The military-athletic complex is a pain in my NFL-watching ass. I detest the ginormous flag rollouts that precede most games, the stupid camouflage gear that coaches wear on the sidelines, the butt-boy announcers kissing camouflage ass and waxing all moist over “our brave fighting men and women who keep us safe,” the staged reunions between some jug-eared soldier and his “surprised” wife, who’s probably been doing the Domino’s Boy in his absence.
Hate it, hate it, hate it. All of it. I especially hate the fact that the Department of Defense buys off the NFL with taxpayers’ dollars (5.4 million of ‘em between 2011-14) in order to inflict these whole-ass spectacles upon us.
Perhaps it was this long-festering hatred that led to the scene in a Starbucks parking lot a few weeks ago. The parking lot, as usual, was short two or three spaces. I waited while some woman, who was driving a van that was several sizes too big for her, attempted to back out of a space to my left. I eased my car back a skosh to give her more room as she was aiming her van’s ass end and hers in my direction, and I didn’t want that mess landing in my face.
Just as she was finally pulling away and I was about to turn into her space, a white Mazda Miata coming from the opposite direction shot into the space. I had seen this little pussy car pull into the lot as the woman was lumbering her way out of her spot, and I had clearly signaled to the Miata my intention to occupy that spot next.
Out of the Miata came a tall, narrow, white-haired old gent in a racing cap, tweed sport coat, and khakis.
“Why’d you take my space?” I screamed. “Didn’t you see me signaling, goddamnit?”
“I just didn’t see you.”
I was about to yell, “Open your fucking eyes next time, you stupid ass wipe,” when I noticed the veteran’s license plate on the silly white Miata.
“Are you a veteran?” I demanded.
He drew himself up to his full height, smiled proudly, and (I swear) looked as if he was about to snap off a spiffy salute. He was really quite pathetic and more than a little sad looking, but that didn’t stop me.
“You people think you’re entitled to anything you want,” I yelled as the smile slid off his face. “Stupid ass wipe.”
I drove away. He walked away. It was a small victory to be sure, but the next time I watch some dipshit Marine and his delivery-boy-loving wife “reunited” during halftime of a NFL game, I’ll think of the pathetic old coot in the Starbucks lot and smile.