It was a genuinely crappy week. I could tell I was stressed, because I cursed a lot. I even amazed my 14-year-old grandson, and I figure he hears it all in middle school.
First came the gas attacks in Syria, and the videos showing the victims, either dead, or gasping and convulsing with foam coming out of their mouths. There was a picture of a pile of dead children.
The next day, my grandson and his little sister (his “evil little sister,” he says, but from what I can see he’s kind of an evil big brother) and his other grandmother and her partner flew off to the UK for a wonderful vacation. Definitely the trip of the kids’ lifetimes so far.
I was wound up worrying about all the things that can happen when you fly around the world, and telling myself not to worry about plane crashes and terrorist attacks because the odds were so small. Please, please, please, let the odds be small.
Then Trump ordered the firing of Tomahawk missiles, first telling his friend Putin the attack was coming, and then gave a little speech saying that the gas attack was no way for babies to die and asking God to bless America. The missile attack killed four more children, among others.
Then a guy drove a truck down the sidewalk and into a store front in Stockholm.
Then Hillary Clinton gave a speech saying that sending off the missiles was the right thing to do, but we should be letting Syrian refugees into this country so they wouldn’t be over there getting gassed. The bonus of losing elections: you get to be the Monday morning quarterback on the actions of the guy who won.
Then people squawked that we can afford to shoot off millions of dollars in missiles but we can’t afford to fund Meals on Wheels.
Oh, children. Those missiles were built and deployed to ships in the Mediterranean Sea long ago. Before Trump. Before Gorsuch. Before funding was cancelled for so many social services. Before we realized how completely screwed we are. Obama was a classier act, but we’ve been spending most of our money on what is euphemistically called “defense” right along. We have never not had plenty of deadly weapons at the ready.
All this heartlessness and grief and worry about family members and gratuitous violence and death and the cynical use of the Lord’s name by the liar in chief is enough to render this person motionless.
My good friends Roy and Becky invited me to attend the VFW District fundraiser with them on Saturday night. It was a meal, and a raffle for several donated prizes.
It was old school patriotic. We said the pledge of allegiance. We sang the Star-Spangled Banner.
There were four tables with items you could bid on. You bid by buying raffle tickets and placing tickets in a little cup in front of the item or items you wanted. Most things did not appeal to me. I felt no need for a Seahawks blanket or a Keurig coffeemaker, a bottle of wine, or a camera lens for my cell phone.
But then, I saw them: the Yoga GI Joes. Little green plastic soldiers in yoga poses. I was stopped cold, and completely hooked. I thought they were hilarious, and perhaps you know that my son Drew is a yoga instructor.
I dropped a couple of tickets in the cup, the only two at that point. Clearly most of the VFW members were not as tickled by the little green soldiers in yoga poses as I was.
We had dinner, one table of stuff was raffled off, and then they started doing karaoke. It ended up being a couple of hours before they got around to raffling off the GI Joes. I had gone back up to check the cup, and someone else had thrown a ticket in, so I knew my getting them was no longer a sure thing.
Finally they came up – and I won them! Yay! I was so happy. Honestly, winning those little plastic yoga guys was the best thing that happened for me all week.
I’m going to give them to my son, the yoga instructor. Soon. When I’m ready. They make me smile every time I look at them. They’re so loony. I mean, yoga GI Joes? Come on.
“Drop and give me a downward dog!”
“Sir, yes, sir!”