“22+ A DAY”
by OPOVV, ©2020
(Jan. 14, 2020) — “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the place that if you hear it here you don’t have to hear it anywhere else, ‘The Pulse of the Nation.’ You guessed it: we’re back in the rather nice office of the eminent best-selling author, Professor Zorkophsky, to hawk his latest, but first we’ve a few questions from you, the audience, to answer.
Dear Mr. Roving:
Are you for real?
Dear Miss Jane:
No, I am not. The name ‘Roving’ was given to me by my editor who, one day, said to me, ‘What do you say you get out there and rove around for some news; stop people on the street and ask them questions?’ So I did, and the rest, as they say, is history.
“Another bestseller, Professor; perhaps Hollywood will be knocking on your door?”
“Not this time, I’m sorry to say. This was written for us professional psychiatrists who charge the insurance companies $300 per hour or more; whatever the market will tolerate, really. And, Roving, please address me as ‘Zork’ as long as we’re in my pretty darn nice office; a deal?”
“Sure thing, Zork. Now, if I remember correctly, you used to do a lot of work with veterans who suffer from PTSD; isn’t that correct? And didn’t you and Madam Shylock collaborate on a few books? So, what’s going on?”
“What’s ‘going on,’ as you say, is Ilhan Omar making a joke out of our military people who actually suffer from PTSD: don’t make a mockery of it.
“Why, I’ve had patients who feared sleep – and the subsequent nightmares – such that they would do virtually anything to pass out and, hopefully, prevent the aforementioned dreaded nightmares.
“I’ve never had them myself because I’m a normal, well-adjusted contributing member of my profession, but from my experience hearing stories about waking up in the middle of the night, scared out of your wits, sweating and shaking with fear because you’re not holding the knife or the gun you were just gripping — and you need those weapons like now — and you wake up and you’re defenseless, what then?”
“I wouldn’t know, except to say that it must be a very frightening experience.”
“Then I’ll tell you what they tell me: they sleep with a loaded gun under the pillow, or maybe within reach, or maybe hanging on the wall: loaded for bear. But it’s not bears who are after them: it’s the very real fear of being caught naked, and when a military person is ‘caught naked’ it means they don’t have their piece, their weapon. When someone yells ‘Incoming!’ you grab your gun before you grab your shoes.”
“So how do you help these veterans?”
“The best thing is for them to hang out with those who are in as bad shape as they are; there’s just no substitute.”
“What about pills?”
“You know who is the biggest pill-pusher in the United States?”
“That’s right. I used to do work for the VA, used to treat the nuts. One day I was called into the office and the conversation went something like this:
‘Professor Zorkophsky, we’re concerned. You’ve been here for six months and haven’t prescribed one Valium, Vistaril, Oxycodone, or Dilaudid. In order for you to be employed by the VA, you must administer one or more of these pills to all of our PTSD sufferers.’
So I left.”
“You quit such a plush job?”
“Because I believe that those pills just made it worse. I was trying to help them, not hurt them.”
“So what’s you advice to anyone with PTSD?”
“Kick the pills; flush them. Find people who shared the same type of experience. Oh, I don’t mean to cry on each other’s shoulders and tell lies from a bar stool; no, just hang out and be a normal human being, not getting shot at and not shooting back; not crawling on your belly, dragging a wounded man, and then knifing the sentries – quiet-like — and then throwing grenades and emptying a clip of a BAR.”
“So when Omar opened her big mouth and says she gets PTSD?”
“That was good: small person; big mouth. That fits her. So our troops come home from Iraq or Afghanistan and what do they see? They see Omar making fun of them with the nightmares, of fearing sleep, of fearing life, of fearing leaving the house without a knife and a weapon at the ready: full clip and one in the chamber.”
“You don’t kid around, do you?”
“Well, those veterans with PTSD sure as heck aren’t whistling Dixie, either.”
“About your book?”
“I’m sick and tired of hearing the Muslims whine: revenge against Israel and America. What have the Jews or Christians ever done to them except offer charity and good will? No, it’s the Old Testament all over again, isn’t it? Doing good unto the ungrateful will get you killed.
“Teaching women how to read and write, maybe becoming a surgeon but not allowed to operate on a male is the definition of insanity. I’m sick of these senseless murders: trucks mowing down Christmas shoppers; rampages against anybody with a machete, like what happened to Lee Rigby on the streets of London.
“It is entirely rational to be concerned for your safety, but when our troops come home, back into The World, and see hijabs and burqas, it’s just too much to ask or expect our veterans to leave the house without the proper gear, starting with the canteen and the rifle. It’s a little too much to ask of any normal rational American.”
“No wonder why 22+ a day commit suicide.”
“No wonder, and this Omar character isn’t making it any easier.”
“Yes, I can see why some people would become upset.”
“Why don’t we use accepted professional psychiatric phrases, such as ‘go bananas’ and ‘go ballistic’ instead of ‘upset?’’”
“That bad if not worse, for starters.”
“Okay, Zork, good luck on your new book. I’m afraid that’ll do it for us, so on behalf of the crew, I’ll be wishing you all a goodnight: Goodnight.
“Gosh, Zork, you ought to learn to lighten up a bit. Burger time: my treat.”
“Stranger In My Own Home Town” (4:14)