Mom announced during lunch last week that she’d received a ridiculous phone call from Pete Sessions.
“You mean our House Rep. Pete Sessions?”
“Yes, Kristan, that’s what I said. He had a poll.”
“This was an automated thing, right?” I figured that was a valid question since Pete’s probably got a lot of extra time on his hands now that he doesn’t have to waste the majority of his work week sucking up to Tom DeLay.
She was becoming frustrated with me, though, “Yes, it was automated, but I have spoken with him before in person. He’s a nice man. Are you going to let me finish?”
“Ok, yes. What was the ‘ridiculous question’ ?”
“The recording wanted to know if I thought gas prices were too high.”
Bella, who was counting the “iPod fund” earnings from her wallet, burst out laughing. “Nana, you told the voice robot you wanted to pay more, right? Like, five hundred dollars a gallon?”
I was still stuck on the part where Mom called Rep. Sessions a “nice guy.” After all, this is the same representative who tooled around with the House Rules gang for the better part of a decade, bullying anybody who wanted to help the average joe. He voted against the last version of the Employee Free Choice Act, spoke in opposition to the fair minimum wage standards, and brags about supporting energy bills, which are nothing but a veil for corporate tax shelters. If that’s not enough, he hosted a PAC fund raiser in the Las Vegas strip club, Forty Deuce, last winter. When presented photos along with questions about the event, Sessions still denied it was a skin joint even though Ivan Kane, the owner of the venue, defines his club as “…girls who were dancers taking their clothes off, not just girls taking their clothes off.” This is a politician, who on his website, claims: “Noting that character does matter, Pete believes that no elected official is above the law and must be accountable for his actions.” Luckily for him, immoral, sexist hypocrites aren’t candidates for punishment under our current legal system.
With so many evil Pete-ings, I was forced to narrow down my case at lunch with Mom: “Pete Sessions is the guy who defeated Martin Frost by ten points after DeLay’s redistricting brouhaha.”
“You had a Frost sign in your front yard, remember?”
Bella squashed my developing argument. “OMIGOSH, guess what?!!! I have finally almost earned enough money for my iPod Nano!”
I folded up my Pete Sessions soapbox until later and re-counted The Bell’s gazillion dollar bills.
After spending the past two months slaving away at extra chores and answering to the diminutive “CinderBella,” my kid was incredibly close to her goal. Fortunately, Russell had a messy car, some dirty laundry, and a house that needed vacuuming. Four hours later, Bella was exhausted and sweaty, passed out in her bed, and clutching a roll of cash labeled “iPod Nano”.
Watching my ten year-old entrepreneur with her hard-earned wad of savings, I thought back to the time Pete Sessions justified the ever-increasing division between the societal classes by saying that even “the poorest of the poor have color TVs.” Pete was right; his sons probably have their own color TVs and iPods and things like that, too. The difference is that my kid, who’s amongst Pete’s poorest of the poor, had to spend her summer busting her chops in order to buy the cheap “color TV.” I might be wrong, but I highly doubt there’s a rich kid fast asleep next to 172 bucks in chump change over there in Pete’s neck of the woods.
The next afternoon, CinderBella, Russell, and I escorted Bell’s iPod fund to the Apple Store. Upset that the pink version she wanted wasn’t sold in her price range, she agreed to get the silver one. The iPod expert suggested Bella pick out a thirty-dollar, pink cover as a consolation, but there were only eleven bucks left in the fund. Determined to leave with what she came for, Bella announced she was still available for chores. Russell pitched in a $25 iTunes card for good measure. Then we celebrated by splurging on bean burritos for lunch since I had a coupon. (Rep. Sessions will be happy to know there were indeed color TVs at the diner, but don’t tell Mom I used one of those coupons she’s forever whipping out to my chagrin.)
By three pm, my computer’s music library had suffered a full-on tween attack. Bella downloaded the worst.music.ever. for her iPod. I wrote it off as a small casualty, especially when I saw the “cover” Bella fashioned for her Nano from a partnerless, pink sock. In black Sharpie, she’d written: “Isy’s iPod”.
Embarrassingly behind on the race for District 32, I decided to unwind by researching Sessions’ opponent Eric Roberson while Bella belted out Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable” from the next room. I reviewed Bella’s iTunes’ playlist that she’d just uploaded to her pod from my computer and realized I was in for a loooooooong day full of offkey madness.
As I couldn’t help but listen to the lyrics, it seemed like my CinderBella was appropriately serenading Pete as I surfed through his online images during this election season. She sang:
“You must not know ’bout me/You must not know ’bout me
I can have another you in a minute/Matter fact, he’ll be here in a minute
You must not know ’bout me/You must not know ’bout me
I can have another you by tomorrow/So don’t you ever for a second get to thinkin’
Then she went on (off-pitched as all get out):
“So since I’m not your everything/How about I’ll be nothing/ Nothing at all to you
Baby I won’t shed a tear for you/I won’t lose a wink of sleep (a wink of sleep)
‘Cause the truth of the matter is (truth is)/Replacing you is so easy“
I realize it’s a super corny, oddly humorous, false analogy, but you have to speak to people on their own levels. And, believe me, after seeing the video for “Irreplaceable” — complete with Beyonce’s parading around in her underwear and with cleavage galore, I think it’s on Pete’s level in just the right Forty Deuce sorta way.
It’s uncertain that a guy like Eric Roberson is capable of hijacking Sessions’ throne. Still, it is important for us to remind our political officials that they’re, er, replaceable, that they serve our collective best interests rather than those of a select few. I mean, I am pretty certain that even the richest of the rich have color TVs by now. Sheesh. Let them eat cake already.
So, Pete, this dance is for you: “To the left, to the left…”