We all agreed: Something has got to be done.
Oy-vey-iz-mir. Trouble is we couldn’t agree on just what that something was. Sort of like Congress. We were enemies… instead of folks with merely different intellectual points of view trying to reach a common-sense goal.
Anyway, Sean was talking about stiffer gun control. And I was talking about the oppressive tyranny of our government. And Louie-duh-lawyer was talking about….aw hell, who knows what Louie is ever talking about. Lou is even more conservative than a former liberal after he’s been mugged or arrested. That doesn’t mean Lou doesn’t believe in reform… just not now! Louie’s all for allowing American’s armed forces and free market to resolve matters. It just doesn’t seem to register on his polished black shoes that the ‘free’ market ain’t so ‘free’ no mo’.
Never was, actually.
Anyway Sean was all annoyed while puffing at my favorite little South Philly cigar shop last week. About all the guns used in shooting everybody these days. College kids as well as what amounts to about 90 other folks a day in America. You know, folks looking for jobs that ain’t there no more. And folks looking to get the money to overpay for their kids’ over-valued college education for which there also ain’t no over-supply of jobs. And folks waking up each morning with less and less hope left-over in their over-wrought hearts.
“Ain’t enough,” I asserted.
“Ain’t enough of what?!” snapped a startled Sean. For a buff black guy with a big job as property facilitator for the Philly Catholic Diocese, Sean sure does get to flapping and spinning like a wounded duck over matters. Particularly matters that he’s about as capable of controlling as the weather.
Hmmm…. And the only thing I have found that you can do about the weather is: Pour a bigger drink.
But for Sean it must be a Catholic thing – even if I just learned that his mother isn’t Catholic, but for 20 years is one of the 4000 congregants in the same Baptist hootenanny where I’ve been genuflecting the last nine. (In case you’re wondering, when one of my beatific co-hallelujah, 99% black rejoicers wonder if I still consider myself Jewish, I simply reply: Do you still consider yourself black?)
‘Ain’t enough of what?’ repeated Sean.
‘Guns and killings,’ I said. ‘Too many stooooopid people in the world. And there ain’t no penicillin for stoooooopeeed.’
‘You want more guns?’
‘I want everybody to have a gun. Would make of us stop and think twice about inanely blasting your car horn. Or sleeping with your neighbor’s tattooed wife. Or just being a thug. You know, like our big thug of a Congressman… who went from a carpenter to Sergeant of Arms in our city council, to owning a couple of grand homes…. Just like most of them government folks.’
Sean was a tad flabbergasted. Worried that a guy as potentially wacky as I am might be armed and loaded. ‘You own a gun?’
‘No,’ I admitted, matter of fact, ‘because I would use it too often. Like right about now. Because you don’t seem to be paying attention that life is life.’
At that point, and for some logic only Lou-duh-lawyer could manufacture, Louie then happen to bring up Ben Carson. You know, that guy running for President. Retired neurosurgeon. With a wife that makes you go ‘ouch!’ Or in my case: Oy’vey! Guy who makes questionable choices like that shouldn’t be choosing which navy blue suit to wear with which red tie as President.
Carson apparently noted to the surprise of some liberals who are semper paradus to take some politically-correct offense at just about anything, that if the Jews had guns they might have been able to fight off the Nazis.
Hmm… Sounds a bit like something Custard might have been uttering at Little Big Horn. Sure, it would have been grand for some of my ancestors to have had guns. But it wouldn’t have done much good, as we all know, except maybe having a few less brown shirts stiff-arming another ‘heil’ Hitler.
I mean, all you had to do was be at the Pope gathering recently in Philadelphia to know what it was like being in one those WWII Polish ghettos. Eight Blackhawks and Chinooks hovering. Camouflaged, over-sized servicemen parked on every corner. Thousands of officers from 70 local and federal security agencies patting us down. All sorts of fanged mutts sniffing more than our butts. Rooftop snipers, backed up by more rooftop snipers, scoping out fathers, sons and future holy ghosts. Check point Charleys everywhere.
We were told that the platoons of guvment-men, at a cost of $50 or $70 million were there to protect us… not to mention duh Pope. But hell, I kept wondering, who is going to protect us from all those guvment folks. Armed and patronizing us with forbearing smiles. Aching to squeeze those powerful triggers.
Hmm… Obviously we all need an assortment of weapons. If for nothing other than a Mexican stand-off. I am definitely for having guns, even though I understand my own irascible temperament.
‘No,’ I insisted, ‘everyone should be required to at least own a gun and learn how to use it. Look at ‘neutral’ Switzerland. It has one of the highest gun ownership rates in the world. And they all get trained. But its gun crime rate is so low that statistics aren’t even kept.’
Sean, of course, didn’t know a thing about that. Like most folks who mistakenly believe that guns — like money — are at the root of all evil. Wrong! It is the LOVE of money that is the root of most evil.
(Hmm… Indeed, LOVE always seems to be at the root of all my evil.)
No matter, Sean merely thought that was ‘crazy,’ even though he kept muttering that ‘something’ has to be done. His ‘something’ was a coalition of perfect-world ideologies. You know, changing just about everything. And immediately. Over night. Reestablishing the family unit. Getting people back into church. Improving our education system. Reinstituting the old respect for your elders… And, just about everything short of trusting your old mother-in-law with your brand new Cadillac.
And of course, Louie, added, as always, about getting back to ethics and morals. To put it mildly, Louie is more than tad trigger-mad about gay folks being sanctioned for marriage and ‘family units.’
Oh, yeah, I said to Louie, let’s put moral and ethics on the agenda for dinner tonight. Sounds like our goofy Secretary of State, John Kerry – you know that guy with a great haircut looking for a brain — thinking he can resolve the thousand-years of Jewish-Palestinian-Arab conflict by just flying in and hosting a state dinner. Black tie, of course!
I tried to interject that there are consequences for everything. As, my dear ol’ Bourbon sippin’ Pappy was fond of preaching: ‘You pay a price for everything.’
I also tried to explain to these anachronistic ‘old-thinking’ timers that evolution of mind, body and soul is not a straight line. It’s more like a bush. You never know what direction it’s going to sprout. Hell, I offered, our next stage could be that we all become Androids. With no need for sex. And the next thing you know we wake up like China. Trying to figure out what duh heck, what duh hell. We need to have more children. Otherwise who’s going to support our economy. Not to mention all the other ‘legal’ Ponzi schemes… including Social Security.
And can you imagine trying to program us Androids to reinstitute sex?
You want me to suck what?!
Everything keeps repeating itself until something is done… then undone. Like Prohibition for 13 years. Like our immigration problems… again and again. But the good news, as I explained to my snorting fellow ‘intellectuals’, is that Europe’s got one now, too. Syrians, Arabs, Africans and what-not refugees fleeing conflicts that Imperialism and colonialism initiated 250 years ago.
But now that it is in their backyards, you better believe that even the ‘armed’ Swiss ain’t going to be neutral no more.
What we need, suggested Sean, in a tone of surrender, is a President who is a leader. That can cross the aisle and get people to follow him.
What we need, I told Sean – even if neo-con Louie can’t bring himself to my reckoning – is a bloodless revolution.
“That’s why I am voting for Trump. And after he fires everybody, we can then fire him. Just like they do in every big corporation.”
“You’re crazy,” intoned Sean.
Nevertheless I got the feeling he was doing a little retooling between those twisted ears. And Louie… well duh-lawyer already knows that I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints.
And at that I left them with a little parable about how my dear ol’ Pappy was so quick to punish all of us sinners – even if we ain’t done nuttin’… besides vote.
For instance, one day my 11th grade English teacher phoned home for my father. And he missed the call. And soon thereafter when I arrived home after school dear ol’ Pappy immediately started walloping me.
Why did Mr. Walker call?! What did you do?! Smack, bam, boom!
But later when he and my English teacher did connect he learned that Mr. Walker had called to compliment me ‘for a truly gifted essay.’
And my dear ol’ Pappy’s only response/apology to me about the beating he pre-delivered: “Well, that was for the next time I don’t catch you.”
Hmm… Punishing the innocent just in case he doesn’t catch me the next time. As I wondered to Sean and Louie: ‘Sounds just like our government, doesn’t it?’
They didn’t much know what the heck to reply.
‘The government,’ I explained, ‘isn’t protecting the American people. Instead, it is running our lives. We are punished for things we haven’t done. After 911, who got punished? After the Olympics bombing in Atlanta, who got punished? After Oklahoma City, who got punished? After Boston, who got punished?
‘We did. We don’t want big government in our bedrooms. It is supposed to be there to protect us in order for us to be able to do what we do. And one of the things – as in Switzerland – we must learn to do is how to protect ourselves, And take care of ourselves. As our cell phone videos have all too often demonstrated these days too many ‘guvment-folk’ are doing the wrong things. And not telling us the truth and nothing but…
“More guns,” I repeated. “Arm everybody. The bloody damn world is insane. More guns. It can only lead to less stooopeed people.”
For some reason I haven’t heard back from Sean. He must be busy genuflecting. And Louie… well Louie has been working on the pedantic theory that the super rich can never be too rich. He thinks all that money only compels them to do good things. Kind of makes you wonder about folks with various ‘degrees’ of higher ‘edikation’, don’t it?
Hmmm…. I may have to go back to drinking… heavily… And reconsidering why I don’t own a gun.
And dats yDrewIS on dis penal colony…