Y’know, sometimes there are just some things that need to be said. No matter who you are, no matter where, every once in a while you just gotta get something off your chest, right?
There are plenty of ways to do just that nowadays. You can post on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. You can wear custom tactical patches. You can start a blog. You can even send a letter to the editor of your newspaper. (I know, I know, “what’s a newspaper, Gramps?”) You can even say it out loud if you want.
Of course, that carries with it certain risks, as I once discovered.
This was way back in my single days, when I was a young pup still learning new tricks rather than an old dog who already knows it all (or thinks he does). It was the end of a long day, and I was dining alone in the most elegant fast food fish joint my little town had to offer. I was tired and grumpy. It was raining and chilly.
Well, while I was waiting for my delicious whitefish filets, fries and slaw, in came a mom and her two or three, can’t recall exactly, rugrats. They proceeded to do what rugrats do all too often – run around the place like little hellions, shrieking at the top of their lungs. They kept it up the entire time they were in the place.
Because they were getting an order to go, they were walking out the door before I was done.
Did I mention that I was tired? And grumpy?
I politely suggested to Mom that she keep her brats on a leash the next time.
She was not impressed. Glared at me with cold fury, and stormed out the door. Ah, peace and quiet at last.
Shortly thereafter, Mom’s husband/boyfriend/semi-significant other stormed through the door and headed straight for my table. He was not happy. At that point, neither was I.
Because I was still eating, I wanted to keep my teeth where they were. And let’s face it, nothing spoils a mediocre dinner quite like the sight of spilled blood. So I backed down and apologized, and he stormed out, telling me as he left that I didn’t understand.
Now, I understood perfectly fine – that (presumably) his kids were untrained little monsters who shouldn’t be allowed in a public space. My mistake was in voicing that in an obvious way. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.
Sometimes you have to be a little bit more subtle about things. That’s the beauty of custom tactical patches. They let you say whatever you want about the absurdity of military (or civilian) life. The trick is to get ‘em with Velcro® backing.
That way if someone comes along of higher rank who might not appreciate your um, “politically incorrect” patch, just take it off before they see it. Put it back later. Or you can swap out patches for different days, different moods, different bull**** tolerance levels. It’s up to you!
As for me? My kid tolerance level has gone up a bit since then. I eat in better restaurants. But every once in a while, I still get in trouble for saying what needs to be said.