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REQUIEM

Below are the two final essays to be posted on Allegiance and Duty Betrayed. The first one is written by a friend -- screen name 'Euro-American Scum' -- who, over the past four years, has been the most faithful essayist here. He has written about everything from his pilgrimage to Normandy in 2004 to take part in the 60th–year commemoration of the invasion, to his memories of his tour in Vietnam. His dedication to America’s founding principles ... and those who have sacrificed to preserve them over the past 200+ years ... is unequaled. Thank you, E-A-S. It has been a privilege to include your writing here, and it is a privilege to call you my friend.

The second essay is my own farewell. And with it I thank all of the many regular visitors, and those who may have only dropped in occasionally, for coming here. I hope you learned something. I hope a seed or two was planted. But, even if not, I thank you for stopping by ... 25 March, 2010

11/14/2007

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

summervacation1.jpg

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.

by Euro-American Scum
(contributing team member of Allegiance and Duty Betrayed)

30 comments:

john galt said...

Mighty glad you had your .45 on hand, Scum. And I hearily agree with your "2 overriding facts of life."

Sorry to hear about your misfortunes, but you seem to be rising above them. Kudos.

Lori_Gmeiner said...

It sounds like you've been wrung out and hung out to dry this summer, Mr. Scum. Here's hoping your fall and winter are much different.

I'm so glad you got the better of those two pieces of garbage. I wish I could have been there to see them turn tail when they saw that you were packing. ;)

arlene albrecht said...

"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."

My heart did a cartwheel when I read that. Thanks! You made my day!

marcus aurelius said...

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.

I suspect that is reminiscent of the way Neil Armstrong felt after walking on the moon. He said that his life was never the same after that experience. Only in your case the transformation is probably much more personal, and much more sad, considering the changes that have happened in our country since D-Day.

Thanks for the column. Very well done.

kathymlynczak said...

I could happily go through my whole life without experiencing what you did in that parking lot, thank you. :-)

You handled it very well though, and it sounds like you're handling your other problems equally well.

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.

I totally sadly agree.

Thanks for the very interesting essay.

3timesalady said...

Your essays here have been so varied and yet every one of them is fascinating.

I'm sorry to hear that you lost your job and that you have been so ill. Your night of unexpected confrontation was hair raising also. But in spite of all of that you are doing well. You are apparently a survivor!

Thanks for sharing your latest experiences, and remind me never to believe any of your "war wound" stories. Not all women are as gullible as you seem to think. ;)

smithy said...

Well done (especially the parking lot incident) and well written.

stonemason said...

The moral of the story: vanilla malts can be hazardous to your health. :-)

(Good writing, Scum.)

Montypython2 said...

Wish I had had a .45 along with me when I was carjacked 6 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Well lived and well said.

Euro-American Scum said...

I suspect that is reminiscent of the way Neil Armstrong felt after walking on the moon.

You know, I hadn't considered the similarity, but now that you mention it . . .

He said that his life was never the same after that experience. Only in your case the transformation is probably much more personal, and much more sad, considering the changes that have happened in our country since D-Day.

You have just touched on the tip of the iceberg. Soon to be addressed in a future essay if I can ever get my arms around it.

Euro-American Scum said...

3Timesalady wrote. . .

Thanks for sharing your latest experiences, and remind me never to believe any of your "war wound" stories. Not all women are as gullible as you seem to think.;)


Seems to me I said that. Anyway, I figured to get some mileage out of the whole thing, considering us creaking, old, slacker/deadbeats with no future and even fewer prospects need to take advantage of anything that falls into our laps. -:)

I'll remember never to share a personal war story on this site. (Come to think if it, I do that anyway.)

Euro-American Scum said...

stonemason wrote. . .

The moral of the story: vanilla malts can be hazardous to your health. :-)


Shhhh! If any of the California health Nazis are monitoring this site, we can reasonably expect legislation banning such dangerous concoctions before the next illegal alien driver's license bill reaches the floor of the California Assembly.

Anonymous said...

but I hope and pray this holiday survives the twin vise grips of globalization and third world invasions.

....and the real threat of a new terrorist attack on American soil, inspired and aided by the above.

Very good work, E-A-Scum, in your real life events and in your telling of them.

Anonymous said...

Your story includes many examples of good thinking, and only one of a lapse in common sense (the parking lot alone thing). I'd say you're in good shape for the coming catastrophes, except for the fact that you don't seem to have a place of your own so can't grow your own food, etc. I hope that's in your plans, if possible.

cw-patriot said...

E-A-S, you need to stop:

(1) drinking vanilla malts, and start eating oatmeal and raw almonds. You may not enjoy the eating experience as much, but you'll live to be a hundred and fifty, since (a) there's much more nutrition in oatmeal and almonds, and (b) punks with barbed wire tattoos don't tend to hang around health food parking lots. :)

(2) talking about yourself as 'someone of advanced years'. We both know I'm a couple of years your senior, so you're poking me in the eye, if only indirectly. :)

I'd nominate the following paragraph for the Nobel Prize in Sarcasm, were it not for the fact that I wouldn't want to subject you to the stigma of being a prize recipient, considering the fraudulent 'credentials' of recent ones:

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.

Marcus made a very insightful, valid point in comparing your continuing three-year state of mind since returning from Normandy with Neil Armstrong's long-term difficulties after his moon walk.

Few of us can comprehend such experiences. While I would guess that most readers here are far better versed on the 'history' of World War II than most who dare to call themselves citizens, not many of us have rubbed elbows with members of that Greatest Generation who took part in the decisive battles that led to victory. Book reading is one thing. Sitting down with, walking the streets with, and reliving firsthand the memories of, genuine heroes is quite another.

Returning to America after such an experience, especially when it included visiting the places where the unspeakable horrors of that war took place, might not have been quite as much of a 'culture shock' were it not for the fact that most of our citizens either aren't aware of the history that you witnessed, or don't choose to think about it anymore.

I am disgusted with the state of our republic, because I consider myself to be among that ever-shrinking minority that understands what used to be in America. Because of your contacts previous to your Normandy pilgrimage, the pilgrimage itself, and those heroes (both living and dead) you have come to know as a result, your reflections regarding what used to be are that much more personal, and that much more painful.

Thank you, as always, for your contributions here, E-A-S. It is always a privilege to include them on Allegiance and Duty Betrayed.

~ joanie

robmaroni said...

It sounds like you came very close to becoming just another "victim of illegal immigrants" statistic.

Of course we don't know that the punks you ran across were illegal, but they might well have been. And the fact that you didn't report the incident to the police for the reasons you cited, combined with the fact that violent crimes committed by illegals represent a large segment of the crimes committed in California (I'm assuming that's where you live since you mentioned the fires), tells the whole story about just how much our government(s) - federal and state - really give a damn about the American citizen.

robmaroni said...

I'd rather have a malt than oatmeal any day. Save your nutrition advice for people who might take it, Joanie. I suppose you have something against chewing tobacco too? :>)

calbrindisi said...

While I would guess that most readers here are far better versed on the 'history' of World War II than most who dare to call themselves citizens, not many of us have rubbed elbows with members of that Greatest Generation who took part in the decisive battles that led to victory. Book reading is one thing. Sitting down with, walking the streets with, and reliving firsthand the memories of, genuine heroes is quite another.

C.W., it's just another example of the idea that experience is far more powerful than education.

Anonymous said...

I assume you're a Vietnam vet the way your mentioned your "war record."

Even if you hadn't, I might have suspected it. You show the same sharp, intelligent, wary mindset that so many of the officers I knew did, and still do.

john galt said...

I'm on Rob's side, Joanie. You are a great political commentator, but your diet advice sucks. Who wants to live to be 150 if it involves eating oatmeal? ;)

Euro-American Scum said...

cw-patriot said . . .

You may not enjoy the eating experience (of eating oatmeal and raw almonds) as much, but you'll live to be a hundred and fifty, since (a) there's much more nutrition in oatmeal and almonds, and (b) punks with barbed wire tattoos don't tend to hang around health food parking lots. :)


I don't think my kidneys could handle the almonds, but I've always considered eating oatmeal the equivalent of sucking down a raw egg.

Didn't consider the relative lack of thugs at the local health food store as a point in their favor. Maybe I should adjust my way of thinking.

While I would guess that most readers here are far better versed on the 'history' of World War II than most who dare to call themselves citizens, not many of us have rubbed elbows with members of that Greatest Generation who took part in the decisive battles that led to victory.

Well, I might as well go public here as anywhere else. As you know (but not many others) I've been on the speaking circuit for some time on this very topic. And there's a book in the works (providing I can find the time and a place to set up my PC, which, like me is currently under refugee status).

Where this all will lead is anyone's guess. Probably straight to a dumpster, considering how successful most aspiring writers become. But, in the absence of any better ideas in a country overrun with illegals, and whose best and brightest are run out of their respective professions in the stampede of work offshore, it seems as good a plan as any.

The rest will have to wait a week. I'm "going dark" after today, as it is time for my traditional Thanksgiving pilgrimage to Las Vegas to visit what passes for family and friends.

Those of you who have been hanging out 'round these parts for a few years may recall a piece I did on one of these excursions a few years back, and the time-honored truth that came out of it --

"When you've got nowhere to go for the holidays, you go to Vegas."

So it was then. So it is now. Night all.

Euro-American Scum said...

robmaroni said . . .

And the fact that you didn't report the incident to the police for the reasons you cited, combined with the fact that violent crimes committed by illegals represent a large segment of the crimes committed in California (I'm assuming that's where you live since you mentioned the fires), tells the whole story about just how much our government(s) - federal and state - really give a damn about the American citizen.


What can I say, Rob? I just wasn't up to explaining to a member of local law enforcement just what I was doing getting my head in the way of this boy's fist.

As for fire country, I'm right in the heart of it, at the foot of the San Bernardino mountains.

It did get a little toasty this year, but no damage done (at least so far).

Euro-American Scum said...

john galt said . . .

Who wants to live to be 150 if it involves eating oatmeal? ;)


What you said, John. -:)

2ndAmendmentDefender said...

It sounds like you've had a rough recent past, but things may be looking way up if you're doing speaking engagements and working on a book. The subject of both couldn't be more worthy. Best of luck to you!

SharonGold said...

"How I spent my summer vacation"

After reading your column, I think I'd rather go to camp (even at 50+ years old). :>)

But it looks like things are looking up for you. Best of luck on the book deal and let us all know how that works out.

Dawnsearlylight said...

Best wishes with your book plans! From what I have read about your Normandy experience, it should be read far and wide. Please keep us all up to date on what is going on with that.

And happy Thanksgiving with your family!

Max Shapiro said...

Let us know when your book comes out. I want to be among the first to get a copy.

johnsteever said...

I look forward to reading your historical insights in book form.

john galt said...

I've been on the speaking circuit for some time on this very topic. And there's a book in the works (providing I can find the time and a place to set up my PC, which, like me is currently under refugee status).

Excellent news. I am familiar with your fine essays from this site and look forward to reading a book-length effort.