"Around 2 p.m., we all trooped over to the U.S. Cellular Arena to see Ted Nugent open the convention.
Behind me, three men expressed their admiration for the rocker-hunter-gun lover from Michigan.
"Wouldn't want to be a liberal around him!"
"I think the John Birch Society is too liberal."
"I'm to the right of the Spanish Inquistion."
Were they talking so loud because they could tell I was from Madison? Did I give off Liberal-aroma? Could they smell vegan bratwurst on my breath?
At the Arena, I was glad that no one knew that the last show I saw there was the anti-Bush Dixie Chicks.
I watched NRA president Sandy Froman, who looks like a fourth-grade teacher in her pretty flowered scarf, introduce the crazed looking Nugent. As he ripped into the National Anthem on his Tony-the-Tiger striped guitar, I recalled the last time I saw him live: 30 years ago at Bicentennial Fest at the Rockford Speedway. Who knew he'd become a law-and-order type?
And who knew Nugent would become the answer to the trivia question: Who uttered the naughtiest word ever said over the airwaves of Wisconsin Public Radio? Larry Meiller still chokes when he talks about it.
My reverie ended as Nugent hit the last chords of "The Star Spangled Banner." Suddenly, I realized that I was the only person in an arena filled with flag-wagging, gun-loving people who did not stand, with hand over heart. Suddenly, I felt thousands of glaring eyes.
Suddenly, I felt a little less safe in downtown Milwaukee.
I slunk out a side entrance and didn't relax until I crossed the Dane County line.
Cross-cultural visits are nice, but I feel safer among my own."
And a little later on, too...
Cat Scratch Fever, dah, dah, dah, DAH...
Kittyanna Katrina Kallikovski-Mayovich