All stories start with something simple, something ordinary, and my tale is no exception. Okay, so there are exceptions like, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” But I don’t claim to be Dickens or Hemingway…just a schmuck who happened to be around when it all began…and lived to tell about it.
“Hey Gay, where’s the grape jelly?” (See, I told you it was simple and ordinary.)
“Behind the Mustard, and Blue Cheese Dressing, dear.”, came the muffled reply from somewhere down the hall.
I took a look and there it was, grabbed it, and set about making my toast something close to edible. (The toaster and I don’t quite agree on how long said toast should take in getting to the proper level of “brown-ness”.) Turned the radio on to catch what ever delays awaited me on the drive to work, and sat down to address my toast and coffee.
“In just a moment you will be listening live, at the White House, to the President…please stand by…”
What does this moron have to say which is important enough to interrupt my morning drive jock, and my freeway info? Bad enough the fella replacing him in a couple of months has no clue about foreign policy, let alone the military…
“My fellow Americans (Since when, asshat?). This morning at 3am Eastern time, the nation of Israel launched a strategic airstrike against selected targets within Iran. (Way to go Israel!) This was not done with the support or backing of our military or State Department. (Oh shit!) I received the initial report of this just a few short hours ago, but in light of the ramifications, and subsequent actions taken by my government, and military forces at hand, it was felt the American people needed to know what has and is going to happen…at least in the very near future.
Initial reports indicate the Israelis have used at least two nuclear weapons, specifically targeting Iran’s nuclear storage facilities and suspected missile storage depots. Other targets are believed to have been attacked, destroyed or heavily damaged, with various conventional weapons.
I have instructed our military forces, throughout the middle east region, and the world, to place themselves on the highest possible alert. We have been in contact with various countries throughout the middle east, to insure them we have no interest, or intent, in invading their sovereign territory. (So we are going to leave Israel high and dry?!!) But make no mistake, if there are any acts of aggression against United States vessels, or places which are of particular interest or importance to the United States, we will take the necessary action needed to make our position clear (????!!!).
To this end, knowing there are any number of people in this great nation who will attempt to split our resolve, who will voice their opinions and perhaps take actions which are counter to what I and my administration deem to be the right and proper course…(???!!!…again) to insure we speak as one voice (Whose voice, Yours? You asshole!!)… I am imposing martial law across the country, effective immediately. (Holy Shit!!) The particulars will be given to you all as soon as they can be made available. Local and State Law Enforcement officials, along with the National Guard, will be brought up to speed as soon as possible.
Rest assured, my fellow Americans, this is for the good of the nation, and for your own health and well-being. As soon as it is practical, we will (He’s gone off the deep end. Now he’s talking in the third person.) resend this level of alertness, and return things to as normal a condition as possible. We must all pitch in together in this time of national and international crisis. Know that we here in Washington will be doing all that is in my power to resolve this crisis. And understand, we ask you to do your part as well…and that is to carry on in your day-to-day affairs, as much as possible…while I do…while we do the ‘heavy lifting’.
Thank you. Together we shall weather this storm, as we have so many others, and become a stronger America because of it.” (Hmmmm, no “and God Bless America” at the end of his little Reichstag chat, why am I not surprised.)
So that was how, what us old farts like to call WWIII, but the current government calls “the opening salvo to international reorganization”, started. And yes, my day did not get any better from there.
Not going into work today. It took about double the normal drive time to make it to the office yesterday. The drive home was double that. Good thing I filled up the tank, yesterday, on the way to work. Today there are reports of most gas stations being closed, or lines stretching for blocks from those who are open. And, they are charging what ever they can get away with. Heard on the news the National Guard is supposed to be heading out to a number of “selected” stations, where they will be setting up fuel rationing. The same thing is supposed to happen at major supermarkets. It has been reported, most shelves are already empty of the basics; bread, milk, eggs, all gone. Meat is a close second.
And I would hate to be a liquor store owner right about now. Most of those stores are already empty, burned down, (thanks to the mobs running around…at least before the Guard started to show up) or both. People seem to be taking an “every man for himself” attitude. So much for “please remain calm, and try to go about your everyday business.”
I was planning on going to the bank and seeing if I could withdraw most of my savings account. If this doesn’t qualify as one hell of a “rainy day”, I don’t know what does. The news this morning made mention that all banks were closed for public transactions. You could still use your credit card, and if there was an ATM handy, you could take out what ever your daily limit was. But try to find one which was still working, let alone had any cash left.
Talked with a couple of friends, over the internet (power is still on, and water still works). They live a good hundred miles from the city and suburbs. Out there, things are tense, but folks appear to be doing what the government suggests, going about their business. Or at least taking care of the basic necessities, without getting nearly as crazy as folks in the city.
Gay, (short for Gayle Marie Carrington, now Johnston for the last 5 years) is not taking this well. She was of the opinion, the government would be able to handle any situation, and would be prepared for what might happen, after the President’s speech. She seems to feel if those “evil right wingers” (anyone with an opinion which not agreeing with Democratic talking points) had any sense, they would do exactly as they were told, not riot, or try to buy all the gas and groceries. That the rioters appeared to be anything but what one might consider a “right winged extremist” to look like. Or, that the ones buying gas and groceries, covered pretty much anyone near enough to purchase goods from either establishment, politics being the last thing (at that moment) on their minds, was lost to her.
I suggested she try to calm down. Relax, take a hot bath, it will be better in the morning. This advice, after we had a couple of pot pies for dinner, surprisingly, was taken quite well by Gayle. She even took one of her “happy pills”, (some left over medicine, prescribed for “anxiety attacks” she had on occasion, by her doc) after her soak, and went to sleep.
As for me, I had some work to do before I tried to sleep. The events of the past two days, did not make me a happy man. I was guilty of hoping for the best, when I should have taken matters into my own hands.
Like most folks, I had grown comfortable in my life. The day-to-day goings on were a not too uncomfortable routine, which I was loath to give up. This is what the government counted on. That “most people” would do as they were told. To do otherwise was to risk being arrested by the police, or possibly worse, by the National Guard. (Martial law was in effect after all, “shoot to kill” was being talked about on the news channels, constantly.) And like it or not, plan “A”, following the advice of the President, and trying to proceed with life on a daily basis, was not going to work.
So I went from being a comfortable sheep, back into (thank you Uncle Sam) “sheepdog” mode, and began putting “Plan B” into action.
Unlike my wife, I am, if not conservative, at least a strong believer in the Constitution. (It’s that pesky “Oath” and all.) Apart from that, what ever you want to do as a fellow citizen, on your own time and dime, is your own damn business…as long as it doesn’t negatively interfere with me, or mine, we are good to go.
Gayle didn’t quite see things the same way, but she did “allow” me to make previsions for the day things might not be as they should. Her one stipulation was I keep my “end of the world as we know it crap”, somewhere outside of “her house”. That especially included not having any firearms. I took her last command as meaning they should not be “in the house”, not that I couldn’t acquire a few and stash them for future use. I knew she had meant it as “no firearms period”. This was one critical issue, I could not leave alone. Being comfortable with the way things were, while all was going well, was one thing. We were in a nice residential area, about an hours drive from the heart of the city. Crime was not absent, but the local LEOs had it fairly well contained. At least well enough, that I was willing to honor Gayle’s request, for the moment. But I was not going to find myself in need of protection should the “fecal matter meet the oscillating air device”. It was one of the few times I knowingly did something behind her back.
I had two side arms “stashed”, a Glock 9 mm, and a Kimber 10 mm. Along with these, there was a 12 gauge shotgun, and a Browning BAR chambered for 308. All of them were in proper working order. While she was sleeping, they “found their way” into the false bottom of the closet in my den. There was going to be at least one interesting discussion after breakfast tomorrow, and I suspected, the matter of firearms would be the least of it.
Before Gayle woke up, I had gone through all my various “stashes”, and packed up the truck. We had two vehicles which were used for work and daily driving. Both of those were relatively late models. One SUV, and one sedan. I had a third, an old Ford F150 extended cab, a 1977 model, it had a V-8 and electronic ignition (but I had the applicable wiring to convert it to the old points, if I had to). Minimal crap under the hood, and in good physical shape. It was my SHTF truck, and she was gassed up and ready to go. (Always kept a full tank in her, and ran it enough to insure there would be no problems. Had filled up just two days before all this started.)
Now it was time to get breakfast ready, listen to the latest news, and have the dreaded discussion with Gayle about the way things really were now, and what we were going to do about it.
…to be continued.