Monday, May 28, 2007

Nothing but class...

There I was, standing at ease waiting for the beginning of the Memorial Day ceremony. There were five of us, in our honor guard uniforms, representing the police department at the annual VFW commemoration. This was the first year the VFW invited us to participate in the ceremony itself. Our job was to fire a rifle volley before the playing of "Taps" at the end of the ceremony.

We had noted the advancing age of the veterans. Several of them were on oxygen or using walkers; almost all of them were markedly slowed by age. I turned to the officer next to me and said "that's us in another 40 years" and he answered something along the lines of "if we're lucky enough to make it that far." We had a short talk about the amazing things these men had accomplished in WWII and Korea, and what badasses they'd been as young men--Marines, paratroopers and Rangers.

At that point I said, with all respect, admiration and affection:

"Can you imagine how much ass those guys kicked and how many whores they banged back in the day?"

My friend's eyes got wide and his head jerked, briefly, to his right. He made the universal "you idiot shut up there's someone right behind you who can hear every ignorant thing you say" gesture. A few feet behind me was an older woman operating a video camera. Luckily we were standing next to a busy street, and she gave no indication of having heard me above the traffic noise.

Years from now that woman will gather her grandchildren, and play a video of her husband's final VFW ceremony. She'll pan the crowd before zooming in on grandpa standing proudly in his VFW cap and medals, flags snapping in the background.  Then a disembodied voice is going to pipe up in the background, loud and clear, talking about whores, and ruin the whole experience for everyone.

8 comments:

Johnny Yen said...

I think they need to have you as the narrator more often on PBS. As much as I like Edward Hermann's narration, your narrative is much more interesting.

Johnny Yen said...

Of course, that would entail you becoming a narrator on PBS productions to begin with...

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Are you kidding? The grandchildren are going to love it! Grandpa will probably be pretty pleased too. You just made his day.

Dino aka Katy said...

i am with Barbara - they'll love the comment besides its probably true

Mob said...

At least you weren't carrying a sign that said that.

Dale said...

That left me gasping for air from the choking laughter Bubs.

PM said...

Outstanding.
-134

Meleah Droll said...

This. This is why I love you, Joe.