The phone rang the other day and on the other end of the line was Gay Blade, the world's flaming liberal. Gay spends a lot of time trying to raise my sensitivity toward liberal issues. So far, she has not had a lot of luck.
"OK, Neanderthal," Gay Blade said, "I guess you have heard about what's happened in California."
I told Gay I wasn't up on the latest news from out there, but I hoped that maybe the state had slid off into the Pacific Ocean and if not the whole place, maybe at least San Francisco.
"You are such an ignorant redneck," Gay exclaimed, "I wonder why I even bother with you." I wonder, too, but I didn't ask.
"I am calling to inform you that The State of California has passed a law that will require schools to teach at all grade levels about the historical contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people," Gay Blade said proudly, "and the bill is on the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown waiting to be signed."
That kind of law in California didn't surprise me, but the part about Jerry Brown did. I assumed Gov. Moonbeam was still on Saturn with our Ambassador to Outer Space, Cynthia McKinney.
I thought California had more pressing problems than teaching kids about transgender historical figures, such as being in debt up to their Birkenstocks, being the car theft capital of the country and having both Nancy Pelosi and Los Angeles call the state home. You would think they would want to fix that stuff first but, then, this is California we are talking about here.
California schools are already required to teach about women, blacks, Mexicans, entrepreneurs, Asians, Europeans, American Indians and labor. I don't know how they are going to cram all of that into one school year, unless they can locate a bisexual Mexican-Indian entrepreneur who belongs to a labor union and knows a lot of blacks and women in Asia and Europe. That could save a lot of time and allow the schools to offer some electives, like math and science. And English.
What will the school kids in California learn in this course, I asked Gay.
"Our children will find out that Pres. James Buchanan and Vice President William R. King were more than, shall we say, good friends," she said coyly.
I didn't want to tell Gay that the first thing the teachers need to do is tell the students who James Buchanan is before they talk about what he did. Not many people have ever heard of him. That is because he didn't do anything while president. Well, at least that is what I thought until I talked to Gay Blade.
I was hoping the course would have some juicy stuff on Millard Fillmore. It was Fillmore who allowed California to join the union in 1850 while he was president. If he had not done that, California would still belong to Mexico and I wouldn't be having this conversation with Gay Blade about what James Buchanan and William King did or didn't do in their spare time. I have a really negative opinion of Millard Fillmore.
Gay Blade said the reason for the call was to inform me that it was only a matter of time before there was going to be pressure to pass such a law in Georgia and that I might want to get you ready for the inevitable.
I told Gay I didn't think that was going to happen anytime soon here. I felt sure if such a thing was going to occur my friends in the legislature would tell me first. I have a lot of friends in the legislature.
I told Gay that our legislators were more worried these days about paying their taxes promptly and strengthening our already-world class ethics laws and about somebody — I'm not sure who — microchipping our body parts without our permission than they were about teaching bisexual history in our schools.
Besides, we have a lot of pride in Georgia's history and the last thing we need to know is that some guy we named a county for used to run around at night in hoop skirts.
With all due respect to California, I don't think our kids could handle that kind of stuff. They are going to be bummed enough as it is when they find out about James Buchanan and William R. King.
Dick Yarbrough is a North Georgia resident whose column appears Saturdays and on gainesvilletimes.com. You can reach him at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139.