Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Happy Patriots Day?

I'm not afraid of much.

A couple weeks ago, we had a bat flying around in our house, but I caught it in a pot and took it outside while my wife hid under the covers in the bed.

Fear factor? None.

But some things concern me.

Imagine if you will: It's Sept. 10, 2072 instead of 2002. America is gearing up for their Patriot Day picnics. For most, it means another day off work and a sale on all airbikes at the local Fujimaki dealership.

Paintsoft (the paint division of Microsoft) is holding their annual "Let's Roll" paint event, a vague reference to what some patriot said back on Sept. 11, 2001 — when all this Patriot Day stuff started.

The big three airline industries are selling all plane tickets to New York and Washington for only $911, in tribute to those who flew somewhere or did something back on that fateful day that patriotism began ... or something like that.

No one's really sure what Patriot Day means, how it began, or why we have two days off in two weeks — but hey, any reason to barbecue is a good one. (Thermal grills are on sale, by the way at AOL-Time-WalMart.)

One thing is certain. Someone named Al Kayda said "Stay inside and have a six pack" sparking the global recession that could only be ended with zero percent financing at your local Fujimaki dealer.

Okay, now return to today and consider my assessment of the future.

Now, before you say, "implausible, ridiculous, and asinine," think about this: define the difference between Veteran's Day and Memorial Day.

For those who can answer my question, I say, congratulations. How many years did you serve in the military?

For those who can't, welcome to the IAC — the Ignorant Americans Club.

Ashamedly, I must admit that I am a member.

Heck, I always forget whether I can't wear white before Memorial Day and after Labor Day or vice-versa.

Throw in Arbor Day and I'm absolutely out of it.

Maybe — just maybe — that's why 2/3 of the world hates us. We are so self absorbed (How much did your stock plummet because of Sept. 11?) that we have no global view.

It's all about how whatever affects ME.

When is the last time that you whined that a traffic accident made you late for a meeting, picnic or other "life altering" occasion. Did the people in the accident live? Did you even check the paper the next day to find out?

Aug. 31, the Union-Sun & Journal ran a story about the terrorist attack at the 1972 Olympics and I had NO CLUE what it was about. Finally, my wife and I came to the conclusion that since they weren't Americans who were killed, we didn't learn it in school.

We're such a young country that the History Channel is reportedly running reruns of Seinfeld.

We have had a mere 43 presidents in our nation's lifetime, but the average adult cannot name all of them. There are 50 states, but again, naming them all is considered a talent.

Dare to not know who botched the Red Sox chances at winning the World Series in 1986, though. What are you, a communist?

Look folks, it's inevitable. Less than a generation from now, we'll be trying to decide between ham and cheese or baloney and cheese for the picnic, and whether to go camping or on a cruise for the "holiday."

All I ask is that we all eat our baloney sandwiches respectfully and try to remember why it was on sale.

By the way, Memorial Day (in May) was organized following the Civil War with the purpose of honoring deceased soldiers. Veterans' Day (in September) is a day to honor all veterans, originally a commemoration of the end of WWI. And Bill Buckner botched the World Series.