So when it is my turn to deliver a full-period report to my high school French class, I select as my topic the French philosopher Rene Descartes, about whom I know: Nothing. But neither does anybody else among my various leering imbecile classmates, with whom I arrange to feed me fake questions during the presentation.
But first I loosen up the audience with an entirely fictional anecdote. I explain that the reason my report might be a trifle rough is that while preparing it the night before, my uncle entices me to join him on a trip to the race track. I decline at first, explaining that I have to finish this report on Descartes. “Don’t be a fool,” he’d said. “Never put Descartes before the horse.”
That evokes a lot of snickering and catcalls, which go over not at all with Mrs. Macefist, our teacher. A widely renowned vagina, she makes it icily clear that I better get back on track or she’d see me next year. (I am a senior at the time.) So I mangle my way through it, never getting a chance to field the fake questions.
The incident leaves me with a distaste not for French, Descartes, or public speaking, but for horses. Don’t ask. Which somehow leads to the following news item from last week that still haunts me:
NEW YORK — After sitting stuffed and mounted for more than 40 years in a museum, Roy Rogers’ horse Trigger and dog Bullet will be TV stars once more.
Rural cable network RFD-TV bought Bullet for $35,000 on Thursday and Trigger for $266,000 a day earlier at an auction in New York City.
RFD-TV owner Patrick Gottsch said the Omaha, Neb.-based network will begin airing old Roy Rogers movies on Saturdays starting November 6. The movie cowboy’s son, Roy Jr., will introduce each film, as Trigger and Bullet stand in the background. “The goal is to introduce Roy Rogers to a whole new generation of kids,” Gottsch said. – Comcast
As a child, I wasn’t enamored of Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, or any of those clean-cut singing hayseeds. Me, I was a Lone Ranger type of guy. I dug the mask and the buckskinned Indian, which I see now was like the beta version of what evolved into the Village People. Roy himself was reportedly a pretty good guy, but his wife Dale Evans was plug-ugly, as were most Americans in the greasy 1950s (especially the men: there was more oil on the heads of Hollywood actors than leaked into the Gulf this summer). As for the dumbass dog Bullet, he could barely fetch or roll over and play dead. Rin Tin Tin and Lassie could run rings around his sorry country ass.
I also find it spooky that Roy had his animals “stuffed and mounted.” He did the same thing for Dale, although not necessarily in that order. I guess that’s why she wasn’t part of the auction.
The whole exercise strikes me as another sorry attempt by a self-absorbed Boomer incapable of parting with his childhood trying to relive, repackage, and resell it. Holy Happy Horseshit, guys, leave it alone already. Roy Rogers wasn’t even about the Old West – remember his village idiot sidekick Jingles, who drove a Jeep named Nellybelle (sold at auction for $116,500. The Jeep, not the sidekick).
All these unpleasant memories – high school, horses, bad westerns. By comparison, the Roy Rogers fast food franchise is a whole lot more palatable, and that says something unpleasant. I say leave the brand alone, the stuffed animals in the museum, and everything 50s in the senile memories of anybody dull and tasteless enough to think of them fondly.