Sunday, February 19, 2006

Catching up with...

I had a cassette when I was younger called "Catching Up With... Depeche Mode."

Since I haven't posted in a while, I figured it was a good theory.

What am I up to?

Well, first off, I wrote another column for, about the hiring of new Raiders coach Art Shell. Well, he's really the old Raiders coach. But he's one of my favorites.

Glory Days

I also read another book. This one's a short one, on an odd little battle of the Civil War that featured some folks from my home state of Pennsylvania, from Coal Country, not far from where I grew up. They built a mine - "hah! a mine!" - under Confederate trenches during the siege of Petersburg, Va., and BLEW IT UP. An interesting little book, and one of the few (yeah, there are about three on some battle you've never heard of - that's Civil War history for you) on this Yankee misadventure. Yeah, they blew up the battle, too.

Speaking of growing up in rural Pennsylvania, I've been (like everyone else) cracking jokes about Vice President Cheney shooting some poor schmuck while hunting last week. You know, what's the big deal about shooting somebody hunting? I'm from redneckville. We got the first day of hunting season off from school. I'm not kidding. Hey, I took the extra day on the end of Thanksgiving vacation. No complaints.

But really, every year, there's pictures of a dozen kids in the Sports section, holding up their first buck/doe/etc. And a picture on Page One of some kid holding up his first relative. Accidents happen.

But what really gets me is that when the dude he shot got out of the hospital, he APOLOGIZED to Cheney. Sorry, Mr. Veep, sir, I shouldn't have gotten my face in the way of your shot.


Look, if my best friend SHOT ME IN THE FACE, I'd kick the crap out of him. And we've been friends since we were 6 years old. I'd smack him upside the head.

And if the vice president of the United States shot me in the face, I wouldn't apologize. I'd tell him I expect to be Ambassador to Someplace Warm.

But hey, the guy only gave what, $3,000 to the campaign? Lucky he didn't give $1,000, or it might have been buckshot, not birdshot. (The difference between birdshot and buckshot, you ask? The difference between walking out of the hospital a few days later - heart attack and all - and a closed-casket funeral.)

So that's what I've been up to. Now we're caught up.

The Battle of the Crater
The Coal Region of Pennsylvania, including Columbia County
Dick Cheney
The CASH Hunting Accident Center
The Huffington Post, for the conspiracy theorists (two senior citizens, guns, booze, two women who aren't their wives...)
Texas hunter education

I might point out Centralia, my home county's part of Coal Country, home of the world's most impressive underground mine fire. It ate the town. I still remember calling the government for my local paper's FYI Guide to ask which of the half-dozen residents would be mayor this year. Centralia is apparently, something of a tourist attraction now, to be visited. We locals, on the other hand, drive through AS FAST AS WE CAN. I remember stories of people going outside to go to work and find the street had swallowed their car. I remember the little kid who went out back to play, and his older brother heard him screaming and rushed onto the back porch to find him dangling from a tree root over the Inferno after the back yard fell into the earth. They eventually eminent domain'ed the entire town. Except the stubborn holdouts who wouldn't move because they'd grown up there, their parents had grown up there, etc. That's Darwinism, folks. And certainly not intelligent design.

1 Comment:

Lesley said...

I had that Depeche Mode tape too. I loved it. I was such a young emo badass, and this was before there was emo!

I thought of maybe writing you a comment using all the title of the songs on that album but I couldn't think of them all, or how to work them into a comment. Something about you need Somebody to play Master And Servant so you can Shake The Disease of which you Just Can't Get Enough. And that's not just Blasphemous Rumours.

I promise it wasn't this lame when I first thought of it. Promise.