Posted by: jamesthethickheaded | January 25, 2011

Sobriety Reconsidered

Man Develops the Big Stick Theory

Once upon a time, a man shot out of the West (through NY City of course!) and into the White House with a whole new theory of history: We call it the Big Stick theory to this day. Don’t worry about the details, just remember Columbia once had Panama… a man a plan, a palindrome. Whatever.

Then there was another man who burst on the scene. Okay, he’d actually been on the scene so long the Brits had been trying for decades to get rid of him, but no dice. So what’s he do? He saves the world, God, and all the rest. Makes a few speeches, then the Brits finally manage to give him the heave ho they’ve always wanted. Dude walked with a stick. Doesn’t look like it was very big, but it did the trick.

Some British Dude with a Stick

Then there was another man with an entirely different approach. Some ways, he’s the antithesis of the two and the apotheosis at the same time. Quintessential “Father of His Country” sort. He had a bunch of guys with sticks… and put them to work using them, too. He was about something extremely dicey of course… crossing the Delaware to surprise a bunch of Brits who turned out to be Germans in the middle of winter. Heck… where are the ice skates? DNR’s gonna fine this turkey a bundle…I mean…  anyone see a life jacket? I’m not thinking so. How about the permit for the boat? I’m not thinking it’s current. But think of the enormity of  … these crazy loons… a bunch of guys in open boats in the middle of the freaking winter… no permits, no life jackets, no J-crew outfits. Where is the T-shirt for crossing the Delaware? And yet they didn’t bother with it… ’cause they were literally too cool. Took on the most powerful nation of their time… or at least the flunkies they’d hired to do the nasty work they didn’t want to. But these crazy Yanks  were … just so whacked…at the time they didn’t even set out to win, but simply to avoid losing. Got that right. That was Washington’s genius: His guys were such total wimps they always ran from his battle plans until he realized it wasn’t about winning but about running away faster than the other guy with more bullets. Gee… I’ll bet the pre-game pep talk was a real rabble rouser.  And I’m even betting a bunch of unprepared, under dressed, and out-gunned folks setting off in these conditions with probably less expectation of returning might… just might ….have had a wee drop of the sauce or two before they got into that tippy little row boat or two. Yah think? Nah.  Probably even had to pre-spec little white bags for the seat back in front of them. And even though they seemed to lack the recording equipment to keep track of what George had to say (though they did have an artist apparently ’cause they were as common as iPhones back in the day),  I’ll bet the speech sounded pretty good to a bunch of half-in-the-baggers. Even if it was kind of hard to give when your wooden chompers are falling back in your throat… they were too far gone to notice. But the guy got it done. And say what you will about my irreverence… if our guys were this much under the influence… think about the losers! You gotta have some respect.


Forget the sticks! Full speed ahead!

So what’s all this got to do with sobriety? Not sure. All I can say is that I don’t know what brand the man with the Big Stick theory preferred or whether he was one of those teetotallers… but he sure charged around and did a lot of crazy stuff like he was sloshed. The second guy was literally sloshed all the time. And the third guy won his first election by sloshing all the voters with enough alcohol per head to keep an entire parking lot of tailgaters happy. Now I’m not much of an imbiber myself. Stuff’s effect on so many folks just doesn’t leave a little guy who believes in gun control living in a country that doesn’t a lot of good options after a few rounds.  Especially when those rounds start to go “bing!” if you know what I mean. But one thing’s clear, maybe we’d all be a whole lot better off if either our voters and especially our leaders were spending a little more time sloshed and a little less time screwing up the country. Maybe that was the original idea… only we went around and got ideas and screwed the whole thing up by going sober. Stone cold and all that. Yeah… I know it’s not exactly the greatest endorsement of democracy… but it’s not a condemnation either. A bunch of happily buzzed folks… cheering each other along and leaving each other peacefully alone… you could do worse.

All of which sums to the fact that either you’re peddling (even paddling) influence, or you’re under it. Roll the dice. Stick with it, and leave the driving to the other guy… the guy who wasn’t supposed to drink anything. Which guy? That guy over there… somewhere. The guy we were supposed to pick BEFORE we went to the bar and forgot his name. I guess that’s why it’s called the last man standing and not the first man driving.

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