Please Don’t Save Me From Myself Anymore..

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As some of you may already know, I have been in the Dominican Republic for the past two weeks.  There is nothing like travel to other countries & cultures to put your own into perspective.  I want to share two stories with you and then you can decide for yourself.

About two months ago, my daughter got the flu.  Looking like a hot, limp, wet rag, I of course excused her from school that day.  She had eaten nothing the night before nor that morning so you can imagine my happiness when she asked me for a McDonald’s hamburger later that day.  I gently loaded her into the van, strapped her into her seatbelt and drove the 5 blocks to McDonalds.  I have no memory of that drive except the occasional worried glance to the back seat where she was draped.

I was in no rush.  I was relaxed.  So I was quite surprised to see police lights in my rearview mirror.  I was utterly dumbfounded.  A speeding ticket?  Really?  Apparently I was going 35 in a 25 mile/hr road (mind you, a four lane highway!).  I have driven that traffic-stop-laden road for thirteen years now, stopping & going with all the other cars as we variously found the stores we were looking for- with nary a problem.  I have never had a car accident- nor a speeding ticket since college.  I have never been arrested- or even close to it.  In essence, I am a goody two-shoes.  The ticket was a whopping $175.  I had to go to court, stand in front of a judge, plead ‘guilty’ (with a giant lump in my craw) and am now on a 6 month probation period.

Ok, that is one story.  Here is the other:

While in the Dominican Republic, we drove quite a bit to various locations on the island.  This is the land of mopeds & motorcycles, dilapidated trucks, broken axles, dusty roads & whole families (toddlers included) crammed onto one motorbike- no helmets.  The highway paint denoting two lanes is laughable & not even heeded as a suggestion.  Stop lights are anyone’s guess.  Potholes the size of small cars litter the roads and only catch the unsuspecting tourists while the nimble locals on their mopeds zook right around them.  Driving against traffic doesn’t surprise anyone enough to even turn heads.  It is the wild west.

After gasping in unbelief and downright disapproval (when the family with the toddler drove by), I felt another emotion altogether sweeping over me:  jealousy.  And resentment.  These people are more free than we are.  They are free to do what they want- regardless of whether it will hurt them.  I wanted to get one of those mopeds and do what I would do- perhaps even dare to ride with- gasp!- no helmet!  Oh yes, my blood was high!  No police lights behind me for driving safely to McDonalds!  By God, I realized in that moment that our nation was a prison for good people.  Law abiding people.  A mother can’t even drive down the road a few blocks to get a burger for her child without needing to ‘plead guilty’ in front of a judge in America!  Things have gone too far, Americans.  They really have.

Everything is done to save us from ourselves.  My kids are convinced that Mother Nature isn’t going to survive long enough for them to grow up.  Everything humans do, need, want is ‘bad’.  Humans don’t understand what is good for them- we are too stupid to make that assessment.  So we need laws galore to keep us from harming ourselves.  “Signs, signs, everywhere are signs- breakin’ up the scenery, breakin’ my mind..”  remember that song?

After having my passport checked at least 7 different times, we returned to Miami airport.  Ah, everything in order.  The air conditioning not only worked, but was freezing cold.  The stores were shiny & new and every product was unblemished, dust free & tagged with a proper price tag.  No negotiating here.  As we approached the gate, two security agents were pacing back & forth across the humans that were obediently filing through the maze of ropes & poles.  They were also barking orders in staccato- completely unintelligible from the back of the maze- but I could tell they relished their jobs.  Their sense of importance oozed from the crisp folds of their uniforms.  One agent, a small Asian woman, had her hands clasped behind her back as she paced before us, “We want your visit with us to be as short as possible!  You can make this happen if you follow these instructions!  Take everything out of your pockets:  Do not leave even a Tissue!  Do not leave a Gum Wrapper!  You will take all the change from your pockets & deposit it in a plastic container!  Take off your belts!  Take off your shoes!..” Her high pitch voice went straight through my head.  I actually looked for a weapon at her side.  Just how much authority did she have?  The other agent was likewise shouting, “You WILL put the boarding pass together with your passport!  If you do not put your boarding pass with your passport, I will be forced to help someone else first!  So put your boarding pass with your passport and you will not be held up any longer than necessary!”

Unfortunately, her words only became fully intelligible about five people away and I was left fumbling with five passports & five boarding passes as I approached Godzilla.

As I observed American humanity moving obediently through the human maze and meekly subjecting themselves to the verbal assault of two militant women who had been given a bit of power, I knew I was home.  America, the Home of the Free.

p.s.  Can anyone guess if SLR said anything to Godzilla number 1 & 2 and can anyone guess what might have happened afterwards (IF SLR did say anything)?

11 comments

  1. Well done at the Miami airport SLR. Oft times people need to be reminded that we are not going to go quietly where they want to boxed us into. We will fight tooth and nail and be knocked unconscious before stepping into the gas chambers.
    Been to DR. Beautiful place… however, I mostly remember the beaches, food and the pina coladas.

    • Hi Dodo,

      Oh, I had lots of that too! Lovely, lovely place. In fact, it is a paradise! Lots of Europeans go there- Americans tend toward the Bahamas, Virgin Islands & Jamaica. But since I have family there, I love it even more!

  2. My wife and I now live in the Republic of Panama, where we first arrived about a decade ago after cruising on our sail boat for seven years or so beginning in 1996. One of our favorite places was Dominica (as distinguished from the Dominican Republic). The people we met there were industrious and also free.

    Panama has her problems, and we did not decide to live here due to disenchantment with the States. That said, we will return to the States only if compelled by reasons beyond our control to do so.

    • Did I ever mention that I grew up in Panama? I spent a wonderful childhood surrounded by giant insects, explosions of butterflies (gasp! we were even allowed to catch them in butterfly nets!), sloths, kudomandes (that’s what we called them) that loved baked beans & crazy beaches where not a single parent hovered over us as we swam in the waves. I spoke Spanish and didn’t know it and never wore shoes. My brother was seven and was considered old enough to have a real machete. My mother had a chart with colorful pictures of snakes. She told us which ones would kill us. We never touched those.

      Those years and those memories are probably what screwed me up so bad! ha, ha! Freedom is an elixir that is hard to live without. It changes you forever.

  3. Couldn’t agree more, sure would be fun to be free.

    My guess is no, SLR is sensible enough to prioritize, if I’m wrong, nothing good.
    Problem is is that I, and the rest of us, are the same way, that’s how we lost all that freedom.

    • NE, I’m surprised by you! OF COURSE I said something! Know what my greatest fear was? That some idiot in line would actually defend the Nazis. And this is exactly what happened. When my turn for the passport Nazi came, I calmly asked her if it was her job to yell at us. I wanted to know if they were actually trained to yell like that. I like to know whom to blame, you see. Stunned by the question, she said she was only speaking loudly. I pointed out that not one person could understand her until they got about five people away and thus, a soft voice would work just as well. I called the Asian girl Nazi over (think “The Killing Fields”) and she hesitated. She didn’t like obeying the wave of one of the Sheeple. After all, she was used to giving the commands. But since I am still the ‘customer’, what could she do? I quietly asked her the same question. She told me she was only speaking loudly. I pointed out that pretty much everyone in the world knew to put their stuff in those plastic containers. If they lived deep in the Congo and somehow miraculously worked their way to Miami without figuring it out by now, they could see the five giant picture signs posted along the Sheeple maze. And if they missed those, they could probably figure it out by watching hundreds of other sheeple removing their shoes, pockets, etc and placing them into the bins. With wide eyes, she asked me if I understood that people all over the world came to the United States and had no idea what to do, I said, “Then yelling at them in ENGLISH wouldn’t help very much, now would it?” With a posture more confused than truculent, she muttered, “um, no.”

      This is when a wealthy looking, statuesque blond turned her pretty head toward me, looked down her nose (remember, I’m short) and pleasantly murmured, “She is only trying to help.” She looked exactly like someone for whom there can not be enough control of the dirty masses. Needless to say, she learned a valuable lesson that day: you never know just what kind of person you are interfering with. She might just tell you to mind your own business, re-iterate her right to speak (especially as she had done so politely) and suggest that YOU have the full right to be a cow if you so chose just as she had a right to decline the privilege.

      Americans, we ALLneed to say something. We are a proud people. We work our butts off for what we have. We deserve at least the same respect that kindergarden teachers give their 5 year olds.

      • heh, heh. No courage needed! What is the worst thing that could happen? They could… gasp… make you get the ol’ pat down or… gasp.. open your suitcase full of dirty underwear. OR they could put you on the Watch List. I figure I am already on it, so nothing lost. Speaking up is vastly satisfying. Even when Sheeple defend the status quo. Remember that the other 10 people around you are finding courage for the next time they are pushed around by the Police State.

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