I know. I’ve been away a long time. Far too long some of you must be thinking. Not long enough according to others. But, I have a note from my doctor; the dog ate my homework; my tux didn’t come back from the cleaners; there was an earthquake; A TERRIBLE FLOOD!!
When in doubt, throw the kitchen sink full of excuses at the problem a lá Jake Blues while staring down the barrel of an M16 in the bottom of a sewer. (Note to discerning readers: for those of you who haven’t seen The Blues Brothers, it is rivaled only by Casablanca for a myriad of one-liners that is unsurpassed.)
Still, when resting on the veracity of an excuse, the first one is probably the best. And so it is with me. I actually do have a note from my doctor – several in fact.
Whence last I posted on this site, I was preparing to move, out of necessity, I’m afraid. The stampede of IT work to India had left me high and dry with nowhere to go. Coincidentally – well, maybe no so coincidentally – I was shifting gears out of this dead-end career to something more meaningful. Ever since my sojourn to Normandy in 2004 for the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings, life has not been the same. And there’s no going back to the same old thing, the same old way. More on that in the weeks to come.
Still, I was comfortably ensconced in a 1000 sq. ft. loft in a not so unfashionable part of town. One big room with everything I needed, perched above the garage where I parked my car. I hadn’t planned to spend ten years there after my divorce, but I did. And I wasn’t all that jazzed about leaving it. As tough a move as it turned out to be after accumulating ten years of useless junk, it got infinitely more so by virtue of getting pneumonia in mid-July.
My doctor – who happens to attend my church and considers his practice really his ministry, especially when it comes to straight white guys like me who have been cut out of the health care system under the avalanche of illegals that currently overwhelm the system out here – told me if I had waited another week, I’d have landed in an oxygen tent. When I asked him “Who gets pneumonia in the middle of summer?” he had a simple response: “You do.”
Six weeks and massive doses of industrial strength antibiotics later, I beat it. That takes us to Labor Day, and about the only aspect of the last four months or so that has anything remotely to do with the decline and fall of America.
I was lounging around my new digs on Saturday night of Labor Day weekend, and all of a sudden I got this overwhelming urge for a vanilla malt. Now there just so happens to be the obligatory greasy spoon burger joint not far from my new address that specializes in all kinds of artery-clogging goodness. Not the least of these delicacies are the thickest vanilla malts this side of the Dreyer’s ice cream factory in Tijuana, Mexico. So, I grabbed my stuff and headed on down to the burger joint. It was coming up on closing time, around 11:00 at night.
What follows is an exercise in how to violate just about every existing principle of situational awareness there is. First, I went there alone. It wouldn’t have taken much effort, even at that late hour, to give someone a call, and more often than not, I would have found a taker. But, on this night, I was flying solo.
Next, I failed to notice that the parking lot was all but deserted. Maybe two or three cars, widely dispersed in the lot, with my vehicle closest to the burger joint in what just happened to be the darkest part of the lot.
It gets better. After I was finished, walking back to the car, I paid no attention to two young guys behind me chatting quietly in Spanish. I mean, come on, this is California for crying out loud – where the streets are paved with gold, and fortunes are made easier than ever thanks to cheap laborers who are willing to work for 15¢ a day and no bathroom breaks. So, I paid it no mind.
Next thing I know, I’m getting spun around by the shoulder. And I caught a glimpse – just a glimpse mind you – of a large fist heading right for me before it smashed into my head above my left eye.
I went down on the curb next to my car – breaking a rib as a turned out – and blood spurted everywhere. All over my shirt, dripping in my left eye (rendering me temporarily blind as it happened), and seeing stars out of the other one.
When I shook some sense into my head, I discovered a couple of 20-something Latinos standing over me, one of whom was carrying a small folding knife that can do a lot of damage if you’re not careful. He and his buddy sported typical gang-banger attire – baggy pants, tank tops, and shaved heads, not to mention the knife the one who hit me was brandishing in my face. Mr. Knife Boy also had a barb-wire tattoo around his neck – which an ex-cop friend of mine informed me indicated he’d spent hard time in the joint.
So there I was, lying on the ground, out of breath, my side throbbing, and also suffering from a mild concussion, I discovered later. Mr. Knife Boy then demanded – in rather colorful language which I won’t repeat here (after all, it’s a family blog) – that I hand over my wallet, which I’m sure he expected to be filled with large amounts of cash and a diverse collection of credit cards.
It just so happened I had it with me in a fanny pack (although I think he might have been disappointed at the meager score he anticipated). So, as I was sprawled on the ground bleeding, I unzipped the fanny pack. He anticipated a fat wallet. What he got was a loaded .45.
Who ever said young people can’t move fast when they’re provided with the proper motivation? You never saw two kids move that fast this side of Parris Island, South Carolina. They were gone and out of sight in less than five seconds. Good thing too. If Mr. Knife Boy had stumbled in my direction – and he was about six feet from me at the time – he’d have ended up on a slab in the morgue. Provided, of course, I could have hit him with one eye open and a broken rib. But, I exercised remarkable fire discipline for someone of my advanced years. I didn’t kill either one of them. Must be getting sentimental on my old age, or too provincial. Anyway the only one who suffered any injuries in this little dust up was me.
There are some object lessons to be learned of which experienced CCW permit holders should be well aware. Not the least of these is always pay attention to your surroundings. And realize you can get jumped and beaten up just about anywhere. Even plush, upscale bedroom communities in southern California are not immune.
Over an above those obvious discernments, there are two overriding facts of life all of us should bear in mind:
1. Glock – Don’t leave home without it.
2. The Second Amendment – Every constitution should have one, and we should always practice what we preach. It works every time. Imagine that.
I didn’t file a police report. I mean, let’s face it, I was the only one who got busted up. And I’m sure those two misguided young people have seen the error of their ways and are giving the souls to Jesus as we speak. Can you say hallelujah?
On a more practical note, experienced CCW holders in this state know the hard facts of life of concealed carry. It’s one thing to defend your life. It’s quite another to pull a gun on an oppressed person of color who courageously crossed a hostile border to claw out a desperate foothold in an inherently bigoted country in hopes of building a better life. Pull the trigger on such an innocent victim, and prepare for the wrath of God to descend in full fury. Local law enforcement, federal hate crimes commission, even Homeland Security could get in the middle of something like this, not to mention the blood-sucking media hyenas who inevitably crawl out of their roach holes looking to make a name for themselves.
So, no police report.
And thereby hangs my explanation as to why I have been so conspicuously absent from this forum.
My doctor examined my head at the Wednesday night Bible study the following week. He said I could have used three or four stitches and to come by his office. I didn’t. It’s one thing to avail yourself of the kindness of people whose hearts are in the right place. It’s quite another to take advantage of it. Besides which, my scar gives me yet another opportunity to lie about my war record (“This is where that NVA colonel wrestled my K-BAR away from me and tried to stab me through the head before I killed him with my .45, honey.”) Women love that kind of stuff. No matter that the scar is less than two months old. They’ll believe anything. Some of them, anyway.
So, I spent another six weeks recuperating from my war wounds, only to come down with pneumonia again. That’s twice in one year, no less. After kicking it a second time, I ended up with a severe case of sinusitis, made even more miserable by breathing in clouds of smoke as every firebug with a book of matches came out of the woodwork and attempted to burn down the entire state of California.
If that wasn’t enough, no one told me that a steady diet of antibiotics over several months tends to dehydrate the patient. Never being one to drink enough water anyway, I managed to squeeze out five (count ‘em) kidney stones in the process. That brings my grand total to eighteen over the past twenty years.
So, assuming my troubles have taken a temporary hiatus, I look forward to offering more commentaries on the state of the nation as the year winds down. In the meantime, let me wish everyone who participates on Allegiance and Duty Betrayed a very Happy Thanksgiving. It is by far my favorite holiday. I have no idea what’s going to be left of America – probably nothing if we’re faced with eight years of Hillary – but I hope and pray this holiday survives the twin vise grips of globalization and third world invasions.
There’s something to be said for tradition, after all.