So, about 2:30 yesterday my brother-in-law calls my sister, saying he thinks a bank is being robbed. He’s been right about this before; the last time a bank was robbed around here, he drove by just as the cops were arriving. He seems to have a knack for passing by crime scenes just at the opportune time to be caught in a potential crossfire.
Now, something is indubitably afoot, and the CBS affiliate in Roanoke unleashes a crack team of plus-sized models with camera crews to get to the bottom of it; upon arrival they engage in a spirited disinformation campaign that would make Tokyo Rose wince. On the 5 o’clock news, our zoftig reporters bumble, fumble, stumble, and generally fail their anchor desk tryouts whilst breathlessly disseminating the purported facts-some of which in hindsight even turned out to be true-
The man has one leg and fired three shots.
No, the man has three legs and fired one shot.
He pushed a wheelchair laden with explosives in and threatened to blow up the building.
No, he’s in a wheelchair and had explosive diarrhea and threatened to level the men’s room.
His name is Gator and his truck is boobytrapped with grenades.
No, he is an alligator and his truck is made of grenades!
Somewhere in this 10-gauge approach to reporting they actually let slip the salient fact-It’s not a bank robbery, it’s hostage situation in the post office next door.
By now some of you are shaking your heads and wondering “What is this rube raving about? I thought that’s how they did Christmas in the hinterlands.” And to that I say, “Well, fair enough.” Not necessarily true, but I can see the logic. No our actual yule celebrations consist mainly of playing Survivor: Appalachia, which entails getting knee-crawling drunk and staging a region wide demolition derby on public roadways, with the occasional drug store hold-up thrown in to procure painkillers for the mewling wounded.
Which brings me to real tragedy in this mess-in closing off several blocks surrounding the post office, the goddamn jackbooted thug cops thoroughly restricted entrance and egress to the local liquor store. Now, how in the world the good God-fearing people of Wythe County, Virginia, are supposed to maintain enough of a logy buzz to stay their urges to throttle and maim their insufferable extended families without unfettered access to duly taxed spiced rum for the spiking of egg nog is utterly beyond me. I predict murders, and the authorities aren’t blameless.
Blackhearted cynic that I am, I’m screwed to the TV as all this unfolds, laying odds. Post Office is nice shorthand for ‘Government’, so I give 3-1 it’s paranoid gun nut up in arms (ha) about his right to bear-into a federal facility with malice, in this particular case, and lo-
The Oliver mentioned is Jimmy Oliver, a long time military vet and is by all accounts a hero; he was taken hostage and bonded with the gunman via his service, thus keeping the guy calm long enough for him to come to his senses.
Around 8 o’clock, the guy ordered pizza for himself and his hostages; he’d also allowed his captives to call their families multiple times during the ordeal. Those two facts pointed to a peaceful resolution, and indeed the gunman released his hostages and surrendered around 11 PM.
All well and good you say, drama comes to a small town, but what does this have to do with politics? Well, not much really. What it does have to do with is Glenn Beck, Sean Hanity, et al spouting this “They’re taxing the working man to death! They wanna confiscate your guns! Death Panels!” bullshit. This is the logical conclusion of a bunch of surrealist anti-government rants based in no way on reality echoing around the so-called brains tens of millions impressionable dullards who watch it.
For fuck’s sake-I actually feel sorry for the poor dumb son of a bitch who did this. He’s obviously under all sorts of legitimate duress (See- son killed in Afghanistan, financial hardship, physical handicap), but I’m pretty sure he’d have been content to sit at home and stew in his own misery like a good peasant if it weren’t for a bunch of shameless bastards on the radio and TV raising the hue and cry about the how the government is running amok and socialism this and 2nd amendment that and something has to be done!
Well motherfuckers something has been done. Some poor fucked up grieving obese diabetic amputee walked (or rolled) into a post office with 4 guns, towing your fucking line, and now, if you have the brass to talk about him at all, you’ll throw him under the bus like the fucking minnowmouthed crawfishing goddamned charlatans you fucking are.
You’ll go tut-tut-tut and mouth platitudes about how you don’t condone this sort of shit. And you know what, I know you don’t condone it. But you incite it. And you make money off it. You are paranoia profiteers and I wish to gods I don’t even believe in that someone would hand you bastards a fucking bill for-
-The five local hospitals that were standing by to receive casualties.
-The fucking Medivac helicopter standing by at an elementary school parking lot to transport same.
-The untold hordes of local cops, state cops, feds and who the hell knows what else who were milling around in full riot regalia with fucking automatic weapons slung up in a town of 8,000 fucking people. Two days before Christmas.
-A bottle of spiced rum for anybody that wants one.
I’m all for blustering hyperbole (my post is my cite), but have some common fucking decency and understand that when your audience numbers in the tens of millions, literally hundreds of thousands of them are mentally ill. And what we, as a country, don’t need is for someone with a national reputation legitimizing their paranoia and delusions by wrapping it in an American Flag and calling it patriotism.
Now excuse me, I have to pour the shots and warm up the Buick. Merry Fucking Christmas, and to all a good night
HO! HO! HO!