Uncle Eddy Is Baffled By The “Trumpkins”

Me: Uncle Eddy!  Man, I haven’t heard from you since Christmas.  What’s going on?

Uncle Eddy:  Charlie, Charlie, Charlie – I been thinkin’ all that time.   Trying to figure out this Trump deal, ya know?

Me:  I guess we all are.  But what part of the “deal”?

Uncle Eddy:  I can’t figure out how he can get away with all the crazy tweetering and insulting everyone and blaming everyone – and them folks who voted for him, they seem to think it’s OK.   Now how damned dumb do you gotta be?

Me:  Give me an example, Ed.

Uncle Eddy:  Well you see them on TV cause the TV guys like to interview them.  And don’t seem like all the craziness has changed anybody’s mind.  You want an example, I’ll give you some.  He said he’d dump NAFTA – but he didn’t.  Now, I gotta tell you, I ask the guys don’t at Stash’s Tavern, and they don’t even know what the hell NAFTA is.  So I says: “then why the hell did you cheer when he said he’d squash it”.  Well nobody knew – they just cheered cause everybody else was cheerin’.

Me:  What else?

Uncle Eddy:  Like that Pacific Partnership.  He drops out, and them probably his rich pals say “hey, Don, you’re screwin’ us”.  So now he wants back in.  Then he starts this damned trade war with them China guys.  Now the guys down at Stash’s they’re like me and they all shop at the Walmart.  Now every damned thing there, except maybe tomatoes, comes from China.  Now if you ain’t working, and you’re tight on cash, that hurts.   He was going to settle up with Russia, now we’re almost at war with them.  He was gonna build a Wall – dumb idea – but the guys at Stash’s is still waitin’ like it was going to make them rich.  He was gonna bring back them manufacturing jobs, and we’re all still waiting.  Except the miners but nobody wants the damned coal. Am I the only one thinkin’ about that, Charlie?

Me:  Nope.  I was thinking the same thing yesterday when I was at Walmart.

Uncle Eddy:  So I finally figured him out.

Me:  Well share, Uncle Ed.

Uncle Eddy:  Just like old Hitler and them Nazis.  You tell a lie, and you keep on tellin. it, and pretty soon ain’t nobody knows the difference between a lie and the truth and they start believin” the lie.  Not bad for an old steel mill guy, eh?  So all them out-of-work guys, you hand them a big old pile of horse crap and they start believin’ there’s a pony hiding in there.

Me:  I’ve got to go think about this, Ed.   But I know you’re right.

 

Uncle Eddy On The Trump Steel Tariff

Me: Hi, Eddy.  Been a while.  What’s going on?

Uncle Eddy:  What’s going on, Charlie, is that the country is about to get screwed over by that damned steel tariff that the prez come up with.  What in the hell is he thinking of?

Me:  Can’t answer that, Uncle Ed.  I figured he owed some steel folks a favor for all that campaign money.  Or future campaign money.

Uncle Eddy:  I’ll tell you what he’s trying to do, kid.  He’s thinking ahead to 2020 to make sure them mill workin’ guys votes for him.  He figures it sounds good to workin’ stiffs – more American jobs and all that bullcrap – along with his whoring around with the NRA.  Promise ‘em jobs, promise ‘em guns – never mind he ain’t done any frappin’ thing right this term.

Me:  I’ll go along with you on that.  I think a 25% tariff on steel is way too much.  My opinion is that it will cause prices to go up, since we use steel in everything.

Uncle Eddy:  We agree on that, kid.  But I’m figuring he ain’t figured that one out.   It makes him sound like a big damned hero with unemployed guys.  But I spent my whole life in them Mahoning Valley Mills until they closed and I can tell you it’s all bullcrap.  Just cause I ain’t got no fancy degrees or nothin’, I ain’t stupid.

Me:  So tell me how an old steel guy sees it.

Uncle Eddy:  Well, them mills closed cause we couldn’t compete.   We brung some of that down on our own selfs by getting greedy with wages, same as those auto guys did.  It was nice making 25 bucks an hour, but nobody figured out we was bankruptin’ the company.  So them China guys and them Japan guys they got their mills all full of robots and stuff, plus them people worked for a buck an hour, and they could sell steel one hell of a lot cheaper.

Me: They still do Ed.

Uncle Eddy: Yeh.  I ain’t saying it wasn’t worth 25 bucks an hour – it was damned hard work.  I’m sayin’ that with all this automated crap them China guys got they don’t need so many people.  And them as they got still work way cheaper than 25 bucks for sure.

Me: Don’t you think an out-of-work guy will know that.

Uncle Eddy:  I ain’t sure, Charlie.   Guys get hungry, they sometimes have to believe it will get better.  Ain’t nothing happened good for them guys since the prez took office, but they’re still hope it will.  Look here, kid.   We buys more steel from them other countries than we make.  They got all the mills.  And it ain’t gonna encourage anybody to build new steel mills —–  you figure out what the hell a mill would cost?  So the guys who buy the steel and make stuff will just crank up their prices to cover it and everybody loses.  Cars gonna cost more, washers gonna cost more, every blooming thing with steel in it gonna cost more.  And now them poor workin’ stiffs is not only lookin’ for work but they’ll  be paying more for everything.  Am I right?

Me: Once again, Uncle Eddy – you’re right.

Uncle Eddy:  Damn straight.  But how come an old mill hand like me, who used to clean out the coking ovens, can figure this out?  And all them damned advisors and experts and crap can’t see the handwriting.   It ain’t right, Charlie.  Ain’t right.

Uncle Eddy On Sexual Harrassment

 

Me: Hi, Eddy.  Glad you called – had some questions for you.

Uncle Eddy:  Hey, kid, just text me next time and tell me to call.   I’m a big time tech guy now with this smart ass phone.  Anyways, I do got some stuff to say.

Me:  Fire away,

Uncle Eddy:  That’s what I’m talking about   – all the firing.  Every time I turn on the TV somebody else is getting fired for sexual harassment, or even worse.  That Lauer guy, that O’Reilly guy, all them actor types.  Now this White House guy resigns yesterday.  The prez himself gets caught playing with a porn movie gal. And you notice the firing’s getting faster?

Me: Not sure what you mean by faster, Eddy.

Uncle Eddy:  Well first of all, them guys all deserved to be fired.  (The prez does too, but it ain’t going to happen.)  I ain’t no class guy, but I sure as hell never done that to no woman and if anybody done stuff like to my daughters – well you can figure what I’d do to him.  And it ain’t just show biz, it’s always been every place: offices, mills, stores, or any place where the boss was a guy and could take advantage.

Me:  I know.  Seen it happen – and usually it was my boss, too, so not much I could do about it.

Uncle Eddy:  But when the first one happened – that Harvey lard-ass Hollywood guy – all them bosses discussed and talked and whatever and finally they ask him to leave.  Then, another week and them Academy Award guys throws him out.  That’s the bullcrap, Charlie!  The REAL bullcrap!  They’re pretending they didn’t know nothing about it, even though it’s the way it’s always been in Hollywood.  But now they’re all caught.  Because just because we don’t know the names of all them bosses at networks and companies and government, that don’t mean THEY ain’t been doing it.

Me: I see your point.

Uncle Eddy: Now you’re getting smart, kid.  The first one – that Fox guy Roger whats-his-name, and then O’Reilly, they kept on  “investigating”.  Bullcrap!  Them bosses knew all along them two was abusing ladies.  But they act like it’s a big surprise.  And probably – just probably – some of them done the same thing and they ain’t real happy about that stuff coming out.  Remember when old Bill Cosby got accused?  It was like forever for anybody to ‘fess up that they knowed it.

Me: Keep going.

Uncle Eddy:  I will.  So now, when that morning guy Lauer gets caught, they fire his ass same day.  And why is that do you think?  That all of a sudden they’re taking the side of the women?

Me: Maybe they learned that they should?.

Uncle Eddy:  Yeh – and maybe them network bosses done a little taking advantage back in their day and now they wants to be seen as shoot-from-the-hip-get-them-bad-guys types.  All of a sudden being on the side of women is looking way better than getting your ass fired for taking advantage.

Me: If you could only prove it, Ed.

Uncle Eddy:  Don’t need to.  Seeing them big names all get roasted is gonna make all them guys think twice and that’s a damned good thing.  Happens to big stars, and maybe Joe the store manager will think twice before he tries something like that.

Uncle Eddy Doesn’t Believe In The New Tax Bill

Me:  Uncle Eddy!  Good to hear you.  What’s up!

Uncle Eddy:  For one thing, kid, the damned taxes will be up.  Yeh, yeh, yeh – them senate guys say giving businesses a big tax break is good cause they’ll start hiring again.  And start moving back here again.  Bullcrap, Charlie.  That’s just bullcrap.  Even an old steel mill hand like me knows it ain’t going to happen.

Me:  I know you’re right, Uncle Eddy.  I never expected the Senate to do anything for working-class people, even though they say they will.  You know what they say: “Figures don’t lie, but liars get elected.”.

Uncle Eddy: Ain’t funny, kid.  But let me tell you – all them poor out-of-work mill hands what elected Trump will probably believe it.  For a while anyhow.

Me:  For a while?

Uncle Eddy:  Sure.  We got 4 months before we pays our this year’s tax bill.  Then the new rules take over but ain’t nobody gonna notice it until April in 2018.  By then they’s gonna forget all the lies they was told.  Then they’ll go to one of them tax guys and “Yow!”  They’ll find out how bad it is.

Me:  Politicians always count on that, Ed.  It’s called collective memory.

Uncle Eddy:  See, guys like me used to get 3 big deduction things.  One was them mortgage payments, but Thank God your Aunt Marge and I got our place paid off.  Then there’s your property taxes, and in Mahoning County they’re pretty damned big.  And then there’s them medical bills.  Let me tell you, though I’m sure you knows it, the older you get the bigger them expenses get.  And them 3 things they’re gone, just disappeared.  But seems like them ignorant dopes that swallowed Mr. Trump’s bullcrap ain’t figured it out yet.  Well, in about 14 months when they go down to the Walmart to get them taxes figured they’ll find out just how far them senate guys have shoved it up their butt.  It don’t take no college degrees to figure out that the companies is going to get richer and us little guys are just plain screwed.

Me:  Well, the Senate party line is “business will grow jobs”.

Uncle Eddy:  Yeh, and I’ll grow mushrooms on all the bullcrap.  Look, kid, what’s bull crap is — giving business a big old tax cut.  You think some company’s gonna give up making their whiz bangs in one of them Far East countries for a buck an hour, and come back here and start over again and pay decent wages?  Bullcrap!  Why the hell would they?  Now they gonna have it all – low taxes and still paying some kid in a faraway place a buck an hour.   Look, Charlie, you know I ain’t no math wizard – didn’t take no degree to work an open hearth.  But even I can figure this out.  Look, they give business a 15 percent tax cut.  That sounds good, right?  But like I said, it ain’t gonna bring back jobs.  A guy in the US wants $20 bucks an hour for assembly line work – minimum.  But that kid in Wazzastan still just wants a buck an hour.  That’s 20 to 1.  Hell, I’ve bet horse races with shorter odds.  How much percent is that – 20 to 1?

Me:  Hey, Ed, I’m on your side.  But I didn’t vote for him – or any of those other greedy liars.

Uncle Eddy:  Well then the joke’s on me, Charlie.  And next time you better believe I’ll be smarter.  All them GOP people talks about how great Reagan was, and his “trickle down” horse crap.  Hell, the only thing ever trickled down out of Reagan was that free cheese you and me wrote about a few months back.

 

 

Uncle Eddy – Congress Could Halt Mass Shootings

Me:  Uncle Eddy!  Good to hear from you.  Been a while.

Uncle Eddy: Yeh – and you know I only call when I gotta find someone to bitch to.

Me:  I know that.   So what’s up?

Uncle Eddy:  That shooting down your way.  Was pretty close to San Antone, right?

Me: About 30 miles.  Everyone down here is really upset.

Uncle Eddy:  Well everybody is upset when these things happens, but nobody that I can see is doing a damn thing about it.  Your Governor gives ‘em sympathy, them Senators you got – they’re sending prayers.  And ain’t nothing wrong with prayer.  But why don’t them damned politicians do anything about criminals and lunatic guys getting them assault rifles?  Charlie, just about every one of these damned shootings took place cause the guy had him an assault rifle AND he had him a record.  Some was convicted crooks, others was getting’ some kinda psycho care.  But they still got more firepower than the Army give me when they sent me to Korea.  Why can’t the congress guys stop that bull-crap?

Me:  Eddy, I wish I knew how.   I would if I could.

Uncle Eddy:  Look, I’m all for this 2nd Amendment stuff.  You know that I keep a couple guns around the house.  And years ago you know I hunted every Fall.  In fact, you come with me one or two times.

Me: I remember.  We had some good times.

Uncle Eddy: So, yeh, we all got the right to personal protection for our family and house and all.  And if a guy thinks he needs an assault rifle to do that, it ain’t my business.  But give me a damned break – if a guy got that much firepower, can’t we make sure he ain’t a loony or jailbird? Hell, when we was fighting them Chinese even they didn’t have that much firepower.

Me:  Well, I guess the theory is if you control one thing, it will lead to more control.

Uncle Eddy:  Bullcrap!  Double Bullcrap!   I got a car, and you got a car.  We can drive them cars where ever we want to, but we can’t go more than the speed limit.  And we can’t bust through no red lights.  And why?  Because it’s dangerous.   So I don’t feel like anybody’s controlling me if I get pulled over on the Ohio Turnpike cause I’m going 100 miles an hour.   That ain’t control – it’s just Bullcrap common sense.   You got to have a license, right?  You got to pass a test, right?  Otherwise you can’t drive nothin’.

Me:  I see your point. But the NRA makes the point – right or wrong – that one license leads to another.

Uncle Eddy:  Ain’t always true.  Driving licenses ain’t changed since I started driving, and that was way back when.   And this is more serious.  See, if a guy does time, or’s in a mental ward joint, why in the hell is he able to buy one of them things?   It ain’t a question of freedom.   Suppose I want to fly a airplane?  Well too bad.  I can’t cause I ain’t qualified for a license. Never took no lessons, I’m too damned old, and I’d be dangerous flapping around up there.  So the government got rules that keep me from doing it.  I don’t see nothin’ wrong with that.  That ain’t restricting freedom – it’s just common sense.  That SOB in Texas – he got a dishonorable discharge for beating on his wife and kid, gets out and gets arrested for doing the same thing.  And then he gets loony treatments.

And he can still boogie on down to the sporting goods store and buy a platoon-size rifle.   That ain’t just crazy, it’s bat-crap crazy.    So instead of them politicians promising to give sympathy – why in the hell don’t they do something about it?

Me:  Eddy, I sure wish I knew.  I suppose it’s because you’re the only one demanding that the political system do something.

Uncle Eddy:  Damned right I am, kid.  Damned right I am.  Here’s the real point – I can’t stand a guy with no stones, especially if he’s elected.   Those damned politicians won’t reason with them NRA guys and say enough is enough: “we got to keep crooks from having guns”. Them NRA guys got families, too.  Ain’t nobody wants their family hurt cause some lunatic bad guy got himself an assault rifle.  Them pols could do it if they stuck together.  But they’re afraid of losing the NRA votes.  But there’s a middle ground – but there’s always a middle ground.

Me: Well, tell me what it is, Ed.

Uncle Eddy:  I fought in Korea.  Not beating on the point, but I know some things about guns.  Now the 2nd amendment deal lets us have guns – that’s a good thing.  But it don’t say nothing about having a gun if you’re a crook or a psycho.  Look, we got the right to vote.  But you lose the right to vote when you’re in prison, right?  You lose the right to do all kinds of other stuff if your under psycho care.  If you’re one of them sex offense guys, you can’t go near a school.  Now having them rules didn’t take away no freedoms from honest folks.  In fact, it protects ‘em.    So I don’t want to ban guns – hell, I plan on keeping mine.  But like them sex offense guys can’t go near schools, I don’t want some nut case having a gun.  That don’t take away from my freedom – it makes my kids safe, because the nut jobs ain’t armed.  Am I makin’ any sense, kid?

Me: A lot of sense, Ed.   A lot of sense.

Uncle Eddy:  So the bottom line is if them state law makers and the Washington congress guys weren’t so afraid of losing some votes, they’d do something.  So the next time – and there could easy be a next time – this happens, well who’s gonna get blamed?  Sure, the nut case who pulls the trigger gets it – but them scaredy-ass lawmakers they get just as much blame.   In Korea, when a guy ran and hid from trouble, we called him “yellow”.  We’d know he was a damned coward.   And that’s what them lawmakers do. Run away from trouble.  Kid, I know I ain’t too well educated.  but I know this much – if a guy don’t have the stones to make laws that protect us cause he’s afraid of losing votes or crap, then he’s a damned coward.   And ya know what?  It’s always them cowards get you killed.

 

Uncle Eddy Is Nervous About North Korea

Me:  Uncle Eddy!  Haven’t heard from you in a while.  What’s up?

Uncle Eddy: Charlie, this North Korea bullcrap got me all upset.  Fact is – I’m damned scared.  All them Washington guys got some Bullcrap opinions – but ain’t nobody asking us guys who was there.

Me:  That’s right; you fought in the Korean War.  You were there two years?

Uncle Eddy:  Damn straight.  And I’ll tell you, kid, if we mix it up with them guys it’s gonna be ugly.

Me:  How so?

Uncle Eddy: I ain’t no professor, kid.  But them North Korea guys don’t think like we do.   Whole different outlook on life, ain’t at all like ours.  Them Russians — they was the easy part. In the 50’s and 60’s they knew if they fired off  them nukes we had just as many nukes and everybody would get hurt.  You see, they have what you’d call a Western  mind – a stand-off.  You see where I’m going?

Me: I think so, Ed.

Uncle Eddy: But them North Korea guys they don’t think like that. Life is cheap for them.  I remember being up to my ass in the snow and shooting at them and they just kept coming even though we was killing ‘em all as they did.  Didn’t make no sense to me but we had to keep shooting ‘em just to stay alive our ownselves.

Me: Why do you think that is, Ed?

Uncle Eddy:  It’s the way their army works, Charlie.  Us Americans, we try to fight by  rules, you know?  We don’t kill no civilians, but them Koreans don’t give a crap.  Our Army guys got rules.  No general can tell you kill a prisoner, not if he wants to keep them stars.    But them North Korea guys – hell, they got officers  kills a soldier outright if he don’t do what they say.  In my day, you could go to your CO and say “hey, this is wrong”.  He might kick your ass sideways, but he’d listen.

Me:  So they’re ruthless?

Uncle Eddy:  You can say that but I’d call it bat-crap crazy.  They’s  more damned scared of them bosses then the  enemy.  I seen officer types waving pistols and driving them on even when we was machine gunning ‘em.   I had Marine pals told me the same stuff – they just keep coming.  They’s more afraid of that Kim Jong guy then they is  of dying and that ain’t good.

Me: You think Kim’s the same?

Uncle Eddy:  Damn straight!  He don’t know no different.  A thinking guy,  he’d look at how much a war would cost him.  But ol’ Kim ain’t no thinking guy.  He does what he damn well wants to do and because everybody in his damn army does what he wants he figures the whole world will.

Me: So he won’t reason with us? 

Uncle Eddy:  Hell no! And our Prez keeps baiting him.  And who’s he to talk tough?  He ain’t been in no war.  He wasn’t in Korea, wasn’t in ‘Nam.  Didn’t have to see his kids go to Iraq and them other deserts.   Ain’t so good to talk tough if you never been up to your ass in mud with somebody shootin’ at you.  He’s picking a fight with that crazy man and there’s gonna be big trouble.

Me:  Ed, I hope you’re wrong.

Uncle Eddy Bashes Kentucky Senators

      Me:  Saw your text on my cell phone, Uncle Ed.  What’s up?

Uncle Eddy:  Charlie, I’m ticked off at them guys from Kentucky.

Me:  The whole state?  I don’t understand.

Uncle Eddy:  Nah – not the whole state.  Hey, your Aunt Marge is from there and we drive to see her kin down Lexington way.  So I got pals there.   I’m ticked off at them two senate guys and that the states so damned poor.  But folks there they ain’t got enough sense to toss them Senate guys out.

Me:  Not sure where you’re going with this.

Uncle Eddy:  Look Kentucky has too many poor folks.   You know what them unemployment numbers is?  It’s 19 percent.   That’s like twice like around Boston and them places.  Twice!  So you got a state what’s only one step ahead of Mississippi in poorness – and they got 2 Senators who is trying to get rid of Medicaid.  So I’m ticked off at Aunt Marge’s kin for not being smart enough to NOT vote for two rich guys who want to screw over the poor.

Me:  Now I understand.  But somehow they did get into office.  I think Rand Paul was from Texas and just moved there to be elected.

Uncle Eddy:  Look here, kid.  It ain’t much different now than in them company-store-owns-your-soul coal mining days.  It really ain’t.  Sure folks has indoor plumbing and cars but come election time, it’s the coal companies that spends the gazillions of bucks on the guys they want to get elected.  You think they give a crap if some poor miners dies cause they ain’t got no medical care?  Bullcrap they do.  You think them poor miners elected these guys?   And that Paul guy – he’s a doctor himself.  Don’t them guys take a oath to not let nobody die?  Then why in  hell is he doing it?   I can see that Mitch guy.  He’s gonna do what the big ol’ coal companies want him to do – not spend any more money on helping poor folks.

Me:  Uncle Ed, the only remedy is to vote them out.

Uncle Eddy:  Charlie, that ain’t going to happen for a couple a years yet.  So that’s the shame of it.  One of the poorest states here got themselves 2 senate guys who are hell-bound to take away what little bit of medical insurance they got now.   It don’t make no sense. It’s bullcrap.

 

Uncle Eddy Is Tired of Tweets

 

Me:  Eddy, I got your text.   I guess you got texting down cold. 

Uncle Eddy:  Charlie, I love this texting crap, cause its one to one.  I sends you a text, and you know it’s me.  Not like that other bull crap.

Me:  Not sure what you mean, Ed.

Uncle Eddy:  See  – twitter-tweeting, facebooking, yelping and yowling and snapper-this and snapper-that – that’s closet bull-crap.  You got something to say to a guy, good or bad, you do it face-to-face, not hiding behind some posty thing.   You know what I mean, kid?

Me:  I think so.  I guess you mean direct dialog, Ed? 

Uncle Eddy:  Yeh, I ain’t so good with words.  Point is if you got a beef with a guy, go look him in the eye.  If he ain’t in your town, send him a personal-like text or e-mail thing.  This snapper-yapper crap lets guys hide in their basement and make big talk they wouldn’t make to your face.  In the Army and when I worked the mills, guys got feisty you know, but you looked the guy in the eye and told him what you thought.  Man-to-man, you know?

Me:  I hear you.

Uncle Eddy:  Now we got this whole mess of say anything you wants to whoever and you don’t need the stones to look him in the eye when you says it.  Even the Prez – he’s tweeting up a storm, calling out this one and that one.  If he’s got a beef, why don’t he call him up on the phone, he probably got a hundred phones, and talk straight to him?  Instead of all this name calling crap like a kid in a schoolyard.  I ain’t an educated man, kid, but if I caught my own kids doing that, I’d whack their asses.  Kids have beefs, too, but they should oughta tell the other kid what’s what.  And if they gets a punch in the mouth, that’s life, you know.

Me:  You got a suggestion for the President?

Uncle Eddy:  Damn straight.  If he’s got a beef with someone, call him out private.  Or call one of them press things and say it plain to everybody.  Seems to me he’s hiding in the dark calling out everybody and their brother but he never says it man to man.  That’s crap, Charlie.  In the Army, a guy like that you’d call him a coward – worst thing you can say to a soldier. You was a Marine, and I bet you guys sure as hell didn’t do that in-the-dark crap.

Me:  No, I didn’t.  Marines always look you in the eye.    

Uncle Eddy:  Damn straight.  But the tweetering it’s a bad example. Everybody’s doing this posty crap now, thinking it’s the thing to do.  It ain’t right, kid.  Anytime I got a problem with you, I’m going to tell you – just you – what it is.

Me:  I know that.  I’ll catch you later.  Unless you got a beef with me now.

Uncle Eddy:  Nah!  You and me is always square.

 

Uncle Eddy On Obstruction of Justice

 

Me:  Hey, Uncle Eddy!  Thought I’d ring you up and see what you’re thinking about all the impeachment talk – and that pesky Bobby Mueller the Special Counselor who’s poking around.

Uncle Eddy:  Charlie, I just got calm down about it – and now you gone and stirred me up.

Me:  So what do you think?

Uncle Eddy: I got to tell you, it’s damn straight about time.  I voted for them guys.  Bought all that crap they were spouting about jobs and money and good times for middle America.   Bull crap!  Ain’t none of it happening, is there?  But all them fat cats cover up each other’s ass.

Me: So you think there’s something there?

Uncle Eddy: I’m thinking someone with balls ought to start poking around.  Government law is government law and ain’t nobody should be thinking they can make up their own like some kid’s play time, you know?

Me: You think that applies to the President, too?

Uncle Eddy: Crap!  Double crap!!  That applies to everybody.  Look here, kid.  You know I was in Korea.  Wasn’t no damn volunteer — I was drafted.  I didn’t want to go, cause you heard my older brother Stevie was killed at Normandy, and I ain’t no damned hero.  But I went.  Didn’t matter I didn’t want to fight no damn Koreans, I went cause the law said I had to.

Me: My Dad said you had a rough time, Ed.

Uncle Eddy: Damned right I did.  Froze my ass for two years, getting shot at, sleeping in mud, seeing my pals blown to hell away.  Wasn’t no fun – but I followed them rules, damn it.  Guys in the Army don’t get no chance to make the rules they wants, they do what they’s told to do.

Me: And the Chinese and the Russians?

Uncle Eddy: They was the enemy, kid — shot at me, I shot at them.  And let me tell you something important – if I had ever walked over to them China guys to talk, the Army would have straight away shot me.  That was the law.  But now the big dogs is talking with them Russians who ain’t our pals any more than they was back then.  But nobody gives ‘em a slap on the ass, they just cover each other’s asses.  But it’s against the law, kid, against all them laws I know of.  So if nothing else, maybe this Mueller guy can dig up all that under-the-table crap and stick it out there so the Congress guys gotta do something.  If 18-year old soldiers got to follow the law, so does everybody else.  You got me?

Me:   I got it, Ed.  Let’s hope things get cleaned up.

 

Uncle Eddy on Paris and Coal

Me:  Hey, Uncle Ed.  Good to hear from you.  What’s going on?

Uncle Eddy: Remember when I told ya “nobody wants to grow up to be a coal miner”?  And you printed that?

Me: I do.  Why? Did you get calls?

Uncle Eddy: Lots of ‘em.  People says “Eddy, you got that right”.  Even pals down in Parkersburg says I got more sense than the prez. Can you imagine him droppin’ that damned Paris deal?  So’s we can make more smoke?

Me: I agree, but nobody can stop him.

Uncle Eddy:   Look, Charlie.  I miss them steel mills, but I’m too damned old to work ‘em anyways.  But I got to tell you, aside from not enough jobs, it’s better in the Mahoning Valley now.  Hell, your Aunt Marge can finally breathe without coughing fit to puke.  Nobody wants no more coal.   You see on TV them China people walking around with doctor masks on.   Kid, you know I lived my whole life like that.

Me: I remember our visits were pretty smoky.

Uncle Eddy: And that was good weather.  I remembers when they was goin’ gangbusters on them coking ovens.  Hell, it got so bad they run streetlights in Youngstown and Pittsburgh 24 hours a day.  High noon and you couldn’t see squat.  And where you was in Cleveland, down near 89th – you tell me it wasn’t just as bad?

Me: It was, Ed.  We’d visit my Grandpa in Fairport Harbor and we thought we were in Heaven.  My Ma would send my sister and me out there for summers to get some clean air.

Uncle Eddy: Damn straight.  Hell, too many guys I worked with is dead already when their lungs give out.   Your old man was one of them, kid, so you know.

Me: He was, Uncle Ed, so I do know.

Uncle Eddy: But that prez grows up in air conditioned palaces.  He don’t know squat about smoke and crap. So, yeh, we need jobs bad, but we sure as hell don’t want our grandkids dying early from the dirt.  And ain’t nobody’s gonna use coal no more anyway.  Like I says, power companies uses gas cause it’s cheap and there ain’t no boilers to shut down and haul out ashes.  I cleaned out coking ovens when I was a kid and that’s butt ugly work.  Nobody wants that crap no more.  I seen all his slick lawyer pals on TV saying how wonderful it’s going to be.  Ain’t none of them picking up shovels and heading for West Virginia, is they?  Bull crap.