my obsession this memorial day weekend…

… is partially with sugar-free, fat-free jello chocolate pudding, which is keeping me sane (well, my version of it) on weight watchers.

but my main obsession for the weekend concerns a bumper sticker we saw while driving west on 66. (lemme ‘splain, and then you can write me hate notes 😉

we saw rolling thunder rambling down I-66 eastbound toward the District, stopping miles of traffic as they forged ahead to DC. some people on the westbound side were flashing peace signs and honking their horns in support. motorcyclists had pretty much taken over our neck of the woods over the weekend; we couldn’t even go to the frozen dairy bar because the sheer numbers of the motorbike folks. it’s one of the hazards of living in/near Our Nation’s Capitol ™. everyone from anywhere thinks the place belongs to them. they pay taxes, ya see, so dammit, they own the place. every protester, every mom and pop bringing the family to see, every yahoo from paducah lays claim on this area. apparently, this land is your land doesn’t apply to those of us who have to live here.

anywho, i’m trying to explain to my kids that some of the folks in rolling thunder are veterans, and we are celebrating a day that commemorates the sacrifices that these veterans have made for the US. (and no, i don’t use the word commemorates; that would sail over jools’ head.) i explain that both their granddads and two of their uncles served in the armed forces as well. even so, i get really irritated by rolling thunder every year. nearly half the folks in it aren’t veterans. they do good work, according to their website. they champion POWs and MIAs, which isn’t really as relevant now since sadly, i suspect the vietnam-era missing, their original cause, are likely dead; and the iraqi war MIAs are usuallly found floating in the euphrates these days.

like most visitors, they don’t always behave the way they would if it really was their town. and since there are more of them, the problem magnifies; they take over roads, they take up time, they make messes. but we natives, we deal with it. some even make them welcome, i daresay. we get over ourselves. we have to.

which brings me back to my original obsession: a bumpersticker i saw. and it read:

YOU’RE IN AMERICA. SPEAK AMERICAN.

what exactly does that mean? use bad grammar? end sentences with prepositional phrases? last time i checked, the language was called english. and yes, it would be helpful if people could speak it. but to be technical about it, the country is the united states of america. the continents are the americas. and so it isn’t like “american” is the only language of the americas.

maybe someone needs to roll their thunder across the border to see what the rest of the americas is like.

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4 Responses to “my obsession this memorial day weekend…”

  1. That bumpersticker typifies their outlook, which is why I think all that puffery about their good work is a bunch of -well, PR to be polite. If they’re not vets, they pretend they are, and they all have that chip-on-their-shoulder-you-owe-us-dammit-Namvet-attitude. Now I know they’re not all like that – my bro-in-law is a Namevt, and a great guy. Who has a life that he does something with besides ride around the country with his big hog and his ol’ lady in their leathers with 7,428 patches sewn on their clothes so you don’t forget a single thing they stand for and by the way have I mentioned in the last 5 minutes how badly we got treated when we came back from The Nam?! When I was a kid there was an expression that someone was a “professional” whatever to describe their behavior – like someone was a “professional widow” or a “professional Irishman,” meaning that that aspect of their lives was their entire shtick that they leaned on all the time. Well, these guys are professional vets. I can’t stand the big blowhards when they “roll” into town. Like they were the only people that ever fought in a war or were treated unjustly. Give me a big break.

  2. […] of the rolling thunder folks who have once again invaded our area, as it is memorial day weekend. i ranted a bit about rolling thunder last year and i don’t think i could do much more on that topic. except maybe froth at the mouth a […]

  3. […] it’s memorial day. and while i have ranted about the non-vets who take the opportunity to invade our nation’s capitol with their noisy motorcycles and often […]

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