Posted by: Brad Nixon | April 7, 2010

Ward Cleaver: COMMUNIST!

I hit the light at Aviation and El Segundo just ONE car too late, and I was stuck at the intersection. I could’ve made it, sure. But, living in L.A., you don’t want to push the odds too far. Run too many yellows-turning-red and eventually some guy is going to t-bone you by rolling through a red light, and you’re dead. I’ll wait for the cycle. Besides, there was Steve Douglas on my right, also waiting, looking harried, as usual. I rolled down the window.

“Steve, hi!”

“Oh, uh, hi there. Nice day, huh?”

“Hey, I haven’t seen Ward all week. Is he okay?”

Steve unhunched his shoulders from his usual intense glare at the traffic light and really looked at me.”

“You haven’t heard?” A bad feeling came over me.

“Uh, no. What’s happening?”

Steve glanced up at the light, saw that we were nowhere near our turn at the green light and turned back to me. “Those tea-baggers have him under siege at home. He can’t get out.”

I was flabbergasted. What was this? ‘Tea-baggers?’ ‘Under siege?’ “Steve … wha …?” The light was changing. Steve was zooming off. “Watch the news tonight,” were his last words as he drove away and waved.

I didn’t wait for that night. As soon as I got to work, I logged onto online (“logged on, KLOGged-up, all the time”). There in jumpy online video I saw the familiar Cleaver house on its innocuous suburban street. Other than the house, though, nothing about the scene was familiar. The street and the lawn were swarming with people, and not happy people. These were angry people, and they were directing their anger at, of all places, the House of Cleaver.

It took some digging around on the site to actually get the story. Turns out, Ward had been at a Lions Club lunch and said something about how good it was that healthcare was going to be more available to everyone now. Word got out around Mayfield and … well, now an angry mob of disaffected conservatives had his house under siege.

There were sound bites from all sorts of rabid pseudo-intellectuals eager to vent their ire on a waiting world. One of them — I swear to goodness that he gave his name as “Filthy Lucre” but that CAN’T be right, can it? — swore that Ward Cleaver represented everything that was wrong with this country. How could I be hearing these words? What is happening?

Many of the crowd were carrying signs with all sorts of insane slogans like “Communist Cleaver!”, “Cleaver of the Constitution!” and, cruellest of all, “Ward of the State!”

I clicked off the browser and sat slumped in front of the computer. Ward Cleaver, a communist? What world were these people living in?

I had an idea, though. Maybe I’d cruise over to Ozzie’s house and see if he still had his clubs in the back seat and was up for an early evening round in Mayfield. Perhaps a mashie niblick shot, delivered where it would do the most good ….

Find my other encounters with Steve, Ward and Ozzie in the pull-down “Categories” menu to the right.

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