We Americans absolutely amaze me. Compulsory education notwithstanding, every day millions of us commit unfathomable acts so unforgivably, dead-dog dumb that one must, must drop the F-bomb just to inquire about them properly. “What the bloody, hecking, motherhecking heck are you hecking doing, you blockheaded heck?” simply doesn’t suffice when one second-guesses smoking Nazi-method crystal, or voting for Nader in Florida, or downloading Yoko Ono MP3s (though I imagine that last isn’t sooo reprehensible, as it’s probably averted hundreds of late-night cat scaldings by railing tweakers seeking the elusive “most totally perfect irritating sound ever.”)
Obviously, there’s Rolls-Royce money in manufacturing air bags and fire trucks and Band-Aids (and, well, meth) because, by and large, we’re incorrigible heck-tards. I get that. It’s established. So, most days, I just go to work at the casino to cash in on it, and I keep my piehole shut.
But there is one easily prevented heck-up that turns me into an inquisitorial B-52, every time: marriage.
I’ve done it once, out of ignorance. (A few bars of “Day Tripper,” please — after all, every Beatle’s been divorced, too.) Thus, I believe I can address this one with some authority. Actually, Cohen v. California’s still good law, so I could even carpet-F-bomb it in a courtroom, if necessary.
I gotta tell you, marriage is a snipe hunt.
Not counting Clintonian arrangements, immigration hustles, the Claus von Bülow club, and Mr. and Mrs. Ted Haggerty, literally half of these misadventures detonate long before death does anybody part. Oh, and that’s just the rookies. Sixty-four percent of our second broom-jumpings end up like Hiroshima. Three-fourths of our third slipknot-tyings wind up going DeLorean, too, trunks-full of Peruvian flake notwithstanding.
Day-trip, hell. Marriage is a kamikaze commute. And that shouldn’t surprise anybody. For heteros, getting hitched is easier than starting a band, or scoring smack at the Chelsea. Cap’n Joe Hazelwood (or even Cap’n Crunch) could’ve pronounced Madonna a wife out in Prince William Sound between snorts. In Kansas today, if a straight couple signs “Mr. and Mrs. William Hung” on a karaoke slip and the bartender reads it, they’re lawfully wed. And don’t even get me started on what happens in Hildale, Utah.
I mean, c’mon, man. It’s a farce. Zsa Zsa Gabor rang up seven divorces and an annulment (?) by the time she smacked that Beverly Hills cop in the mush. Speaking of has-beens, Lawrence Harvey King’s held eight regifting fests so far. Speaking of kings, Henry VIII dissed the Pope and started his own damned church, just so’s he could accomplish his first wed-over back in 1533. And speaking of British nobility, even McCartney bailed on the Beatles.
(Oh, wait … That was on Yoko. Then again, four years of “forsaking all others” for Heather eventually cost Sir Paul $48.6 hecking million, so it’s a moot point. Moving along …)
Anyway, marriage is expensive, it’s pointless, it’s dangerous, it’s futile … all in all, it’s slack-jawed stupid.
Naturally, Congress decided to preserve it.
In 1996, probably figuring the gays (who couldn’t stomp the glass anyplace then) would somehow besmirch matrimony worse than Elizabeth Taylor and Herman’s Hermits combined, those jackdaws passed the Defense of Marriage Act, aka DOMA. It basically says that even though twice-married Speaker Gingrich could go ahead and marry a third time (which he’s since done), it’s no ’mos allowed vis-à-vis federal marital swag.
And who signed DOMA into law? Bill Clinton. Yeah, that one.
I couldn’t make this stuff up.
Let’s fast-forward to Massachusetts in 2004, where Hillary (no, not that one) and Julie Goodridge became the first same-sex American spouses. By February of ’09, they’d, uh, filed for divorce.
$48,600,000.01 says I didn’t fabricate that, either.
Undaunted, and in the American tradition of shoving the other arm into the cornpicker, a month later various gay eventual-divorcées sued in federal court in Boston to invalidate DOMA.
They won. Or, they think they’ve won something, anyhow.
(Confession: When I read Judge Tauro’s opinion, all I could envision was Porky, pulling that big lever and dunking PeeWee and his Angel Beach buddies in the swamp: “Heeere comes your night to re-memmm-berrr!”)
So now the Obama administration’s deciding whether to appeal? What the hecking heck, man? Who’s he aiming to save, exactly?
Listen. Barack. They’re adults, they’ve asked for it, and I’d say they’ve got it coming to them.
Lemme just whisper three of Paul’s words of wisdom, OK?
Let it be. •