- I'm the co-host of THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO with Dana & Carl (Sunday nights, 9 to Midnight Eastern, www.westcottradio.org). As a freelance writer, I contributed to Goldmine magazine from 1986-2006, wrote liner notes for Rhino Records' compilation CD Poptopia! Power Pop Classics Of The '90s, and for releases by The Flashcubes, The Finkers, Screen Test, 1.4.5., and Jack "Penetrator" Lipton. I contributed to the books Bubblegum Music Is The Naked Truth, Shake Some Action, Lost In The Grooves, and MusicHound Rock, and to DISCoveries, Amazing Heroes, The Comics Buyer's Guide, Yeah Yeah Yeah, Comics Collector, The Buffalo News, and The Syracuse New Times. I also wrote the liner notes for the four THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO compilation CDs, because, well, who could stop me? My standing offer to write liner notes for a Bay City Rollers compilation has remained criminally ignored. Still intend to write and sell a Batman story someday.
Friday, February 3, 2017
I WAS THERE! A First-Person Account Of The Bowling Green Massacre
Green. Every last one of 'em. Green recruits, wet behind the ears, fresh out of the academy, fresh outta nursery school as far as I could tell. Damn it, they were just kids. What business did they have going on a combat mission? And what business did I have leading them straight through the gates of Hell? They shouldn't be here. No one should be here. Not now, not ever. Not in this Godforsaken battlefield called Bowling Green.
How the President kept this conflict out of the newspapers, away from the talking-head jackals on cable news, was a mystery for sharper minds than this old sergeant. Maybe it was for the best. How would the people react if they knew of this sheer devastation, this brutal playground of cruel human folly? They'd panic. They'd riot. They'd fall right into the damned terrorists' hands. No. Best to keep the secret. Ignorance was bliss.
But those of who were there? We could not afford the luxury of bliss.
My pilot was an ace. She'd seen it all, from Kandahar to Cleveland, and lived to fly another day. We entered Kentucky airspace, and she evaded heavy anti-aircraft artillery like a creepy real estate tycoon shrugging off lawsuits. As we neared the drop point, I bellowed the order to my diaper-dandy squadron:
Paratroopers! Over the side!
One by one, they stumbled out of the plane, and tripped on the sod. The pilot had already landed.
Nothin' goin' on here, Chief. She spat on the ground, and winked the lascivious wink that always got me in trouble. And off she flew. Straight up. In a plane, not a chopper. I don't know how she manages that shit.
I surveyed the quiet surroundings, vaguely unnerved by the still, ominous silence. My squad was nervous, but alert. They had every rational right to be scared. But they had a job to do.
I looked at the members of my young team: Brooklyn, an Italian kid from Philadelphia; Philly, a Jewish kid from Brooklyn; Philbrook, a budding African-American Einstein from Brooklyn and Philadelphia; and Ringo, a big-nosed kid from Liverpool. Could never understand a damned thing that marble-mouthed kid said.
Me? My name's Elvis. Sergeant Elvis to you, mister. Thankyew. Thankyewverymuch.
The odd calm was torn asunder by a sudden zinng disintegrating the trees around us, as a fleet of massive glowing UFOs beamed death all around us. Terrorists! We sought cover, and returned fire. I'd left my weapon on the plane--damned bureaucrats wouldn't clear me for a concealed carry permit, the lousy paper-pushers--but I had some rubber bands, and the will to use them. My aim was true. This year's model rubber band took out three of the terrorists' armed forces, as the fallen miscreants screamed, What's so funny 'bout peace, love, and understanding? I didn't get it. I knew it was supposed to be funny. I still didn't get it. Maybe I was just the wrong Elvis at the right time.
But there was no time for jokes. An eight-foot tall terrorist zombie was chewing on Ringo's sneakers, not realizing that Ringo had ditched the sneakers and was looking on, puzzled. A witty, cutting remark from Philbrook made the zombie fall to the mud, whimpering. Brooklyn staked a terrorist vampire, Philly unraveled a terrorist mummy, and then Brooklyn and Philly sat holding hands, neither asking nor telling. Not my place to judge. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
The sky remained full of terrorist space craft, terrorist ghost clippers, terrorist skateboards, terrorist surfboards, terrorist hang gliders, and about 30 exploding terrorist Ford Pintos. We were in for a battle. We needed to dig in.
Ringo called a time-out. It was time for his drum lessons. Even terrorists respect drum lessons. We'd resume hostilities after the drum lesson, a light snack, and our afternoon nap.
Some shrieking chick came out of nowhere, yelling at us to fight, imploring us to protect the people, begging us to defend the homeland. We all just looked at each other--me, my squad, and the remaining terrorist warlocks, werewolves, model airplane enthusiasts, Campfire Girls, beatniks, Playboy playmates, Brotherhood Of Evil Mutants, Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots, and the terrorist rock group KISS--and shrugged. And I said to the chick:
"Kellyanne. Don't you have anything better to do?"
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