Thursday, October 31, 2013
(My first thought was Tom Who?, since my brain doesn't work with the same efficiency that it did years ago. Then I scoured my memory banks and finally came up with a hint of recognition at the name.)
It was that -- exactly that -- the obscurity of Tom Foley, that made me think, Maybe I should join them and get in on all the traveling. I never do anything but stay home, while these people are all over the country and maybe abroad.
Plus, it'd be kind of fun, a growth experience. I normally treasure it when people like me. But everyone's become so selfish these days they don't really like anyone, just themselves. That leaves an insecure guy like me wondering What's wrong with me? Till I think a little more and come up with the answer: People hating you is really the same as people liking you; it's attention; they LIKE you while hating you because they're getting a kick out of your existence. Follow that? It's basic Psychology Today 101. Not only will people love me if I'm carrying a picket sign proclaiming God's hatred for them, but I'll be able to travel ... and love myself more!
So you can picture me at Westboro Central. We're scanning the papers, looking to see if any two-bit historical figures have died. Or someone's shot up a school. Or a hurricane's happened. Or the price of rice has gone up in Japan. Something! Anything! It's been two long weeks since I was a thousand miles from home! Ahh, here it is: TOM FOLEY IS DEAD! The less-intelligent members of WBC go, "Who?" But pretty soon we're all on the same page, with me casting the deciding vote: "Yes! We go to Washington, D.C.!" (We honestly ought to be protesting Lou Reed's funeral. He's a rock God, which the actual God has to hate.)
In Washington, since I'm at heart a very responsible person, I hold the protest sign, even if it's only for 30 seconds, then duck out to take in the historical sites, including the newest statue showing the Republicans not only shutting down the government but helping reopen the World War II memorial they closed for the PR. I check out all the great places, including Ford Theater, where God showed his hatred for the end of slavery by killing Abraham Lincoln.
Back in Topeka, a few weeks have gone by. A kid in Kansas City was expelled from school for a Jesus tattoo on his forehead. But I don't feel like traveling to Kansas City (big whoop!), so I vote no on that. And there's a few other close-by places. The governor's poll numbers are slightly down because God hates the price of tea in China, but if you live in Topeka obviously it's no fun to stay in Topeka, so we all vote no.
I suddenly come up with a good one. France! I've always wanted to go to Paris, so I photoshop a fake newspaper article, "Homosexual Man Discovered in Paris." Which is plausible; if they have them at the Vatican, you realistically could find one anywhere. Out with the signs! I've got a free trip to France! Where we search high and low and never find the guy. But to make it worthwhile, we march around the Eiffel Tower, hoping against hope that it might fall down, helping to make our case. Again, I only protest for about 30 seconds, then I'm off to eat at the French McDonald's and get coffee at the French Starbucks.
My dreams of open carry are coming true! And this is even one of those weird things I never thought would happen, like flying cars. I figured the Old West was gone and we'd never get it back.
This is true, that as a kid watching westerns, I always complained that they carried guns all the time and we couldn't. Our guns were hanging on a rack -- unlocked, mind you -- and we only took them down for hunting or cleaning or showing someone.
Parents didn't believe in safety as much then, which was OK, because we did all right. We had the run of the town. We played lots of war games, cowboys and indians, and killed each other all the time, only in our imagination. Even though we had guns, we never actually killed anyone. Although I remember having a grievance against the sheriff one time. All water under bridge...
I gave up all hope of open carry -- walking around with holsters, dangling guns down to your knees. Never thought I'd live to see it, but now... All praise and glory! They're back!
Frankly, I don't know how long it'll last. His term is only so long. Meaning, we need to groom future black presidents so we never have to go back to a ban. There's definite benefits to a generalized paranoia, which we're reaping now.
Only, I don't see any decent candidates being groomed. On the bright side, we might get a woman president for eight years. Of course that'd give our testosterone a workout, meaning open carry would be safe. Yet, it's all temporary. What we need is a constitutional amendment -- call it the Second Amendment Part B -- that presidents can only be black and/or women.
The worst case scenario for open carry is that we get another white man like Bush, especially like Bush. He had that whole ignorant good-old-boy thing going so strong there wasn't ever the slightest temptation to allow open carry. And the more dishonest he was -- we frankly didn't have time to plumb the depths -- the more people liked him. I still see various idiot assholes on Facebook pining for those supposedly "good old days" of a white male president, with absolutely no understanding of what it meant for open carry.
I personally haven't taken the gun plunge yet. The openness of open carry is still a little too primitive for my taste. If you kill someone you still have to account for it. I want it like the westerns. You do your killing, you have a drink and play cards undisputed. Or go upstairs to Diamond Lil's room and do whatever they did back then. Teach her a thing or two with your barrel.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
I'm able to go profound lengths of time profoundly silent. Witness what I've done here at my blog. I've resisted the temptation all month, until now, when I feel I have something to brag about, to write. I have literally let the pearls of wisdom that I normally transfer from my mouth to my hands lie dormant. They've been locked up.
Now, though, only when I have something to brag about, my profound silence, do I break my silence and proclaim it. Quite the deal.
I guess I've always been that way. Starting way back, when I first heard of the concept of zipping your lip, then, more impressive to me, of locking it all together. I was like the fainting goat of speech, everything I was meant to be by nature, but with the added discipline of just keeping to myself.
Someone would interrupt me, let's say, then ply me for my opinion. But by then, whether stealthily or in the open light of everyone's field of vision, I would have taken an invisible key from my pocket and locked my mouth. Then, no matter how they begged and wheedled about it, I would sit silent, stone-face, breathing only through my nose.
That's a dynamite feeling, too. If you've never tried it, try it. Let a roomful of people sit there and see you with the discipline it takes to not unlock your mouth. I'm getting a head rush just thinking back over my life, and hoping, as strange as it sounds, that someone offends me very soon so I can do it again!
So often, though, I've been very civilized. I might be sitting there in a group, trying to offer my two cents' worth, and all the others are filibustering. Then I try to pipe up with something and some blowhard across the room will talk over me. So often I've just let it go.
But it all depends on how I'm feeling, and you definitely feel more civilized as an adult than a kid. But say I'm feeling cantankerous, like a kid, I'll reach for the key and very publicly lock my mouth, and that's it! Now, all of a sudden, everyone wants to hear me! Funny how that works! So, again, depending on how I feel, I might unlock it quickly, or I might just sit there and not.
It'd be cool ... How about this? I'm offended right away, then I lock my mouth and throw away the key. It's over there somewhere, invisible. They're begging me, "Please tell us what it was!" and I just point to my locked lips. Then I sit there the entire hour or two, whatever it is, letting the lock do its thing! It'd really flummox them! Later, they see me on the street and I'm talking, because I always carry a spare key.
Anyway, you have two lessons today. Locking your mouth is something to do. And, don't interrupt me, or get on my nerves in any other way, or I'll lock my mouth and you'll never know what you missed.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Well .... fark! I was looking forward to getting healthcare coverage. October 1 and all! But it looks like everyone else had the same idea, and the damned thing wasn't ready to go.
"We didn't know there might be lots of traffic -- millions and millions of people -- so we didn't have the website crap ready to go when they got here. Our bad! But we are working to resolve the issue as soon as possible ... the issue being that this could've been foreseen, probably, since we've only been looking forward to it for -- what? -- three or four years.
"But what would it have taken to have been ready? Maybe a few more servers? Frankly, we don't know how it works. Please try again later."