This morning while reading the news Dave tells me, "Your homeboy caused quite a stir last Friday." Apparently my boy John said to Harry Reid, the Democratic Senate Majority Leader, "Go fuck yourself!" Twice. Oh, Mister House Speaker John Boehner... Welcome home.
John Boehner's f-bomb (outside the Oval Office, no less) is the most divine example of "You can take the boy outta ____, but you can't take the ____ outta the boy. You see, Reading is a town of... well...
*Population: 89% White, per capita income $24,181. Does that paint a word picture?
In a town where the school fight song was reworded into a drinking dirge ("Cheers, cheers to ol' Reading High, you bring the whiskey and I'll bring the rye...") and where couples often marry weeks after graduation, John Boehner's much-publicized remark comes as no surprise. Reading is a place where historically people have had to "scrap" to get by. Like myself and The Speaker, over half the population of Reading comes from either fighting Irish and/or tough-as-nails German heritage and many of these folks are of the repressed, Catholic persuasion. Shake that up with some ice and a twist of redneck and you've got one mother of a dirty badasstini. Black t-shirt wearing, heavy metal-listening, two-packs-a-day smoking, powder kegs of awesome. Welcome to Reading. Do. Not. Fuck. With. Us! And while the Speaker may not have been a head banger, he DOES come from a family of 14. Holy shit! If that is not grounds to give someone a wide berth, I don't know what is.
It's true that I might hesitate when asked, "Where are you from?" and at times I might even answer, "Around Cincinnati." but I can tell you that for the most part I am PROUD to be a Readingtonian. Not only do we have your back, but we are a loyal and giving bunch. Need a ride somewhere? Need help moving that couch? Need help taking in the groceries? Need help with that bottle cap? We're there for you and we have a bottle opener. A person from Reading will ALWAYS let you "bum a cigarette", and you KNOW we'll light that bad boy for you. We'll give a homeless person our last few dollars. We'll cover your bar tab. We'll let you sleep on our couch. We might not fit in at your country club, but we are the nicest people you'll ever meet. As long as you don't piss us off.
No doubt influenced by his "don't take shit for granted" Reading upbringing, John Boehner worked his ass off to get through school, put himself in the way of a few lucky breaks, and was smart enough to align himself with the right people to get where he is today. He might look and act like a Republican, but under those expensive suits and that crazy tan beats the heart of man who comes from gritty and humble beginnings. He says swear words in The White House. He likes a drink. He's got moxy. I don't agree with almost everything he stands for politically, but shit,.. I would not hesitate to buy that badass Readingtonian a Little Kings any day.
*According to the 2010 Census