Anti-War Dweeb Meets Patriot

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Anti-War Dweeb Meets Patriot

Postby slingshot » Wed May 20, 2009 7:38 am

Yesterday one of the funniest/strangest things happened to me. I know God definitely has a sense of humor. I have an old Army Surplus GP Medium tent that I used to run a summer camp out of. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the GP Medium it is a 16 x 32 tent. The tent was no longer serviceable. It had seen its better days. I was about to take it to the dump, but I also had a liner for it that was in perfect condition. I ran an ad on Craigslist, advertising the liner, but with a mention of the tent in case anyone was interested. I really didn't expect any hits. It wasn't long, however, before a guy contacted me. He was interested in the tent but not the liner. I was basically going to give it away to him...$10. Not many people have a use for a worn out GP Medium.

Well anyhow, he shows up driving this old Mercedes with Obama stickers all over it. I tried to ignore them and as I showed him what was left of the tent we talked....mostly he talked. He began to explain to me how he was going to cut out some good parts of the fabric and have it sewn to make a great backdrop for a WWI display. Yeah! It would be great for that, I said. Then he explained how he wanted to display photos of WWI soldiers with severe facial disfigurements from war wounds, using the tent as a backdrop. "No political agenda", he assured me. Right.

Well the two of us dragged the 200 pounds of canvas to the front yard and into my driveway. My conscience was working on me. Part of me kind of liked the guy. So far he had been polite and friendly, but I couldn't bear the thought of him using the tent this way. I kept thinking about those WWI vets who gave so much and how he was going to exploit their images for his sadistic purposes.

We talked about his old Mercedes as we gathered our breath from dragging the tent. He told me that his Mercedes runs on vegetable oil. I thought that was great and congratulated him on it, but then he went on to say how he didn't think a soccer mom needed to drive a big eight cylinder SUV to take her kids to school. I heard a little voice say, "What business is it of yours if she wants to take them to school in a Greyhound Bus?"

My heart began to race, my adrennaline pumped as I eyed his car, parked on the street, from my driveway while he continued to have problems with diahreah of the mouth. I was still being nice to him, trying to understand, and continuing in polite conversation. He backed his Mercedes up to the tent. All the time I am thinking, that there is no way we are going to fit this tent into his trunk. He had suggested strapping it to his roof. Even if the two of us could have hoisted it up there, I'm not sure it would have been such a great idea. But most of all, I heard the voices in my head of those WWI vets, saying NO!

He got out of his Obamamobile and walked to the back. All the time I was staring at his Obama stickers, his sign of the fish emblems with feet growing out the bottom of them, and his "War is Not the Answer" bumper sticker. I looked him in the eye, and called him by name. I'm sorry, I said. I've changed my mind. I can't sell you this tent. I turned and walked away without any further explanation. As I started to walk into the front door of my house he glared at me from the driver's seat of his car. I just looked at him and shook my head. I walked in.

Minutes later I recevied an e-mail from the guy, titled "What a Shame." "Why couldn't you tell me to my face which one of my bumper stickers offended you? You are acting like Hitler. Because you disagree with me, you are trying to suppress my speech.

I wrote him back and explained my position. "I could have told you to your face." I said. "But what good would that have done?" "I was already angry and there was no point in starting a fight." "I thought it was better for you to just leave." "I respect your right to express your ideas, in fact I put my life on the line for 12 years so that you could have that right." "What have you done for your country?" "I exercised my right to sell my goods or not sell my goods to whomever I please", I said. "I respect and even served to protect your rights, why can't you respect mine?"

Earlier that day, sensing that I was not on his side in this, he claimed he wanted to "honor" the WWI vets. In my e-mail I asked him if he had thought to ask veterans how they thought veterans would like to be honored. I told him that I thought a majority would prefer to be honored as victors, not victims. I asked him if he had a facial disfigurement, how he would feel about people pasting his photo in public to make a political point with which he didn't agree.

No reply.

You can't make this stuff up. Life is truly stranger than fiction!

P.S.

OK...so maybe I missed an opportunity to win this guy over. Where do you start with someone like this? I know...I know... I need work in this area, but I just did not have enough control over my emotions to have a face to face conversation with him about it. I would have lost control at some point and gone Postal on him. I was already having visions of my fist sinking into his face while I was talking to him. I know it sounds crazy, but there was something about him that I actually liked. I guess a part of me felt sorry for him.
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Postby Bob Brooks » Sat Oct 09, 2010 6:47 am

Just a small note to say " Good for you " . You handled this matter in the appropriate way. There are so many things out there today that just are getting out of hand. The newest one is a group that thinks it's OK to demonstrate their right to come to a dead serviceman's funeral and say it's good that he is dead. God wants it that way. You know what I mean. What are we going to do about this matter? I just can't believe this is happening. I am almost 65 years old and have seen a lot of things. My dad was in the service for 31 years. I've lived with blacks, mexicans, spanish, orientals, the works. I believe there are certain customs out there that are those peoples heritage. let them do what they believe as long as it doesn't hurt anyone. Well I don't believe in the right to go to someone's funeral and say they are glad the person is dead and God wanted it this way. This is going to lead to someone getting to know the wrong end of a 2 x 4. I liked your article. My brother is Mike Brooks. Nice to chat with you..............................Bob Brooks
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