I needed to seek out Madame Nostradamia again about the state of our country. Some of you will remember how highly recommended she came due to the fact that she foretold that Biden would fall up the steps to Air Force One, 3 times.
Next, she predicted that the National Women’s Soccer League player Megan Rapinoe would dye her hair purple.
And finally, once again she has ushered me into the familiar room with the velvet drapes and taxidermied raven.
After she chanted the magic words, “JoJo Demento. Harlotta Harris. Alexandria O’Crazio,” into view came the entire United States. The same thing was going on everywhere. I opted to focus on a suburb of Washington, D.C.: the split-level, brick, ranch-style home of the Hadinuff Family.
Kayla Hadinuff’s 6th-grader son, Ricky announced “I got enough saved up from my allowance to buy the hamsters now.”
She got up from the computer. “Okay, Ricky boy. Let’s go get those hamsters.”
At the All-Inclusive Nurturing Diversity Pet Shop Ricky strode up to the owner and proudly put his money on the counter. “Two hamsters, please. Two boys or two girls.”
The goateed owner swished out from behind the counter and paused dramatically, holding up one hand with splayed fingers. “Tut tut! We do not discriminate here. Binary is so-o-o yesterday.” Laboring under nine-inch spiked heels and a skin-tight latex, rainbow-patterned mini-dress, he teetered to the hamster cage and scooped up two fuzzies.
Not too many days later little Ricky found his Mom in the computer room. “Hey, Mom! Can I have a snack? Where’s Dad?”
She looked up from the computer screen and wearily answered. “Outside. Finishing the addition to the house.”
“Wow. ‘Cause like how many hamsters do we have now?”
His mother closed her eyes and whispered, “932.”
“Come on. I’ll make us all a snack.”
Busy at the kitchen counter Kayla Hadinuff asked, “How was school today?”.
“Awful!” Ricky exclaimed. “They made the whole school watch this boring video. All these Senator guys were asking this Ketanji Brown-Jackson woman a whole bunch of questions and she couldn’t answer anything. Then this Tennessee Senator lady, Marsha Blackburn asked her what a woman is. Ketanji Brown Jackson got like all flustered and said she didn’t know ‘cause she’s not a biologist!” Ricky chortled, snorting milk out his nose.
“Mom, if Ketanji Brown Jackson is so stupid, how come Biden wanted to make her a Supreme Court Justice?”
Right then Kayla’s seventh grader came skateboarding into the kitchen.
“Hey, Mom! What’s this?”
“Oh, my God, A.J.! Where did you get this?” She snatched the tampon out of his hand.
“Mrs. Anencephalia, the principal, told us that these have to be in both the girls’ and the boys’ bathrooms from now on. She said there’s no more binary gender stuff anymore. That’s just a white supremacy concept. Also too we’re not allowed to say ‘female’ anymore. In Life Science class we have to say ‘people with uteruses’ instead.”
Kayla’s husband sauntered in, unbuckling his tool belt. “I guess that leaves you in No Man’s Land after your hysterectomy. Huh, Sweet Cheeks?” He picked up an apple, winked at his wife, and pinched her backside.
“Lafferty! Not in front of the kids! Anyhow, that’s not funny,” she frowned.
Edgar, their first-year Philosophy major, sniffed contemptuously. “Mrs. Anencephalia’s full of bullshit. If there’s no more male and female gender, then Jill Biden shouldn’t be called the First Lady. Not to mention the other reason she shouldn’t be called that.”
Suddenly Melissa, the Hadinuffs’ high school senior daughter, burst through the back door, hurled her books into the trash can, and screamed, “I’m never going back to school again! Ever! I hate Mrs. Anencephalia! She took away my Prom Queen title and said no more prom because that’s not inclusive toward the trannies, the pronoun assholes, and whatever.”
Stomping up the stairs she shouted from the landing, “And I’m cutting up my Prom gown!” Then she slammed the door to her bedroom so hard that the house rattled.
Right then bedlam sounded from next door.
A scream, followed by crying, female voices’ woebegone lamentations, and an angry male voice yelling “I’ll kill those gabachos!”
Kayla thought Parker Hernandez, the neighbors’ chihuahua, had been hit by a car. She sprinted nextdoor.
Fortunately she found a confused but unhurt Parker running from family member to family member.
Maria Fernanda Hernandez, the high school senior daughter, was crumpled on the couch, spilling tears all over the letter clutched in her hand. A forlorn Sofia Hernandez sat beside her only child, hugging her with one hand and gently stroking her hair with the other. Al Hernandez was pacing behind the sofa, cursing alternately in Spanish and English.
Maria Fernanda glanced up and noticed Kayla. “It’s okay, Mom,” she sobbed.
Kayla’s heart broke for the little girl she’d known since infancy and had babysat for countless times. “What happened, honey?” Kayla asked Sofia who had rushed over to her.
With a tear-stained face Sofia explained how Maria Fernanda had been awarded a full athletic scholarship to an Ivy League college. A straight-A student and captain of the track team, she’d just received a letter rescinding the scholarship. Three third-string varsity boys on the track team had declared themselves transgender and joined the girls’ track team: white boy Hullaballoo Morgan and two black boys, Marlboro Jones and Fantastick Jackson. That pushed Maria Fernanda into fourth place and out of medal contention at every meet.
A feeling of chaos erupted over Kayla like lava and the throbbing in her head crescendoed into a full-fledged migraine. She escaped to her patio and knocked back 3 Extra-Strength Excedrins with a Michelob Ultra.
The last thing Kayla Hadinuff remembers before falling asleep in the lawn chair is Sofia Hernandez out in the driveway, vigorously scraping off the “My daughter is on the honor roll at Devolution High School” and the “Biden 2020” bumper stickers on the Toyota S.U.V. and replacing them both with “Trump 2024”.
The scene faded away. Madame Nostradamia tapped me on the shoulder and smiled gently. “There’s hope,” she said.