The Eiger Sanction

The other day I was riding the train home. As usual I was reading a book, and the guy standing next to me got excited when he noticed it was The Eiger Sanction by Trevanian. 

Hey what do you think?,” said train guy.

I looked at him and took a deep breath before I responded:

I hate it. I think it sucks.” 

A look of disappointment swept over his face immediately. I honestly felt bad. I’m normally not this blunt with total strangers but I couldn’t help myself because this was a dreadful read.


I finished this turd the other day and if you’ve read this far you might wonder why I even bothered. There was a time when I would have put this book on the shelf never to be looked at again once I realized it was an abomination (in this book’s case about a dozen pages in). However, a few years ago I read Les Miserables in its entirety and I made a pact with myself. If I could finish that behemoth I could finish anything.

I should have known better because I had read another book by Trevanian that I hated as (Shibumi), but I had bought them at the same time and I have a big pile of books I need to read through.

Eiger Sanction is about a mountain climbing art professor, Jonathan Hemlock, who moonlights as an assassin for a shady intelligence organization. Hemlock only performs hits (or sanctions as they’re known in the book). when he needs money for paintings he buys on the black market. He’s roped into taking a job that requires climbing the Eiger in Switzerland and performing a sanction hence…The Eiger Sanction!

I’m not really going to go in depth about why this book sucked instead I’m going to share a few lines that I feel make my point for me.

1. Upon arriving in Switzerland Jonathan sees the mountain and his emotional state is described as follows “He was afraid of the mountain, his groin tingled with the fear.” What the fuck does this even mean?

2. Another point in the book the author briefly covers the history of people attempting to climb the Eiger. Before any alpinist succeeded he states that “the mountain retained its hymen.”

I cringed after reading this.

3. John is a slick ladies man, and his main squeeze is a black lady named, I shit you not, Jemima Brown. When they are about to go to bed for the first time she asks “Am I your first black?” Who fucking talks like this?!?

4. Jonathan has a friend who owns a resort/mountain climbing training facility in the desert. He goes there to whip himself into shape. After a few weeks of conditioning he’s feeling good and declares “I’m just feeling tough and full of sperm.” While reading my eyes rolled so far back in my head I was afraid my retinas might detach.

5. Speaking of his time in training Jonathan is coached by a mute native American woman named George. At first Jonathan resents her because she’s in much better condition than he is and she isn’t going easy on him. At one point he screams “You are a savage George Hotfort. I’m glad we took your land!”

Even more incredible is I think this is supposed to be a moment of levity. I wasn’t laughing and not just because I’m some millennial whose in need of a safe space. This shit is fucking offensive. I probably shouldn’t have been surprised though considering Jonathan’s arch-nemesis is a suave homosexual who has a dog named Faggot. Hilarious! (this is sarcasm please don’t come after me with pitchforks).

Critics have referred to this book as a “pale James Bond derivative,” but Trevanian countered to such criticism saying this book was a spoof on the spy genre. If you ask me that’s easy to say when your work is coming under fire. Imagine having the luxury of someone saying you suck and brushing it off with “oh that’s intentional.”

Long story short I don’t recommend this book. I picked it up at a used bookstore because I read somewhere it was good. I’m an extremely cynical person and yet I bought in. A momentary lapse of judgment that amounted to about a week’s worth of suffering churning through this drivel. If you are interested in reading spy fiction and/or mountaineering I recommend Frederick Forsyth’s Day of the Jackal and/or Jon Krakaeur’s Into Thin Air.

Baltimore

Had an exciting weekend gang. The gf’s parents were in town and we took a trip to Charm City aka Baltimore, Md. Home of Babe Ruth, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Star Spangled Banner!

Don’t let reruns of The Wire fool you, Baltimore is pretty awesome. I’ve made plenty of good memories skulking around there and some of them don’t even involve alcohol (but in all seriousness Baltimore is a great place to tie one on).

I first realized what a wonderful place Baltimore could be while stationed at Ft. Meade. My sailor friends and I enjoyed spending out weekends at Pimlico Racetrack (home of the Preakness Stakes which you all know is one leg of the Triple Crown) sucking down Black Eyed Susans and gambling on the ponies. From there we would usually make our way into the city proper to drink some more. I was even coerced a time or two into one of the many strip clubs decorating Baltimore Avenue.

No monkeyshines of that caliber happened this weekend though. I dragged my motley crew to Hampden which is a cool hip neighborhood with the likes of which is totally absent in my hometown of Rockford, Illinois. Its also home to a store called Bazaar which I had been chomping at the bit to visit since I discovered its existence. For the right price a discerning customer could leave with taxidermy, human bones, and paintings by Gacy and Manson.

A fiddler crab and octopus preserved in resin caught my eye. I was geeking out surrounded by so much weird shit and I tried to start a conversation with the cashier while making my purchase. I told him I was really excited to visit the store, and that my prized possession was a taxidermy sloth.

That’s nice,” he said wholly without enthusiasm. Based on his reaction you’d have thought people with taxidermy sloths were a dime a dozen in Baltimore. I was sad and confused. How could someone who worked in a store like that not give a shit about other people’s oddities?

Luckily I am a plucky individual and was not despondent for long. The happiness that comes with purchasing new oddities obliterated my melancholy entirely. After our Hampden excursion we made our way to the home of my gf’s parents friends. Little did I know they lived around the corner from legendary auteur of smut John Waters, and our hosts were kind enough to take me sightseeing. If you don’t know who John Waters is do yourself a favor and find yourself a copy of Pink Flamingos. Put the kids to bed early because its a movie famous for a drag queen eating literal dog shit. The kicker is the movie is so despicable that by the time said shit is munched you’re likely so numb to degeneracy it’ll hardly register as outrageous.

Anyways, that’s about it. I’m returning to Baltimore in a few weeks and will be staying for the weekend. Hopefully it is a very strange time and it gives me plenty to write about.

Arlington National Cemetery

Well gang I worked this weekend. I didn’t have to but I decided since I now have a big boy job maybe I should show some ambition for the first time in my life and go above and beyond what’s expected of me.

Anyways I was assigned to cover a wreath laying at Arlington National Cemetery in honor of Medal of Honor Day. I didn’t count those in attendance but I’d say there were about a dozen MOH recipients in attendance and it was a pretty humbling experience. I’ve discussed veterans at length before and for the most part I’m indifferent when someone tells me they are a veteran. This is because I am a veteran myself and have been on the inside. Its not that I don’t think veterans deserve respect I’m just bothered by our society indoctrinating people to put service members on a pedestal. I realize I’m probably coming across as a hypocrite because I plan every Veteran’s Day around free meals but it gets a little ridiculous at times.

Anyone who receives the MOH is an exception to that. All these dudes were through some serious shit to get their medal. On board my old ship the USS Iwo Jima there is a ceremonial room full of plaques commemorating every MOH recipient from the battle of Iwo Jima. Often times I’d find myself in that room waiting for a job to start and I’d read the citations. Each one is fucking insane. Imagine a plot for an action movie that Michael Bay would describe as being ludicrous. You can say what you want about the politics surrounding the conflicts these guys fought in but one thing you can’t deny is these guys went through some serious shit. If you don’t believe me think about a time when you were faced with a personal challenge. Once you have one in mind go to Wikipedia and search a MOH recipient and read their citation (I recommend Audie Murphy whose WWII exploits made Captain America’s look like a day at the country club). I’m willing to bet once you’ve done that your long day suddenly won’t seem so bad.

Let’s move on though before I get all weepy. When I was leaving I saw a kid wearing a pair of socks with Trump’s face on them sitting in a wheelchair. Despite his questionable fashion statement I initially felt bad for the kid. I assumed his parents were anti-vaccers and he had contracted the nation’s only known case of polio. But as I was walking past he got up and appeared to be walking around with ease. What a shit! At that moment any pity I had for him was gone and I immediately went back to hating him for wearing those socks. In all fairness though I hate any kid schilling for a politician. If you’re 10 no one cares what you think (nor should they).

Speaking of clothing I just have one more thing to add before I wrap this up. As I’ve mentioned previously I’ve been to Arlington several times for work and nearly every time I’ve been taken aback by how some people dress while visiting. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a place of reverence and I’m always pissed off to see some bum skulking around in a shirt that doesn’t cover their fat gut or one that isn’t full of holes (I have witnessed both of these). I hate to outfit shame but if you can afford a trip to DC you can afford a $5 polo from Old Navy.

Spider-Man and the Sinister 6

Hey gang. I’ve been going through a renaissance of sorts recently. I’ve gotten back into reading comic books and graphic novels. The other day I finished off a Spider-Man collection Return of the Sinister Six. Obviously the book covers the Sinister Six story arc but also includes other issues from the Amazing Spider-Man published from 1990-91. While I admit I love these old stories they are at times hilarious for all the wrong reasons. Here are some highlights:

1. Peter Parker’s Aunt May is drawn so old it is laugh out loud funny. According to comic lore Aunt May’s husband, Ben Parker, was significantly older than his brother (Peter’s dad). I am not certain how wide the age gap is but if the art is any indication it was enormous since May looks like she could be Methuselah’s mother.
 She doesn’t look like she should worry about the Green Goblin attacking as much as she should about falling down the stairs and her bones turning to dust. Or slipping in the bathtub while out of arm’s reach of her life alert bracelet.

In all seriousness half the lines drawn on any panel in which she appears are on her face. I think the artists could have gotten their point across about her age without drawing her like the last living Civil War widow.

2. Something I really enjoy about superhero comics is that their nature is to be ridiculous. There are many good stories but the reader can’t enjoy them if you have no suspension of disbelief. For example Spider-Man was a kid who gained powers after being bit by a radioactive spider. If you can’t get over that you can’t appreciate that the character is a metaphor for puberty (Peter Parker was a boy when he was bitten and his body started to go through changes, get it?).

However, there are some things too ridiculous to ignore. The dumbest thing about these stories was the Sinister Six’s plot at world domination which left me speechless. Dr Octopus reforms the Sinister Six under the ruse of launching a satellite into space and holding the world hostage under the threat of releasing a poison into the atmosphere. So far so good exactly the type of thing you would expect a supervillain to do.

The rails come off very quickly though when it turns out this was nothing but a bluff. Octopus’ true plan involved secretly curing everyone of cocaine addiction. Why? The substance he put in the atmosphere made anyone who used blow nauseated. Octopus reasoned that since there were so many coke fiends he could get rich selling them a cure. A more convoluted plot there never was!

Anyone unfamiliar with the character Dr. Octopus is one of the smartest characters in the Marvel universe which makes this plot that much stupider. If he really had any brains and wanted to make serious money off cocaine addiction he should have started a cartel. Octopus’ knowledge of chemistry would make his product second to none. If he couldn’t crush the competition by selling a better product he could wipe out his rivals with little effort. He’s a super-villain capable of going toe-to-toe with Spider-Man what hoodlums could stand up to him? He enlisted the aid of Mysterio, Sandman, Hobgoblin, Vulture and Electro to have his satellite launched. If those were his sicarios even Pablo Escobar would be liable to poop his pants.

3. Speaking of Dr. Octopus he is drawn with a bowl cut. He may be an evil genius with indestructible arms fused to his body (hence the name!) but if Bill Gates can laugh at his haircut I can’t take him seriously.

He’s not the only villain who looks like an idiot either. Electro’s costume is something else indeed. Electro, if the name hasn’t given it away, can control electricity but has no mastery over fashion. His costume is a green unitard under a pair of yellow briefs. His unitard is covered with lightning bolts to really drive home the point about electricit but that is hardly the goofiest thing about his outfit. On his face he wears a mask that looks like an enormous yellow starfish. Aside from not being real I understand there is a bit of theatrics involved with being a super-hero and/or villain. Myself, I would trade a bit of the spectacle for practicality.

And speaking of practicality these aren’t even the stupidest costumes worn in this volume. This probably comes as no surprise to anyone whose read comics but the honor of dumbest (yet funniest) costumes goes to female characters.

Honorable mention goes to the Felicia Hardy aka Black Cat. Black Cat is drawn with enormous breasts which her costume struggles mightily to contain. In the comics she regularly performs acrobatic feats made all the more impressive since she appears to be smuggling two inflated pufferfish under her clothes at all times.

However, even her get up pales in comparison to Spider-Man foes Knockout and Mindblast. Knockout and Mindblast compromise half the members of an all female super-villain team hired to take down everyone’s favorite web slinger. Knockout is a powerfully built African-American lady with metal limbs. This isn’t strange by comic book standards except she’s running around a thong. Yes, her metal ass is bisected by butt floss.

Meanwhile Mindblast shows up to the fight wearing a onesie with most of the ass cut out. I know I’ve mentioned this previously but if I were a superhero I would emphasize practicality over theatrics. Could you imagine the male equivalent of this? I have no idea what it would look. Maybe some sort of garment that allows their balls to hang out?

Shitty Sports Fans

Last night my gal and I were fortunate enough to luck in to some hockey tickets. Friends of ours had extra tickets and invited us to watch the Washington Capitals battle it out with the Minnesota Wild. Good times were had by all. Well maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration because our seats were sandwiched between two of the worst fans I’ve ever had the misfortune of encountering at a sporting event.

Our seats were rather odd. I think they were doing renovations in our section because instead of stadium seating there were folding chairs secured to the floor, and the seat number was written on the floor in chalk. My group had no trouble finding their seats, but the people one row ahead of us were rather confused. An usher came by to sort out the situation and was promptly bitched out by a she-beast sitting in that aisle.

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing because it was rather shameful. This guy just came down to help and this lady just lit in to him. Yes, it was a stupid situation and the seats weren’t labeled very well but this woman reacted like someone farted on her dinner.

Did I mention she was stereotypically basic? I would be willing to bet real money this woman had a plaque in her house with some stupid phrase like “live, love, laugh” on it and lived to send meals back at restaurants. I would be equally unsurprised to find out she had a stick figure family on her car. Speaking of families she was accompanied by her two daughters (basic-lings in training) and a husband whose balls I assume were kept in a jar on her nightstand.

The sad thing is she was pleasant compared to the Capitals superfan seated a few rows above us. He wore a custom jersey with the words “Rock the Red” on the back and brought a cowbell to the game which I shit you not he must have rung at least 1,000 times. It wasn’t just random clanging either (although there was plenty of that). He attempted to keep rhythm to the music played during the game game including 2 Unlimited’s Twilight Zone which was admittedly hilarious (albeit for all the wrong reasons).

Minutes into the game and I was contemplating flinging myself to my death upon the seats below but had I done that I would have missed his worst offense which came during the first intermission. He visited the people in front of us (not the basic bitch but the guys seated next to her) and asked if they wouldn’t mind sitting up as straight as possible. He claimed they were obstructing his view of the ice. I assure you the reader they were not. We could see the entire rink from where we were and he was above us. This guy also berated people heading to their seats during play instead of after a whistle. His audacity knew no bounds.

I will give credit where credit is due and mention aside from being in close proximity to these turds I had a great time. The Capitals went, well, wild on Minnesota beating them 4-2. I’ll be back at the Verizon Center Friday night to see my beloved Chicago Bulls be more than likely humiliated by the Washington Wizards which is OK so long as I don’t have to endure that goddamn cowbell for another 3 hours.

Beauty and the Beast

Ok so have you guys heard the controversy about the live action Beauty and the Beast film? Apparently Gaston’s sidekick LeFou will be openly gay and people are PISSED. Now when I say people I mean the Alabama movie theater that is refusing to show it, Russia where the movie will be given an adult rating, and other troglodytes too numerous to mention. Here are my thoughts on the matter:
 
1. This is a Disney movie which means it will make an absurd amount of money regardless. If Disney made a movie that had a character poop on the American flag and it grossed a zillion dollars I wouldn’t be surprised in the least.
 
2. This is probably not the first Disney production with a gay character. Here is an annotated list of other Disney characters who were conceivably gay: Iago the parrot, Mr. Smee, King Louie, Jiminy Cricket, Ursula, Mrs. Beakley, Dodger, and 1/4 of the puppies from 101 Dalmatians.
If you’re reading this and confused because I’m just listing random characters that’s. Gay people are just faces in the crowd folks. THEY COULD BE ANYONE AND ANYWHERE!
 
3. If anyone of you plan on boycotting this movie because it has a gay character I feel it is my duty to inform you you’re also going to need to boycott plenty of other things. Reading this on a computer? Well I have bad news for you about Alan Turing, a pioneer in the field of computer science. Love Apple products? Oh boy, you’re gonna have to throw out your iPhone when you hear about their CEO Tim Cook.
 
In all seriousness this is one of the stupidest forms of fuckery known to man. If you went out to eat at a restaurant and found out the chef was gay would you go in the bathroom and induce vomiting? There are gay servicemembers are you going to give up enjoying the freedoms their sacrifices provide? What if you found out the cardiologist who saved Grandpa’s life last summer was gay? You wouldn’t kill Grandpa would you? WOULD YOU?!?!?
 
4. Finally I have to point out how disturbed I am by people being angry about this character’s orientation but completely OK with the bestiality overtones. Also, no one seems to have a problem with the candelabra Lumiere trying to fuck a feather duster.

Victoria’s Secret

Over the weekend the girlfriend and I went undies shopping, and to the best of my memory it was my first time in a Victoria’s Secret.

I’ve had this thought before but yesterday solidified how happy I am not to be a woman. Sexism, childbirth, and ovulation but buying underwear seems like the biggest headache of them all. So many kinds! Its much easier being a guy when all I need is a piece of fabric to absorb my farts and I’m ready to go.

Lingerie is a fucking racket if I’ve ever seen one. Whoever convinced millions of women to spend upwards of $20 on an eye-patch worn between the legs is among the greatest robber barons of our age. My girlfriend and I are humble folk of meager means therefore we were picking over the sensibly priced undies, but some of this stuff looked like nothing more than re-purposed fabric scraps.

During our shopping excursion a lady and her pubescent son walked in. This kid impressed me because he was walking around reading a comic book (Black Panther!). I know if I found myself in a women’s underwear store at that age it would would have taken every fiber of my being to stop myself from brutalizing my dick in a masturbatory frenzy. However, a few moments later my admiration turned to pity because he was standing next to his mother while she was being measured for a bra. I can’t say with certainty I never accompanied my mother buying frilly undergarments but I was lucky enough not to remember.

After the gal picked out her bloomers we went to pay and it took fucking forever. There were two registers each occupied by morons monopolizing the cashier’s time while the line grew behind them. I am confident mortgages have been ironed out in less time than it took these broads to finish their business. Eventually they finished and we were able to escape.

State Street Station

Hey gang. This is a little piece about my hometown, the dystopian hellscape that is Rockford, Illinois. Its the end of an era as local landmark, the State Street Station, has closed their doors after roughly 40 years in business.

The local rag, the Rockford Register Star, wrote an obit of sorts in which owner Sherry Flynn provided a quote for the ages:

We have lots of fond, fond memories and made lots of friends. We even had a wedding (at State Street Station).”

I love this quote because for as long as I can remember State Street Station has been a seedy exotic dance bar, and the thought of having a wedding there boggles the mind.

The station is located on Rockford’s hilariously nicknamed Miracle Mile. I say hilarious because if that stretch of struggling businesses and abandoned storefronts represents a miracle I’d hate to imagine a calamity. Directly across the street is a Chuck E. Cheese. I never found that odd growing up because it had always been that way, and I never noticed the odd juxtaposition until one of my highfalutin east coast cousins pointed it out during a visit.

With that being said I’d be lying if I said I never ventured inside but in my defense I was drunk each time. Really drunk. Think Charles Bukowski on a lazy Saturday afternoon. Going in that place sober would have been akin to going to war without a rifle. Luckily there was another notorious watering hole just up the road; another Rockford landmark no longer with us named Stash O’Neil’s. Despite being a shit hole O’Neil’s did have things going for it. The first was on Friday night they had a $5 cover and $1 beers. Their other interesting feature the morbidly obese bouncer. This guy looked like a gargoyle made of wet cement and had to have weighed at least 400 lbs. He had flame tattoos instead of eyebrows, and my friends and I were convinced he was too fat to get off his bar stool and when the bar closed at night he was simply wheeled away from the door and slept upon his perch. A couple more nuggets of O’Neil’s are that after the bar closed for good someone used the basement for an illegal marijuana grow op, and I believe someone was killed there during its heyday.

Anyways a couple times after drinking many a dollar beer my friend and I decided to pop into the station during our stumble back to the house. As mentioned previously I was very impaired but I distinctly remember two things about those visits. The first was using bathroom and looking up from the urinal at a wall completely covered in hardcore pornography. The other thing I recall was talking to a cocktail waitress who even in my state of advanced inebriation wasn’t attractive in the slightest.

I don’t think I can honestly say I’ll miss the station but I will definitely miss the idea of the station. I didn’t plan on ever going back but it was a local institution and its gone forever. I’m not going to tear up but next time I drink a beer I may pour a bit out in memoriam.

http://www.rrstar.com/blogs/20170223/comings–goings-state-street-station-wont-reopen-building-for-lease

Norse Mythology

Hey gang. I finished Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology the other day and there is much to discuss. I’ve read Norse mythology before but this was a nice refresher and great reminder that Norse myths are truly fucked up. Without further adieu I will now share a few highlights of the tales passed down by my ancestors:

1.    I don’t normally like to comment on religion because I think its beneath me and believe it or not I try not to be an overt dick. However, parts of the Norse creation myth are odd because of how familiar they are. For example Odin and his cronies make the first man and woman out of two pieces of wood they find on a beach. They are named Ask and Embla.. While they were not made from dirt and spare ribs I think the parallels to the Bible are obvious this myth developed independently of Christian influence. Does this mean anything? I don’t know but if you are offended by what I may or may not be inferring please respond with the stupidest meme you can find that makes your point find you. This will amuse me.

2.    Norse mythology touches on a modern conspiracy that amuses me quite a bit. Flat earth theory. According to Odin and his ilk the world is a flat disc with the sea around the edge. Flat Earthers believe our world is surrounded by a giant wall of ice the top of which is guarded by NASA to keep people from climbing over the edge. I don’t know if there’s any connection but recently Kyrie Irving, star point guard of the Cleveland Cavaliers declared the Earth was flat. I have no idea whether he’s interested in Norse myths but I mentioned it because I enjoy laughing at public figures with idiotic ideas.

3.    Norse myth it could be argued predicted modern events specifically President Trump’s treatment of contract labor and his desire to build a wall along the US southern border. Here is an excerpt from the story about the master builder who is hired by the gods to build, what else, a big, beautiful wall:
“We cannot always rely on Thor,” said Odin. “We need protection. Giants will come. Trolls will come. And some I assume are good people.” (Haha OK I added that last sentence but please continue)
“What do you propose?” asked Heimdall, the watchman of the gods.
“A wall,” said Odin. “High enough to keep out frost giants. Thick enough that not even the strongest troll could batter its way through.”
The next day a man arrives who claims he can build their wall in three seasons, but in exchange he desires the goddess Freya as his bride. Odin, who fancies himself the master of the art of the deal, tells him he needs to finish the wall in a single season. The man accepts, and thinking the task impossible the gods relax and wait for their wall to be built. Unbeknownst to the gods the man’s horse is magic and works without fatigue. Soon it becomes obvious to the gods the wall will be built on time and they will have to pay up. Instead of honoring their debt they plot how to screw the builder out of his deserved reward. Loki transforms into a mare and lures the builder’s horse away just as the wall is about to be finished. Without his horse the man fails to finish the job, and the gods get their way. Adding insult to injury the gods realize the builder is not a man but rather a giant in disguise. This pisses the gods off because this guy misrepresented himself (even though they dicked him over in the first place) and Thor ends up bashing his head in with Mjolnir.
The story isn’t over though. Months later Loki returns accompanied by an 8-legged horse which he birthed. You read that right…Loki fucked a horse (while in the form of a horse) and had its baby. I don’t know if this was the first pro-life story, or the first beastality story but I am fairly confident it was the first pro-life beastality story.

4.    Another story worth mentioning is the time Loki made the giant Skadi laugh. Loki made her laugh by tying one end of a rope to a billy goat’s beard and the other end to his dong and playing tug-of-war. I defy you not to think about this if you go see the new Thor movie, or anything with Tom Hiddleston for that matter.

5.    This story wasn’t in Neil Gaiman’s volume but I feel it must be shared anyways. One time Thor was on a journey when he needed to cross a river. While crossing he noticed the water rising and glanced up river to see a giant menstruating into the water. Thor’s solution to the problem was to slay the giant with his hammer.

Anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of Norse myth knows Loki is a villain but its like arguing whether which historical dictator was the most evil. Odin and his ilk are an unruly bunch of drunks, war mongers, murderers, and charlatans. The depths of their degeneracy seems to know no bounds, but I’ll be damned if the adventures of these na’er-do-wells don’t make for a good read.

President’s Day

Well gang today was President’s Day. I don’t know how you guys spent yours but much of mine was spent at George Washington’s palatial Mount Vernon estate.

I wasn’t there to pay my respects rather it was I who was getting paid. Overtime baby! The high and mighty greenback was the motivation I needed to get off the couch on a federal holiday, but I’m glad I took the initiative because it was a pretty interesting experience.

My day began at Washington’s tomb. I don’t particularly care for tombs and/or cemeteries. They creep me out and today was no exception. I was a little overwhelmed knowing that roughly 15 feet away old George’s withered desiccated husk was lying in state. Making matters more surreal was the constant parade of people who came by to see the place. I have no idea if this is typical but today there were approximately a zillion middle schoolers in attendance. I enjoyed silently judging them as they walked by. Most of these kids were dorks wearing dumb clothes and acting like goons. Of course I’m aware I was the same way at that age with one very important exception. Several of these little snots were wearing MAGA hats and I never would have been caught dead in one. I wanted to slap them but to be fair not entirely for their fashion choices. Whether they realized it or not they were making a political statement and while I’m willing to humor a tween’s political opinion I don’t really give a shit about what they think. They aren’t paying taxes, can’t vote, or go to war so I have no problem writing them off (these rules apply to adults as well). Also, I tend to not be impressed by the deep thoughts of someone whose only had seven years of formal education. Fuck tweens wearing MAGA hats!

Anyways, enough lecturing I’ll step down from my soapbox. A general laid a wreath at the Washington’s sarcophagus and afterward I went to photograph him giving a speech. He spoke of George in such reverential terms I had to roll my eyes at times, and to call some of his remarks hyperbole would be an understatement. In spite of all that it wasn’t a bad speech but I had to draw the line when he spoke about #1 prez’s respect for his fellow man. I guess he didn’t realize the stage was literally a hundred or so feet from former slave quarters. I should have known better though because George is now more myth than a man, and every kid in the country has been brought up to believe he did no wrong. The speech did with a bang though…literally. There was .a 21 musket volley. The gunshots were met with the wailing of children taken by surprise, and I laughed because I’m a terrible person.

The next event on the docket was a combat demonstration performed by the Old Guard, the Army’s ceremonial unit. I have seen these guys perform on a few occasions and they are pretty fun to watch. They are excellent at drill, and their outfits are something to behold. They dress as old-timey continental soldiers powdered wigs and all. I enjoyed watching them shoot more guns (including a cannon!) and scaring the shit out of more kids before heading home

Later I went angling and caught my first fish of the year. Thanks to human induced climate change it was in the mid-60s and I figure I might at least enjoy the day before our planet is completely destroyed. All in all this was probably the most productive President’s Day of my life.