Sunday, May 08, 2011

Wheeling Nailer pride

This one's a strange post. I was at the local Long John Silvers extension hut Friday night. Some see eerie similarities between this dungeon and where Gomer Pyle used to live. I agree... ours is a little more rusted with more of an emphasis on disorder, especially pertaining to the dumpster out back. Specific details - about 30 people total. Maybe a half dozen in the poker room. I do not know. I refuse to venture into the gambling/smoking room of death. It's around 10:45pm.

It was me, teacher woman, Crosby's mom and dude. We're lined up at the bar, right where Al usually sits. I sensed the presence of a few Wheeling Nailers. Some of the guys seemed to flaunt a minor league hockey attitude. This crew seemed to show up in tandem with their girlfriends. It was as if they spontaneously emerged from the carpet. From whence did they originate? Definitely an influx of younger people with this tinge of Friday night arrogance.

All of a sudden this guy right next to me (I'm sitting next to the end seat) starts yelling. "Hey, you mother fucker, you didn't think I'd find you!" For a VERY split second, I thought he was talking to me. He was loud - totally calling this guy out. Then I realized he was pissed off at this other kid standing near the edge of the bar. I'm feeling a slight sense of relief cuz who knows how many people on this planet I've pissed off. And this guy had a ripped Jersey Shore thing going on. Sporting a bunch of barbed wire and demon tattoos. And wearing a tight shirt usually worn by one of two factions (obsessed body builders and exuberant followers of Lady Gaga). And he was loud. And I'm talking loud - the entire bar was temporarily silenced.

Then he specifically yells, "I just got back from Afgahnistan, I'll fucking kill you." The other guy stammered, "I ain't scared of you." The response - "Then let's go outside." There was some back and forth - mostly intimidation from Jersey Shore. He was jacked. Amid the threats, the one guy eventually filtered back into the vidiot room. I'm guessing Jersey Shore guy's hostility was about losing his girlfriend to the other guy (probably during his deployment). And if it's the girl who was in the bar, she was definitely a hottie. The bartender quickly got things under control and cashed out/kicked out Jersey Shore. Things resumed back to the customary 19th Ho-like routine.

I finished my beer and left. As I exited, the Jersey Shore guy was still wandering around outside. Whether anything went down, I do not know. But I do know that it was an awkwardly tense situation. It fascinated me how Jersey Shore launched into the mention of returning from Afghanistan... as if to imply to the entire bar, "If you got a problem with my actions, you've got a problem with the United States military." Very brash. Most likely testosterone fueled behavior he learned while serving our country. And yes, I completely understand the imperative for training our soldiers to exhibit an aggressive disposition. Act with authority, control the situation and sort out the problems later. Trust me, I get it.

But I wonder how often stuff like this goes unreported as just "bar fights." With these multiple deployments come the likely shattered romances, cheating, etc. These kids come back warped enough as it is and then must rapidly adjust their train of thought in small towns across the U.S. And so many of those who serve originate from rural communities. The military keeps records on the cost of everything imaginable - suicide rates, marriage and divorce, physical and mental injuries, every milligram of oxycontin, etc. But I seriously doubt any real studies have been done about the consequences and fallout from situations like the one I just described. And I wonder how many times paternity questions have arisen - truly some ugly shit. Not the Maury Povich nonsense with people named Pancake, Cupcake or Baby Cakes. This ain't your ordinary scorned Boo. And with the advent of instantaneous communication in times of war, it's even more problematic. I can't envision a worse scenario. Getting dumped and then being shot at, all in the same day. Just something to consider.

I just don't see the populations of Iraq and Afghanistan getting "accustomed" to our presence. Call me naive, but I can't see the similarities with Germany, Vietnam, etc. Probably because so much of the hostility falls along deeply ingrained religious attitudes and societal behavior. The underlying tenets of these 2 current wars (I'm not even going to touch Libya) involve more insidious elements. Corporate greed, infidel occupation and exploitation of the "holy" lands, our history of condoning and perpetuating corrupt dictatorial regimes... And oh yeah, I neglected to mention the fundamental issue of a nationalistic call to war based mostly on lies, or at the very least, cherry picking the evidence and blurring the lines of truth.

And trust me, those images of college kids from Georgetown celebrating the killing of Bin Laden like they just won the NCAA final four will not soon be forgotten. I take that back. Our country will forget about it in no time. Hey, Animal Kingdom just won the Kentucky Derby and Bristol Palin is pregnant again (at least, I hope she is). If it's a girl, I hope she names her "Tundra" - has that independent Alaskan flair. If it's a boy, I'm praying for "Anchor" (as in Anchorage).

Speaking of Anchorage, if the Wheeling Nailers somehow manage to defeat the infidels from Kalamazoo, they must journey to Alaska for the finals. How badly would that suck? These minor league hockey guys beat the hell out of each other and don't get paid shit. Then how about a 3 day bus ride into the state that gave us Sarah Palin. It's not like they're gonna be boarding the team 747 emblazoned with the Wheeling Nailers/horror movie face mask logo on the side of it. That's what our team really needs - a corporate jet. Could you imagine the intimidation factor when it sets down at Ohio County airport? As they're greeted by a throng of 12 year old girls, screaming for autographs and clamoring for cell phone pictures. Dare to dream.

Yesterday, I was sitting on the steps outside Wesbanco arena watching the crowd filter in. A cavalcade of individuals in all shapes and sizes, adorned with vintage Thunderbird jerseys and perhaps a stray curtain-like garment. It's always about that one woman decked out in a Wheeling Nailers moo moo. She has this biblical air of Babylonian royalty. We'll call her Zelda. I beg of you team Nailers - fight for the honor of Zelda. When you enter into battle... embrace the sound of victory (Zelda's gruff, nicotine laden voice emitting a hoarse "Let's Go Nailers" chant). In your mind, evoke the image of glory (Zelda's quivering gunt, mysteriously shifting inside the nether regions of said moo moo). It moves like clockwork, as if it were sand in an hourglass. These are the days of our lives.

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