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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Protest Schmotest

On a very rare outing today (outings are rare when you're the father of twins, in case you didn't know) I noticed some protesters holding up signs and chanting some shit outside one of our local hospitals.  The heat was sweltering, and there were some elderly, knobby-kneed fuckers out there with sign-boards yelling at traffic in that ornery, old protester way, and I thought to myself,

Man-- those people are really angry at whatever it is that hospital is doing.  But I'll bet, if one of them collapsed from an aneurysm or heat stroke or an exploding varicose vein, they probably wouldn't put up much of a fuss if they were picked up and dragged into the emergency room of that hospital.  I doubt they'd do anything to prevent the doctors and nurses inside that villainous institution from cutting them open and knocking around their hearts till they restarted.  I'll bet they wouldn't mind.

That's the thing about being pissed off at a hospital, or at the police-- it's all well and good until you're frothing at the mouth or being beat up by a gang of roving Vikings.

I've never protested anything, and I got to thinking about this when all the Occupy Whatever protests were going on at full tilt.  I had thought that my apathy had really set in once I became a father, but that's not entirely true-- I didn't give a shit about things way before that.  Not even as a college student, when I fancied myself an activist of some sort.  When every asshole considers himself an activist of some sort.  Looking back on it, I probably would have gotten more head in college had I went to Washington or New York to protest something.  I'm sure protests are great places to meet idealistic chicks.  Women aren't crazy about giving head at Lutheran schools in Allentown.  At least not to me.

It was nice to get out of the house today, even though I was running a regrettable errand.  See, for approximately ten years, I was a 30-inch waist.  This made buying trousers uneventful, and I liked that.  If I liked my life to be eventful, chances are I'd have gone to a protest or two in my twenties.  Due to a combination of slowed metabolism, middle-aged spread, and experiencing the suddenly sedentary lifestyle of suburban twin fatherhood, I noticed recently that I was gasping for air every time I would put on a pair of pants.  This simply was not going to do-- not for long at any rate.  Crushed guts aren't good for a person, you know.

So I finally ventured out today while Mrs. Apron looked after the children and I bought pants.  Eight pair of pants.  Blue, black, gray, olive, brown, khaki.  I don't know what else-- there were two other colors.  Gray? Who cares?  The point of this story isn't the trousers, it's that I was outside, and I was noticing things again.  Like the sweaty bastard in the wife-beater mowing his lawn, like the two children who were standing by the curb and should have been being more closely monitored by their dick-brained parent.  Like the stupid new Fiat that looks like a hemorrhoid. Like hot jogging chicks with ponytails who don't give head in Allentown.  Like protesters outside of the hospital.  I liked noticing things again.

I wanted to go up to one of those protesters and talk to them, to see what they were about.  To see if they were really as annoying as I thought they were.  To see if they were protesting abortion.  Or if they didn't like the new GE ultrasound machines for some reason.  But instead I just got out of my car and stared at them, like they were animals in the zoo.  One of the animals tipped his head to me, acknowledging me.  I didn't like that.  I felt like kicking him, but I didn't.  I'm not a violent person, you know.  Like F. Murray Abraham's Salieri, I just have "really... violent thoughts".  Like you do.

I got punched in the face last week at work by a patient.  That's never happened to me before-- not just at work, but anywhere.  In elementary school, I was hit in the stomach once on the playground, probably for saying something smart.  On the #30 bus, a blonde 5th grader named Russell hit me in the chest with his hockey stick as he was getting off the bus.  I don't remember provoking that incident, but it's likely that I did.  I'm not violent, but I did a lot in those days to incite conflict.  These days, I do my best to avoid it.  I guess that's why I don't protest, or walk up to protesters.

When I got hit in the face-- it wasn't that hard-- I saw little specks for a quick second or two.  The screen went black and there were these little white specks, little bitty flecks that kind of sparkled.  It was, I don't know, weird.  Nice Jewish boys from the suburbs aren't supposed to get punched in the face at psych hospitals.

"That's for some other mother's son," my mother said to me years ago when I tried to join the police academy.

So, I guess, is protesting.


  1. I'm against protesting... I just don't know how to show it.

  2. Maybe nobody would punch you in the face if you weren't such a PHONY!!! A BIG FAT PHONY!!!

  3. Calling Mr. Oswald with the swastika tattoo
    There is a vacancy waiting in the English voodoo
    Carving "V" for "vandal" on the guilty boy's head
    When he's had enough of that, maybe you'll take him to bed
    To teach him he's alive before he wishes he was dead


    Turn up the TV, no one listening will suspect
    Even your mother won't detect it, so your father won't know
    They think that I've got no respect but
    Everything is less than zero
    Hey, oo hey-ey
    Hey, oo hey-ey

    Oswald and his sister are doing it again
    They've got the finest home movies that you have ever seen
    They've got a thousand variations, every service with a smile
    They're gonna take a little break and they'll be back after a while
    Well, I hear that South America is coming into style


    A pistol was still smoking, a man lay on the floor
    Mr. Oswald said he had an understanding with the law
    He said he heard about a couple living in the USA
    He said they traded in their baby for a Chevrolet
    Let's talk about the future, now we've put the past away

    Hey, oo hey-ey
    Hey, oo hey-ey


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