Between Two Dads

I've been reading a lot about how supportive parents are to their unconventional kids these days, but I never really believed it. All the stories seemed just a little too good to be true:

  • The dad who overhears his son talking about coming out and writes him a note that says he'll love him no matter what.
  • The two construction workers on the subway who proudly talk about their gay sons.
  • The mom who walks in on her son having sex with his boyfriend and responds with a lock for his bedroom door and a note saying, "I always knew you were gay and I'm fine with it! Sorry to disturb your blowjob!"
Needless to say, I was totally surprised when I witnessed a scene that makes all of them look like Pat Boone eating cheese. I'd never have believed it if I hadn't seen it. Get the Kleenex ready as we fade in on the local Starbucks.

I was drinking a frappuccino and listening to music when two guys in white robes and pointy hoods walked in. Despite the fact they were covered from head to toe in starched white cloth, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt they were really racist, sexist Southerners -- the kind of guys who snapped towels at each other in the locker room and called guys "faggot" when they listened to Erasure over and over (even the new record!).

I always ignore people in costume since they usually ask me for candy, but this time I couldn't help myself. The tape in my Walkman jammed just as Sheryl Crowe was going to tell me what kind of a road a day is like, and I heard Guy #1 say this:

“My wife wants me to stop killing squirrels, but I don't feel right just turning them loose after I've cut off their skins."

It piqued my curiosity so I put a blank tape in my Walkman and hit RECORD. Ordinarily I don't have time to waste on meaningless strangers but I figured my Yelp review could wait.

Guy #2: That don't sound much like Wilma. She ain't one to spoil a good hobby.

Guy #1: She wants me to spend more time with our son Ralph, who's fifteen and plays high school football.

Guy #2: How is Ralph anyway? Haven’t seen him in awhile.

Guy #1: Oh, he's good. This year he's quarterback.

Guy #2: He’ll definitely have the girls hanging around him now.

Guy #1: Yeah if he had any time for them.

Guy #2: Focused on football?

Guy #1: Focused on terpsichory.

Guy #2: You’re shittin' me!

Guy #1: I kid you not. Last week he told me and Betty bold as brass that he wanted to join the Bolshoi Ballet.

Guy #2: Holy Jesus on the cross. I don't see how anybody can tolerate that parade of patriarchal cliché.

Guy #1: Amirite? Amirite? I tell ya, it hit me like a ton of bricks.

Guy #2: Well, it don't surprise me none. He always seemed soft, even ignoring the tutu.

Guy #1: How's your son, sixteen-year-old Marvin Jr.?

Guy #2: Last week I caught him en pointe with his boyfriend doing a tour jeté. His sister told me he wants to sign with Martha Graham.

Guy #1: Hoo-wee! Well, we all saw that coming.

Guy #2: You’re the eighth person to tell me that. How’d everybody see it but me?

Guy #1: It was just a feelin', Elbert. In their class photo he's the only one pretending to be a tree.

Guy #2: I guess you’re right. But hell, Charlie -- Martha Graham? Critics say her Bacchanale achieves a subtle, sublime lyricism but to me it looks like Jackie Chan fighting off locusts.

Guy #1: It definitely eschews the traditional vocabulary of dance.

Guy #2: Shit, Charlie. We both have kids who adore the dance. What do we do now?

Guy #1: We act like normal fathers. We say their tights don't make their asses look fat and if anybody says their pirouettes are wobbly we jam potatoes into the exhaust pipes of their trucks.

Guy #1: Well, I guess Ralph and Marvin Jr. won’t be getting together like we thought.

Guy #2: I guess not. If they wanna be professional dancers, they're gonna need significant others who can pay the rent.


Guy #2: Hey Charlie, you thinkin' what I’m thinkin'?

Guy #1: I think I am, Elbert. Not here, though -- at my place. I just bought a new Scriabin polonaise and all this cotton dampens the poetry of my arms.

By that point I was holding back a little tear, but then they resumed talking about squirrels. I ran home and transcribed the whole thing and posted it here. I hope it brightens your day like it brightened mine. Maybe some day I'll post an actual copy of the tape but when I scan it it just looks like a beige stripe.


chamblee54 said...

I borrowed this for my blog. The check is in the mail.

Yet Another Steve said...

It must be so exciting to live in the Big City and hear these little snippets of Real Life every day!

RomanHans said...

I learned a very important lesson whatever day that was.