Friday, September 19, 2003

PART THE SECOND -- In which our intrepid heroes drink a lot of caffeine.

So, it was raining on Saturday. Not a hard rain, but one of those steady ones where if you stand outside for, say, two hours, you're bound to get drenched. Faboo.

Mike & I headed out at approximately 1:30, bound for Hattiesburg, armed with a bag of pretzels, a Diet Vanilla Pepsi, and a Diet Dr. Pepper. We knew there would be war, and we were prepared. An hour and a half later -- and after a lengthy debate on the differences between a "sanatorium" and a "sanitarium" (don't ask; you'll only hurt yourself) -- we arrived in H-burg. We still had an hour to kill, so we went to the local "mall" for a quick cup of coffee for me, and a quick run to the parfum counter at McRae's for Mike, so he could re-apply some Polo Blue.

At The Coffee Beanery, Mike and I overheard a few USM students talking about the impending arrival of the Phollowers of Phelps, and how the USM GLBT (that's "gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered") Student Group and the USM Chapter of Amnesty International were going to be armed to the teeth with posters and the like to show up the nuts that were going to be protesting. I have to admit, it made me feel good to hear that the students were up in arms about this. As someone who is a card-carrying Ally (loose translation: someone who is heterosexual but is a supporter of friends and family members who are g/l/b/t), I felt really, really good that here -- in the buckle of the Bible belt -- there were people who weren't willing to condemn the GLBT group, and were genuinely p*ssed that this schmoe was coming to their school. It shows me just how far Mississippi in general has grown, and how much support people are willing to show to their fellow human beings. It's called "being decent," for those of you who are caring-impaired.

And thus armed with a Mocha Latte, and smelling well, Mike & I left the mall...for the drive to USM, and the confrontation with...the bigots.

THUS ENDS CHAPTER TWO. Coming Soon -- Chapter Three: Holy Shyte, I'm Cold.

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