The Rant 

Ah, the last Rant for me for the year 2013. I never thought I'd live to see it. Not the last Rant. The year 2013. I was shocked when 1984 rolled out and I was still here. And because this is the last Rant of the year, I was all set to go rifling through all of the headlines from the past 12 months to write one of those "year in review" kind of things that I sort of hate. But, lo and behold, a headline I saw this week outshines anything that could have preceded it: "MEMPHIS WOMEN HEAVIEST DRINKERS IN AMERICA."

Now, that, my friends, is a headline. My initial thought was that they should get some kind of trophy or have a parade or something, but then I began looking at the survey from which this esteemed accolade was derived.

Second on the list of cities whose women are the heaviest drinkers in America: Salt Lake City. Say what? Salt Lake City? Now, I've never been to Salt Lake City — and I hope life never sends me there, because I fear it is all white — but I can't imagine that town being the second-best party hub for women to knock 'em back, more than another other city in the country except Memphis.

I thought they were mostly Mormons, godly women who wear sensible dresses and don't cut their hair. Of course, that is no doubt a dubious generalization based on watching television shows about polygamy, but the second-place rating does surprise me. Like I said, I've never been to Salt Lake City or anywhere else in Utah, so maybe it's just the fact that these women are stuck out there that makes them tip the ole bottle.

Even odder than Memphis being ranked number one for women drinkers is the fact that the city ranked eighth in the survey list of cities where men are more likely to be moderate drinkers. Again, I ask, say what? Are they kidding? Did they survey 100 men at Bellevue Baptist Church? This is too funny. Women in Memphis out-drink the men. Women's liberation has finally seen the light of day! I feel a festival coming on.

But I don't trust the results of this survey at all. For example, New Orleans is nowhere on the lists of cities with the top men and women drinkers, and that seems mighty fishy to me. Everyone in New Orleans drinks too much. It's a way of life there. How in the world did the Big Easy not make that list? Like I said: fishy.

But back to this being the end of the year and looking back at headlines and the most interesting news stories (now that I have offended white people, Mormons, and everyone who lives in New Orleans — unintentionally, in my way of thinking), one of the most bizarre of all the things that happened in the past year in the United States is the recent flap about the guy from Duck Dynasty making nasty anti-gay remarks in an interview with GQ magazine and being suspended from his reality show. I read a little bit about it, and it seems it is the most popular reality show in history or something like that. I've never seen it. (Never seen Duck Dynasty, never been to Salt Lake City; am I missing out on something, or do I just have good luck?)

Apparently, the patriarch of the camouflaged clan is a guy named Phil Robertson, and in the interview he said that homosexuality is a sin and likened it to bestiality. The A&E network suspended him from the show, which turned into a major political thing with fellow Neanderthals like Sarah Palin coming to his defense and other 2016 GOP presidential hopefuls hopping on the bandwagon with her, defending the guy's remarks. I tried to read the article to see what it was all about but never got past this description of the duck people's home:

"Si Robertson is sitting on the couch facing the TV. Jep Robertson, age 35, the youngest son, curls up in a recliner in the corner with a pistol strapped to his waist. He barely speaks, like a countrified Silent Bob. Jase, 44, and Willie share a love seat, while Phil lounges barefoot on a camo-patterned recliner in the far corner of the room. Two dogs share the recliner's footrest with Phil's heavily callused bare feet. He has severe bunions, so his big toes jut in at forty-five-degree angles."

I think this actually made my computer freeze up. And I can see why Palin likes these people. They are probably "kin." And aside from the bigoted anti-gay remarks, I think the most upsetting thing about this, in addition to the description of that guy's feet, which is still totally freaking me out, is the fact that this is the most popular reality show in America. I honestly don't know what to say except, "Women of Memphis, drink up!"

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