I don’t know how this happened except for a confluence of environmental factors. I live in a much more conservative Trumpian part of Central Florida. I am a Rubenesque (read fat) old white man going to a gym where a once a week homophobic stare down is par for the course. This all set me up for getting a traumatic lesson in the gym hot tub by two conspiracy theorists of the QAnon variety.
I am also going to the gym regularly (again… and again) and personal training. Part of my Noom reward is to sit in the hot tub to relax after a good workout (if I am in the mood). Last night I was. When I got in, there was this redneck trade kinda guy there (for the uninitiated read that he seems to be someone who would anonymously cruise while remaining in the closet). I had seen him before and with other people in the hot tub.* While he seemed socially unaware until last night he didn’t seem “out there.”
That changed. Boy… did that change.
When I arrived, he was the only one in the hot tub. We said our hellos and he was excited, “I can’t wait for you to meet my friend. He is SO smart.”
Ok … smart friend comes over and into the hot tub. Then, like a Tesla Model 6 going from zero to sixty in 2.5 seconds they went into literal, “Oh MY GOD we are going the way of Venezuela!” QAnon bullhockey.
Mr. Trade said near the start of the 40-minute rant, “Do you know that PANSY-ass Gabby Newsom did in California?!” He looked at me and asked the same question. I responded saying, “do you mean Gavin Newso…” “YEAH, that PANSY governor Gabby Newsom…” and it went downhill just like the fires set by Jewish space lasers in California. They railed about how liberals were going to steal their guns, their church, their god, their children, their freedom of speech, their money, their freedom to not wear the perfect symbol of totalitarianism; the mask. Did I mention liberals were going to steal their guns? That was a big one and by GOD they weren’t going to let their GUNS go without a FIGHT!
That’s not all. The government is filled with pedophiles and racists calling other people racists…. and so much more.
It was torture but I couldn’t not watch. It was like the real-life storming of the Capitol but in the Esporta Fitness Hot Tub. Well, except for no murder or other assorted felonies. I didn’t say anything. They asked me once if I had an opinion on it during their tirade and I said, “I have plenty of opinions but I will pass.” Which my reluctance, in their minds, was apparently the result of an oppressive socialistic government scaring people into silence.
Nope. Just didn’t want to engage assumptive ranting assh*les.
But by the end they were both all up in my face peppering me with questions. Mr. Trade said, “You know those liberals think all 71 million people who voted for Trump are RACISTS!” “It’s so unfair how they will call 71 million people racists!!” ::: sigh ::: “You know brother?!” pointing his finger at my face. “Those liberals will take one look at you and because you are white will call you a racist!”
I’d had enough. Here is my contribution to their rant:
“Of all the many liberals I know, not one of them would call all 71 million people who voted for Trump racists or assume that I am one because I am white, but, you know, there is a large section of the country and Trump voters who would call me a PANSY (since he had used that word before).” It was fun to watch that sink in as Mr. Trade squinted with the sudden realization they had been preaching the Gospel According to Q to a full-on gay dude and not a fat old 52-year-old white man who would agree with them. His friend looked shocked, and that’s when I said, “Now excuse me, I have to get home to have dinner with my husband and step-daughter. Y’all have a good evening.”
To quote Miranda, “That is all…“
*I stay as far away from others in the hot tub as possible for social distancing. If it is too crowded I don’t get in.