by Andy Weddington
Friday, 11 May 2012
"How many fools does it take to make up a public?" Sebastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort
For today, nothing in particular and in no particular order but all non-fiction from the past few weeks...
Read in the paper the other day a young man named Tyler Gold, 23 years of age, from somewhere in Kentucky petitioned to have his name legally changed. After a brief appearance before a judge and satisfactorily answering questions as to motive, Gold's request was granted. His new name? Tyrannosaurus Rex. Yes, that's right, after the dinosaur. He told the judge he thought it sounded cool. The article did not mention if this mental giant held a college degree or was a vegetarian. His parents must be beaming. Most scary is he's a voter.
Also read in that same day's paper Scotland Yard has banned use of the term "blacklist." Somehow it's offensive. Next there will be move to change the name of the game "Black Jack" and the colors on a roulette wheel to purple and green or some other colors not found in the genes of man. I'll not bother addressing dice. And, furthermore, does banning "blacklist" make "white collar," "white out," and "white wash" problematic? Oh no, what about "white chocolate"? Confusing. Good grief.
More on color...
Visited South Carolina last week. The hotel hosted a full house including a large contingent having a family reunion in the area. Just so happens that family tree was black. My wife and I chatted and laughed with some of the attendees on the elevator. Pleasant folks. As we departed the elevator and headed toward our room, told my wife I'd hoped someone asked why we were in town. She looked puzzled, knowing to expect anything. I told her that was my opening to say "We, too, are in town for the family reunion--we're the black sheep all have been whispering about." Opportunities like that don't come along every day. But, who knows, maybe another time.
Raised in North Carolina, I've had my share of vinegar-based (eastern) pork barbecue and tomato-based (western) pork barbecue with preference for the former. And every trip home I eat a healthy dose. Thankfully, most menus now include CPR instructions. And there's been a trip or two to Texas and opportunity to enjoy their brand of barbecue. But there was a brand new dining experience in South Carolina last week--mustard-based barbecue. Once was enough. But there is an interesting side story that came from patronizing that eatery. I was wearing a shirt with a small eagle, globe, and anchor on it, and the woman who waited on us saw it. She offered her son was a Marine who recently left active duty--honorably discharged after four years. She confessed to not understanding the military and the ranks and designators but said, while beaming, he was a lance corporal who'd once been a police sergeant (Marines will get that) and served overseas. I assured her he did important work. He did. And we departed--with a proud mom smiling.
Speaking of North Carolina, on Tuesday Tarheel voters, joining dozens of other states, decided to approve the ban on gay marriage. By means of constitutional amendment, marriage is defined solely as a union between a man and a woman. It didn't take long for the disappointed to hit Facebook with remarks of disgust and name-calling (idiots, bigots, et.al.). How loving--such irony. Whatever. One word: Democracy. The great thing about America is the disappointed are free to exercise their option to leave the state. And, for that matter, the country. An inevitable truth in our democratic republic is that some will ever be unhappy (though "disappointed" better describes). Ergo life and liberty to continue pursuit. Thank goodness. It's complicated but simple. America is beautiful--more beautiful to those that have worn our country's cloth to defend her--flaws and all. The sign sitting behind an old First Sergeant's desk begs repeating, 'For those who defend it, freedom has a sweet taste the protected will never know.'
During moments of leisure--they've been few and far between, have been mulling over the recalcitrant 9/11 Muslim terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay and the chaos they continue to cause and the lingering pain of those seeking justice who lost family and friends. Here we are approaching eleven years after that horrendous attack on our country and we're still clowning around? What to do? It may not be sensitive nor politically correct but a solution, albeit cynical, has come to mind. Forget trials, military tribunals, etc. Tomorrow--announce "Swim Call." Outfit each swimmer with a teeny weeny Speedo, ear plugs, and goggles. Proceed, via fixed wing military aircraft, to the middle of the Atlantic or Pacific, swimmer's choice, and "escort" them out--with well wishes (e. g. "Have a Nice Day!"), of course. Since means of attack was by plane, how apropos to give them one final free ride. Justice. Problem solved. Good grief.
Of all stupidity, the following, taking place in North Carolina, took top honors last week. I contracted for a rental car for four days. The fee reasonable--$117.00. Travel plans abruptly changed and therefore needed the car for five more days. Seems simple enough--call and extend the contract. So, attempted to extend the contract over the phone. "No problem," said the rep, "that will be $850.00." "What? Are you insane? I don't want to buy the car just rent it. No thanks." Tried a second call with another rep--same outcome. There must be a means of reason. Ah ha, went to website and contracted for another car to pick up after returning current one. Price: $205.00. Did the fire drill swapping cars. Confronted, civilly, a manager after returning the first car and before settling on the second. She stopped herself in the middle of her cockamamie explanation and agreed it was crazy what I had to do. I told her my theory--standard business practice as they thought I was out of the area and they had me by the short hairs. Without looking at me, she denied such; but couldn't prove it. For my troubles and to keep my business, she offered a Mustang. I asked if she was aware of gas prices and politely declined opting for the fuel efficient compact model (my brother-in-law and 16 year old nephew were mortified). Once home, I sent an email to corporate. No answer as of this posting. And not expecting one. We'll see--if they try harder.
On the campaign trail...
Four years ago, "Hope & Change" sold like hotcakes. Eager buyers, not knowing what they were buying but anxious to spend anyway, packed parking lots, parks, fields, arenas, and stadiums. They couldn't get enough. Not so much these days. Disillusionment. Disappointment. Disgust. Petering enthusiam. Empty seats. A lot of buyer's remorse, and growing. So, hoping everyone will forget and not change their mind, the president is hawking a new slogan--"Forward." Makes sense considering America has been moving left, backward, and downward the past three and a half years and even the president sees his only direction options are upward, right, and forward. Upward and right aren't going to happen so there you have it. Anyway, might the opposing campaign come up with a clever "Four Word" bumper sticker? Something like, "Hope and Change Failed!" or "You Had Your Chance" or "It's We not I" or borrow the James Carville zinger from the early 90s, "It's the Economy, Stupid." Whatever. It's time to move on. Good grief.
A cringer, at least for the guys...
About a month ago, a guy in Indiana (may have been Illinois) was attacked by his ex-girlfriend. Seems she was still upset about being jilted so she stormed his home, caught him groggy coming out of sleep, and exploiting her tactical advantage grabbed him by the scrotum. Her grasp and squeezing so intense she caused injury (excruciating pain understood) to include serious bleeding. An ambulance transported him to...drum roll, please..."Ball Memorial Hospital." No, did not make that up. And as a sidebar, a friend sent an email offering pain comparison between this situation and childbirth noting many women willingly have multiple children but you'll never hear of a man volunteering to repeat the experience cited above. Ever. Noted.
Speaking of nuts, bumper sticker spotted on the back of an old beater pickup truck at a local shopping center parking lot a couple of days ago, "OBAMA? ARE YOU NUTS?"
Sunday past, George "Goober Pyle" Lindsey (1928-2012) died. TAGSRWC mourns. His "cousin," Gomer Pyle (Jim Nabors), is an honorary Corporal, U. S. Marine Corps.
Rest in peace, Goober. Semper Fidelis, Gomer.
All efforts to make up stuff of this caliber have failed. Therefore, will stick to reality.
To the reader who recently submitted comment, on "Destroying the Marine Corps--Women in Combat," http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fy--whDNNKk that started with a three-word sentence ending in inappropriate name-calling...that beginning breached the civility standards of this forum. Otherwise you made good points and are welcome to resubmit. Opinion is welcome. But any comment with personal attacks, name-calling, profanity, or anything else disruptive to good order will not be posted.