Monday, December 12, 2005

You're No Rock & Roll Fun

Apropos of very little, my friends have been discussing being stationed on Guam. You'd think the place was packed with very young fashion victims and very old men who didn't know when to zip it.
Hey, my Dad was Air Force and he was stationed on Guam, too. Well, it was a strategic bombing group in the Army Air Corps that became the Air Force. I wonder if you and he met the same hookers.

Roman was a very sensory person and would not have appreciated things like mission statements. It's nice to have something catchy on your patch: I think the space command's motto was "in your face from outer space". But this new mission's like a motto from a bad yuppie bar. "A nice place to get schnockered and pretend to be interested in sports TV with no sound while you're striking out." It's cheap and I think it sucks like every bad corporate meeting I've attended. It makes me think of the uniforms. I have my Dad's old uniform and it's kind of cool. For one thing, it's wool and constructed like a nice suit. Off the rack, but classy. The new uniforms look cheap to me, like a prison uniform. I mean, if you're gonna drop 500 pounds of burning phosphorous on a field of people living with bronze-age technology, at least you can be the leader and dress classy. Consider that the modern armed services are comprised largely of poor black people. Now if there was ever a demographic that appreciated fine clothing, that's it. If they made Marine uniforms from fine, black Italian suits I bet W'd have no problems making the recruitment numbers.

hugs and kissies,

This is what happens when comically enhanced rocket scientists become stay-at-home parents and write letters in scurrulous character all day to erstwhile radio comedians and, generally, people who could fashion lasers out of paper clips and duct tape. And me.

Slappy calls me "my favorite octaroon." His real-life counterpart calls me when the baby's in the emergency room. Many of my friends and most of my relatives do this: lapse into and out of characters and accents. Thus, nothing Slappy says offends me because from early childhood, I recall the business of imagining what other people might say, and knowing those were not my thoughts. They were a recognition of the world in which I lived and people I would never be.

You'd think I'd be prepared, then, for people who aren't kidding but I seldom am. Those desperately personal commercials in which black or Latin teens try to convince Mom or Dad that joining the military is a great idea were written by Chris Rock, right? No? How is that possible? Or years ago, I walked up to Easton Avenue to get university keys cut at this old man's shop that - no lie - was about the size of a cell on death row. Now it's a hot dog stand or something. Anyway, the first time I walked over there, the old man cut my keys and took his ever lovin' time about it. He asked if I read books. I said I did. He said he used to read books but he quit after reading about that there Marquis de Sade. I said that must've been an interesting reading list. He said - I don't know what he said. He was a very old man. I was young, a captive - so to speak - audience, and hotter than lava. How pathetic is it to whine, "I used to be HOT"?

The third or fourth time I walked over there he mentioned de Sade again. He asked if I'd ever read that book. I said I hadn't, which I thought might tamp down the talk. He shuffled weakly around the tiny key shop like Tim Conway character facing a stiff wind. If I patted him on the cheek he might break, but there he was lecturing at excruciating - pardon the pun - length on whips and chains.

Like many men of his generation, he'd been a military man who'd traveled the world and tried to bring something of it home with him. I might've picked something from the PX. On Guam.

Please sign the petition, because voting rights should be free, free, free.

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