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THE WHOLE PICTURE
It all started the other day, just happened to be out in the yard, minding my business, doing yard work (actually knocking down some weeds in the sand, rocks and wind blown trash; but hey, it sounds “nicer,” more, uhh, you know, middle class).
So, what was I doing...oh, yeah, that’s right—yard work. I love the images that word conjures up: grass clippings, neatly-trimmed lawns, trees WITH leaves, new cars in driveways, cookie-cutter homes not even paid for, complete with folks that come with vacant stares and beautiful plastic smiles.
But I digress, back to what I was doing when I saw THEM. I was bending over when I saw THEM out of the corner of my eye. Well, I saw the mother first. Thought I saw some movement over behind the cactus hedge. Straightened up and took a closer look, not sure if my eyes were playing tricks on me. Had to make sure I had actually seen some living thing move over there and it wasn’t just one of the assorted shredded plastic Walmart bags that elegantly adorn so many of the cacti around these parts.
I walk over by the hedge, very carefully, making sure I don’t disturb any of the wind-blown treasures that our gentle southwest breezes bring in periodically, namely, “aged” (sounds more elegant) sun-bleached cardboard boxes, various assorted bags, both paper AND plastic. Remember, diversity is the name of the game. Oh wait, sorry that was a 90's buzzword I just happened to find laying around. You know, the one that was left laying next to “It takes a whole bloated bureaucratic government to raise a child” cliche. No, wait, I think it took “a bunch of hollow politicians to raise a child” is how it want. No, I remember, it went, “It takes a......” Forget it, never mind.
Old beer and soda cans, plastic bottles, wrappers, tumble weeds and of course lots of sand.
As I step around a bush, what assaults my eyes leaves me shocked, astounded, outraged. I can hardly believe it. Yes, I did see something; no, my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me. There she stood, not only that, but she was camped out in my yard (correct term?). She had just made herself at home. As I’m staring at the situation, dumbfounded, my mind momentarily numb, it slowly starts to sink in. Yes, this is for real. I mean look, I know we are supposed to be in an economic, umm, downturn right now, or whatever our economic Czar has christened it at the moment. But this is just too much, it all seems so unreal.
I shake myself, mentally of course. I wouldn’t want to do anything physical right now because I don’t know how excitable she is, she might react, call me bad names, attack me or do something really dangerous like call her attorney. So for now I keep everything in the mental stage.
As I advance toward her slowly, I quickly put one of those sickly fake smiles on my face. You know the type—the ones the politicians and preachers love to wear. The ones they seem to think make them look so happy yet so caring at the same time. But in reality, they look like they never heeded their mom’s advice to “quit making those stupid faces or your face will freeze like that.” Either that or they look like they’re actually feeling ill and grimacing.
Standing there, armed with my “public servant, preacher/adolescent freeze face, sick grimace look,” I feel a little more prepared to tackle the situation. But inside, my mind is still reeling, staggering, by now it’s starting to go postal. No, this can’t be happening, I’m an upright, outstanding citizen. I’m a red-blooded, registered to vote, tax-paying, “globally concerned,” (don’t ask me what that is, I don’t know, just thought it sounded trendy, appropriate for this current political clime) citizen. I mean, this is what I pay my taxes for, is to keep things like this from happening. You know, to get “my” public servants to “protect” my private property rights.
A torrent of thoughts come all flooding in at once, can’t even fish a coherent stream out of any of them. Just see phrases with the words, “Constitutional rights,” “civil rights,” “inalienable rights,” “justice,” “laws” go rushing by. Something snaps. I slap myself back into reality. How could I be so stupid. What was I thinking, I pay taxes so we can stick our noses in people’s business half way around the world, start wars and bail out poor banks who have swindled millions of people. Yea, that’s right, whew, that was close. That does give me an idea, though, if things don’t work out for me by myself, I can just disguise myself as a failing bank or pretend I’m a large corporation and see if I can snag a bailout too.
Advancing forward, armed with my “look,” I say, “Hello.” She just glares at me with head cocked to the side. The look she’s carrying is a cross between extreme nervousness and defiance. Her fight or flight response looks like it’s coming on. I say, “Hello,” again, trying to get a hold on the whole bizarre situation. Still no verbal response, just tension so thick you can cut it, and a glittery vacant stare.
She looks so nervous, by now I know she’s up to no good. The thought pops in my mind, she’s a drug dealer. Has to be, as an aside, I’m just minutes from the border, there’s lots of, you know, those types around here. So it all makes sense. I just know it does. Besides, why else is she looking so nervous?
I rapidly start to try and formulate a battle plan. Dang, where’s Sun Tzu when you need him. I think about calling the police, no, maybe the DEA. La Tuna, the Federal Pen is just down the street from me, there’s gotta be some of those guys (whoa, stop, insert—“peoples”—that’s better, “DEA peoples.” Wouldn’t want any of the liberated female vocab police issuing me a citation) around here.
As I look closer, something looks vaguely familiar. Ah ha! Yes, I’ve seen here type before, south of the border. Was just down there earlier this year, running down their streets in broad daylight. Ducking and dodging, the gangs of cops with their bulletproof vests, cradling their sub-machine guns, trying to make myself invisible to the army commandos with the berets and full automatics that are manning the streets and border. Sprinting down the broken and heaved sidewalks that reek of hot stale beer, old vomit, and warm urine. I arrive at my destination, out of breath, chest heaving, in extreme pain. I burst through the door, the lady at the front desk looks up in alarm. I ask her in English, since I don’t speak much Español, “Do you folks fill cavities?” She assured me the dentist does, much to my immense relief.
I now think of calling homeland security, no, the border patrol. (I’ve always wondered about that name, I mean, I’ve seen these folks 200-300 miles up from the “border”(?) semantic nit-picking, perhaps), then I remember the border patrol is part of Homeland Security. I go one further and think maybe if I could just get a hold of “O,” maybe I could get some troops sent in as backup or, at a minimum, I might be able to get an airstrike called in. Then the confusion starts to set in. It’s no secret that in hot battle situations like these, that things can start to unravel and get really confused.
First I can’t remember which “O” to contact...the larger gal who’s always battling her waist line, launching preemptive strikes on her diets, gives away cars on TV—tough when you’re a billionaire—and is always crying with her guests on her show. Or the other “O,” you now, the one who’s battling world hunger, despotic dictators who want to take away every American’s right to “Have a pool in every yard, access to a limitless credit card, and a solar powered earth-friendly green toaster in every kitchen.” The one who has to work tirelessly to fulfill the obligations set forth when donning the mantle of the world’s only Super Power Messiah. I’ve heard it’s a tough job. But someone’s gotta do it.
I stop, start breathing very slowly. In, out, in out, I draw within myself, trying to tune the vibrations of the situation. Hey, don’t knock it, brother, I live in the same state that contains Santa Fe, albeit a few hundred miles south of it. I find I don’t quite have the tools to tune, I know, I probably just need a crystal, the type that is certified to have come with a sacred feather-dusting. I realize I’m not going to be able to go that route either, Santa Fe’s too far, and the only type of crystals around these parts are the meth variety. No worry, I keep breathing slower and slower, I’m getting relaxed. The confusion is starting to finally clear, it comes into razor sharp focus, I want to go take a nap.
No, I push that thought aside, I will save that for my reward later. After this grueling ordeal.
Now I remember, I need to contact big “O,” no not big “O,” the other “O” is “big.” I make a mental note to identify “BIG ‘O’” as mamma “O” and skinny “O” as “the O.” There, that’s settled. Shoot, I realize I don’t have my i-phone or my blackberry on me. With a sinking feeling, I realize the plan isn’t going to work either. Besides, what if I did get my airstrike and it went wrong and they missed, which I doubt would happen, I mean, heck, how many times have I read on the web about “surgical precision bombing.”
But just if by a fluke they did miss and ended up hitting my cactus and Palo Verde Trees—that’s “Green Stick” in English. A unique species of tree we are quite fond of down here in the Southwest. Literally, it looks like a green stick, no leaves. We aren’t ones for excess down here in the desert. Besides, if it had leaves, then I would need a rake. One less thing to get stolen—do you think the military would own up to its destruction of the eco setting? No, they would just issue an internal report with lots of acronyms and write it off as collateral damage.
That gives me an idea. I shift gears and decide to make an opening using the bureaucrat role. I will ask her if she has an environmental permit to camp out here, then ask to see a copy of her EPA Environmental Sustainability Impact Study.
Yessir, that’s the ticket. I straighten my shoulders and swell with the air of bureaucratic importance. I step forward and say this time, “Hola.” I know I will get a response now, now that I’ve got her figured out. She glares at me and finally responds. Not exactly the response I was expecting, but a response nonetheless. A positive sign. She leaps up, I feel the blood draining from my head, I stumble backwards. I scramble to regain a position of dignity, this is totally ridiculous. She takes off running like lightning, her two “offspring” following close behind. I stand there shocked. They had been hiding right behind her the whole time. I know it! She’s a drug dealer and she has to be using her “brood” to get welfare on top of it. I’m angry, fuming, I shout after her, “¡Alto! ¡Esperaté!” They all give no recognition that they even understand anything I’m shouting after them. I stand here shaking, I’m so angry. What’s this stupid country coming to, these people don’t understand English, they didn’t even understand Spanish. DANGEROUS FOREIGNERS, alien hordes, dragging their whole families with them. Hmmph, never did even see her “husband” (if she even has one), probably locked up in the pen somewhere. Dirty drug dealers, squatters. I’d better quit now before my blood pressure goes through the roof. Too many Mountain Dews, bags of chicharones and greasy tacos consumed on a regular basis + explosive situations like these aren’t conducive to good health.
I decided to talk to a friend of mine, relate what happened, ask for advice. He just sat there quietly, asking a few questions now and then. Mostly listening. One question he asked me struck me as odd. He asked, “What was she wearing...What were her kids wearing?” I replied, “I can’t really remember totally, I mean, the whole thing was pretty stressful. But I know she looked pretty sleazy, if I recall correctly, she wasn’t wearing much. What were her kids wearing? The kids, not much of anything either,” I smile to myself, “Dirty little streakers.” After I said it, I know it didn’t sound right, but my friend didn’t look shocked, so I let it slide. Besides, a lot of the details are a bit fuzzy.
It’s silent, I look at my friend, “So who do you think they were?” He’s staring at the ceiling, feigning deep thought. He looks at me: “What?” “I said, who do you think they were, you know, what nationality? What race, what country you think they’re from?” He says, “You know, from the description and what you’ve told me, I think they’re probably Geococcyxes.” I just nodded my head sagely in assent. I’d never heard of that country before. Besides, with all these tin-pot dictators running around these days and this group revolting and that group fighting for liberation, you never even know if the maps are current. I’ve never been one to enjoy looking like an idiot. So I just said, “You know, now that you mention it, I think you’re right. As soon as he left, I ran over to my computer, got on the web, looked up Google Earth. No luck, couldn’t find any country with that name. Decided to Google the name directly. As I sat there, staring at the screen, I could feel the heat creeping up my ears, everything started to fall in place.
Well, well, he was right after all, it all made sense now. The nervous looks, the scarcity of clothing, the lightning fast escape, them not paying any attention to what I said to them. I guess they DIDN’T understand me. Their “nest” under the Yucca bush.
I shook my head, I had just seen a family of genuine Southwest Road Runners.
* * *
Clever you say, perhaps. Funny, maybe, it depends on your tastes in humor. But I will say that, that’s how it is with Satan so many times. He doesn’t give us the whole picture. He paints his own picture to us but leaves out the most crucial details. Namely, that if we listen to him and go along with what he is suggesting, we will end up burning with him in the Lake of Fire. That’s the truth! Or, if we follow Christ, we will “have it rough, no fun, boring,” blah, blah, blah. He leaves out that if we follow Christ, our reward will be eternal and we’ll have His forgiveness for our sins. That’s the truth.
Before you decide to go Satan’s way, LOOK AT THE WHOLE PICTURE.
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