Tonight I took my daughter to a birthday party. It was a swell party, an hour and an half at the skating rink followed by pizza and cake at the birthday boy's house. A good time was had by all.
Well, almost all.
After the kids were done with their ice cream the grownups sat around the table, picking at leftover pizza and layer cake. The man to my left, an uncle (by marriage) of the b-boy, was a teacher in one of the city's nicer public schools. He complained about some things, most notably his class size (32, and no teacher's aide). I asked him what was going on in one of the wealthier (by a lot) suburban districts. "I saw a sign in the back of someones 'car," I said, "that said "another Edina teacher without a contract."
"That's right," he nodded glumly, "they dont' have one."
"The trouble was ," I went on, "it was in the back window of a brand new Volvo station wagon. What kind of PR is that?"
He turned on me. "What are you saying? That teachers should drive jalopies?"
"Ha ha," I went on in the spirirt of bonhomie that up until that moment I thought was prevailing, "they should have borrowed my car. It would've garnered more sympathy."
"Oh, I see. So teachers shouldn't drive nice cars." He stood up. "What you just said exemplifies everything that's wrong wth America!'
"Everything?" I asked. "Like, really, everything?" Jeez, I thought, this country's in better shape than I thought!
At this point another relative of the b-boy got into the act. "Think, Susan. You're handing your child over to the public schools for six hours a day. Dont' you want them to be taught by the best? Who are well paid?'
"God, no! I'd never dream of handing my child over to the government for six hours a day."
The silence was palpable.
Until it was broken by the aunt.
"You," she jabbed her finger at me, "are rude! Very, very rude!"
"I'm rude? "
"You just slammed a teacher!"
"I made a joke about Volvos!"
"You are rude! You expressed an opinion! One that people at this table didn't agree with!"
"Wait a second. I'm rude, because I expressed an opinion? That's really what you're saying?"
I burst out laughing. "Oh God. I love the Left!"
The aunt stormed out of the party. Leaving, incidentally, her husband and two kids behind.
You can't make this stuff up.