Although he denies it when confronted, my brother Billy resents having to share the world with women, or at least with women as theoretical equals, and he condescends at every opportunity.
This was ice-cold-confirmed one night when I was visiting him and he had a few male friends over, all strangers to me. This was roughly around the time of the flap about admitting women to The Citadel.
At some point one of the wives arrived. She went to the kitchen and returned with a bottle of . . . beer, Coke, I dunno what. She walked over to one of the guys and asked "Will you open this for me?"
Now my sense of humor requires me to take shots at anything, and I murmured "Another candidate for The Citadel."
One of my brother's friends looked at another and said, "He's a Richards alright."
The Dragon Slayer
But the main anecdote for this post involves Billy on his own. He had moved to an apartment in a row house in the boondocks. It was only after the move that he found that there was no cable TV available. This was serious stuff as he was in the habit of getting home from work, lighting a joint, and veging out in front of the TV.
He did a little research, determined who the carrier was for his area, and made the telephone call. He reached a young woman and asked whether there were any plans for cable to extend as far as his address.
Young Woman: "Not at the moment, Mr. Richards. There isn't a very large population in that area and most of those who are there are not interested in getting cable."
Billy: "How do you know?"
YW: "Well, we've taken surveys."
Billy: "How long ago was the last one?"
YW: "About a year ago."
Billy: "Well, would you consider taking another one."
YW: "Alright, Mr. Richards."
After what he judged to be more than ample time for such a survey, Billy called again and reached the same young woman.
Billy: "This is Billy Richards. I called you a while ago about cable access."
YW: "Yes, I know who you are, Mr. Richards."
Billy: "Well, did you take take the survey?"
YW: "Yes we did. I'm afraid not much has changed. Perhaps as the population grows . . . ."
Billy: Look, Dear, I'm an adult. I can take it. When are we going to have cable out here?"
YW: "Not in your lifetime."