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Monday, May 25, 2009

The vets that made it home

Today is the bonus day of our glorious three-day weekend, this weekend in which we officially kick-off the Summer season.

Scratch that.

This is that weekend, the weekend when we’re supposed to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for those who would come later…all of us.

But after two-plus days of scanner monitoring, I’m not sure we’re supposed to honor our war dead by getting ourselves arrested.

Honestly, it hasn’t been quite as bad as past years, as bad as it could be. There must not be a full moon overhead. Maybe it’s not quite hot and humid enough to get tempers flaring as high and hot as they could. Maybe the hiring of darn near two platoons of new police officers makes it easier to keep a lid on these predictably asinine three-day excursions into drunken stupidity, domestic violence, robbery and illegal fireworks displays. Maybe that’s what the difference is. And, yes, we had quite a few explosions rumbling through the Nord End yesterday.

Note to idiots: Save that sh*t for the 4th of July, the one day of the year when it’s practically legal to blow your fingers off.

End note.

It’s just that, I’d hate to think that if were one of those war dead, that this is what I was defending--the right to be drunk and rowdy and half-naked and stupid for an entire three-day weekend. I’d hate to think I took a round so some drunken moron has the right to beat the phlegm out of his steady squeeze simply because she would not relinquish control of the remote. I’d hate to think I took a round so some drunken moron has the right to beat the phlegm out of his former steady squeeze simply because she will not relinquish custody of their shell-shocked child.

And I could be wrong, I might get myself skewered via the e-mail inbox for suggesting as much, but, with so many of our police officers being veterans themselves, I have to believe that very many of them think Memorial Day is pretty much a joke.

While they may not have made that ultimate sacrifice, they easily could have. I don’t have any statistics at hand, but even during those rare stretches when peace breaks out, many members of our various branches of the military are killed during training exercises and the like. It’s an inherently risky business, whether blanks or high-velocity rounds are ringing out.

So, here they are veterans, here they are out there patrolling the streets over the Memorial Day weekend, and here they are dealing with the absolute worse that humanity has to offer--only drunker and dumber than usual. In addition, here they are having to deal with the normally sedate folks, all muscled-up on alcohol and behaving far worse than they normally do.

And to me, that’s patently unfair, if not just another small increment of the relentlessly incremental jading process. As I sort of said, I dunno.

Anyway, enjoy the big holiday weekend. Whoop it up. Blow off a thumb, maybe two. Barbecue some selected dead animal parts. Ingest copious amounts of fermented weeds. Melt a few marshmallows. Watch Jeff Gordon and the boys on the wall-mounted 100-inch video advertising box. Run out for some more canned fermented weeds.

And when you wake up in the hoosegow the next morning, all dazed and confused…try to remember those who laid down their lives to protect your right to be publicly drunk and stupid on Memorial Day.

And remember that the folks staring in at you from the other side of those metal bars--the vets that made it home--also risked their lives for you.

And still do.

That’s all I got.


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