Goodbye, Blue Monday!
If you remember your Vonnegut, that is one of his drawings for his final work of utter hatred for mankind. After that, he just made fun of you and me.
I am used to being picked on, this is why I love to read Kurt Vonnegut. He reminds me that I suck. I don’t argue with a great writer’s pronunciamento. He died, and now his work gets to kick our ass. In case you don’t know, there is a new anthology of unpublished work of his in the bookstores.
I know my friends like to read. I am currently unpublished, save for this shitty blog. So, I thought I would just remind them of the new book. Don’t bother reading what I have to say. You have better things to do than to read what I just said.
As he would have said, “Listen:”, instead. He put a colon there because the thing he was going to say advanced the plot development so you could hang on his words. Literally. I honestly think Kurt Vonnegut, rather than hanging himself, would much rather have hanged you. But he wouldn’t. He had already seen Dresden on fire. That’s about enough for a day. I watched Iraq fall apart for a year, how do think I feel?
Pretty bad. I can’t believe I went there for nothing. That is not entirely true. I will tell you a story.
Before I left, I stayed with an Iraqi family that was close to the wire I had to guard every other week. God, guard duty sucks. No one wants to be on it, because usually nothing happens. Fortunately, I had the day shift most of the time. It was there that I met Iraqi children. They were between the ages of ten and thirteen, always pushing each other around and yelling for the smaller kids to be quiet. That is how the Arab way of life is. Patronage. Seniority. Not many institutions in America have seniority. Only the Senate seems to get it.
Anyway, they demand candy from me. I think you all know how this works; all kids want candy.
In a meal pouch, you always get candy at the end. It is even part of the nutritional facts on the bottom of the bag; the bag says that a soldier needs about 2200 to 2600 calories. That sounds right; lazy people like us should only eat about 1600. Only if you are desperately in need of a weight adjustment do you go under that.
The funny thing in this tale is that soldiers perceive “Charms” candy to be bad luck. Can you believe what I just said? It’s like Halloween in a pit helmet. I’m almost so confused by the memory that I have nearly forgotten it. Soldiers put all kinds of stupid shit on their helmets. You already know this, Oliver Stone and Stanley Kubrick have already told you.
The kids wanted the candy, though. Why not? Their street had become a garbage pile. I would want a stick of gum if I saw that every day. So I gave them candy. The boys do not know what “strangers with candy” means. They were hitting me up every day and I was a foreign irritant in their daily lives. So, I did what any decent person would do. I would open the wire and give them candy and let them play with my Humvee and even goof of with my rifle, which of course was unloaded and the ammunition was in a pouch that not even I could get into at a moment’s notice. So, I figured I was safe, because if there is one more things that kids like other than candy, it is toys.
I had such a good time on the wire with them. One of their names was Ahmed, one named Hussein. No need to be afraid because he was not Saddam. He would even tell me, since he was Shi’a, that Saddam “no good!”. I had no choice at the time to disbelieve this. Normally when an Arab says something, guess what? You had better hear them correctly, or else things like 9/11 happen.
One thing I loved was when the girl kids would come to the wire. All the girls would shout at the boys for being idiots, which all men are. Women stay in Arab houses for a good reason: their dumbass men couldn’t run a household even if there were a baton attached to it. One thing I noticed was that the girls would not speak to me. All they did was give me disapproving looks. When I offered candy to them, they yelled at me to go away. I would shut the hell up at this time.
When women speak, you should listen carefully. That is my only lesson. It is a privilege of the male to be the head of the household in a sexist society. Little do men notice that their woman is the only thing keeping them from losing their hat, heads, and starvation.
Listen. I put a period there because this story has ended.