Giles Humbert III sits down with MADD spokesman Roger Hughes. That’s right, he’s mad, he’s a mother, and he’s a man.
Modern Drunkard Magazine: You are man, sir.
Roger Hughes: Yes, I believe so.
MDM: You are not a mother. You are a man.
RH: A lot of men work for MADD.
MDM: Yes, I know. Over half the board of directors are men. Don’t you think that odd?
RH: Not really.
MDM: I do. If I were to create an organization called Scotch Imbibing Redheads–we would be called SIR–I would expect them to have red hair and drink scotch.
RH: I wouldn’t be part of that organization.
MDM: Of course not, you’re not a redhead and you probably disdain scotch. Do you drink?
RH: I occasionally have wine with a meal.
MDM: Surely you don’t drive afterwards.
RH: Of course not.
MDM: I don’t believe you.
RH: I don’t.
MDM: Good. Because some high-ups in MADD say you should never drink anything and drive, not a drop.
MDM: So if you drank a half a glass of wine at home and your best friend calls you from the airport and says he needs a ride right then or he will lose his job, his wife, everything, you would not drive to the airport and bail the chap out?
RH: I’d tell him to take a cab.
MDM: They’re all on strike. You’re his only chance.
RH: That’s a ridiculous argument.
MDM: Not much of a friend are you? How would you explain it to him when you later found him shuffling around skid row, a ruined man. “Sorry, old chap, I had a swallow of wine and went mad with it. Better luck and toot-a-loo!” Then as you tried to walk away he would undoubtedly crack his bottle of ripple across your skull then slowly strangle you to death while the other winos gleefully cheered him on.
RH: That’s ridiculous. That’s like saying—
MDM: And do you know what else, sir? If I were there for your throttling, just passing through, mind you, I might not cheer but I would give a small knowing nod of approval. Then, when you were thoroughly done in, I would treat the boys to a beer at the pub.
RH: Death threats aren’t funny.
MDM: See! Do you see how you turned that into a lie? I’m sure it’s purely mechanical for you. I wasn’t threatening you. Your ex-best friend was the one with his hands around your neck. You can hardly call buying him a drink is being an accessory after the fact.
RH: We at MADD—
MDM: Could you say Mothers instead of MADD?
MDM: It’s funnier. Say it like this: “We Mothers believe . . .”
RH: Why is that funny?
MDM: Because you are a man, sir.
RH: I prefer MADD.
MDM: You seem quite slick. I think if the liquor lobby offered to double your salary, you’d jump ship and start sucking on a bottle of rum while you packed up your office.
RH: What’s the point of this interview?
MDM: Let’s move beyond semantics then, and get to the meat. At what point in their history did the Mothers decide the truth was less important than their stated goal?
RH: I don’t know what you mean.
MDM: I mean all the outright lies. You don’t necessarily manufacture them yourselves, but you will latch on any falsified study that comes along and sell it as truth.
RH: I’m not following you.
MDM: You go about shouting that drunks are responsible for half of the fatal accidents when you know that’s not true.
RH: According to the National Highway—
MDM: Those are the lies I’m talking about. Alcohol-related is the term they throw around. If a sober driver drives up onto a sidewalk and runs over a guy with a couple beers in him it is alcohol-related.
RH: Pedestrians cause accidents too.
MDM: This one didn’t. He was merely walking out of a pub after having a morning constitutional. A decent scotch and the sober driver, perhaps digging around in the glove box for a Spice Girls tape, loses control and runs the poor chap over. And the police will call that an alcohol-related accident.
RH: There are other factors to—
MDM: Or if a sober driver crashes into another sober driver and the police find a two-year old beer can in the back seat, it is considered alcohol-related.
RH: According to our studies, if anything, it’s under reported.
MDM: How can you say that in the face of all the facts I’ve just laid at your feet?
RH: Statistics can be bent anyway you like.
MDM: The Mothers have certainly proven that. You’ve so wrapped yourself in the robes of self-righteousness that you decided at some point you were justified in telling whatever lie you like to accomplish your magnificent goal.
RH: It is a magnificent goal.
MDM: Hitler and Stalin thought their goals were pretty fine too.
RH: I can’t believe you’re comparing Mothers Against—
MDM: Both tried to legislate drinking away. When do you plan to drop the second D?
MDM: When will you start calling yourself MAD, Mothers Against Drinking? That is your goal, after all. Are you a father, sir?
MDM: Why is there no Fathers Against Drunk Drivers? Because it spells FADD? Which might make people think it was temporary fling of some sort.
RH: Your logic is skewed and confused, you—
MDM: You’re the one claiming to be a woman. If anyone here is confused, it’s you. I notice you have a cell phone.
MDM: Are you aware of the recent studies that prove talking on a cellphone while driving is as dangerous as driving illegally drunk?
RH: Yes I have, and I frankly I don’t care.
MDM: Your national spokesman, also a man, said nearly the same thing. I thought you Mothers were all about making the roads safer. Yet you encourage people to speak on cellphones while driving.
RH: We do not.
MDM: Certainly you do. The Mothers have many national programs in place that encourage people to call the police if they see anyone who appears to be driving drunk. They even give out cell phones to their members for that explicit purpose. It’s like handing out bottles of vodka in a parking lot.
RH: We always suggest they pull over when making—
MDM: They would have forgotten the license plate number by then and the drunkard would have made good his escape. If he’s drunk at all, he may just be speaking on a cell phone, perhaps calling you in because you’re driving like madman talking on your cellphone.
RH: Your line of reasoning goes everywhere and nowhere at once.
MDM: Do you ever speak on your cell phone while driving?
RH: I always try to pull over.
MDM: But you don’t oftentimes, I’ll wager. And while you’re on that phone you are as dangerous to your fellow drivers as the drunks you so aggressively hunt. See what I’m getting at?
RH: I feel as if I’m on the stand.
MDM: You are, sir! Before God and man, you are compelled to tell the truth. I demand that you let one single word of truth slide out of your mouth! Just one!
RH: Mothers Against—
MDM: A lie, sir! You are not a mother and neither are half of your board of directors!
RH: Let’s get back to what this interview was supposed to be about. Getting drunks off the road.
MDM: And out of the bar.
RH: No, just off the road. We’re not against responsible adults drinking, we’re against drinking and driving.
MDM: Then why has MADD voiced opposition to repealing Colorado’s blue law that closes liquor stores on Sunday?
RH: I’m not aware of all the local legislation.
MDM: You’re against it, I assure you. Which is odd, MADD wanting a chap to drive to the bar to watch the game and getting drunk and driving home, as opposed to driving to the liquor store sober, buying alcohol, taking it home and getting peacefully drunk there.
RH: Listen, I’d love to talk some more, but I have to get to the airport.
MDM: Call me during your drive there and we’ll finish up.
RH: Good try.