Comes to Town
I needed to get some new Heli-Coil inserts to fix some damaged threads,
so I hopped on one of my bikes and headed into town town
being Roanoke-Salem in southwest Virginia. On the way home, I encountered
a traffic jam. This is a rare almost nonexistent occurrence
down here. Almost always, theres an accident and thats
whats holding things up.
Mittens was holding things up.
come to town along with his Praetorians, a motorized consort
of black SUVs with black tinted windows and what appeared to be
every cop in town (and perhaps the surrounding towns, too). Keeping
us safe, apparently, takes a a back seat to keeping Mittens
safe from us.
time is also valuable while ours of course is not. A Praetorian
had closed down the intersection I and dozens of other motorists
were hoping to pass through. The intersection we paid for,
mind. But which Mittens and his kind may exert exclusive ownership
over at any time.
For a long
time, nothing happened.
we were required at gunpoint to wait for the royal
procession of the GOP dauphin. Any of us mere Mundanes who
dared to perform a U-turn or do anything other than freeze in place
risked the ire and the gunfire of the Praetorians.
And so, we sat and stewed. It was easily 90 degrees outside.
But no doubt, Mittens chariot is air conditioned.
At least fifteen
minutes went by; the cars were now stacked up for a good half mile
as far back as I could see, at any rate. I shut off the bike.
Unlike Mittens, I pay for my own fuel and so try not to waste it.
I suppose when you are the elected king and have unlimited access
to the public exchequer then such things are not much bother. Only
the little people pay for their own gas, after all.
Then, in the
distance, a sound and a flash! He was coming.
To the accompaniment
of his Praetorians blue lights flashing, surrounded by his
protective begleitkommando Mittens gigantic
tour bus arrived. As it approached, emotion welled up within me
and boiled over. I could not help myself. stood up and gave Mittens
the universally understood up yours salute and jeered
at the black-windowed bus as it passed by. It is my fervent hope
that Mittens saw at least one proletarian who will not remove his
cap and bend his knee when in The Presence. Who knows the emperor
has no clothes. That he is just some guy a guy who wields
tremendous power, its true. But thats just the point.
Nothing makes Mittens or any of them worthy of deferential
treatment. Its just some guy. Some guy who wants
to control your life.
If you met such a character on the street and he didnt
have Praetorians backing him youd probably tell him
precisely that. The fact that most of us are afraid to do it when
its Mittens and his Praetorians speaks
volumes about the nature of our relationship to the government.
So, the experience
was cathartic. I felt good for the rest of the day.
I wish more
Americans would do the same or similar. In fact, I regard
it as essential that more of us do the same. That more and
more of us refuse to be respectful. After all, what is there to
the rest of the article
[send him mail] is an automotive
columnist and author of Automotive
Atrocities and Road Hogs (2011). Visit his
© 2012 Eric Peters
Best of Eric Peters