Patriot’s Day Rerun

April 21, 2008 at 5:50 pm | Posted in America, Essays | 2 Comments
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Coach FootballIn honor of today’s holiday, I thought I’d post “I am a Big and Strong Patriot” by Coach Football (pictured, right).

This classic piece of prose was originally published on August 21, 2001 in Dude.  The essay would be honored later that year with a Pulitzer Prize for its searing insights and subtle eroticism.

So please enjoy and have a Happy Patriots Day.  And to all those marathoners out there, don’t forget to grease your nips!

“I am a Big and Strong Patriot” by Coach Football

As every American must, I embarked on a fine excursion to our nation’s home capital last weekend.  And let me tell you, I’m a different man.  For serious.

I started my weekend by taking the big bus down there.  What a great trip!  They showed some movie with Big American Stars, including Harr Ford.  It was some kind of thriller, with drama and murder and sexual in-you-endo. What a way to start it all!

So I get in, take the cab across the streets to my destination site, near the circle.  Get out, go in, the tall boys are ready, crack ’em open, and sit out on the porch.  People walking down the street, moving to the traffic beats.  Americans!  All of them! 
That night I slept on the cold concrete floor.  Waking up, showering, talking.  Taking the subway line down to the place.  Look at the tourists crowding in and panicking and arguing and looking at maps.  On the contrary, I’m prepared!  I know where I’m going!

All of a suddenly, I’m standing in the Art Gallery.  What a place!  Art all around, by Italians, Germans, the Dutch, even Americans.  Many different artsy stylings, techniques, and colors.  The American stuff is not highly regarded though.  So they keep it hidden to the right side.  

They have this whole ‘nother building that was built in the late 1970s by Jimmy Carter.  That gave me pause.  My understanding of the facts goes something along the lines that Carter was made fun of so much that nothing got done during his Term.  During the Energy Nightmare, Americans became increasingly disillusioned with the Southerner.  Then Reagan freed the hostages, sold the arms to Central America, and defined the mid-1980s.

At lunch time I went down to the Building Cafeteria.  Why are the prices so high?  Bill Clinton, you say?  Yeah, I bet it’s him.  He’s still America’s Biggest Problem.  You know he’s still involved in the red tape and porky-bellowing.  The New York Post says he costs me at least $70.2 billion a day!  And, according to Ripley’s Big Book of Believe It or Not!, Bill Clinton was once sentenced to die, and was hung two separate times in Arkansas.  But each time his noose snapped, and he plummeted to the grass!  At first the crowd demanded he be killed again.  But after the second time, the crowd began chanting, “Miracle! Miracle!” So he was freed.  Believe it.  Don’t not believe it.  Believe it.

I walked by Watergate.  I wanted to take a piss in Watergate.  It’s so big though, I couldn’t figure out where the entrance was.  I think Watergate should be demolished.  It’s no natural treasure, that’s for sure.  We can find Nixon a new place to live.

Lemme say up front that it’s like another world down there.  I’m telling ya, it felt like I was in Winnipeg or somewhere foreign.  There’s some weird-ass accents down there.  Some of these people must be from Texas or somewhere.  I swear, goddamned French sounds more like English than some of that ya’lling and yessireeing.

Nation’s capital?  How about jailbait capital!  Any man of my age and unbalanced mental and sexual state should be stopped at the gates.  Yeah, there was culture shock everywhere, and I’m from the Big City! Like this beautiful girl I was talking to outside the Smith-Sony Building.  Her dad shows up, and he’s a Marine with a Marine hairstyle!  You can bet that I beat it outta there quick.  Hot girl with a Marine Sergeant father. Now that’s a bad combo.  Stay away!  !Paligro!

What happens in Congresse?  Hell if I know, but this lady kept on telling me to get off the steps.  So I wandered down to where all these Boy Cub Scouts were.  Some guy from Texas was talking to them about something, but for the love of god I couldn’t understand a word he was saying.  Frank, his translator, was no help either.  I asked one of the Scout Dads who the Texan was, and turns out they were all from Houston.  I said, “I live in New York City.” Large-scale Mistake on my part.  That spelled the end of my day.

I probably shouldn’t have been taking individual photographs of the Scouts, either.

Up here in New York City (home of the crime and the blasphemy), I think to myself, “Who in the hell voted for Bush?”  In this region, just these white guys who live in and drive on the Parkway all aggressively. But down there, Bush People are everywhere.  You may not trust me, but believe me.  Go down to D.C. yourself, and you’ll see it.  I’ve never seen so many mustaches and jean shorts in my life!  I swear, when the pundits do political polls they just count the mustaches and the jean shorts.  That’s far more scientific than those “methods” those pollers use.  Don’t believe polls. Because when I get polled, I lie.  Shouldn’t you?

It was truly a frightening time.  I must have been wearing a wooden sign around my neck that said “I’m Not Like You.” It was obvious to everyone that I was guilty.  While you were safely ensconced in your household, I was out walking amongst people I refuse to take seriously or understand. I thought that I was going to be found out, especially during the flag burn.  I guess Democrats are either a) too intellectual and self-righteous to bother going down to D.C. or b) living so high on the hog on the welfare rolls that they don’t want to leave their mansions.

The walk around those white rock structures, the huge concrete men, the big water body, and Tall Thing got me real dizzy and confused.  Plus the sun beating down like a mother.  My neck was burned, and I felt like I’d run for 278 yards while throwing nine innings.  So I sat down under the Tall Thing, caught my breadth, and composed some notes:

“Right now I’m under that tower. I look up and I can’t even see the top. Yeah, it sure is bigg. And it’s tall. From this angle it looks like one of the Twin Towers where I’m from.  I can see the Whitey House.” (July 27, 2001, 2.12 p.m.)

Speaking of the big water body, I gotta say that it’s surrounded by Geese dump.  All the visiting Americans have to work hard to avoid it all.  That’s not very patriotic. You?

I took a walk to the American History Museum.  Huge.  Damn huge.  And full of important artifacts and national treasures, like the official Great Society Comic Book, and that Milton-Bradley bestseller, “The Exciting Game of the Kennedys.”  But they had all these presidents I’ve never heard of, like this guy Pork!  Are they making this shit up!

During the Era of Medium Feelings the agricultural colonists were being mugged by the Whigs and the Know-It-Alls.  It was a hard time.  Everything was in black-and-white, and men’s calves were bigger than they are now, so they liked to show them off by wearing really-tight stockings.  Did you know that during that time they had what we call hippies today? They were called Transcendapsychedelicists.  Frederick Douglass led them.  His crazy hairstyles became popular with the nation’s youth.  Then Ben Franklin invented Science, ushering in a New Age.

There’s some hot bitches down there, that’s for sure.  Did I see any Founding Fathers?  Nope, but I saw plenty of Founding Mamas!

After the end of my days, I’d meet my good pal Jahck at the Navy Headquarters.  He was doing some sorta funny business in there.  After the other night, I learned not to ask any more questions.  But those Navy guys wear these slacks that are real tight and make their butts look good. That makes sense.  But why white uniforms?  Don’t those Navy guys and gals get dirty?  And bell bottoms!  Now that’s just so impractical.  They could quite easily get their floppy pants caught in the ship’s turret.

During the nightytime Jahck and I would go to nearby nightspots and hot joints.  Alas, the women we met weren’t having it!  When we got home I said to Jahck, “This is all your fault.”  But, after an ice-cold concrete floor, I felt much better.

Should foreigners be allowed in the capitale?  Poll your friends.  We must guard our national secrets.  Like Tony Esposito’s 15 shutouts for the Chicago Blackhawks in 1969-70.  And what’s behind that big curtain in my parents’ closet?

There should be more stores on the Mall though.  They’d attract more people, not just those glazed-eyed Christian youth groups telling bible stories.  And those Scouts aren’t exactly big money spenders.  I thought George Bush was a businessman!  (I gotta say I like the free museums though.)

I’m back, safe and sound in New York City now.  You can breathe easy.  But listen up, because I have something to say.  Know this, America.  That trip rocked my world. 



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