The Donegal Express

The calling of the Rosary
Spanish wine from far away
I’m a free born man of the USA

Name:
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States

I am the most wanted man on my island; but I'm not on my island. More's the pity.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

I've got plenty to be thankful for
No private car
No caviar
No carpet on my floor
Still I've got plenty to be thankful for


--Bing Crosby




Lunch time rolls around, and I figure "Hey, I'll go find a Bank of America ATM. That way, I won't have to go to that one burrito place that takes your card, but adds a dollar charge to your bill. That will make the wife happy, I'm being budget conscious! So I pull up BofA website, and find the nearest ATM.

"0.32 miles. Ok, that's not so bad. I'll get a bit of walking in. A little exercise. That's a second good thing I've done today (besides being an exceptional and productive employee). Yay me! Tomorrow, I think I'll treat myself to a nice McDonald's steak egg and (gah!) nevermind."

And away I toddle, missing a street, meandering up and down the street, until I finally find the exact spot on which the ATM sits. I stretched that .32 into a solid half mile.

And that's when I realize my ATM card is on my desk.

Nice. Just nice. So I hump it all the way back to the office, then back to the ATM. And that's when it happened, something that I always enjoy.

Some guy was collecting signatures for some leftist cause. I think he had a petition to save public school abortions for endangered species on death row from being taken over by Halliburton. (Did I miss any "activist causes" in that last sentence?)

Now the enjoyable part wasn't seeing this guy, the good part came when we made eye contact. I need to thank God more often for giving me that aura of "I will make your petition collecting hell if you even /think/ of pestering me with your neo-hippie blather". Just reading on his face, "Yeah, I'll skip him. That's not going to go anywhere." That's just good stuff.

When I was in college, I had some help with it. A friend of my father's had given me a CIA baseball cap before I left for school. I wore that puppy nearly everywhere. Right on Forbes Ave, outside The "O", the Nation of Islam used to distribute their newspaper. I'd go out of my way to walk down Forbes when they were recruiting.

"My brotha! My brotha! " *thrust newspaper at passerby* "Learn how the man is keeping you in bondage!" "My brotha! My brotha!" *eye contact* "Oh, uh, good afternoon sir."

I never understood that. If the system was so all prevalent and pervasive, how on earth do these guys think they can stand on a street corner and give away their rag?"

On warm days, I'd stand across the street for at least an hour, and talk into the lapel of my jacket. One day, I had a Pittsburgh cop come up to me, in tears of laughter, and ask me to just go home so there wouldn't be trouble.

Now, I don't need the hat. Like the kid in Animal House said, "Thank you, God."

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