The Unswung Bat

Monday, April 03, 2006
A Funny Thing Happened

Alright, listen close 'cause there's a life lesson at the end of this tale of woe and wonder. Not really, though, but the moral of the story tells you the right time to punch Chad Kroeger in the larynx.

I was walking home a coupla nights ago, up my quiet, residential Jackman street past the elementary school. It was early evening, kind of peaceful, warm, some middle-school kids were playing baseball in the schoolyard. Nice.

This crowd of people is coming down the street in my direction—'bout six shaggy guys a few years older than me. Well, four of 'em are shaggified, doing the long hair, ratty jacket thing, excellent, and two are clean and shiny army guys in spotless uniforms and with those funny hats that're like a cross between a sea captain's hat and a beret. Whatever. They're not taking up the whole sidewalk or anything. We pass, they're talking to each other, I'm, I dunno, walking, not particularly entranced by any of this, but it's a pretty night.

Then when they're about twenty feet behind me, one of the army guys turns around and shouts back "Fine! Be that way! Just 'cause we're not fucking Nickelback doesn't mean you have to like not look at us!" Wow. And the man sounded genuinely insulted, too. Let me emphasize that, though I wasn't staring directly at him or his pals, I wasn't giving them what I believe in showbiz is called "the cold shoulder." I was too surprised to say anything back, and it's not like they stopped walking and stood there, snapping their fingers west-side-story-style and awaiting a rejoinder.

So here is the lesson: when passing uniformed army guys in the company of "civvies," which makes them more sensitive, always make firm eye contact with each one, in sequence, as though staring down a group of wolves in the backwoods, even though you are just passing them normally on the sidewalk. This shows that you respect their killing power.

Also, somewhat less likely to come up but just as importantly, do the same for any members of the band Nickelback. Only, in this case it is not their killing power that you are recognizing, but rather their thrilling power. And if Chad Kroeger's there, actually punch him in the throat. He likes that.

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