Yanks are always showing up late for wars

By David Grima | Apr 13, 2017

Lord President Trumpleton, my dear old pal who currently runs America in his own unique way, told me the other day that he sent those missiles into Syria last week because he had always wanted to do something like that.

Furthermore, he wanted to mark the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I in spectacular style. Mere ordinary fireworks would not do, he explained.

“And if we’d had cruise missiles back a hundred years ago, thousands of American boys would never have been killed on the battlefields of France,” he told me confidentially. “So it stands to reason that the more missiles I fire, the safer we all are. And I’ve really got a lot of missiles.”

It is true that the Lord Prez fired off a whole boatload of missiles at that Syrian air base, and he was not slow to point out to me that each missile will now need to be replaced, thus providing jobs for American missile builders.

His basic reasoning seems to hold, so I think we can all feel secure in the knowledge that things are being taken care of nicely, thank you. If we’re really lucky, North Korea will end up provoking the Lord Prez into firing missiles at them, too. This will increase the general safety of us all, and boost the demand for fresh missiles.

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I see where a downtown eatery has been bullied into changing its name by an outfit miles away that claims it already owns the name. If I remember properly (sometimes I can do that), this also happened many years ago in Waldoboro, when Bodacious Bread was compelled to change its name to Borealis Bread by some unprincipled name-grabber west of here.

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Monday was perhaps the first really nice day of the year, with temperatures in the 60s. However, not everybody waited until then to wear short pants. I have seen people wearing shorts since at least early March, and a sorry sight they seemed, too. Skinny white legs and knees in March are almost too much, and although I salute the bravery involved, I have to lie down for an hour or two afterwards and use special fluids aimed at purging my memory cells of the exact details of the experience.

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Speaking of America joining in World War I, there is an animated movie called “Chicken Run,” in which dozens of British chickens are kept behind barbed wire by a ruthless farmer who collects their eggs. One day the farmer decides to install a chicken pie machine instead, and by some odd coincidence an American chicken with Mel Gibson’s voice arrives to save them.

First, though, he has to come to an understanding with the old English rooster who deludes himself that he is in charge of the chickens’ concentration camp, and who insults the American with the bitter accusation that “the Yanks are always showing up late for wars.”

Indeed, the U.S, failed to show up on time for both major wars last century, but seems to be making up for it in this. Of course, I think any reasonable effort to avoid having to join in a war at all is to be admired rather than treated with scorn.

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Speaking of America joining in World War I, I seem to remember that once upon a time I was told the old E.L. Spear building opposite the Rankin Block was built in 1917, and was immediately taken over by the Navy.

Certainly I once saw a photo or two in the old Courier files showing draftees in civilian suits marching off to war along Main Street, and I had hoped they would print one of them. Maybe the old photos just aren’t there any more since they moved to the North End.

You know how it is, every time you move into a new place you almost always end up losing something. For example, I once lost my mind for seven weeks as a direct result of this sort of thing.

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Last week’s column, a reprint of one I wrote 12 years ago, received mixed reviews.

One reader said it was about time I wrote something sensible, and urged me to keep doing it. (He has no idea the kind of terror that thought produced in my ragged heart.)

Another reader expressed the opinion that it wasn’t particularly “funny.”

These are the poles between which I am torn asunder every week, dear reader. What sort of thing should I write? Which reader do I please and which do I annoy? You can begin to see why some poor newspaper writers end up being obliged to escape to the concrete towers at the foot of Mechanic Street, where I am forced to live.

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Speaking of chickens, I heard a tale at church the other week, during a heated theological conversation about people who become overly attached to barnyard animals. Mr. Alley started it all when he mentioned watching his dad row a cow out to Whitehead Island in a flat-bottom boat when he was a boy himself, the object being to provide fresh milk for the lightkeeper’s family, I suppose.

This provoked another tale from old Illinois, about a sibling who had become so attached to a certain domestic chicken that his mother could not bear to inform him that he was eating it for dinner.

When the lad asked what was on his plate, his mother brilliantly came up with a solution to the impending moral crisis, and told him it was prairie fish.

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Speaking of fine weather, I saw a number of daffodils outside a house on Broadway a couple of weeks ago. I cannot be certain they were real, and in fact I suspect them of being plastic. But they looked nice anyway.

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With it being Easter this weekend, not to mention Passover this week, etc., the city library has been displaying a collection of children’s books about these great and solemn festivals. I don’t know exactly how long they will be allowed to get away with this blatant demonstration of religious sentiment, but I hope it’s a very long time, indeed.

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