The Way Things Are



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Son, if anybody ever fondles you...
2005-04-05, 12:07 p.m.

Radio: …”a boy who said that Jackson fondled him when he was 7, 8, and 10 years old…”

Me: Son, if anybody ever fondles you, you tell me and I WILL CUT THEM. They’ll wish they never heard of you because your mama is MEAN.

Lil Guy: Oooo-KAY.

Me: If they threaten you, or tell you that they will kill you or your family if you tell anybody, don’t worry. I will find.them.first.

Lil Guy: Oooo-KAY.

Did I ever tell you that Ellie Nessler is my personal hero? She was in the headlines a LOT back in ’93, but has faded in notoriety since then. Go ahead, do a search for her. She got out of prison after 4 years. I read an article which states that people who engage (or indulge) in vigilante justice have two concurrent trains of thought going on. First, that since “nothing” is going to happen to the perpetrator, nothing will likely happen to me, the vigilante. Second, that a vigilante has no faith in or respect for the justice system.

I have neither of those ideologies. I would expect that something will happen to me, even though it is likely that the perpetrator’s punishment will be insufficient for the crime. I would expect the perpetrator to get off easy, and I would expect to receive the maximum punishment allowable by law. And while I have little faith in the justice system, I do still have respect for it. Rules are rules, no matter how inconsistently they are applied. I am not a person who believes that since the rules don’t apply to many people, they don’t apply to me, either. I will sit at a red light at 3:00 in the morning, with my left turn signal blinking. I am a rule follower, to the core.

But a situation in which my child is hurt is a situation in which all of this fine ideology flies out the window. It would be revenge, pure and simple, and 10 years in prison looks like it would be worth it, at least from this side of the prison wall. After much thought, though, I have decided that death would be too good, too peaceful for this hypothetical person, and I intend to aim for the groin, then each kneecap. Man, woman, Mary Kay LeTourneau…whoever you are.

I am sure we will never have to put my mettle to the test here. But the Ellie Nessler story unfolded right around the time Lil Guy was born, and I immediately took it to heart, and somewhere deep inside, it is carved on my gizzard that the person who touches my son is the person who wishes they had never heard of him or me.

But as I may have mentioned in my last post, we never know how we are going to deal with something dire and untenable until we experience it ourselves. Look at Fred’s parents. I’m sure at some time in their lives, one of them thought “if anything ever happens to one of my children, I will kill myself.” But so far, neither one of them has done that. And I really doubt that that will happen. So I can get on here, and talk all big, and try to scare you, and say that if X happens, I will definitely do Y, and I have a plan for that and everything. But I have no way of knowing what I will do in any unimaginable situation until it happens. One would hope that my inner-big-person would come out and deal efficiently, maturely, orderly, and quash the big-mouthed pugilist that seems to inhabit my body.

Oh sure, I have a plan for what I would do if I got to the grocery check-out and didn’t have my billfold. I have a plan for what to do if I get a flat tire. When the power goes out…check. It’s those situations that leave you wondering “what the fuck am I supposed to do now?” that you really cannot plan for, but just hope for the best. You hope for the best from yourself.

Be all that as it may, whenever I am asked the question “who is your hero?” I reply “Ellie Nessler”. I get quite a few blank stares for that answer. My grandmother Frances would be second on my hero list, and I believe that she, too, would aspire to rip from limb to limb, literally, with her hands, anybody who hurt one of her children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren. Plus, she taught me how to cuss – she is the original big-mouth pugilist, so how could she not be my hero?

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