Sunday, November 07, 2004

Large Sips Save Ships

The War on Terror® has been with us in earnest for three years now, and no effort has been spared to harness this nation’s talents in the cause of victory. Through the efforts of the general population, this country won its freedom, helped defeat the scourge of state fascism in World War Two, and rose to JFK’s challenge to put a man on the moon within ten years. Now we are applying our unique talents to battling a fundamentalist enemy who scorns earthly temptation. Now with the troublesome presidential election over, for the first time I can exclusively reveal my part in this fight; a part I took at the urging of George W. Bush.

The challenge of taking on an amorphous terrorist enemy far from our own borders is one of the hardest we have ever faced. Luckily for us God saw this coming and arranged for George W. Bush to be our president, despite the seeming victory of Satan’s minion Al Gore. Much like the way Old Testament prophet Billaibob spent his youth out of his head on manna and fruitlessly drilling for frankincense in the desert, George W. had his time (as he puts it) wandering in “the wildebeest.” When the call came however he was ready to take up the sword of justice on our behalf. A quick visit to the emergency room and a few stitches later, he returned to pick up the sword at the right end and started swinging it like A-Rod chasing an Embree sinker.

Bush long harbored a love of the lion hearted Winston Churchill and since the attacks of September 11 the president has been channeling the spirit of the great British prime minister. Who can deny the rhetorical similarities between Churchill explaining to an apprehensive Britain preparing to face down Nazi Germany that he had nothing to offer “but blood, sweat and tears”; and Bush’s stirring urging that we throw sand in the eyes of our enemies by going shopping? Indeed, to quote Churchill himself, “Never in the field of human conflict have so many owed so much to so few.” Of course, by “the few” Churchill meant the pilots of the Royal Air Force rather than the big five credit card companies, but the meaning is essentially the same.

Inspired by the challenge laid down by the president, I decided to do my bit in this global clash of commercial cultures. I would flex my credit limit and go toe to toe with my Al Qadea supporting equivalent. For every Koran bought in the bazaar, I would snap up the latest by Dr. Phil. For every donation to a shadowy front group, I’d eat at Dennys. For every AK-47 salvaged from the battlefields of Afghanistan, I would urge further tax cuts so that I could buy warm woolen socks to send to our troops in the desert.

However like many citizen of a democracy I found the transition from peacetime customer to wartime shopper difficult to achieve. I was doing my best, but my efforts were falling short and I was failing my president. Try as I might I just wasn’t very good at shopping. I’d go out for unnecessary junk in order to keep up imports from China’s plastics factories and come back with groceries. Then it hit me; there was one area in my life where I was an expert at wasting money. It was also an area where the president could no longer contribute due to the sad medical reality that people born in Connecticut lack the gene for properly metabolizing Lone Star beer. I would drink for victory!

As I slid from my stool that first night of my campaign I felt warm inside at doing my part to combat terror- or maybe that was just the Jaegermeister. Regardless, I’ve been taking every opportunity I can to pound beers and toss back shots since my epiphany struck. There have been unintended shopping opportunities as a result; everything from larger pants to 1am gas station food have found their way on to the credit card statement.

I may now have the breath of a dinosaur, splintered blood vessels in my cheeks, and a bad case of bar stool ass but I know in my heart that the red, white, and blue flies stronger as a result. But I must never relax my liver or my guard. The freedom haters are everywhere, even in this bar as I type. The Arab looking guy next to me has just ordered a car bomb and I should probably counter him with a B-52. But rest assured, no matter how tough things get I’ll be there when the shots start flying.

First published November 2004, in Face (Portland, Maine). © The Wisdom Weasel & Smiling Joe Media 2004.

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