by Dish Staff
A reader writes:
I live in the very small town of Pendleton, SC, which means I see Lindsey Graham on the reg. We both frequently go to 1826, a tiny little restaurant in the center of town (it was built in 1826 – clever, no?) I am a stand-up comedian. My dad was my comedic mentor from the get, even though he was a special agent with the IRS and therefore his stand-up was constrained to toasts and such … the man is a brilliant comic. We are all loud, very, very loud Irish Catholics, with zero ability to whisper.
The first time I saw Butters in town, he was seated very close to me in the Pendleton Cafe and I didn’t yet know he lived in town. I said, in a very loud voice in that very loud restaurant, “That man looks like Lindsey Graham. That IS Lindsey Graham. Oh, my gosh! They put so much make-up on him on TV!” I turned to my dining companions, all of whom stared at me with their mouths wide open. I said, in the same voice, “Did I say that in a normal voice?” And then I realized Butters was sort of cringing, and I was mortified. MORTIFIED.
Cue five years later.
Dinner at 1826 with my parents. My dad is a cheery sort, and oblivious of a lot of things. He watches the evening news and takes it as gospel, votes Republican, etc. (Benedict had a very negative impact on my parents political thinking, FYI.) Lindsey Graham comes in and my dad’s just real, real excited to see somebody from the TV and he’s all, “Senator Graham! Here are some of your constituents!” Lindsey glad hands around, then sits down.
This restaurant is TINY. I mean to say, TINY. Ten tables, tops. Now, I no longer have any recollection of how we got to this point in conversation – it’s like alien abduction, I suffer missing time. I just know my memory kicks in with my dad, in his very loud normal voice, saying, “Of course Lindsey Graham is gay.” To which I say, “Dad, shut up.” But for some reason, my dad misinterprets the shut up and says, “Everybody knows Lindsey Graham’s gay!” And I’m like, SHUUUUT UUUUP! As I’m saying shut up, I’m meaning shut up, Lindsey Graham is five feet behind you and is listening, but my dad hears something else, and says, “Carrie, just because a man is homosexual does not in any way affect his performance as a senator or anything else!” And I’m like, “I AGREE WITH THAT, PLEASE SHUT UP.” But no, my dad is on the warpath, there to defend Lindsey Graham’s sexual orientation against all attackers, completely oblivious to the fact that literally every single person – including Lindsey Graham – can hear him in this tiny restaurant.
My mom just sat with her face in her hands the entire time.
But it’s progress, right? Defending a possibly gay man in public life … in South Carolina.