Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Freedom Is Huge

Memorial Day is a fine day to cut one's lawn, and this year was no different. Clear blue sky, 78 degrees, slight breeze. Perfect.

As I pushed the mower across my yard, the invigorating scent of freshly-cut grass filling my nostrils, lush vistas of mountains, canyons, and sparkling lakes in which sun-dappled goddesses admired their beauty, and perhaps also their silk togas, exploding in my mind, I didn't hear the man yelling at me from the sidewalk, waving his arms, trying to get my attention.

Two goddesses were washing each other's backs when the man's voice finally broke through.


I cut the motor.


"Do you know what today is?"

"Yeah. It's Monday."

The guy adjusted his ball cap featuring an eagle carrying Old Glory in its beak, its talons clutching a rifle and a sword, its t-shirt showing another eagle dropping egg-shaped bombs.

"Wrong. It's Memorial Day!"

I smiled back. "I know. And it's a beautiful one, too, wouldn't you say?"

He grimaced. "Well, it was until I saw your disrespect."

My smile faded. "What are you talking about?"

The man walked up to me, his star spangled cape flapping behind him.

"Look at yourself. Not a stitch of patriotic clothing. And where's your flag?"

"My flag?"

"Yes! Your American flag! Where the hell is it?"

"I don't own a flag."

The stranger practically leapt out of his red, white and blue striped jumpsuit.

"YOU DON'T OWN A FLAG! Why not go piss on some veterans' graves while you're at it!"

"Look -- I'm just cutting my grass. Now, if you don't mind . . ."

He stepped closer, his baby blue boots featuring the Twin Towers in Heaven accumulating cut grass in the process.

"Oh, I do mind. See, if it wasn't for American servicemen, your precious lawn would be speaking Arabic and cutting you in pieces instead."

"That doesn't make any sense."

"Not to a traitor like yourself! If you had any decency, you'd be mowing your yard on your knees as a tribute to those who made lawnmowers free in the first place!"

The guy began dancing around, singing some song about eagles and lawnmowers. I pulled the .38 from my ankle holster and shot him twice in the thigh.

"Sweet Jesus!" he screamed, grabbing his bleeding thigh. "That's some damn fine shootin'! I guess I had you pegged all wrong!"

"I guess you did."

"Well, freedom's all about making mistakes. My apologies. You have a great Memorial Day!"

"You too."

The wounded patriot limped off, smiling. I thought about shooting him again, but decided against it. I could always shoot him another day.

I finished cutting my grass and got drunk. I watched college lacrosse on ESPN and laughed at how the Iroquois would school these pampered Ivy League swells. Then I passed out.

ONE MORE TIME: Here's my pal A. Whitney Brown expressing his patriotism. I posted this some time ago, but certain messages bear repeating. Plus, I don't have to shoot a video myself. So we all win.