There is an ocean of difference between opposing war and supporting men and women we have sent into harm’s way. Both are evidence of a deep love for Country. They are twins joined at the heart. In gratitude on this day. . . . . GBH

The Rapture: a fantasy bassed on the most phantasmagoric of all religious scriptural references, and espoused mostly by fringe Baptist types, deserves little of our energy.  If some wild ass minor sect nut case has a lock on eschatological time, then we might as well all gather up and go out with some mind numbing activity such as Dancing With The Stars!  Well, maybe a little high test Bombay as well. You never know how long TV will last at the time, and a dependable back-up would be a good idea. 

But wait it didn’t happen.  A miscalculation?  A phony algorithm?  A wild eyed nut case?  Or possibly all of the above.

All this got me to thinking about what the world would be like without religion. The first thing that came to mind was PEACE.  However, there would have to be some way to rid the world of the crazies as well. Even I know that is not going to happen.  Have you ever noticed that a high percentage of the crazies have a religious connection?  We will have crazies, stupid-o’s, jerks. and megalomaniacs as long as the sun shines.  Wait!  The sun isn’t shining.  Do you think . . . . Nah.  We couldn’t be that lucky.

Well, what I have found out is that all the finest people I have ever known are still here.  If there is a heaven, and that has yet to be demonstrated, then surely we all are candidates.  The only conclusion I can come up with is that we are there.  Think about it.  How comfortable would you be in a life without any conflict at all?  It would take at least half an eternity for me to get used to such a fantasy.  Such a scenario does imply a world without lawyers, however.  Oh well, there may be some hope after all.

As I have stated, I could do without religion.  I could do without murder and mayhem.  I could do without greed and Republicans, as well as those jerks who think they own the left lane all the time.  But I would always be worried about having fresh vegetables, dry stove wood, a good bed and high speed internet.

It’s a complicated issue.  I don’t have any answers.  The world as we know it will, no doubt. end, by and by.  There will be a cosmological explanation for it, it seems to me.  Some galactic missile the size of Australia will plough into the upper east side of Manhattan and it will be curtains for the earth in a few hours.   All this may, in fact, come after we have poisoned the planet and died off by our own hand.  If not we will be swept up, in the twinkling of an eye into the firmament on the wings of the Archangel Cataclysm.

My god, but this sounds cinematic.  I think I’ll pitch the idea to Seven Spielberg.

I know – or am at least pretty sure – that like all trends, this present tattoo thing will fade away into the back alleys and dockside parlors from whence the practice came. And I’ll admit to a kind of culture – shall we say – ambivalence regarding the practice. I remember the “boys” returning from WWII sporting a discrete symbol or name and some design relative to their years in harms way. There was never much that was gaudy or large. There were exceptions. Like this guy I knew who came home sporting this eagle whose wings were spread from nipple to nipple. I remember being speechless when I saw it. I finally managed, “Nice bird, Joe. Did it hurt?” I was all of thirteen. What did I know? But I never forgot that.

The present crop of skin expressionism has, according to my casual observation, been overwhelmingly adopted by women. I have all kinds of untested theories about this, and I am certain that none of them meet the standard for peer reviewed consideration.

Number one is this: the girls love exhibitionism. You doubt this? The key word here is HAIR! I rest my case.

Now, I don’t go looking for these things – they find me. For instance the time I was walking through a local store and this woman was “bent” over changing her baby’s diaper in the middle of the walkway. Nothing wrong with being bent over in public, but if you choose to do this be conscious of the rise of your pants. Her’s didn’t rise quite to the standard of common decency. No one but her board certified proctologist should have such access. The artfully placed tattooed rose did little to temper the view. Good try, but no cigar.

As everyone knows who is conscious, young women seem obsessed with exposing their middle parts. Anything between the breasts and the garden of eden is open season. Sometimes the garden is invaded, just a little, but the tattoo rising up from those regions gives one the illusion of – well, the illusionary. What you see is not what you get. I don’t know what tattoos cost but I guess if you paid dearly for one just north of your pudenda you would feel some pressure to show it.

I have already mentioned the tattooed butt crack in an earlier post. This seems to be the focal point of the art form these days as I have noticed several examples within the last month. All you gotta do is walk down the street and look for some young woman bending over for some reason. Many times just sitting down on a bench is enough. What in the world of anatomy is going on here?

And it’s not just the girls. I have this guy friend who sometimes ago announced that he was getting a tattoo. It was to be an oriental symbol for love. It was to appear on the back of one or the other of his shoulders, I forget. I, at the time, thought it was a bit over the edge for a mature man to do such a thing but after a while, I began to see the wisdom of it. It was a quiet demonstration of a deeply felt emotion. Unless it becomes popular for guys to parade around shirtless (you don’t want to be around when it’s my turn) his “love” symbol will not become a cause for embarrassment for anyone. And after all, it is love. And I love this guy.

However, if he had said it was going to appear somewhere just north of the you-know-what, I would have called the cops.

My mother once told me, on one of those family gatherings up at Jackson on the old Henderson homestead, that one of my father’s sisters had complained about my loud laugh and boisterousness. Let’s see, I think I must have been all of ten. I mouthed off something smart about the complaining aunt and was confined to the space beneath the stairs for a spell to cool off. Seems I was always offending the feelings of some stuffy Henderson.

OK, I know. This sounds like an antisocial personality. Right? It could be if taken to an extreme. But I never did that. Anybody who knows me knows what a sweet guy I am. I did, however, develop a healthy disrespect for authority that seemed always to have another idea about what I needed to be doing. The problem I saw in authority was that it always saw itself as right. That’s a lie of course, but it meant that I, an adolescent, was wrong. Of course I was wrong. An adolescent, by definition, is wrong. But as I grew into adulthood my perception of authority seems not to have wavered. It was at that point that I decided never to go into politics. I would either shoot someone or more likely get shot. In Louisiana, the shootee, was a foregone conclusion.

It didn’t stop there. Every now and then I would say or do something that, on second thought, might have been done better. But there it was, hanging out there like a tattooed butt crack in the grocery store. For those rare occasions, I now gladly apologize. And will continue to do so.

However, it has occurred to me that in many of these situations, there is a shared responsibility. I would say that at least half of those poor souls whose feelings I have injured were, in the first place, emotional junk closets just waiting to fall all over someone like me. How’s that for a juicy rationalization? I don’t claim that it’s original.

So, let me just say: if I had a dollar for each time I have hurt someone’s “feelings” I’d be the richest son-of-a-bitch on the planet. And being the richest son-of-a-bitch on the planet, I’d happily pay for their goddamned therapy.

There are two ways to look at it, it seems to me. You can say I’m too old to take a chainsaw to a 80 foot white pine that is 2 feet at the base – a victim of a recent wind storm – or you could say good for you, that you can still do such things! I love that part: “Still do such things??” Like, I see you’re still walking. I see you are still driving. I see you’re still able to take nourishment, and visit the toilet now and then.

If my lower back has a vote, and I think it’s casting that vote right now, it would vote for option #1. I did manage to take a shower without collapsing or seizing up in an awkward position. That’s encouraging. I guess you could say I am pleased to be able to run our little Stihl 025 and be able to attack the occasional blow down, but this is an adult, full of sap tree.

The dialog goes like this: I did it! I limbed, sectioned and participated in splitting the entire log into stove length pieces. Oh Dear! Would you plug in my heating pad?

I guess I am voting for option #2. I am happy to be able to do some of the work around here, and I know the day looms when I just won’t be able to handle a chainsaw and maybe a few other things. When that day comes, I think I’ll be OK with it. Actually I’ll probably celebrate! Well, I guess that would depend on what the reason was that I had to lay the chainsaw down. If you know what I mean.

I just noticed that it is the customary hour for imbibing potent pain killers in the form of adult spirits, and if past history teaches me anything at all it is this: it would be foolish not to abide by that custom.