I took Bean to McDonald's today (we're collecting the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - or, in Bean's phrasing, "Inja Turtles" - that come with Happy Meals).
It's been a while since I was actually in a McDonald's. This one is new, all chrome and fancy furniture design, complete with STILL-LIFE PAINTINGS on the walls - a far cry from the red and yellow plastic chairs and tables and clown posters of my youth. Seriously. It was like being in someone's futuristic waiting room. (I would have taken pictures for you, but my camera batteries were low.)
The point is, it was surreal to begin with. But then, on one of the giant flat-screen tv's (I told you - surreal!), which was unfortunately tuned to Fox "News," Michelle Malkin and Bill O'Reilly started talking about Don Imus' recent firing. I braced myself, waiting for O'Reilly to start frothing at the mouth and rampaging against those who called for Imus' firing. I closed my eyes and waited, holding my breath. But all I heard was level, rational tones. I opened one eye: O'Reilly was saying that the tables had turned when the Rutgers' coach had given the press conference. He didn't use any nasty language to describe her. I opened the other eye: he was saying that Imus had gone too far and that CBS could no longer justify his comments. I looked out the window for flying pigs: O'Reilly and I agreed on something? Could it be? Or had I mistakenly ordered a Filet O'LSD?
And then, as O'Reilly continued to talk - still rationally, though very, very ironically - about the problem of hate speech and "shock jocks," I figured it out: this was just an excuse for him to get in a dig at the "liberal" news media.
And, having contented myself that the world wasn't ending, and that dogs and cats were not living together*, I finished my burger.
*Who gets the reference?