Oh, great. I have just been outed. It turns out that I am a bed-wetting liberal redneck. You were sure to find that out sooner or later, so let me explain.
A while back, I suggested that if Congressman John Lewis of Atlanta and some of his buddies with too much time on their hands were having heartburn over Alexander Stephens of Crawfordville — the former vice president of the Confederate States of America — representing the Great State of Georgia in the National Statuary Hall collection in Washington, I had a solution that I was sure everyone would find satisfactory. Replace Mr. Stephens with Ray Charles Robinson of Albany.
I am sure Mr. Stephens did a lot of wonderful things that earned him a slot in the National Statuary Hall along with Crawford W. Long, of Danielsville, and the luminaries representing the 49 other states. But whatever it was, it did not include singing “Georgia on My Mind,” the greatest song ever written in the history of the Earth. And nobody ever sang it like the late, great Ray Charles Robinson.
I thought it was a smashing idea. Alas, those who aren’t through fighting a war that we lost 151 years ago didn’t. That included Mr. Angry White Guy, who promptly took me to the verbal woodshed and called me a “bed-wetting liberal” as well as all my friends who he was convinced had voted for Barack Obama for president. That didn’t exactly sit well with one of my friends I am reasonably sure voted for Attila the Hun and even then had some reservations about his conservative credentials.
I didn’t mind the accusation, although the bed-wetting part made me a bit uncomfortable. When attending some high-brow, black-tie soiree, I had this feeling that people were whispering to one another, “Look over there. That’s Dick Yarbrough, the modest and much-beloved columnist, munching on a broccoli canape. I understand that if you say ‘Barack Obama’, he will wet his bed. Isn’t that adorable?”
Still, being publicly identified as a liberal of any ilk had its rewards. For one thing, it increased the liberal sense of humor quotient by several light years. Liberals are a lot of things. Funny is not one of them. Liberals are too busy hectoring the masses on the benefits of big government to worry about having a sense of humor. I’ve seen tree fungus funnier than liberals.
I was in the process of getting my own bullhorn and heading for the streets to protest all that is wrong with our country and why we can never have enough illegal immigrants and had even made plans to celebrate my origins with a hyphen (I am an East Point-American), when I got an email from a highly perturbed reader. She took offense with my criticism of Mr. Bucket Head in San Francisco, who is paid $10 million a year to play a kid’s game (which he isn’t good enough to play regularly) and who makes a big show out of being sure we know he disrespects our national anthem. As I recall, I believe I said he had the right to disrespect whatever floats his boat just as I have the right to disrespect Mr. Bucket Head, which I do — to the tips of my toes.
Had I been thinking (insert joke here), I would have realized that such comments would likely blow my bed-wetting liberal credentials to smithereens. And it did. Highly Perturbed Reader called me a redneck, among a bunch of other less-than-complimentary things. That wasn’t helpful. Even someone as eloquent as your modest and much-beloved columnist is going to have a hard time convincing the world that one can be a liberal and a redneck at the same time.
Highly Perturbed Reader worked me over good and when she had finished pounding on me, in a gesture of overwhelming magnanimity, told me she was going to cut me a break and not tell the editors or my readers what a shameful person I am because “I am nicer than you.” Bless her heart.
So, here I am. To one reader, I am a bed-wetting liberal. To another, a loathsome right-wing redneck. My response? I believe Ray Charles Robinson, of Albany, Georgia, belongs in the National Statuary Hall in Washington and that Mr. Bucket Head is an ungrateful, irrelevant, overpaid jerk. I hope that clears up any confusion. Being a bed-wetting liberal redneck isn’t as easy as I make it look.
Dick Yarbrough can be reached at email@example.com; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139; online at dickyarbrough.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dickyarb.