July 14, 2006

Lt. Smash takes a walk in the park

Lt. Smash, on assignment in D.C., brings us this gem:

AT LUNCH TIME, I decided to go for the stroll around the neighborhood. In Lafayette Park, I ran into a colony of Code Pink hunger strikers. I had run into the same group when I first checked in on Friday; they had been standing immediately across the street from the White House.

On that day I was in my uniform, and there was no way to avoid them without going far out of my way. So I kept my eyes looking straight forward and plowed ahead, determined not to grin or grimace at the protestors. Most of the ladies remained silent as I walked by in my white polyester splendor, but the token man with them tried to engage me in conversation. "We're on day four of a hunger strike; we want to bring you guys home."

I couldn't resist. "I am home." I kept walking, without so much as turning my head to further acknowledge their presence.

BUT TODAY was different. For one thing, I wasn't in uniform (I only have to wear it for ceremonies), so maintaining strict military bearing wasn't an issue. Also, a heavy blanket of humidity had descended on D.C., so the half-dozen or so remaining hunger strikers had retreated deeper into the park, laying in the shade of a couple of magnolia trees. Their banners were strewn across the grass alongside one of the brick walkways. They didn't appear to be holding up very well with the hunger and the heat.

The same man from Friday saw me approaching, and staggered his way over to engage me. If he recognized me from before, he showed no sign.

I paused in front of the banners, and pulled a big juicy apple out of my lunch bag.

"Day seven of a hunger strike..." the man muttered.

I looked him in the eye, took a bite of my apple, and shrugged.

He turned away, and retreated back to the shade of the magnolia. I took another couple bites out of my apple before continuing my stroll around the park.

I give 'em about a week before they break camp.

Classic. ;)

Posted by Kyer at July 14, 2006 11:27 AM | TrackBack