While driving with my Mom in the sleepy, touristy beachside town of Carmel, we were approaching their picturesque Fisherman's Wharf when we came alongside a small group of men picketing its parking lot.

They wore white shirts and red capes, and played bagpipes. Their picket signs read "PROTECT TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE" and "NO GAY 'MARRIAGE.'"

I rolled down the window and stuck out my head.

Me (berserk): "GAY RIGHTS!!!! GAY RIGHTS!!!! GO GAY MARRIAGE!!!!! GAY MARRIAGE YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!"

("A well-reasoned, persuasive argument," remarked [livejournal.com profile] oyceter when I recounted it to her later.)

Caped homophobes: "FUCK YOU!!"

Mom: "BABA BABA BABA STOP!!!"

Apparently I had shrieked loudly enough to attract the attention of the car in front of me, which slammed on its brakes. I slammed on mine. As we parked, next to an SUV with McCain bumperstickers ("I bet it belongs to the bagpipe gay-haters!" I exclaimed. "I oughtta key it!" "Revenge only hurts the revengeful one," said Mom.) Mom scolded me for temper and lowering myself, and informed me that I had just proved that anger causes fenderbenders.

Me (still foaming at the mouth): "And those bagpipes! What an ironic choice of instrument. Putting that phallic pipe in their mouth... Sucking and blowing on that long, hard, rod... Squeezing and caressing the bag (isn't that slang for scrotum?) while they suck on that pipe just like a hard, fat cock..."

Mom: "DON'T TALK SO LOUD!!!"

Indeed, a group of tourists had fallen in behind us and were taking great interest in our conversation.

The next morning I read in the local paper that the caped homophobes were not local, but an anti-gay group of "lay Catholics" from Pennsylvania, who were making a 30-state anti-gay tour and had chosen Carmel because they had a friend there they could crash with. It also quoted a local woman who had grabbed a rainbow flag and, accompanied by her father, staged a counter-demonstration.

"One doesn't expect to see that sort of thing in Carmel," she said. "It was like the Hitler Youth!"
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