Many a perfect day, though service was slow.
I am so angry. Phil DeMuth and I just had lunch at one of my favorite restaurants, La Scala. We had a good table outside and could see lots of interesting people walk by. But the service was criminally slow and when I complained about it, the hostess, a sullen little creep, would not apologize. I told her I had been coming there 35 years and this was the worst service ever. She made no sound of apology at all.
Why is it so hard for young people or even old people to apologize or to say, “Thank you”? What is the issue? Is it that they would have to show some vulnerability? Or that they hate me so much because I am old/famous/well to do/conservative/male? What is it? Whatever it is, I can tell you that people who cannot say, “I’m sorry,” or “Please,” or “Thank you” are doomed to a pretty miserable life. Maybe not. Actually they are already miserable. So, they will just continue in their miserable lives.
As I thought about it and discussed it with Phil on our way back to my little mansion (actually just an ordinary house, but on a nice street — far, far smaller than the home Phil grew up in in Kenilworth, Illinois), I started to laugh.
Here I am bitching and moaning about rude service at a fancy restaurant. What about the soldiers, Marines, sailors, Air Force people, National Guard, Reserves, fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan? What about the ones who fought in the Hurtgen Forest, with Nazi 88s shattering trees all around them and killing them with splinters? What about freezing in the Ardennes with the SS snipers shooting them and panzers rolling over them? What about creeping about in the jungles in Tarawa or Peleliu with Japanese mortars raining death down? What about getting ambushed by millions of screaming Red Army “volunteers” at the Chosin Reservoir while your toes get frostbite and you are exhausted and starving? What about that?
What about getting shelled day and night at Anzio or the firebases in Vietnam? What about being a prisoner and being tortured day and night at the Hanoi Hilton? What about being in a German Stalag or the belly of an infernal Jap prison ship without food or water or sanitation and death and cruel heat all around you?
What about being sick with exhaustion while in patrol near the DMZ in I Corps? Or being pinned down at Pusan? What about missing a decent meal for months on end while you get snakes crawling on you in Okinawa or Iwo Jima?
What about not going back in history? What about training some Afghani man to be a soldier only to have him turn his AK-47 on you and cripple you and kill your buddies in the mess hall where you had just been having lunch ? What about being on patrol in Fallujah and suddenly having an immense bomb blow up your pals right in front of you while terrorists — not militants, terrorists — open fire on you with top-notch Russian sniper rifles?
What about spending years in a hospital recovering? What about never recovering, losing your family, your peace of mind, your health, for the rest of your life because of wounds that cannot be treated?
What about having to read that some little pissant movie star gets all the cute girls while nobody even remembers your name? What about waking up at 4 a.m. and remembering when your best friend got his brains blown out by a very unluckily accurate sniper shot in Baghdad?
This is the price that Americans who serve in wartime pay. This is the price our men and women from small towns and farms and big cities pay to keep us free.
It makes me ashamed to complain about anything, and yet I still do. But at the same time, I pray for the men and women who serve. God bless them, God bless all of them and you who are reading this, hearing this, for all eternity.
I came back home, bid farewell to Phil, got on my knees and prayed. I prayed especially for the ones still fighting night and day in Afghanistan, in the most inhospitable place on earth, against a totally conscienceless, vicious foe who have American blood all over their hands. Dear God, please help them and please bless their families because, as I will say unto my last hour on earth, the military wife is the backbone of the nation, the backbone of freedom on this earth. God bless them.
Well, guess what. Another perfect day in L.A., but I am not feeling well. I keep forgetting where my phone is, where my glasses are, where my car keys are. I guess I am getting old. I hate it, but there it is.
Wifey and I had a great lunch at a hamburger stand on Santa Monica Boulevard next to our car wash. Lots of fun watching the couples, gay and straight, mostly gay, walk by. Many gay people have really great-looking dogs, and we love watching them.
Then home to work on my infernal income tax (I have an extension ) and then off to dinner at Mister Chow. It was mobbed beyond words. Just totally packed. I ate with my wacky friend Jane. Alex was too tired to go. I did not want to eat alone and Jane is a fine conversationalist.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online