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by OPOVV, ©2016

Root beer is made from the Sassafras albidum tree

(Feb. 5, 2016) — “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for tuning in to ‘The Pulse of the Nation.’ We’re at the dog park to see what’s up with the world. Hello, sir, Roving here with a question for you.”

“Hey, you’re that reporter on TV! Miss Sheba! Look who’s here, it’s that Roving guy! Come on over!”

“Miss Sheba your wife?”

“No, she’s my dog. Good girl. Here’s Roving in person. We watch you every night. Miss Sheba, meet Roving; Roving, meet Miss Sheba.”

“Pleased to meet you, I’m sure. [Mr. cameraman, please focus on the gentleman, not the dog.] Mind answering a question for me?”

“Well, now, that depends. I really don’t want to answer any questions and don’t hanker to be on TV, but Miss Sheba has no compunctions at all, do you, girl? Matter of fact, I don’t believe she’d be embarrassed about anything; why, look what’s she’s doing to that dog that just walked in. Miss Sheba! Remember you’re a lady! Go on, don’t be shy: ask her.”

“I ask the dog and you answer, right?”

“That’s about the gist of it.”

“See, television viewers, that’s why live TV is priceless. Nobody would believe this unless they saw it in person, just like if you told someone that the Twin Towers collapsed they wouldn’t have believed you. Alright, here’s the question.”

“No, no, you’ve got to ask Miss Sheba.”

“Of all the cotton-pickin’…alright, Miss Sheba, how do you see the USA in ten years?”

“What USA? You think we have a USA now? You’re out of your gourd. What’s the first word of USA? It’s ‘United.’ Do you see anything ‘united’ around here?

“Muslims fly planes into our buildings and murder thousands and seven years later we elect a Muslim (Obama) into the White House…give me a break. Just because the university professors and the nitwits on news shows can’t figure it out doesn’t mean that the rest of America has to follow the Pied Piper into oblivion, does it? No, of course not. Miss Sheba! There she goes, chasing a squirrel. Never caught one. If you’ll excuse me?”

“Oh, sure. Tell Miss Sheba we enjoyed her comments. What a trip. Okay, let’s walk over to that bench in the shade. Hello, Roving and crew here: care for a question?”

“Hello. I’m Layla, and before you say another word, I was named after a guitar and not the song. How can I help you?”

“Answer this: how do you see the USA in ten years?”

“What USA? The beginning of the end was when we caved into the pressure from the Chinese during the Korean War and settled for a ‘ceasefire,’ so now the South Koreans have to live the first DMZ at the 38th parallel. We had our military ready, able and willing to bomb all of North Korea back into the Stone Age – would’ve only taken ‘bout a week — until the politicians got in the way, and if that wasn’t bad enough, we repeated the same recipe for failure during the Vietnam War, even down to the monumental error of believing in the complete fallacy of the DMZ. You use whatever it takes to win, you know. Win speedily and decisively: it’s the only way.

“But then we went one step farther in Vietnam than we did in Korea: we ran and ended up abandoning the very people we swore to help. You could say that if the Korean War took place today we would abandon South Korea at the drop of a hat. We were fighting the Communists, but it was our very own Communists, which nowadays are called Liberals, Socialists, Democrats, and Obots, who lost those two wars for us. From a nation that never lost a war to a nation that just sends its young men off to die for nothing just happens to be the present-day reality in a ‘Let’s just forget this ten years down the road,’ make-believe fairy tale of a United States of America..”

“That was a well-informed answer. May I ask what you do for a living?”

“Sure, you can. I used to be a high school history teacher until some parents complained that I was teaching their kids ‘subversive’ behavior. Heck, all I was doing was teaching ‘American Civics and History,’ but when I got to the part about the Barbary Pirates, and said ‘1,400 years of it. How long until we put a permanent stop to it?’ I was fired. This next generation is uninformed, and for proof, just look at the support for Bernie Sanders. I’d like to see their faces when the Tax Man robs them all blind. Gotta run. Bye.”

“Hey, thanks. Who can we get next? How about that old man over there? Excuse us, got time for a question?”


“What’s the state of the USA in ten years?”

“What USA? And who cares anyway? Look around and you tell me? When I got back from a tour in Southeast Asia I was looking forward to visiting all my old friends, schools and businesses wearing my uniform, my dress blues, with my medals and spit-shined shoes. Never happened because my first stop was to the principal’s office at my high school where I was told I was more than welcome to visit with my teachers at the school, but leave the uniform at home. That was just part of my homecoming, so whenever someone says ‘Thanks for your service,’ I want to reply what you’ll just bleep out, so I just say ‘Thank you’ and let it go. There’s my dog at the gate, so we’re out of here. One last thing for your viewers to contemplate: when the line becomes blurry between the good guys and the bad guys, as it was on that road in the middle of nowhere in Oregon last week, if that isn’t an eye opener, when you can’t tell the good guys from the bad, well, you better start thinking that maybe the good guys aren’t so good, and that’s all I’m going to say. So long. ”

“Thanks for being candid. And thank you, stalwart viewers, for staying with us for another installment of ‘The Pulse of the Nation.’ That’s it, so on behalf of my crew I’ll be wishing you all goodnight: Goodnight.

“Great show, guys. Sad about that Vietnam Vet, and I bet he wasn’t the only one. I knew a guy who, all his life, wanted to join up to follow in the footsteps of his childhood hero, Audie Murphy, and then do what that old man wanted to do: go to his high school, visit with the neighbors, stop at the pizza joint and the hamburger stand, go to the movie theater and men’s clothing store, the pharmacy where he’d take girls to have a raspberry sassafras, to greet the folks and show off his uniform; make his homecoming a memorable, joyful and happy experience, to fulfill his childhood dream, but it wasn’t to be, was it? This was in 1967, when anybody and everybody in uniform was a ‘Baby Killer.’

“Okay, and now for the good news: let’s get a burger. My treat.”

Semper Fi


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