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SLIGHTLY OFF THE MARK



Independence Day was yesterday if you got this hot off the press, next week as I’m writing it, last week on the bottom of the bird cage … and it made me think about how no one wants to face challenges or work for their dreams, anymore. It seems they want everything handed to them. That made me wonder, what would have happened if Americans had shared that attitude back at the time of the Revolution?

The Boston Tea Party:

“We’re being taxed on that tea without representation! We should dress up as Indians, sneak about the ship, and throw all those crates of tea overboard!”

“Are you kidding? Do you have any idea how much it costs to rent an Indian costume? And that war paint is terrible on my complexion. Besides, those tomahawks are dangerous, and don’t you think it’s insulting to our Native American friends? Why don’t we just write a letter, instead? I mean, if you’ve got time …”

The Battle of Lexington and Concord:

“Paul Revere, ride out and warn the Minutemen that the British are coming!”

“I’m kind of busy doing engravings right now; are you sure they’re coming?”

“Of course they are – there’s a lantern in the church steeple!”

“I can’t remember if it’s one if by land and two if by sea, or the other way around. I’d hate to make a mistake; can’t you get Samuel Adams to do it?”

“But you’ve got the fastest horse around!”

“I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that -- upkeep is a killer. I mean, she throws a shoe every other day, and it’s a pain taking care of all that leather, and she only gets about three miles to the bale. If I’m going to keep doing this, I’m really going to need some kind of financial assistance.”

The Battle of Bunker Hill:

“We’re in a good position, men. As long as the ammunition holds out, we can fight the British off for days!”

“Um, about that, sir: We’re out of ammunition.”

“What?”

“Well, the New Jersey guys were supposed to bring some, but they forgot; and the Virginia boys were willing to sell us some, but they wouldn’t take our Massachusetts money; and the Rhode Island guys say theirs all got wet on the way over, because hey – island.”

“But –“

“The New York fellas didn’t think their bullets would be compatible, and the guys from the Carolinas didn’t show up at all. We had some supplies still left at Lexington, but Paul Revere wouldn’t lend us his horse.”

“Oh, never mind. The general just told me we’re on the wrong hill, anyway. Let’s call it a day and sample some of that beer Sam Adams is so proud of.”

George Washington:

“George, the Congress wants you to take over the army and beat the British.”

“Say what?”

“Now, I know they’ve got a huge, well trained, disciplined and well supplied army of experienced soldiers, and you’ve got farmers and merchants who’ve never shot at anything bigger than a turkey, but –“

“If you’re trying to convince me, you need to take lessons.”

John Paul Jones:

“As you know, Captain Jones, we’re fighting the most powerful empire in the world, which is fielding the biggest navy in the world, and our navy consists of two barrels we borrowed from Sam Adams. Still, we’d like you to take a ship out there and give ‘em a good fight!”

“To heck with that – Sam Adams doesn’t have enough beer in all of Boston to get me that drunk. I’m changing my name to John Paul Smith.”

Trenton:

“Dear Diary: We were supposed to cross the Delaware and attack the Hessians today, but we couldn’t get anybody to lend us their boats. Then our feet got cold, and besides, we were a little hung over from all that beer Sam Adams sent over on Christmas. Besides, Hessians aren’t even British – what did the Germans ever do to us?”

Valley Forge:

“To the Continental Congress: We are suffering under one of the worst winters in history, and we lack clothing, housing, firewood, food, and medical supplies. This is the greatest challenge my army has ever faced.

“I’m going back to Virginia. It’s warm there, and Martha makes a great stew.

“Sincerely, George Washington.”

And finally, the Declaration of Independence:

“Um, guys, I really don’t feel up to writing this.”

“But Tom, you’re our best writer!”

“Yeah, but … you want me to put all our causes and reasoning, and justify the first revolution of a British colony ever, in one little document? That would be hard.”

“But you’ve got that neat portable desk, and the copy machine you invented, and a really cool quill pen.”

“My wrist has been hurting. I think I’m getting carpel tunnel.”

“Look, this is important. We’re dedicating our lives, fortunes and sacred honor to this fight.”

“Yeah, about that – is that such a good idea? I can let go of a little of my sacred honor, but that life and fortune stuff … I mean, my name would be on this thing.”

“If it makes you feel better, we’ll get John Hancock to sign his name in great big letters, so he’ll be the one they arrest.”

“Hey --!”

“Sorry, John, you wanted to be President of congress. Come on now, Tom. Do it in
rhyme. We’ll call it the rappin’ revolution, it’ll be fun.”

“I don’t know …don’t you think people will be bothered that a slave owner wrote a declaration of freedom?”

“We’ll call it a declaration of independence. Semantics, Tom! It’s all in the wording.”

“Well, all right … but I’m not paying for all that ink.”

I’m happy to report that our founding fathers were made of somewhat stronger stuff than that. They sacrificed their comfort, and their fortunes, and their safety, and yes, their lives … all to secure the freedoms that continue to be worth fighting for. There’s an example every generation should strive to follow.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
myfeetshowit
Jun. 29th, 2006 12:01 pm (UTC)
LOL!

Dontcha know, that's exactly how it happened. Their wives scurried around and took care of it all while they were sleeping.
sunshine_tears
Jun. 29th, 2006 07:17 pm (UTC)
I so totally agree... that MUST be how it happened. ;-)
ozma914
Jun. 30th, 2006 09:15 am (UTC)
Well, somebody had to be the power behind the proverbial throne. :-)
ozma914
Jun. 30th, 2006 09:14 am (UTC)
Abigail Adams was probably one of the most intelligent, strongest willed characters from that period -- but you'll notice it was her husband who got elected our second president!
cbtreks
Jun. 29th, 2006 04:36 pm (UTC)
I’m going back to Virginia. It’s warm there, and Martha makes a great stew.

*snort*

Yeah, that would be Revolution 2006 I suppose.

I think it's very difficult for people today to realize exactly how much our founding fathers risked to make this country for us. I'm glad they did. Good column!
ozma914
Jun. 30th, 2006 09:16 am (UTC)
risky business
Thanks. And I agree, the memory fades, which is one reason why I write these columns. Can't say if they're doing much good, but I try.
deborahw37
Jun. 29th, 2006 04:45 pm (UTC)
I guess I should gear up to wish all of you bloody colonials a very happy rebellion day!
ozma914
Jun. 30th, 2006 09:17 am (UTC)
Now, be nice ... it's only one day. Besides, we let you keep Canada. :->
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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