“Since Obama” Is the New Touchstone

The civil liberties’ attorney said there has been an up-tick, a pretty sizable up-tick, in violence from fringe, white, skin-head, Western cowboy, Michigan thumb, tea party, old, hardly movin’ folk movin’ toward mainstream groups since, none other than, Barak Obama, middle name Hussein, appeared on the scene, audaciously according to all the previously mentioned, as, of all things, our (our?) president, our (Are you kidding me, they wonder.) Commander-in-Chief (Hey, dude, who wears the fatigues, the cowboy boots and the 9 mm Glocks around here?). The loonies, apparently, were willing to put up with Dubya, probably, mostly because he was a sorta, simple, white guy who spoke in Texas colloquial even if he had a Brahmin background which was hidden behind “Ah, shucks, wood chompin’, brush clearin’ I’m the decider,” middle Texas talk. And they’ve got guns, lots of guns and they are not only pointing them, they are now shooting them here, there and everywhere and they are scared, oh, so scared and oh, so dangerous like a cornered rat in our now rodent ridden NRA nation, and even though I’ve been concerned for the president’s safety from the beginning, I, now, just really want the President to finish out his second, duly elected term, faster than those two and a half remaining years and get on with a requisite memoir, a foundation, a legacy and, by the grace of God, old, really old age given a guy who is in such good shape now, now that he has finally quit smoking and this from a guy who turned the corner of 144th and Halsted Street as the newscaster broke in on the radio station to say that John Fitzgerald Kennedy had been shot in Dallas, Texas.

It is the Story Everybody Loves

It, of course, is the story everybody loves

in these days of national political gridlock,

antagonism, polarization and blatant racism,

when an American soldier, five year prisoner

of war, is booed on touchdown on U.S. soil

and prejudged and excoriated by every non-

veteran pundit, newscaster and otherwise

media ignoramus, it’s obvious America is

stalled out on the potholed highway of life.

The good-looking kid who’s mother was

bought for a song has everyone singing “My

Old Kentucky Home,” listening to “Revelry”

in Maryland and hearing Frank Sinatra, Jr. belt

out his dad’s song, “New York, New York” in

New York – a commoner in Camelot, a would-

be prince in a land of kings, a would-be king

in the land of equine gods. A number’s geek,

a blue-collar California cowboy, a long-term,

mediocre rider turned into a veteran-in-his-own-

right trainer all looking for a “who-could-believe

-it” legacy was on the verge of handing America

what it needed in this moment like every other

moment in America’s past when something

mythical, something magical, something whim-

sical was needed and now would, for two and

a half minutes, provide it, but it was not to be.

The double crown, an unbelievable feat, was

not to be a triple. The crazy politicians would

continue their crazy ways, cynicism would

prevail, fear, again, would rule the day and

after it all, all the jeers and tears, the beautiful,

golden boy with the flying white feet, upon

whom rested so many hopes, just looked for-

ward to a big bucket of oats and lots of rest

in the California sun.


While Driving to the Hardware Store

While driving to the hardware store in his

fourteen-year-old, mid-size, gas-guzzling

SUV, which normally only comes out of

the garage to pull his little, travel trailer

to state parks for relatively environmentally

friendly get-aways (vs. staying in motels

along the way and at the destination), except

just then because the SUV was in the way of

the hybrid and parked behind the hybrid

instead of being put in the garage promptly

after having been disconnected from the

little travel trailer and he didn’t want to go

to the trouble to park it back in the garage,

he saw two teen-aged skateboarders

flying down the bike path being pulled by

two Chocolate Labs that looked like

thoroughbred horses/like brown unicorns

rising to the heavens. The boys and their

steeds rose, in the man’s mind, like chariots

of fire. He looked at the road ahead, saw the

Brits in their bright white apparel running

along the shore in the movie, heard the

music and felt lift off of his fossil-fuel burning

beast. It soared above the trees and then

slalomed down the powdery slopes. He

pulled back on the steering wheel and the

WWII bomber (which fit better with the

heavy weight he was driving) just rose above

the sand dunes, dipped and chopped the

top of the white caps on the big lake. Then

he dropped down in the parking lot of the hard-

ware store, removed his Cubs/leather fighter

pilot cap, breathed deeply, turned off the

ignition, got out, sauntered through the auto-

matic door and asked a clerk where he would

find the fish food. Arriving at home, having

maneuvered the warning cones which just a

few minutes earlier had been Olympic, down-

hill slalom poles, he parked the Chariot of Fossil

Fuel Fire and promised himself that next time he

would fly in the sky and swoop down the slope in

his fuel-efficient, four-cylinder hybrid.