Deep down inside you would realize that Jimmy’s sacrifice had created a job vacancy for someone else, such as yourself, so you would reply, “I’ve always thought highly of that boy. He’ll make a damn fine Marine.” Then you would head off to the local munitions plant to score a sweet job with benefits. After a long day of enduring the tedious task of putting fuses inside hand grenades, you would drive home, comforted by the thought of never having to trip over Jimmy’s bicycle again.
“I hope that boy wins the Medal of Honor,” you would say to yourself.
These days, things are a little different. We generally don’t have conversations with our next door neighbors, there is no draft and there is no war because hope came along and changed everything.
These days, the perfectly natural thing to do when confronted by a country that uses an incomplete sentence as its name is to start by getting the entire staff of English-speaking nations together for a little conference on proper grammar. Usually this is done at a place known as “the U.N.” After a few rounds of debates and wooden hammer slammings, the nations will compose a nasty letter addressed to the troublemaker in question. Many part-time observers of world events speculate that this is precisely what happened a few years ago with Iraq. This caused heavy consternation within the world of professional filmmakers, forcing Michael Moore to alter his busy lunch schedule in order to produce a film that would set him up with breakfast, lunch and dinner money for life.
Despite hundreds of nasty letters, Iraq’s former leader, Sadaam Hussein, refused to answer the question of the century, which was, “What is it that you rack?” Eventually we were forced to unleash our own powers of questionable English grammar in the form of a president from one of the NASCAR states. A massive impasse arose, causing the U.N. to allow the U.S. military to unleash the power of fiberglass Humvees that exploded into breaking news every time “insurgents” shot in their general direction. The same sort of thing seems to be happening all over again, only this time we have a president who is not from a big NASCAR state. Nevertheless, “I ran,” is still an incomplete sentence.
Many expert contributors to this column have suggested that the whole issue of Iran easily can be avoided if the bearded Iranian leader simply files a request with the U.N. for a name change. Everyone is desperately hoping that they will change their name to, “I Ran Away,” or, “I Ran to Katmandu and Got this T-Shirt.”
Although the new name “Iskip,” would still be grammatically awkward, the general confusion that it would cause within the U.N.’s grammar department could easily buy the world some time. First, they would have to decide if Iran had actually become some guy named “Skip” or whether the new country was trying to tell the world that most of their citizens enjoy the activity of skipping. Then the U.N. would have to discover exactly what type of skipping they do. As long as it’s not some sort of nuclear skipping with specially shaped nuclear skipping rocks, then the new nation of Iskip could become the number one tourist destination in the world. Furthermore, Hacky Sack enthusiasts have been searching for an exotic hangout for their next non-competitive event. If the new nation of Iskip would be willing to set them up with a place to crash, and some munchies, well then, it could definitely be, “Game on, dude.”
Unfortunately the name change thing is probably not going to happen due to long-term anger and negativity caused by heavy doses of dogma found in an old book written by men who never took showers. This is why we are probably going to have to go with a total, “Black Ops,” scenario on this one in which Brian Wilson, relief pitcher for the S.F. Giants, and his Taliban beard are dropped in behind enemy lines. The Beard’s mission will be to infiltrate the Iranian power structure and then convince everyone that they are invited to a keg party on the beaches of Israel. The first dance song, “Rock the Casbah,” by The Clash from their 1982 album, “Combat Rock,” will get things started.
Michael Patrick is a freelance writer from Reno. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.