I am one of those horrible Americans that does not put much thought into the meaning of any holiday aside from Thanksgiving and Christmas. Turkey Day is when I overstuff myself with fixings and fowl with my pal, Martini Max, and his family. Christmas is that time of year when I play freeloader with my own family on the West Coast. The rest of the holidays I’m here in New York so that means I’m busy with my other preferred activities, sleeping in, not doing much and taking a break from my usual dull breakfast at The Grind.
My Memorial Day weekend started with getting released from The Grind early so I pounded a few brews with my sidekick, Greg, and it will end tonight when I pound more liquid joy with my bud, Milton. Greg and I had private Greg and I talk including some shared observations about the anatomy of fellow patrons, his frustration that the men’s room line was so long, and why did two guys exit together? Our shared silence about that was our answer. Any mention of the armed forces was not on our radar. It’s possible that Milton might mention how much he adores men in uniform passing through town since it’s Fleet Week out here. That’s one way of paying tribute to the soldiers serving overseas on our behalf.
Last year when I was in Times Square to purchase theater tickets for Milton and I to a play, I saw three Marines, two men and a woman. They were young officers and seemed rather genial so I sniffed the scent of camaraderie. I liked that. They had a theater ticket discount and were trying to purchase tickets to a musical that was not sold out and available for the time they wanted, but there was some problem so they were denied seats. I felt outraged. I did nothing about it other than I called Milton and groused. He shared my outrage.
The way we see it, you go someplace halfway around the world, you risk your life for God knows what, and then you get a pass to hang out in The Big Apple for a few days before returning to the danger zone where you might end up maimed or dead, you rate perks. Even if I have questions about the validity of the wars we’ve been fighting or fought, people willing to participate in them are okay with me. When they’re in my town, if they want to see dancing and hear singing, let them and let them have a great dinner, too, on my tax dollar.
While I was in Times Square this weekend, the Marines were conducting demonstrations as a recruiting tool. I took pictures but didn’t ask questions. I hope these troops at least got paid overtime.