ATLANTA — Mike Huckabee is nobody’s fool. Hours before The Onion had even reviewed Chick Fil-A‘s new “Queer-Hatin’ Cordon Bleu sandwich, the former Arkansas governor and Fox News hose [sic] was on the phone arranging an all-out, balls to the bacon Eat-a-Thon at his local Chick Fil-A to support their anti-gay menu.
A regular at
all many of the sixty-seven locations in and around Atlanta, where he is affectionately known as “Tubby,” Huckabee vowed to “eat-up” at sixty-six of the sixty-seven tasty chicken part outlets.
It’s widely known by Atlantans that Huckabee avoids the Chic-Fil-A on Jimmy Carter Blvd. in Norcross, saying it’s “just a bad location.” Naturally, this doesn’t sit well with its manager, Billy Chug Sainlee.
Said Sainlee: “I tell you what. That Huckabee feller can knock down a dozen of our deluxe Chicken sandwiches, which is our mouth waterin’ boneless chicken breast seasoned to perfection, hand-breaded, and pressure cooked in 100% refined peanut oil, and served on a toasted and heavily buttered bun with dill pickle chips, lettuce, tomato, and a slice of your American, Provolone, or Pepperjack cheese. It’s also available on our Golden Wheat Bun.”
He went on: “And he don’t stop there. Nossir, then he goes through a few of our Cinnamon Cluster Trays like a hot knife through butter. Of course those trays are piled high with our mouth-waterin’ cinnamon pastry, made into easy-to-eat mini-clusters, and served up nice and warm and topped with jist about too much creamy vanilla icing.”
And on: “And he ain’t through with the sandwiches, but he moves on to some of our cookies, which are large, mouth-waterin’, warm and gooey chocolate chunk cookies, which you know, are baked fresh everyday right here. We got the semi-sweet dark, and the milk chocolate chunks, along with some wholesome oats, you know, for an old-fashioned touch.”
Before I could ask Billy Chug a question, he grabbed my elbow and escorted me over to the sandwich assembly area, saying, “Lemme show you somethin’. You see these here bite-sized nuggets? Go on; try a couple. These here are nestled in warm, mouth waterin’ mini yeast rolls, that are all generously coated with honey butter spread. Huckabee can down a bucket of these things on top of all that what I jis told you. You know that’s why they call him Tubby— I mean yeah he’s plenty tubby again alright, but he can eat a whole damned tub of these things while he’s still shakin’ your hand.” He stood there all horse-eyed, shaking his head in amazement.
Seeing an opening, I asked if it bothered him that Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy was saying, “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,’ and I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.”
Billy Chug had a puzzled look on his face. “Why, that’s the stupidist thing I’ve heard all day.”
“How so?” I asked.
“Seriously? He pulled me over to an empty booth and sat down.
Don’t it occur to you that he’s talkin’ about “prideful, arrogant” people— just like hisself— tryin’ to define what marriage is about?!? If anybody is “shakin’ their fist at God, it’s him and ole Tubby Huckleberry.”
“Point taken. Mike Huckabee said he was “incensed” at what he called “vitriolic assaults” on—
Billy interrupted, “‘Incensed’? You mean like angry? enraged? Didn’t he also say on his FaceBook thinga-mabob that there’s ‘no need for anyone to be angry, or engage in a verbal battle’?
“Look; Huckabee’s hypocrisy aside, this is all jist ludicrous. God is no respecter of persons. And he sure as hell didn’t define marriage for the 21st century in the Bible.”
“‘No respecter of persons.’ What does that mean?”
He studied me a moment before saying, “What’s your handle again? TPK, is it? TPK, I read the Bible often. I try to read it right. And yeah, I believe marriage is, ideally, most effective when it’s an affectionate and understandin’ friendship between a man and a woman in the mutual embrace of intelligent wedlock.”
“But isn’t there— “
“Hold on there, let me finish. Marriage is a wonderful thing between a man and a woman; at least about half the time. But that don’t exclude any combination of people who want, and need that kind of intelligent friendship. A man and a man, a woman and a woman—why if they can put up with one another, if they love each other, if they want to raise some little ones, why God bless’em and more power to’em.”
Dropping his voice, he went on: “God made those people, too, dammit!” His sausage-sized finger poked the tabletop for good measure.
“It’s the mores of human beins that makes it hard on these folks, not some ‘edict’ from on high. Look. There’s a whole lot a folks out there that we make suffer because they don’t find a way to fit into our little church’s ordained way a doin’ things.
“Every one of us is also made by the same God, you know. So when I say he’s “no respecter of persons,” it’s like the Bible says: Jesus came to proclaim his Father’s kingdom. That kingdom includes the souls of the Jew and the gentile, the rich and poor, free and bond; it also includes gay and straight.”
We looked at each other across the table, saturated in an aromatic haze of fried chicken. “That’s, pretty enlightened, but unorthodox thinking, isn’t it, Bill?”
“I suppose maybe it is to some fellers like yourself. Don’t git me wrong, friend; I feel sorry for supercilious hacks like Huckabee and misguided fundamentalists like Dan Cathy. They’re both pathetic victims of their own dogma, and they’re the ones who are eventually gonna have to answer for it— not you, and not me. We have our own shortcomins’ to answer for.”
I reached across the table to shake his big meaty hand; it’s worth noting that it was across the table before mine was.