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If You Can Read This, You’re Too Close

The problem as I see it (and from where I’m sitting it’s all I can see) is that us Americans are too dumb to survive. When I say “too dumb”, I don’t mean any slight against persons of the mute persuasion, although sign language is so pretentious. Neither do I just mean ignorant or undereducated-in fact these are qualities I admire in women of an athletic build. And by “us Americans”, I don’t mean every single American currently abroad in the land. I mean Americans in the collective sense, as I might mean sheep, lemmings, or herring. We’re so dumb, ladies and gentlemen, we get our politics off the fenders of other people’s cars.

The scary part is, so does the man who styles himself president. You think he’s dumb? What does that make the people who support him? When I say that Americans are dumb, I’m talking about bone stupid. Stupider than a sack of fried wombat scats. It’s a miracle that people this stupid can breath simultaneously with both lungs. If you pitted a glass of tap water against the average citizen of this nation in a contest of wits, I’m guessing the outcome would be too close to call. How can you tell if water is potable? Pick it up and carry it around. There are Oldsmobile Cutlasses from the mid-1970’s smarter than Americans today, and the Cutlass came with factory air.

Among the Buddhist koans I have studied is this one: “What is the last thing to go through a fly’s head as it hits the windshield?” Years after I left the temple to wander the Old West on a pilgrimage in search of enlightenment, setting things right wherever I went with a mixture of Eastern philosophy and Kung Fu, I comprehended the answer. The last thing to go through a fly’s head as it hits the windshield is, of course, its ass. That’s where we’re headed, Spanky, and this windshield isn’t a product of Oldsmobile. This windshield is the almost inevitable future, a vast pane of triple-hardened glass we can see through, but cannot pass through. God help us. When I say “us”, I mean of course “We”, as in, “The People”. One of whom I am, and this is the crux of the nub of the gist of the essence of the pith of the kernel of the marrow of the matter, whatever that was. I forgot what I was saying. As for ‘God’, you either know who that is, or isn’t. I leave it to you. “God Said It, I Believe It, That Settles It”, as the bumper sticker goes.

What in Sam Hill does “Power of Pride” mean? Or “These Colors Never Run”? Pride hath no power, you Bible-thumping thimble-brains. Words and deeds is where it’s at. I’m proud of my moustache, for example. It’s a special moustache. It’s on my forehead, right above the tattoo of the topsail ketch ‘Mary Rose’. But my moustache pride has no inherent power. I can be proud of it for eight hours a day and nothing changes. These colors never run? They sure do fade. The red goes first, so you end up with this white flag with a blue square in one corner. Isn’t that Denmark? Americans are crouching behind bumper-sticker slogans rather than think. That’s Kerry’s problem (aside from a three-foot head): he doesn’t know how to reduce his statements down to where they’ll fit on a seven-inch strip of vinyl in 120-point type. On the other hand, George W. Bush is the bumper-sticker president. “One Nation, Under God”. “Dead Or Alive”. “You’re With Us, Or You’re With The Terrorists”. “I’m A War President”. “Is Our Children Learning?” We earned him.

I’m an American, and a patriot, and it doesn’t say so on the bumper of my car. My bumper doesn’t say anything. It must be dumb. I don’t need a sticker printed by slaves in China to prove I’m American. I prove I’m American the old-fashioned way: by thinking for myself, insofar as I’m capable of thinking. Support Our Troops? I did, I tried to keep them home. And now I’m trying to get them back. Affixing a magnetic yellow ribbon to the back of your Oldsmobile isn’t going to help our troops one damn bit. Hey, I have an idea: why don’t you enlist? That’s what a real patriotic American who believes in George W. Bush would do. Me, I think he lied us into this situation, so I’m not volunteering. “United We Stand”, the sticker says. Divided We Are, however. Props to George, prince of fenderspeak.

I suggest we stop putting stickers on our bumpers, and start putting them on our windshields. That way we’ll have something to read in the last instant before our asses go through our heads.

BEN TRIPP can be reached at credel@earthlink.net.

His book, ‘Square In The Nuts’, has been held up at the printers by thugs but will be released as soon as hostage negotiations conclude.

See also www.cafeshops.com/tarantulabros.

 

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