This is unbelievable. A goddamned outrage, actually, is what it is. My daughter Lucy, my own flesh and blood, is bringing home this…this…black man in less than an hour. "Marlon" something or other, she tells me. Marlon! Well, I won't stand for it. As long as I have breath in my body, no daughter of mine will bring a black man into this house until I've cleaned it up a little, maybe picked up a good bottle of wine, and made damn sure I have everything I need to make him feel right at home.

Not now, not ever.

I'm just glad her grandfather isn't alive to see this. Imagine, his sweet little Lucy, arm-in-arm with a black man, traipsing right through the front door of the house that he built with his own two hands while the coffee table is covered with old magazines and I don't even have a cup of tea to offer the young fellow.

Pops must be spinning in his grave.

A black guy, for chrissakes, in my home, eating my goddamned food! I have to find out what he likes and swing by the gourmet market!

Jesus H. Christ. This is all my fault, isn't it? You try to raise them right, to show them the way things work in this world. Maybe if I'd been stricter with Lucy back then, she wouldn't be sauntering around my house with a black man, pretty as you please, without first giving her old man a heads-up so he can do the dishes that are piled up in the sink right there where everyone can see them.

It's a goddamned shame, I tell you. Mark my words, no black man will ever set foot in here until I've had time to whip up a quick bruschetta at the very least!

And just think of what this will do to Lucy's poor mother! Kathryn will be absolutely devastated. What do I even say? "Hey, honey, guess what? Your daughter is coming home with a black man and we're all out of the nice microbrewed beer. Shall I just throw the door wide open and we'll sit in the dusty dining room chairs next to the unfolded laundry and wait for them to waltz right in? Then maybe we can bust out the Monopoly board and spend an hour looking for all the missing pieces while Lucy and her black boyfriend look on in uncomfortable silence. How's that sound, dear? No, you'd rather lock yourself in the bathroom and sob uncontrollably? Okay."

Good Lord, Kathryn will be crushed! Inconsolable.

What is the world coming to when this can happen right in your very own home? Thirty minutes from now, a young black man will be sitting in my den, and I don't even have my shotgun handy. I took it to the antique shop to be relacquered last week, which is too bad, because it really looks nice hanging over the mantle next to the hand-carved wooden duck decoys. Now Marlon won't get the full effect of the hunting tableau, which is really what anchors the whole room.

This is totally unacceptable! This could be my future son-in-law we're talking about here!

Well, there's only one thing to do. Kathryn and I are just going to have to meet them out front, very clearly explain to Lucy that, come hell or high water, she will not be bringing a black man into our house, and then take them right out and treat them both to a lovely, lovely dinner.

Maybe we can take him to go eat watermelon salad and fried chicken tempura at that new Asian fusion place.