Richard Daybell – Novels, stories and short humor
Note: As part of the curse put on me because of some of the actions related below, I am required to trot this confession out periodically at election time for all the world to see (and condemn). It was that or an albatross around my neck.
I used to be a Republican. There, it’s out in the open. It was a long time ago, and I was too young to see the error of my ways. At the time, our family was pretty much all Republican – not avid table thumping Republicans, but Republicans all the same. Truman was a swear word, and we all liked Ike. Ike was like a grandfather, and my grandmother had the hots for him.
As long as I’m confessing, I might as well admit that I probably would have voted for Nixon over Kennedy. Fortunately, I was not old enough to vote. It was a couple of years later in college that I began to change. You see, they’re right: Colleges take our respectable Republican youths and teach them unsavory liberal things like literature and philosophy and science.
It happened to me, and I never saw it coming. For a few days, I was just an independent. But it’s a slippery slope indeed, and the leftward lurch was inevitable. And by the time I graduated from the halls of propaganda, my mind had been molded into the liberal quagmire it is today.
In the space of time between my Republican innocence and my liberal decadence, I did my mandated military time. Since I was a Republican and Republicans love guns, I naturally opted for service that dealt with guns. I joined the artillery because they had big guns, guns you didn’t have to carry over your shoulder.
After my six mouths of basic gun toting, I became a typical weekend warrior spending some miserable hungover Sunday mornings doing my thing for my country. And every summer I did my two weeks duty, even as I was fast becoming a liberal. Being an artillery sort of guy, we got into big guns, really big guns during our summer mission. This really big sucker of a gun we toted was called an Honest John, and I guess it was technically a rocket not a gun. One summer we got to fire the thing. We didn’t actually get to pull a trigger or anything; we just stood around while it was fired. It was a holy shit moment when that thing took off, like a launch at Cape Canaveral only lots faster.
During the rest of the two weeks, we got to tote the sucker around the woods of Washington, pretending we were in pitched battle with an unseen enemy (most likely a liberal). For me, the high point of the exercise was the day we camouflaged Honest John so well we couldn’t find it for several hours.
Yes, you can see it happening: I was morphing into nasty liberalism, and liberals like nothing better than to hide guns from conservatives. Sad but true. I don’t really like guns any more, little or big, or rockets. As Johnny Cash sang: “Don’t take your rockets to town son, leave your rockets at home, Bill. Don’t take your rockets to town.”
Or perhaps as Waylon Jennings sang: “Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be liberals.”