May 12, 2003
"That's awesome!" I said enthusiastically to my Martian friend Yyuran as
we watched President Bush make a tail-hook landing on the aircraft
carrier, USS Abraham Lincoln.
"Why didn't he just take a helicopter instead of a jet?"
"I think the ship was too far out to sea for a helicopter," I said. "Something like that."
"It was just off San Diego," he said.
"He was showing off," he said, sucking his nose deep into his face, the Martian expression of distaste.
"Maybe a little," I admitted. "So what? President Bush knows his way around airplanes. He used to fly jet fighters in Vietnam you know."
"Texas Air National Guard. He didn't get close to Vietnam."
"Yeah, poor guy. I bet he was champing at the bit to go help his country."
"I've heard he joined the National Guard to stay out of the fighting."
"That's nonsense!" I said hotly. "Serving in the Guard was a perfectly honorable way to serve his country in war."
"Particularly if you didn't want to have to actually fight in that war."
Before I could reply to that slander, he was making more ridiculous accusations.
"Then he went AWOL to help a friend's campaign for the Senate."
"Where do you get this stuff?" I asked, both angry and curious. It sure didn't match anything I saw on Fox News.
"In The Boston Globe."
"They claimed Bush was AWOL? What tripe!"
"Perhaps it was desertion, since he never showed up for his whole last year of duty."
"If that were true, I'm sure I would have seen it on Fox News," I said.
He laughed. If you've never seen a Martian laugh, you're lucky. Yyuran's ears vibrated like tuning forks and he sounded like a pig being slaughtered by a chainsaw. It was very rude.
"Anyway," I said. "That's old news and there is no reason to bring it up now. No reason at all."
"Your president just made a big thing of his flying fighters for the National Guard, rather ironic if he was a deserter. Seems like Fox and the rest of the media went AWOL on that part of the story."
"Cut that out." I was almost shouting, but he's so infuriating. "He's our president now and what is important that he just led us into victory in Iraq."
"The most powerful nation of all time destroying a small country weakened by 10 years of bombing, embargo and malnutrition."
"Now just a damn minute...." He cut me off.
"It will make a great ad for his election campaign."
"What will?" I asked, confused.
"Bush in uniform on an aircraft carrier."
"It wasn't a uniform, just a flight suit."
"Looked like a uniform. Didn't Saddam Hussein wear a uniform too?"
"You're being preposterous," I said. "No one else has any problem with this."
"But one of your senators said he had a problem with a desk-bound president who assumes the garb of a warrior and uses an aircraft carrier as an advertising backdrop for a political slogan."
"Yeah, yeah, Sen. Byrd. He's not a real American. He didn't even support the war."
"I can't imagine why," Yyuran said.
"Me either..." I began, until I realized he was just being sarcastic again. Sometimes I don't know how we stay friends.
· · · · · ·
Related Internal Links: The Yyuran Series
It's Just Good Business (Oct. 2002)
Untangling The Mideast For A Martian (July 2002)
The Wrong Stuff (May 2002)
We Are A Peaceful People (March 2002)
A Famous Victory (Jan. 2002)
Explaining Nukes to a Martian (Feb. 2001)
Iraq on Swans
Humor on Swans
Deck Deckert has spent nearly two decades as copy editor, wire editor and news editor at several metropolitan newspapers, including the Miami Herald and Miami News, before becoming a freelance writer. His articles and stories on everything from alligator farming to UFOs have appeared in numerous U.S. publications. He has written two young adult novels under a pen name, and co-authored a novel about the NATO war on Yugoslavia, Letters from the Fire, with Alma Hromic.
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