Note: Republished from January 20, 2018
NELLIE was her name, but she called me Bella. She was a little old lady from Pasadena who only drove me once a week to church. She bought me brand new for her 90th birthday. She put a gun rack in the back window for old times' sake. She didn't own a gun, just the gun rack. We got a lot of funny looks around town. I'm a pickup truck.
Nellie had been a professional baseball player back in the fifties, one of the older members on the team, but she could still fly around those bases. She grew up on a potato farm in Idaho, played ball in the Midwest, married up, and ended up with a mansion in LaLa Land when her husband died thirty years ago. When she turned the big one-oh-oh, her great-grandson asked what's the best thing about turning a hundred, and she says:
"No more peer pressure."
Nellie drank diet Coke and ate only at MacDonalds. Her great-great-granddaughter asked her what her secret of long life was, and she says:
"First thing is, don't worry about it!"
She downed a glass of red wine and died on the morning after, in her sleep, with a look of serenity on her face, dreaming about an inside-the-park home run she had once run. The kids put ME up for sale (the son is 81 and the daughter is 79). I was a bit worried about going on the auction block, but ironically enough, I was purchased by another female athlete, a track star (I don't mean NASCAR). "I was born to run," she had said once.
"Me too," I said.
I was so happy, but she left me before I even got to know her name; a plane crash took her life. It was a terrible turn of events, but life goes on I told myself. But life was about to take another wrong turn. Through a series of trades I couldn't quite follow, I ended up being owned by a heroin addict. He removed my Make America Great Again sticker and put one on that said "I love wolves and I vote." On our first day together, he picked up a hooker. I was so humiliated.
The very next day he wrapped me around a tree while texting his dopey dope dealer. He was dead even before the gas tank exploded. My air bag killed him. It wasn't me; it was the "Karma Bar" in Hotel California.
Yes, I'm a pickup truck, but to whom am I telling this tale? I'm talking to the gal who runs the crusher. She's about to push the button, but don't cry for Isabella, Argentina; I'm going to be recycled. To paraphrase old Ben Franklin, I'm going to get a new body someday, I tell'ya. I just hope I'll be a self-parking truck. That's the only thing old Nellie wasn't very good at.
P.S. Awful or awesome? This tale is a metaphor for the State of the Union. America is right on the bubble. Summit or precipice? The first verse of the Star-spangled Banner doesn't end with a proposition; it ends with a question mark. Another example of "American Exceptionalism." The exception to the rule. Unique among all the nations. We await the answer to the question: "Does that banner still wave over the land of a Free People?" And do the people still stand for it?
PSS: There are people who say we are irredeemable, deplorable, and "unfit." Like the school yard brawl it is, the question is, "Who started it?" We are only defending ourselves, bitter clingers such as we are.
May God make this a witness against the adulterers, and the false swearers – who "swear" to defend the Constitution, and then only ATTACK IT! They are the "unfit."© Curtis Dahlgren
The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.