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Instead, it's Ginger who bursts through the door, a little out of breath from the stairs, her thick black hair streaked blue and hanging loose. She pops open a can of Wiedemann beer and perches her frame precariously on a barstool.
"I brought my costume," Sean says, pulling his bright blue wig out of a Hefty bag; the "wig" looks more like an angora sweater that has undergone electroshock therapy. The cat is immediately intrigued and jumps up on the coffee table to investigate. "Hey, the cat's into the wig," observes Sean.
"This could get ugly," Liz says.
Heather and Tim show up, which makes a quorum. The drummer is off skiing.
I ask Ginger how the band came about.
"It sort of came from the idea that there had to be a place for people who weren't quite the belles of the ball," she explains. "I guess that one song 'Fancy' says it all: 'I might have been born just plain white trash, but Fancy was my name.' So I got the idea to put White Trash and Debutantes together."
The Bobbie Gentry reference is a giveaway -- beneath the punk garb, Ginger Coyote's all white trash. "Look what I'm drinking." She holds aloft her can of bargain beer. "It's good for headaches in the morning and a cheap high at night. My next step is King Cobra."
Most descriptions of white trash culture seem to begin with the food, which is probably why Liz is yelling, "Snowballs!" at the top of her voice.
"Snowballs!" she repeats, "y'know those snowballs?"
I know exactly what she means -- those hemispherical plastic-wrapped confections covered with pink or white coconut shavings that sit for decades next to the checkout stand.
"Well, Roseanne is white trash," Ginger says, taking the conversation to the next rung on the trash cultural ladder above food -- television. "Roseanne is my idol. I like her because she's making people think. She's a strong woman, that's what I appreciate. She's a feminist. She's shocked Hollywood, and she's got the power to do it with. I can relate to her as opposed to, say, Barbra Streisand, because Roseanne comes from a working-class background, she's blue collar. I mean, we've all had to suck a little dick in our life." Punk Rock Patty fidgets a little uneasily at the off-color remark. Everyone else busts up.
"White trash is a feeling in your soul," Liz offers.
"What's it feel like?" Sean asks.
"It's about shocking people," Patty says.
"Yeah," agrees Heather, "kinda like not caring what other people think. Like Tonya Harding being this princess and smoking."
For Sean, white trash is a certain toughness, an ability to overcome obstacles. "I used to have a drug problem; I conquered that," he says. "We've all had our problems, triumphs, whatever."
"I had a marijuana problem," Patty says matter-of-factly. "Five times I've had pleurisy. As a result I can't do any shows for a couple of months because I can't be anyplace where there's smoke. The marijuana didn't help the sickness, because I get really strong stuff -- $70 an eighth. Humboldt County -- it's just as good as indica or buddha."
"White trash is making the most of what you got," says Ginger, and I'm glad someone is talking, because the thought of Patty perched over a bong firing up a bowl of purple-haired thunderfuck has me stuck in a groove. "If you weren't born with a silver spoon in your mouth," Ginger continues, "you gotta fight twice as hard. That's what Tonya Harding has done. That's what Roseanne did. You're stronger, you see things a little wiser, you don't let people fuck with you. And if you do, they pay for it."
Tonya Harding is pretty safely ensconced in the lap of white trashdom, so she ranks as a hero for Ginger and the Debs.
"I thought Nancy Kerrigan from the get-go was boring," Ginger says of the white trash nemesis. "She reminds me of Sominex. 'Why me!?' I think it was a ploy from CBS to boost ratings for the Olympics," she adds with a conspiratorial nod.
"I was very empathetic towards [Kerrigan] when it happened," Heather says, "but then afterwards she was just such a bitch."
" 'Why me?! Why me?!' " Liz mocks. "Ugh, slap her."
"They're all bitches," Ginger adds. "Tonya didn't have the money to buy all the spangly outfits, she had to make them. She was second-class. But she had the talent, and that's the thing. She had to fight hard for that talent."
The Debs made a splash last year when they asked Harding to join the band. Was that just a publicity stunt?
"I just felt sorry for her," Ginger says sincerely. "And I heard about this wrestling thing and I thought there had to be something better. Why not ask her to join the band? I thought she was the underdog, and I always go for the underdog. Her agent was, like, really into having her do it. He thought that Tonya should regain some of her sense of humor and do something like that."