Friday, November 10, 2006

Up In Smoke

When Joe Riley returned from active duty in the Middle East, he was one of a growing number of bitter war heroes. He wasn't expecting fame or cheers as the police squad escorted him through the streets of San Francisco.
....His tour of duty hadn't exactly been the life of Riley. He was lucky, maybe charmed that he'd made it back alive. So many of his friends had died in combat, why should he honored while they lay six feet under some green acres of a cemetary? Too many had been lost, but for what?
....He realized that soldiers have only one life to live, but must they be placed in jeopardy for an unnecessary war? Should they be dying for the sake of oil interests? His "illustrious" Commander-in-Chief was sitting in the office of the west wing of the White House while they were trying to maintain law and order in a country that wanted no part of America or its ideals. We will never comprehend the passions of those people.
....He understood the war on terrorism, especially after the 9/11 attacks, and that we Americans would spend the rest of the days of our lives never forgetting. America had grown up that day. The facts of life in a tormented world were realized and America became united.
....He wished he could gain an audience with the President. He would settle for just 60 minutes to speak his mind. With that maverick leader standing in the dark shadows of the Oval Office, he would say to him, "You don't know jack, Mr. President!" He wouldn't give him a chance to answer right away. Then he would add, "We know it's a family affair. You're keeping it all in the family, aren't you? You're doing it for Daddy! You must think your father knows best!"
....He might say something like, "I had advisors. This was a well-thought out plan of action."
...."Advisors? Who? Daddy, Rumsfeld and Condi? How quaint, three's company, eh? You gambled and were wrong. Did you think it was a poker game in Vegas? You laid down a full house against a straight flush! Maybe you should have played Go Fish."
....As he would then leave that office, he would ask, "Why didn't you just shoot me when I walked into the recruiting office? Sir, you're letting our country go up in smoke." Looking at the dumb stare he usually wears, he would have one final remark. "Mr. President, you can kiss the raw hide of my ass!"

The above short essay is a poignant look at the thoughts of many of us. There is, however, more to the story than meets the eye. Did any of you notice anything peculiar about the story at all?
....Hidden in the text of the story are thirty-three (33) titles of television programs past and present. Although capitalization has been omitted, the titles are complete and unbroken. Try reading the story again and see how many you can find.
....The story will be repeated below in its entirety with the titles in bold face type.
....Before you scroll down to the answers, here's a cartoon that could be subtitled with the names of television shows. I came up with two suggestions which appear after the story answers. Perhaps you can think of some other TV titles befitting the cartoon.




Up In Smoke: answers

When Joe Riley returned from active duty in the Middle East, he was one of a growing number of bitter war heroes. He wasn't expecting fame or cheers as the police squad escorted him through the streets of San Francisco.
....His tour of duty hadn't exactly been the life of Riley. He was lucky, maybe charmed that he'd made it back alive. So many of his friends had died in combat, why should he honored while they lay six feet under some green acres of a cemetary? Too many had been lost, but for what?
....He realized that soldiers have only one life to live, but must they be placed in jeopardy for an unnecessary war? Should they be dying for the sake of oil interests? His "illustrious" Commander-in-Chief was sitting in the office of the west wing of the White House while they were trying to maintain law and order in a country that wanted no part of America or its ideals. We will never comprehend the passions of those people.
....He understood the war on terrorism, especially after the 9/11 attacks, and that we Americans would spend the rest of the days of our lives never forgetting. America had grown up that day. The facts of life in a tormented world were realized and America became united.
....He wished he could gain an audience with the President. He would settle for just 60 minutes to speak his mind. With that maverick leader standing in the dark shadows of the Oval Office, he would say to him, "You don't know jack, Mr. President!" He wouldn't give him a chance to answer right away. Then he would add, "We know it's a family affair. You're keeping it all in the family, aren't you? You're doing it for Daddy! You must think your father knows best!"
....He might say something like, "I had advisors. This was a well-thought out plan of action."
...."Advisors? Who? Daddy, Rumsfeld and Condi? How quaint, three's company, eh? You gambled and were wrong. Did you think it was a poker game in Vegas? You laid down a full house against a straight flush! Maybe you should have played Go Fish."
....As he would then leave that office, he would ask, "Why didn't you just shoot me when I walked into the recruiting office? Sir, you're letting our country go up in smoke." Looking at the dumb stare he usually wears, he would have one final remark. "Mr. President, you can kiss the raw hide of my ass!"

Cartoon: suggestions

"The Honeymooners" or "The Big Valley"

No.796

12 comments:

jules said...

Valley of the Dolls? Oh wait, that's a movie. Let me think on this one.

Jack K. said...

You are very clever and inventive.

Nice story.

Nice way to distract.

lime said...

well, i got 30/33. that was fun.

as for the cartoon...
H(e)R Puff-N-Stuff

lame, i know, very lame...

Peter said...

Missed a couple of those Mike, cos we don't get them in Oz, clever post, I liked your "pre" response too.

Cheri said...

I'll be back after the coffee starts hitting my brain!lol

love the cartoon! You ,my dear are the King of the Visual!

Steve G said...

Clever post.

Serena Joy said...

dibVery clever, even if I did miss a few.

Miss Cellania said...

Happy Veteran's Day, Mike! (((hugs)))

Karyn Lyndon said...

How about "Different Strokes" or "Meet the Press" Of course there's always "Leave it to Beaver"

Karyn Lyndon said...

I thought of a couple more..."Welcome to Smallville" and "Twin Peaks"

Hale McKay said...

Very good, Karyn. I especially liked "Twin Peaks" and "Smallville." Good ideas.

Karen said...

kEwL story idea!

wish there were no more wars. *sigh*