Every week at Reran Tragedy, Editor-in-Chief Cal Alabaster Jr. draws on his considerable experience in Southern politics to round up news, notes, and blatantly pasted-in press releases that readers may have otherwise missed.
HOOVER, Two Years From Now — Residents of a Hoover apartment complex who said whether a candidate ate or put a dog on a roof decided their votes in the 2012 presidential election were unaware last week that an impoverished neighbor’s child had been forced to eat a dog and ride on a roof in a dog cage out of necessity.
Bill Jennings, 31, who is assistant manager of a pawn shop off U.S. 31 in Hoover, said he voted against former President Obama when he learned in April 2012 that the president had eaten a dog as a child in Indonesia.
“It just showed what kind of foreign, out-of-touch animal that filthy son of a bitch was,” said Jennings, who pointed out that he made his feelings about canine consumption known on talk radio shows in 2012. “Who could conscientiously do something as awful as that to beautiful, helpless creatures that can’t take care of themselves?!”
In the apartment next door, little Jeb White, 8, was crying after finding a stick with which he used to play with his dog Fuzzy, an albino stray he and his aunt, Susan, took in shortly after moving in.
He and his aunt recently ate Fuzzy because they had no other food to eat.
“Fuzzy was my best friend,” Jeb said. “I miss him, but we were so hungry.
“He tasted weird. It made me cry.”
Susan, who works for minimum wage at the Hoover Krystal, had to pay out of pocket for treatment of Jeb’s severe ear infection because Jeb’s health care benefits were clipped at the request of Gov. Robert Bentley to save the state money so legislators would not have to raise taxes to pay for more tax cuts for large corporations. Susan has been too proud to seek food stamps because of the social stigma, so the cost of medical care left them without any money for food.
Unable to scavenge enough edible food off the streets, Susan, in a fit of panic, killed Fuzzy and cooked him while Jeb was taking a nap.
He woke up before she could hide all of the inedible remains.
“Sometimes I get scared that I will wake up and someone’s gonna be eatin’ me too,” Jeb said.
In the other apartment next door to Jeb’s, Megan O’Brien, 29, recounted how she voted against Mitt Romney‘s unsuccessful presidential campaign because of his treatment of a family pet—a topic she said she frequently read and commented about on the liberal blogging community Daily Kos.
“I don’t know how someone could be so ignorant of a beautiful little thing’s pain like that,” said O’Brien, a University of Montevallo English graduate student who works at a nearby Barnes & Noble. Hearing Jeb’s sobs through the wall, she screamed for him to be quiet or she would call the police. “Nasty little brat, I swear. But yeah, when I heard about poor lil’ Seamus having to ride all the way where he did on that cold, windy roof, I just couldn’t respect anyone who ignore something that precious’ suffering to not want to slap their face and scream, ‘Where are your f—ing priorities and empathy at, you mindless, mouth-breathing idiot?!’
She slapped the wall again: “I wonder where your mommy’s at and what her priorities are sometimes too, whiny boy!”
And where is Jeb’s mommy?
“Mommy had problems with her kidneys, they make it so you can pee all the bad things away,” Jeb said. “The man from the Montgomery place said the die-alley-susses [sic] money wasn’t there anymore because somebody mean got rid of it.
“Mommy died,” Jeb said, curling up into a ball on the barely standing cot where he sleeps. “She got really cold.”
With his father not locatable, Jeb moved in with his aunt and uncle in Chilton County after his mother died. His uncle became very abusive after losing his job as a prison guard following severe state cutbacks made despite the several tax cuts granted for “economic development” by the Legislature.
Jeb’s uncle frequently assaulted Susan and threatened to hurt Jeb if she ever tried to leave or told anyone what he did. But under the state’s puzzling and questionably appropriate changes for divorces passed by the Legislature in 2013, and the strict interpretation mandated by his holiness Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore‘s Supreme Court, Susan could not divorce her husband without testifying in open court that he abused her and that she would never use her genitals again if granted a divorce.
Thus, to carry herself and Jeb to safety, Susan borrowed a pet carrier from a neighbor and claimed she was taking their St. Bernard to the vet, pushed a quietly sobbing Jeb into the box, tied it to the roof because it was too large to fit in her compact car, and sped up I-65 to safety.
“It was really scary and really cold and really sticky,” Jeb said. “Especially when it started raining. And the bugs.”
Later, O’Brien and Jennings were told about Jeb’s struggles. They were asked if they felt like they should have cast their ballots on things more important than some dog they had never even seen, like maintaining social safety net programs in the face of massive budget cuts. They were asked if they felt that, while those programs would not have erased every one of the poor life decisions that have made Jeb’s life so miserable, they could have at least reduced or spared him a good deal of the pain. They were also asked whether they felt that, even if they lacked the imagination to consider whether they would like that cushion if they ever fell that far, society as a whole benefited from the detrimental impact of having someone so young be tossed so very low.
Instead of answering those questions, O’Brien and Jennings organized a protest outside Susan and Jeb’s apartment, calling for Jeb to be held accountable for his “unconscionable misdeeds” and drawing all of the Birmingham metro area’s television news outlets to the apartment complex.
“Somebody needs to hang that little son of a bitch,” shouted Jennings as a frightened, tearful Jeb looked out his window. “He is a damn miserable monster for what he did that pretty little dog—and he wants me to pay more in taxes to support his dog-eatin’ habit! Serial killers do things like that! He’s gonna be a serial killer and we need to take care of him once and for all!”
“He rode in that carrier to make fun of poor lil’ Seamus!” screeched O’Brien, receiving shouts of support from PETA members she rounded up to fill out the protest. “That was a dog! A thing too weak and sweet to stop the decisions made by adults that put him in so much harm’s way!
“Someone needs to learn a lesson from all of this!”
No federal relief could be on its way for Jeb or anybody else. The federal government has entered its third week of shutdown resulting from an entrenched budget dispute between Congress and President Loretta Nall, the surprise victor of the 2012 presidential election after she and her U.S. Marijuana Party running mate, Trixie the Love-Pig, entered the race in late August of that year.
Legislators disappointed that lobbyist only called Rep. Joe Hubbard a ‘[expletive] whore’
A “precedent-setting” censuring could be coming on Wednesday to a Montgomery lobbyist who had a profane outburst last week toward Rep. Joe Hubbard, D-Montgomery.
And legislators say they are deeply disappointed that, for her lack of decorum, Claire Austin, did not show a little bit more showmanship and creativity in the profanity she used, only calling Hubbard a “[expletive] whore” after a committee on which he he sits voted down a wine bill for which she lobbied.
“Definitely would have been better if she called him a ‘[expletive] Taco.’ Gotta call him a ‘[expletive] Taco,’” said Rep. Blaine Galliher, R-Gadsden, chairman of the House Rules Committee. “Or at least add a few more syllables of bad words in if you’re going to have the dumbassness to break the professionalism [chuckles] of the Alabama Legislature. You know, drop in a ‘[expletive], [expletive] [expletive]-humpin’ and [expletive]-eatin’ pelican rapist.’
“Hell, calling him a [expletive] whore for a particular industry is just stating the job description.”
“With Joe, there’s so much to work with,” said House Majority Leader Micky Hammon, a Republican from Decatur who sits on the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee with Hubbard. “Look at him, he looks like a little [expletive] who [expletive] himself while he plays his [expletive] ‘World of [expletive] Warcraft’ because he can’t get somebody to [expletive] his little [expletive]-punching [expletive].
“We might as well censure her for being hackneyed.”
There is reportedly bipartisan support for sending a message to Austin, who told Hubbard she would make sure he never gets re-elected.
At the same time, there is bipartisan condemnation of her inability to throw out more inventive curses while being unprofessional.
“She should really have threatened to [expletive] him and that when she [expletive] him that he knew he was being [expletive] and who was [expletive] him in his bruised, purple little [expletive] knocker,” said Sen. Roger Bedford, D-Russellville.
While describing the ungodly, angel-murdering line of profanity he would have unleashed upon Hubbard in Austin’s shoes, Bedford demonstrated the hand gestures he would have made while doing so, which involved making a a circle with his thumb and index finger and plungering it with an ice cream scoop he disconcertingly had in his suit jacket’s breast pocket.
“This is Alabama, we need to get people excited here, we need to show the rest of the world that we got the tenacity and creativity to get after folks and break new ground,” he said. “That Claire Austin couldn’t tell Joe Hubbard that he is [a five-minute long expletive string so wrong, so disgusting and so harsh that it made emotionally sensitive people in earshot cry blood] is a [expletive] disappointment.”
This week in Alabama history
On April 24, 1922, the station that would eventually become Birmingham talk station WAPI began the state’s first radio broadcast.
The first words spoken over the air in Alabama were those of an angry “caller”—someone who knocked on the door when he heard that there was going to be a radio broadcast—who complained about black people taking all the jobs and keeping “actual Americans” out of work. He also added that the state should do more to check women’s rights to “vote and have them privates” and that anyone who gets shot is an idiot for not being armed, “especially if they done get shot by me because I don’t have good aim.”
He then promised that he would “hang up and listen,” a phrase that at the time meant returning to the hammock in which he slept underneath a railroad bridge and listening for any sounds that its tethers could snap and hurtle him to his death.
Reran Tragedy is Weld’s satirical blog about politics and life in Alabama and the South. Much of what you will read here is fictionalized, except for all the parts that are unfortunately true because they are about politics and life in Alabama and the South. You can like this blog on Facebook.
The artist known as Cal Alabaster Jr., if that is his or her real name, may or may not also be the author of the Alabama humor blog called “King Cockfight.” If true, you may read Cal’s work there at kingcockfight.wordpress.com. You can also follow Cal on Twitter @KingCockfight or email Cal at firstname.lastname@example.org.