Saturday, May 2, 2020

Everybody: take a chill-pill and mind your own business

Some people ask why I don't blog using my real name.

I blog under a pen-name so I can write with candor when I encounter something stupid, or more often when I do something stupid. By using a pen-name I can give more details and maybe help somebody avoid stepping into a mess.

I had no idea passions were so inflamed
There I was, driving down a Michigan highway when I saw a resident flying the United States flag upside down. It is my habit to stop and point it out because, up until today, it has always been an accident.

I pulled into the drive and noted the political signs and I assumed the resident was especially patriotic.

I noticed the plates on the vehicle denoted a handicapper drove the vehicle. I thought to myself "If it is too much trouble for them I will offer to lower and flip it over as a favor to them."

I knocked on the front door twice, waiting thirty seconds after knocking each time. I stood well back from the door so the resident could look me over.

I didn't even hear the sound of creaking inside the house.

So, I walked around back and knocked twice on the back door.

Nothing except a 21 pound cat jumping down from a scratching post.

Walking back to my truck I was met by a man carrying a handgun as he came around an evergreen. He was much less than 21 feet away.

Based on the position of his holster, I am pretty sure he was a lefty.

He was NOT brandishing. He had it at low-ready and pointing toward the ground. I apologize for not being able to report the position of his trigger finger. My attention was elsewhere.

"What the fuck are you doing in my yard?" he demanded.

Holding my hands out, away from my sides and palms forward I said "You are flying your flag upside down. I thought you would want to know."

"Damned straight I am flying it upside down. And I am doing it for a reason. Now get the hell off my property." he said.

I was not inclined to argue.

"Yes, sir." I said.

And I left.

Why do I share this?
First, people's emotions are running high and their ability to reason is on vacation. Why would somebody do something provocative like fly a flag upside down and then take umbrage when somebody stops to point it out? That is as unsporting as shooting over a bait-pile.

To Governor Retch, back off. Folks are getting mad.

To the folks who are inclined to make statements, do you really need the rush of confronting neighbors who are unable to read your mind and think they are being helpful. We were WAY too close, tactically, when you came around the tree. Accidents could have happened.

For the rest of us, especially me, this is a good time to mind our own business and if somebody is going to be stupid, well, just let them be stupid. Stupid should hurt but it doesn't have to hurt you.


  1. Don't knock on back doors, bad practice.

    1. Good point.

      I freely admit I was stupid.

      Leaving after the front door was not answered was my last, best exit ramp.

      Thanks for commenting.

  2. As soon as you said political signs I knew it was a deliberate signal of his perception of the current state of American affairs...
    Everybody's crazy. Some hide it well others let it shine!

  3. It is understandable that you blog under a nom de plume.
    Eton Rapids Joe sounds so much better than Kalamazoo Kevin.

  4. Its always been my understanding that flying the U.S. flag upside down is understood to be a sign of extreme distress, to be seen by friendly aircraft. Its the equivalent of 'Our radio is destroyed, about to be overrun by enemy forces.'

    Granted, I'm just a tin can Shellback; so our equivalent is the pointy end being the only thing above the waterline. :)

  5. Garsh, ERJ, thought everyone recognized the upside down u.S. flag as being a sign of distress. If that guy thinks the current state is an emergency, maybe calling out from the front gate is your "Last best exit strategy".

    Or just keep on driving. Peace.

  6. MYOB.....unless you know the person or know of them, leave them alone. Some people do things like this to incite others and you basically responded to the poke in your nose.

    I understand the desire to see the flag flown proudly and properly but intruding upon someone's land for your purposes and not a mutual or for the purpose of the land owner is a trespass. While the land many not be posted, it is an act of aggression to venture onto private property and especially if you do not have legitimate business there.

    I am glad that this ended without incident because both of you would have regretted that if it did regardless of the results.


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