Friday, October 23, 2009

No exit, no return

By Capt. Fogg

I like pawnshops. I've been a fan of the recent History Channel series Pawn Stars featuring a 24 hour pawn shop in Las Vegas and of course I like to hunt for treasure at flea markets. The local B&A flea market isn't so great and is only open on weekends, but since the economy tanked, every day is like a bad day at the crap tables and cool things do turn up at pawnshops.

So yesterday I happened to be passing one on US1 in a shabby strip mall between CW's Barbeque and a vacant storefront and having little else to do, eased the Red Rocket into a parking spot right by the door next to a badly repainted yellow 50's pick-up truck and stopped in.

Yes, they sure did have more stuff than last time, which was a few years ago. The walls were festooned with T-shirts comparing Obama to Mao Zedong and a whole pandemonium of tyrants. One showed some Greek columns and read "Obama -- molon labe" a reference to the words the Spartans supposedly said to the Persians when asked to turn over their weapons: "come and get them." Tools, motorcycles, construction equipment, raggedy stereos, drum sets, guitar amplifiers and shelves full of stuff to the point where I could hardly walk -- and guns: lots of them.

A large plasma TV had Fox news blaring out the hysterics of the day and the friendly pistol packin' proprietor oversaw a forest of racked long guns and glass cases of overpriced handguns.
"You can't trust the government to do anything" he was saying to a couple of camo hatted compatriots. "Except maybe to run an army"
"Not even that!" replied one. "They should just tell the generals what they want done and then let them run it the way they want."

I feigned interest in an 1851 Colt Navy revolver with all the original finish gone (I'm quite sure it was a fake) while the conversation shifted to why they weren't racists for hating "that SOB" it's just that he's such a far-left radical and why any competent president would have restored the economy to it's former glory under George Bush - he's had months, after all.

I grew up on science fiction and I'm used to stories that begin with someone walking though holes in space-time into other universes. I thought maybe I'd just walked into the fantasy universe of the Republicans but I'm not too sure what I walked back into is real either. In the "real" world, there's a new video game out, I read today. It's another alternate reality where "patriots" can compete to capture Obama before he can:
"toss out the Constitution, ban guns and merge the U.S. with Canada and Mexico into a 'North American Union.' "

As with science fiction, the stuff I liked best had some degree of possibility attached to it. This thing only stinks of stale sweat, damp basements, fear and industrial disinfectant -- like a madhouse: like America.

(Cross posted from Human Voices)


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