By Josh Garrison:
Why did I choose a fable to tell this harrowing tale?
Since the time of Aesop, fables have been stories, typically portrayed by animals, used to impart a useful truth on children. With our new administration in its infancy and our upcoming generation still in their non-aborted wombs, I thought this might be fitting. Like any good parent who wants their child to learn from their life experiences, what will we learn today?
One – Democracy cannot exist without freedom of speech, religion, and the right to pursue happiness. Two – Apple maps sucks. Three – Sheep should unionize. Four – If you burn my flag, bad things will happen. Five – Burkas run a little small. Six – You can’t coexist with someone that wants to kill you. Seven – Colin Kaepernick: you suck. Eight – Wait! I almost forgot, the more liberal you are, the less they [Muslims] like you.
Karl and three of his non-gender specific, millennial friends were having a rather deep conversation around a campfire at Harvard, enjoying the warmth from the flaming American flags and Rush Limbaugh books, when Karl had an idea. “Lets go to Bachabazistan!” “Why would we do that?” asks one of Karl’s friends. “Well, I think it would show the rest of the world how easy it is to coexist on a global plane, and I would just like to see it before ‘not-my-President Trump’ turns it into the worlds largest glass-covered desert,” Karl proclaimed. So they agree. Each of them pull out their iPhones, make a few taps, hit Apple Pay with their daddies’ credit card info, hum a few lines of a John Denver song while they UBER to the airport, pop a couple of Ambien, and even though it’s still 2016, magically turned the hands of time back over a millennia.
After a rather friendly pat down from security, Karl and pals hit the streets. They see a burka clad woman lining the inside of her clay oven with today’s bread that will roast over the sweet smoke of camel patties. They hop out of the way of an old man skillfully driving his ass drawn cart of bricks through the narrow, sewer lined streets. They watch children chasing their kite of plastic shopping bags through the field watching it come to rest on the carcass of an old, Russian tank. They notice sheep, peacefully grazing on litter in the traffic circle. Then Karl notices the most amazing site of all, a group of young men cheerfully dancing around an American Flag with flames reaching up almost to the heavens.
Karl then exclaims to his friends “Wow, just like home. See I told you guys we aren’t all that different. They are just as tee’d as we are that Trump got elected.” Karl and friends can’t miss out on a good flag burning so they join in the festivities when something unfortunate happens. Our friend Karl got an ash in his eye. As a millennial, Karl had never felt physical pain before, only emotional strife, so he panicked. Karl looked around and heard some noise coming from a rather dome like structure. With all the speed his rainbow colored Converses could muster Karl burst into the mosque and shouted with a lisp “Jesus Christ! Where’s the ladies’ room?” Well now, the Mullah did not like this one bit so faster than a tuk tuk with a turbo the Mullah issued a fatwa “kill the infidel!” His followers leapt from their prayer rugs and in something like a scene from Aladdin, the chase was on.
Karl burst out of the Mosque to find his friends chasing a Peekachu and hurriedly explained they needed to get out of here… fast. Karl then whipped out his iPhone, asked Siri how to get to the Embassy, and with an awkward gait, Karl and friends began what would be the longest Tough Mudder of their tender lives. As Karl ran through the streets continually making wrong turns, knocking over kabob stands and carts of pomegranates he began to ponder. Why would they want to kill me? What did I do to them? Where is the Starbucks around here? Karl had every right to be confused. Here he was on a mission of solidarity, in a country where Americans had taken out Bachabazistan’s tyrannical government and emplaced a democracy over ten years prior and yet here he was frolicking, through the streets, praying for his life. Unbeknownst to Karl, he would spend a lifetime trying to answer these very questions.
In the chase team, one of the twenty somethings began to woolgather too. “Why are we going to kill these guys?” Abdul was your typical Bachabazistan millennial. He herded his sheep through the city streets, sported a beard that would make a hipster weak in the knees and enjoyed a good game of Buzkashi on the weekends. However, Abdul had a dirty little secret. When no one was around he would drape one of his mother’s burkas on and dance around the house as graceful as a snowflake listening to Lady Gaga’s, “I was born this way.”
Doesn’t matter now, the burka is off, the chase is on and Karl is finally on Bakalakadaka Street headed straight for the Embassy but still way in the back of Abdul’s mind, he wonders “Why? “ Maybe it was Karl’s exclamation of “Jesus Christ” when he burst into prayer that so offended the Mullah. Was it because of his rainbow shoes, showing his support for the LGBTQ? [hope I didn’t miss anyone that would be offended] Maybe it was his “Feel the Bern” tee shirt that clearly showed he was American? Could it have been that he didn’t take off his shoes before entering the Mosque? Was it that Karl found it less stressful to hit the drop zone in the ladies’ room vs. the men’s? To Abdul it didn’t really matter, fatwa is law. Mostly he just wondered, “Why do I wonder?”
As Karl finally neared the Embassy, he and his three friends frantically started waving their American passports like Ol’ Glory herself and screamed “We are Americans, you have to let us in.” Unfortunately for Karl and friends, their newly found patriotism went unnoticed. The Marine Security Guards that would normally be guarding the embassy were playing “Call of Duty.” Why, you ask? Because of course the Marines weren’t allowed to look over the wall. In Bachabazistan it is extremely offensive to look at their women. So the American Generals decided it would be less offensive if the Marines just “kept to themselves.”
Unfortunately for Karl and friends, they had won the race but there wouldn’t even be a participation trophy. They were left sitting there like a Hillary supporter waiting on a concession speech. Karl sent out one last Tweet, “The sheep herders are flogging me.” Soon after, they were captured, beaten, raped, beheaded and drug through the streets of Kabuloolie. It took 13 hours for one of Karl’s friends to understand that he wasn’t referring to the mental strife that he felt after the election. Their bodies were recovered and taken home along with a story of how they were unfortunately caught in the middle of a camel stampede. Fellow students at Harvard received grief counseling and gender free tokens redeemable for one hour of petting time with Cowslip Snowy Foal the unicorn.
Josh Garrison is an OpsLens Contributor with over 50 combined deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Josh is a Purple Heart recipient who served operationally in varied roles with a U.S. Army Long Range Surveillance Unit and other government agencies involved in intelligence and counterterrorism missions.