Sunday, January 3, 2016

301. Protest

Oh lord. C.W. wants to stage a protest.

Don’t ask.

He was busy making posters when I came in this morning. In fact, he was so busy that he didn’t notice me. I could hear him muttering as he carefully lettered the words, “We won’t take it anymore. Heck no.” His shape was incongruous, somewhere between a golfer and a migrant worker.

“Power to the protesters,” he said, adding a period to a protesting sentence and looking up. “Big Dope,” he said, “just the person I wanted to see.”

 I walked to the nearest chair and sat, saying nothing.

“I need your help,” he said. “You need to help me stage a protest.”

“A protest?”

“Yeah,” he said, “a protest. Maybe we’ll seize a building somewhere.”

“So what, exactly, are you going to protest?”

“That’s where I need your help,” he said.

“My help?”

“What do you recommend we protest?”

This stunned me. “Do you mean,” I said, “that you are planning a protest and you don’t know what it is you’re going to protest?”

“I’m full of rage,” he said. “I just have to protest something.”

“Like what?”

This time he stopped to think. “What about all those terrible things they say about aliens?”

“I don’t think they are talking about aliens like you.”

“Who then?”

“You know,” I said, “the regular kind. Say, what about civil rights? That’s always good for a protest.”

“Hell no,” he said. “They turn dogs loose on your for that.”

“I don’t think they have done that for a while.”

“Well,” he said, “you never know when they might start back.” Then he brightened. “How about Husbands’ Rights? That’s something that needs attention.”

“Husbands’ Rights?”

“Yeah. We could march against Mrs. Big Dope and her friends.”

“Count me out,” I said.

“As one of your country’s founders said, ‘A right not protected is a right forfeited.’”

“Which founder said that?”

“I don’t know. One of them probably did. Anyway, we can catch the women coming out of the supermarket and surround them with our signs and posters. Then we’ll take over the fabric store. Come on,” he said, grabbing a brush and turning to a poster. “Help me.”

“You are on your own,” I said. “But I do hope you will have plenty of help.”

“God hates hags,” he said, as he began to paint the letters.

“Uh, C.W.” I said, “you have had some bad ideas in your life but this is the absolute worst.”

He ignored me and grabbed another poster. He looked away and thought for a moment, then began to paint, muttering as he did so. “Male lives matter.”

“Give me a break,” I said. “This is ridiculous.”

“Great causes call for great courage,” he said. “That’s what one of your famous statesmen said.”

Think of the money to be made
selling supplies for generic protests.
Is this a great country or what? - C.W.
“Which statesman?”

“I don’t remember. Maybe Robert E. Lee.”

“Maybe we need to have a long talk,” I said.

“Don’t bother me now,” he said. Then he grabbed another poster and began to write, “No piece. No pea…”

“C.W.,” I said, yelling it. He hadn’t heard the car arriving or the voices growing near.


“It’s my wife and her friends,” I said as the door opened.

He glanced up. He quickly swept up the posters and thrust them into my arms. “I’ve told you a dozen times,” he said. “This is a monstrously stupid idea. I’m telling your wife.”

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