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photo by Sheri Dixon

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Hope In Unexpected Places

So we spent a few hours in our local emergency room this past week.

Nothing life-changing, but scary at the time- Edna got literally flattened by a urinary tract infection, and now we're all aware that symptoms for stuff in the elderly are sometimes wildly different (and seemingly unrelated to the problem) than in other age groups.

She got tired and confused to the point of not being able to walk, but after a few hours in the ER was able to come home, walk back into her house and is now recovering nicely.

So that's a very good thing.

Because we love Edna.

The smaller yet still sweet incident occurred in the emergency room waiting room.

We walked in (Edna wheeled in), checked her in at the front and turned around to find seats. Fortunately it was a Tuesday night in a small-town hospital so there were 4 other people there- 2 middle aged black women there each on their own, and a young white couple.

The young couple was what anyone would classify as "most likely to live in a trailer park". Now, I can say that, since I spent my first 4 years as a Texan living in the worst trailer in the worst trailer park in Texas. The trailer was infested with roaches and the trailer park was month-to-month renters- people who are literally here today and gone tomorrow. There was alcoholism. There was drug abuse. There was domestic violence to spare.

I made mountains of peanut butter sammiches and served up oceans of Cheerios and milk for children whose parents' minds were otherwise occupied and who couldn't focus on their hungry offspring. Now, these weren't beggers by any stretch. They'd knock on my door and ask if they could pet the dogs in the yard. That was my cue to say, "Of course. Have you eaten today?" and the answer was always a softly whispered, "No ma'am."

They never failed to say Thank You.

...back to the ER this past week.

The young man was mumbling at the TV and his companion was shushing him.

The TV was turned to FOX News.

Generally, if FOX News is on a public TV I turn around and walk out, but Edna was sick and this was the only game in town, so I seated us behind a big pillar where we couldn't see the devil-spawned-gnome-like countenance of Bill O'Reilly smirking down on us.

I listened curiously and surreptitiously.

Because this young man's demographic are the Young Hope of FOX. The ones who are being told that they don't have a job because the goddamn Mexicans took 'em, that they don't have any money because that goddamn Obama gave it all to companies to build solar panels, and that if we don't get capital G God back into our government in a very literally fundamental way we're all going to hell in a handbasket...after the gays rape our sons and the illegals rape our daughters, and the fucking liberals take all our guns.

FOX want's 'em poor, and hungry, and angry as hornets so they can be brainwashed into "knowing the enemy, because we're Fair and Balanced and the only network BRAVE enough to tell you the truth."

Imagine my surprise when my ears verified that he was making unhappy noises not in agreement with O'Reilly, but AT O'Reilly.

"Goddamn prick. What does he know about being poor. Buncha bullshit."

"Shhhh...."

"This isn't news, how stupid do they think we are?"

"Shhhh...."

I walked over to him and said, "Well? Change the channel. WE don't wanna listen to it either". And I smiled my best grandma hippiechick smile.

He said, "I tried- can't reach it, and the girl behind the desk said it has to stay where it's been put."

I sighed and told him that's why WE were seated behind the piller and he laughed.

I glanced up at the TV where O'Reilly was still spewing hate-infused gibberish, shook my head, looked back at the couple and said, "Wow. Talk about State TV propaganda."

He grinned at me, made an upraised fist and said, "Fuckin' A".

One moment, one brief moment of hope. A glitter of light in the darkness of East Texas.

I'll take it.

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