by OPOVV, ©2018

(Aug. 21, 2018) — “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to a special edition of ‘Pulse of the Nation,’ the show that brings you an oasis of truth, a kernel of wisdom with a dash of humor. Hello, my name is Roving and with today’s modern technology we’ll send you down to Cassadaga, Florida where Professor Zorkophsky is with Madam Shylock. Take it away, Professor Zorkophsky.”

“Thank you, Roving, but please call me ‘Zork’; there’s no need to be so formal. Well, now, as you can see, we’re at the Fortune-Telling Emporium here in the land of the Spanish moss and some hungry mosquitoes. I thought mosquitoes only came out at dark but these nasty critters ether can’t tell the time or they just don’t care. I’ll ring this-here doorbell. And here’s the lady herself. Hello, and how do I address you?”

“First is to hand over some cash.”

“Take a check?”

“Cash it is; you’ve already used 20 bucks’-worth.”

“Twenty dollars? Why, I haven’t even stepped inside!”

“Forty dollars for procrastinating. You’re here; you ring the bell; I come to the door and yet you stand there on the stoop. Now it’s $60. Make up your mind. Tell you what: I’ll waive the $60 if you pay me what Roving agreed to. Come inside before all the mosquitoes from Henry’s Pond come inside and drain us so when they find us they’ll find two dried prunes; at least that’s what I see in our future unless you get inside so I can close this screen door.”

“This is Roving: excuse us while we break for a commercial.”

You Can Have Her” (2:54)

“So I guess I’ll sit here and the cameraman will avoid the crystal ball. Okay, so here’s my question: what is it with our combat veterans who have PTSD?”

“They don’t believe in any future, and why should they? They just spent a year where plans are a joke: ‘We embark at 0800 and reach our objective at 1100; we’ll have a picnic and be back at 1600.’ Fantasy land from ‘up above,’ where the orders come from the brass that don’t have a clue, except to repeat the mantra, ‘Hearts and minds,’ which has absolutely no meaning whatsoever. It’s as meaningless as ‘hope and change,’ and they know it. Heck, they lived it. It’s Vietnam all over again: what the heck is the OBJECTIVE?

“They don’t know why they’re there?”

“Nobody knows. Now if somebody would stand up and come out and just say, ‘We don’t know why we’re in Afghanistan; nobody knows,’ maybe then they could deal with it; at least it would be the truth.”

“So why do they blow their brains out?”

“It’s complicated, but the basic reason is that they’ve lost the ability to communicate, to put into words what they’re thinking and feeling. And it’s not because they don’t know how to communicate; it’s like there’s some kind of barrier that prevents them from opening up. It’s not their fault, although they think it is their fault. So they lost that one part that makes a human a human and that’s all she wrote.”

“Okay, I think we all understand at least that much, but how do they get it back, the part that went missing?”

“Well, and here’s the hard part: they can’t. I mean, they have to start from scratch. It’s like they come back from war and they forgot how to walk. And here’s the really sad part: they’re afraid to ask for help because they either don’t know how or they don’t know that they need it. So maybe one day they realize that they can’t walk; they used to walk; people see them walking; they look like they’re walking but it’s all a masquerade in their mind. They sit at the bar having a drink: look how normal I am; they’re driving a car: look how normal I am.”

“But they’re not normal, are they?

“Let me ask you a question. Say you’ve just spent the last year of your life where you couldn’t even imagine this time next week. So you’re back home and someone asks you, ‘Glad you made it; so what are you going to do for the rest of your life?’ Do you have any idea how utterly ridiculous that sounds? ‘Going to go to college on the GI Bill? That’ll take, what, four years?’ And these people can’t even see a week away?”

“So what’s the solution?”

Do Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals over-prescribe medications to those suffering from PTSD?

“The cure is baby steps without alcohol or any pill dished out by the VA, that I’ll say right off. Baby steps, as in take a part-time position; go to school part-time.”

“Okay, that I can understand: don’t make lofty goals.”

“Don’t be making long-term is what I’m talking about.”

‘Til death do us part?’

“Excuse us while we take a commercial break.”

The Gypsy Cried” (2:10)

“They certainly have the highest divorce rate, no doubt about that.”

“So what’s the answer?”

“The answer is don’t send our young men overseas for nothing. They go into combat and then they come back into The World* and see a burqa in the grocery store. How do you think they feel? That’s what they were fighting and here is the enemy, at their own grocery store, gas station, or park.”

“So the government isn’t helping any?”

“Not one bit. The preventable solution to these 22+ suicides a day is to let them know that we** know and we’re all in it together: we’re in a life boat and we’ll be needing them to man the oars, so we need them to stay alive for that.”

“Give them a purpose to live.”

“We need them now more than they’ll ever know. There’s no guarantees so, yes, having them around may turn the balance.”

“Excuse me for intruding, but our time has just expired. Sorry about that. This is Roving cutting in and so, on behalf of the crew and Zork and Madam Shylock, I’ll be wishing all of our viewers a goodnight: Goodnight.

“Thanks for going down to Florida, Zork, and thanks for the session, Madam Shylock. You all grab yourself some burgers: my treat.”

[*The World: Home; USA.]

[**we: not the government but we the people.]

Love Potion No. 9” (1:56)



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