Hot Coffee, Same-Sex Unions, and Ohio – Running for Cover

Rust Belt

Rust Belt (Photo credit: jenni from the block)

So, I’m still on the run…or on vacation, as some people call it.

Morning coffee…cigarette…all good to go – until I spilled that hot coffee on my bare foot, causing me to drop my cigarette in the folds of my cat pyjamas.  The fire was a threat to spread to the newpaper I was reading, those heartless black and white symbols of progress and knowledge all going up in smoke?  Not on my watch !  I should know betterthan to read the news – I should KNOW better !

Yelping for my wife in my usual exaggerated, animated, over-reactive manner, she didn’t know whether to respond to a flood, a forest fire, a visit from a deity, or just go back to bed – which is often her most sensible choice, and she can be sensible.  Despite all that, she rushed to the front deck, carrying a glass of cold water – which she doused my lap with…thanks, hon ! – then tossed a towel at me, then gave me her best scowl, disappointed there was no true emergency, since they usually suggest degrees of her superiority to me in such situations.  But, I was engrossed in the news of the day, and the reason for my latest morning histrionics was a bit of breaking news, and dysfunction from my adopted country, Costa Rica.  Try this on for size:


Costa RicaConservative lawmakers are mortified that they may have accidentally approved language making same-sex unions legal when they passed legislation this week and didn”t notice that the final version of the bill had changed earlier language that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.  President Laura Chinchilla signed the bill late Thursday.  She has refused to veto the bill.

Laura Chinchilla

Laura Chinchilla (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I do love these fumbling, bumbling attempts to restrict the private lives of human beings…they never seem to work out just right.  And, before anyone in some industrialized, “First World” country gets too puffed up about how screwed up those political posers in so-called “Third World” countries can get while trying to imitate the streamlined, well-oiled legislative processes of their betters, STOP !  I used to live in Ohio, the Mississippi of the North, as I’ve heard a few people call it.  It will always be the Buckle of the Rust Belt to me…but I am getting away from my purpose.

I survived Ohio for fourteen years, finishing a sort of education and teaching at a university there.  I was going to get married at one point, before I discovered it was illegal for me to do so….and it wasn’t because of my sexual preferences.

I was – and still am – an epileptic. My kind has a history with the conservative, uber religious set as being spawn of the devil, a danger to the pure gene pool.  Really…I’m not joking.  Religious influence in early law-making labeled epileptics as “spawn of the devil” and “marked by the beast as his” and were gently – sometimes not so gently – encouraged to not breed.

(These dim wits thought forbidding undesirables the right to marry would keep them from reproducing…”who you calling imbecile, imbecile?”).  I guess I haven’t got to the part about imbeciles and marriage yet, so, maybe I should…here:

In the stilted view of Ohio lawmakers of yore I was bunched in with a class of humans to be banned from that most public of pools, humans such as habitual drunkards, epileptics, imbeciles, or the insane.  These laws were pushed into being by eugenicists…conservative crusaders whose agenda was to cleanse their world of racial characteristics they thought unnecessary, and encourage those they thought needed preserving.  This marriage law forbidding licenses to unapproved persons was passed in 1904, and came into question during a 1925 push to ban interracial marriage.  Sterilization was a proposal included in cases such as these.

Sterilization and culling the herd using medical practices and procedures…proposed by conservatives?  Ohhhh, there are so many plot twists and twirling, swirling storylines in this Work in Progress most people refer to as the World.

Most of this nonsense was kicked around or ignored until it was repealed in a more sober moment.  Epilepsy was forgotten in the debate.  There has never been much of an Equal Rights for Injured Epileptics (ERIE) movement, and Che Guevara never made it far enough north to incite the social outrage and encourage the necessary civil disobedience that Henry David Thoreau did in his landmark work, Civil DisobedienceI guess Thoreau didn’t excite people the way Guevara did…or the CIA was too lax to murder him when they had the chance.  (I jest…there was no CIA back then – hence, Thoreau and his kind).

Speaking of a lack of sobriety, political screw-ups, and Ohio – which are three topics nearly anyone can gracefully incorporate into any sentence, and, I think, belong in a special knowledge-base tested for in the public school system since the No Child Left Behind disaster –  listen to this: Ohio was not truly a state until 1953 !  It was another governmental clerical error, one on a much larger scale than Costa Rican lawmakers could ever imagine.

Thomas Jefferson signed an act of Congress in February of 1803 that approved Ohio’s state boundaries and constitution.  The debate over the sensibility of statehood had been carried out in a tavern…whatever…more heinous crimes have been hatched in kitchens, garages, boardrooms and Senate chambers.  Any Way…Some How, Congress never passed a resolution formally admitting Ohio as the 17th state.  The paperwork was misplaced during the excitement over the Lousiana Purchase and the War of 1812.

The rules for such recognition changed in 1812, during that excitement over the Louisiana Purchase and the War of 1812, and the oversight was not discovered until 1953.  Ohio congressman George H. Bender frantically introduced a bill in Congress to admit Ohio to the Union, since the state was in the process of arranging for the 150 year anniversary of their statehood – or non-statehood, as was the official case.  Anticipating inquiries, outrage, and paperwork problems concerning taxes paid to the Federal Government, relatives killed in wars, prison sentences served, and other such rewards and/or penalties of statehood, Ohio’s formal admission to the Union was made retroactive to March 1, 1803.  The new petition for statehood was delivered to Washington D.C. on horseback.

(I have neighbors in Costa Rica who, until fifteen years ago, got their power bills delivered by horsemen).

President Dwight D. Eisenhower postponed his usual tee time on August 7, 1953, and scrawled his signature across the dotted line at the bottom of the bill…and Ohio’s anniversary plans went on as planned.

My answer to this sort of nonsense is, pour another cuppa coffee – Costa Rican only…light another Cowboy Killer, rearrange the sodden pages of the neighbors’ newspaper before I put it back into the plastic covering and replace it on their porch, and just carry on with the more mundane and managable aspects of life.  But, I hear rumblings from the locals…tales of sneaky legislation trying to regulate the pursuit if happiness, pertaining to others only, of course – others those regulators don’t know.  I hear Ohio is still a state, and I guess there’s nothing I can do about that.  So…I guess the boat floats, for the moment.  Be back soon….


32 thoughts on “Hot Coffee, Same-Sex Unions, and Ohio – Running for Cover

  1. bluebrightly says:

    Did you ever read “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures” ? Another take on epilepsy entirely, and how that viewpoint clashed with western medicine. Great read. I like the description of your wife’s reaction to your mishap.

  2. AnElephantCant do a rhyme now
    It is half past midnight over here
    But he just wants to say
    Hey diddle hey hey
    This is the best thing that he’s read this year

  3. If the late 1970s and early 80s TV taught me anything it was that there were only two places in Ohio I ever wanted to go. I knew that Klinger from MASH came from Toledo, and he seemed like a friendly sort of person even if he was one of the more useless characters on the show. I knew that Venus Flytrap and Les Nessmann of WKRP fame came from Cincinnati and they were funny, so visiting them was also an option. Then it was pointed out to me that they weren’t actually real (shakes angry fist at the gods of pop culture) and suddenly I had even less reason to venture into Ohio. I mean, a world without Les Nessmann, habitual drunkards, epileptics and imbeciles is no world I want to share in, (pops monocle back into eye-socket) good day sir!

    • coyotero2112 says:

      The only celeb I knew of was Jim Backus who was from Ashtabula…Mr. McGoo, and Mr. Howell…how could one go wrong. Never saw him though – think the fact he’s dead might have something to do with that. Elliott Ness was a junior prosecutor there also, before he moved to Chi to chase Al Capone around. Then I found out Lucky Luciano had all the mafia family reps come to the Statler Hotel to divide up the U.S., and Capone wasn’t allowed in because he was Italian, not Sicilian. A lot of people are FROM Cleve Land, or Ohio, but few people go there like I did…found out why.

  4. mrs fringe says:

    Poor PJs. But, cats? Pfft. I expect a photo of you in pressed plaid pajamas, ascot knotted and pipe clamped in teeth. 😉

    I’m all too familiar with the stigma that still exists for those with epilepsy. Crap.
    I need more coffee for coherence.

    • coyotero2112 says:

      That was fictional…I just liked the cat’s pyjama’s thing…I do have black and white plaids, no ascot, a pipe, but my Elvis-like sneer prevents any clamping. Is that weird about the marriage thing in Ohio? No enforcement, of course, but it’s there. I’ve been thinking of a kind of human lube shop where people come in and get an IV of straight caffeine, no water, grounds, percolating, just straight-strong-simple Caff.

      • mrs fringe says:

        No ascot? My fantasy, it’s disappearing 😉

        Too weird, and too frightening, you never know what loon will be elected and decide it’s their civic duty to enforce these leftover laws from the dark ages.

        I do like your caff lube idea, clean and easy. 😀

        • coyotero2112 says:

          And, so addictive..guarenteed return customers. And, if the looney lawmakers depend on me for their morning fix, they’re be no monkey business ! I’ll find an ascot to preserve any fantasy…and imagine this – I’ve got J. Lennon’s “Double Fantasy” on the earbuds right now…what a synchonatic world !

  5. Bizangelgirl55 says:

    Enjoyed reading this article. Sorry for the burning coffee and on top of that the cigarette. Hope your O.K. Of course your wife saved the day, a woman is always there to make any kind of boo boo better. Have a great day1

    • coyotero2112 says:

      Off course she saved the day…she’s so capable, when she’s not going menapausal…and she just went Band-Aid shopping for our return to the wilderness. My remedy of limon juice and salt water doesn’t cost as much, so it can’t work…right?

  6. ioniamartin says:

    If you truly want to go to burning man there is an easier way to go about it.

    • coyotero2112 says:

      I’m so pop culture naive…I know the burning man is supposed to mean something to me. Is that the thing Texas A&M University does to light Texas on fire before football games? I really need help, since I seem to know more about bonfires than I do Burning Men…sounds like a reggae group…like Buring Spear.

      • ioniamartin says:

        Burning man is the festival in the red rock desert in Nevada where they light the giant man statue on fire and practise hedonism lol

        • coyotero2112 says:

          Practice hedonism? I got’s it down…where do I send my resume? My credentuals are in order, and I’m sure I’ll be diverted to the airport in LV…my neighbor in Costa is taking part in the World Series of Poker as we tap away on our keyboards. Hope he’s getting ahead, since he owes me some large amount of $$$$.

  7. jerwayne2013 says:

    wow, you really had a rocky start to a very good morning..hope all is well with your foot & the cat pj’s..tee hee. Anyway, great article about Ohio & all of it’s ups & downs & sideways too. Tally ho

  8. I was in Columbus Ohio back in 1968 -69. The only good thing was going to a First Edition concert and seeing Kenney Rogers live do “What Condition my Condition was In.” He was newly a member of the band and the song was recorded shortly after. (became a big hit)

    • coyotero2112 says:

      I had a dcc who told me I was dying in two years say I was in pretty good shape for the condition I was in. Could Kenny the Rog have been moonlighting? Glad to hear your experience with Ohio was brief and pleasant. No place for humans.

  9. As usual, you have corrected many misconceptions I have of the World. I will never think of Ohio in quite the same way again. Bless your heart. I had a crush on a girl in college who kept telling me she had this horrible secret which she couldn’t tell me. Turns out when she did finally tell me it was that she had epilepsy. I could’ve cared less – I was too worried about her figuring out my longing looks weren’t due to my nearsightedness. Viva la Costa Rica!

    • coyotero2112 says:

      Ohio deserves all the re-thinking I can encourage…what a place in such a world. That poor college girl is probably a very unhappy woman now, pining over “the one that got away.” Si, clar que si…y a la vida, y Costa Rica…resgresamos en cuatro dias.

  10. words4jp says:

    Geez. I knew my home state was f@cked. Now I am even more certain of it!! Thank heavens I no longer live in Cincy – but I will still follow their teams and my alma mater – UC. Uh oh – my oldest was burn in Toledo and the ex-in-laws still live there. Oops – I guess I am still connected to the place – danggit. (I have missed you – enjoy the rest if your running)

    Later buckeye gator ……

    • coyotero2112 says:

      Oh, yeah…Cincy. Had a good friend who went from Cleveland to visit friends there…came back with stories about how messed up that city was. Had to remind her where we were living, on the shores of Lake Eerie…. And, yes…been kind of strange only having access to computer every four or five days. Going back home in a week, and I’ll probably have a lot to say/write…and catch up on your posts.

  11. shimmyshark says:

    I see some of your readers understand the difficulties of you being you.
    On my Way…

  12. I bet your wife does a lot of eye rolling too 😉

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