During Desert Storm, I was an artillery gun chief for a self-propelled howitzer in the U.S. Army Reserve. We were based in Stockertown, and we were never attacked, so we must have been pretty good. When there was a call for volunteers, I proudly stepped forward.
There was a going away party and I listened to a few speeches about what a great guy I was and then I was off to Burlington, expecting to be in Saudi Arabia or someplace really hot in about a week.
A day later, I was sent home. Brass told me they needed noncoms like me here in case my entire unit was mobilized. I was probably just too damn old. But the next day, when I walked in the courthouse, I earned my combat badge. Some people claimed I just made the whole damn thing up. Others just laughed at me. I still hear about it to this day.
Well last night, Angle conned a few people into thinking I was going away again. He fooled me, too, telling me he had to meet me for "something big."
"Should I bring my camera?"
"It wouldn't hurt."
Angle had arranged a surprise birthday party. Knowing no one would come for that, he conned people into thinking I was leaving the LV to blog in Iran. A bunch of them quickly kicked in the dough for a fancy new Gateway laptop. It came in a box with a nice picture of Ann McHale, claiming "Nice blogs finish last."
I ran out with the laptop before anyone could realize I'm actually staying to fight all the Mullahs here. Now I'll be able to blog during council meetings, snapping pictures with the web cam. Imagine how happy this will make them!
When I opened the box, a letter fell out. It was from a former Reibman era official, who used to delight in throwing me off the courthouse roof.
"When Ron told me you where leaving the Lehigh Valley, I couldn't wait to forward my donation to help defray your moving expenses. Best money I've ever spent.
"I often dreamed about the day you would leave the Valley, but I always presumed it would be upon a rail.
"Good luck in Tehran leading the 'Freedom Blogger Movement.' They have an amazing and surprising amount of media freedom over there, so I can only encourage you to criticize the current regime with the same elan and enthusiasm you have heretofore reserved for Joe Long.
"I'm sure Joe would encourage this as well. Don't forget to include a couple quips about Mohamed.
"You'll be huge, I promise.
"Now get the hell out. - XXX XXXXXX
"P.S. I told Councilman Angle that I couldn't be at your dinner because I was out of town. The truth is, in fact, I am using this event as a diversion while I plant explosives in your car.
"P.P.S. Keep laughing, motherfucker. You know you're going to check under the seats when you get out into the parking lot."