I bolted from the restroom in panic. "No!" I gasped while colliding with an elderly gentleman at the door. "Not in a Wal-Mart!" I waved my arms crazily in his face. "Don’t go in there!….it’s disgusting! These perverts are everywhere! What’s this society coming too! My God! in Wal-Mart restrooms now!"
The gentleman stared at me wide-eyed, then made way as a burly fellow pushed through the door. I jerked aside. "That’s him!" I whispered.
The white-haired gentleman looked surprised. The guy who squeaked away in new sneakers wore a camo hunting cap, a Buck Fever T-shirt and blue jeans.
"You sure, young man?" he asked in a shaky voice.
"Positive." I snapped. "Come see for yourself." And I reentered the restroom. "See!" I pointed to the diaper changing station.
"By God you’re right!" the fellow wheezed. "You certainly never saw that kind of thing in my day." He nodded sadly. "Oh My…Oh dear, dear. What’s this country coming to."
Yes folks, the diaper changing station in the men’s restroom was actually open.
And remember now, this wasn’t Brooks Brothers or Nieman Marcus, this was Wal-Mart. And this wasn’t Los Angeles or Boston. It was in Louisiana. Horrible…simply ghastly.
I followed the culprit — who was obviously alone. Which made it even stranger. No kid around. Turned out he was headed for the fishing stuff too. He was whipping a little graphite rod, testing it for hook-setting strength when I finally got up the nerve to confront him.
"That’s a nice rod, " I stammered. "Got one myself. Wore down a limit of Redfish with it last week. Big suckers too."
"Yeah, sure feels nice," he nodded while whipping the air…whup-whup-whup. Then I blurted the main question. And he smiled sheepishly. "Oh yeah." He chuckled. "You know, there’s a little cache of towelettes in there. The stall was outta toilet paper. And you’re right. I never seen one a dem things used either. "
"Whoooo!" I exhaled. "Thanks friend." What a relief.
Unreal. You see those stupid things everyplace now. If ever something symbolizes "the triumph of hope over experience" as they say about second marriages, it’s these diaper-changing stations in men’s bathrooms. Political correctness at it’s most asinine.
A year ago I used them to make a point. I accused all males (many of them my best friends,-in-laws and relatives) who wanted to send Elian back to Cuba of using diaper changing stations. Seemed logical to me.
"A boy belongs with his father." "The rule of law should prevail." Man, I got tired of hearing that claptrap.
Shoot man, I have two boys of my own. And I’d bet I spend more time with them than 90 per cent of the "Son belongs with his father crowd."
Nothing like the gratification a father feels taking his youngin’ hunting; watching him cradle that Christmas-present 20 gauge as we skulk through he swamp. Ah-hA! There, son…The pride while watching him draw a bead on the cute little squirrel flicking his tail playfully on the branch.
BLAM!! The thrill of hearing the deafening blast. Then watching his little face glow with excitement as the squirrel goes into fatal convulsions. The fatherly joy almost overwhelms as — sha-wuck — his son pumps in another round and aims again.
The squirrel hangs from the branch with one tiny hand now, twitching piteously, his tail flicking in agony, the life oozing slowly from it’s perforated body.
BLAM!! The Christmas present roars again and the riddled carcass finally thuds to the leaves.
ALRIGHT!!" he whoops. "COOL! He rushes over and hefts his mangled, bleeding trophy by the tail, which snaps.
Nothing like it my friends. Point is, I knew where the "Son belongs with his father" crowd was coming from — the honest ones that is. The family people. From this group I exclude Castro’s orchestra — the media and Democrats.
Were coming up on the anniversary so please hear me out my misguided friends. One last time. No malice here. No bitterness. Only sadness.
Remember Godfather II? Remember the Senate hearings where Frankie Pentangeli, under FBI protection, was prepared to testify against Michael Corleone? The stage was set. Looked like a done-deal for the Feds — then whooops! Frankie looks up and sees his bewildered brother Vincenzo from Sicily, sitting next to Mikey.
Recall how his tune changed? Think of Juan Miguel as Frankie Pentangeli. There was no gun (visible) at his head either. I’ll leave it at that.
For proof (of what we knew in our hearts a year ago)I offer the last chapter of David Limbaugh’s sensational new book, Absolute Power.
Limbaugh plods with us sadly to the crime scene, parts the bushes and shuddering with horror, points. There’s the victim—the Rule Of Law, quivering in the dirt with his pants around his knees, whimpering helplessly, burning with rage pain, and shame. He’d been mocked, raped, defiled.
Limbaugh knew it a year ago. And not just the raid. Plenty people, even pinkos, knew the raid was a legal atrocity, Lawrence Tribe, Alan Dershowitz for instance. Limbaugh documents how the judicial outrages had started months before. In the words of a song we all bumped to in 1976, this book "Tears the roof off the sucka!"
On Dec, 1st 1999 the INS asserted that uncle Lazaro was Elian’s legal custodian and Florida’s family court the place to arbitrate further issues. Then on Dec 5th, Castro clapped and his minions snapped to attention.
By January 5 the same INS ruled that state courts had no authority in these matters, that neither Elian, nor Lazaro on his behalf, could apply for political asylum, and that Elian had to return to Cuba by January 14. This, the same INS whose very manual included this passage: "Asylum officers should not assume that a child cannot have an asylum claim independent of the parents’." This the same INS whose guidelines for its officers included examples of asylum claims from 6 year olds!
By April 22 this same INS was kicking down Lazaro’s door, pummeling camera men to the ground with jackboots and wrenching a screaming Elian from his legal custodians in a blaze of pepper gas and machine guns. When asked for the legal authority for this, they brandished either a search warrant to seize evidence that didn’t exist and would not have been hidden anyway. Or an arrest warrant to seize someone who no one claimed was a criminal or even a lawbreaker!
They never made it clear just what kind of "warrant " it was! And neither would have been legal!
Yes, we "Miami Mafiosi" knew Fidel was calling the shots. But he was doing it in his favorite role — the maestro, conducting his U.S. orchestra in faultless harmony, distracting the nation with its voluptuous sounds. And he conducted them with superb skill this time. This was no mere "Evening at the Pops" my friends.
This symphonic repertoire stretched for almost five months. Even Castro’s enemies — hell, especially his enemies — gaped at the performance, but horror stricken. It didn’t seem possible. To call it "masterful" wouldn’t do. Bernstein himself would fall to his knees. A red-faced Toscaninni would tremble with envy.
Castro climbed the podium on December 5, clapped his hands and his orchestra was called to order. Their tuning stopped. Their whisperings ceased. No more rustling of music sheets. Time to get down to business.
He cocked his chin, pointing his beard toward the strings (CNN). They looked over rapt, eyes aglow, idiot grins. Finally he raises his baton and points. They erupt in sound: "A child belongs with his father!"
Not bad….Not bad at all. The maestro seems pleased. He expected as much from his most faithful valet, Ted Turner. The musicians smile smugly to themselves. Their Havana Press Bureau would survive, maybe even with a bigger office. And boy! All those cheap child prostitutes for the staff. Wonderful.
Now over to the brass section (NBC.) Up comes the baton. A flick. A little wink. "Our foreign policy shouldn’t be dictated by a powerful exile lobby," issue the trumpets and trombones. "The best interests of the child should dictate" followed up the French horns.
Good….very good. They’ve memorized the music! They’re not even looking at the sheets! Fidel swells with pride. The Maestro’s eyes flicker approval. They made the cut. Their press credentials will be whisked through Havana customs.
CBS follows suit. ABC grovels even more cravenly. Time and Newsweek bump noses at Fidel’s buttocks. Congressional Democrats pucker up and squeeze into the posterial smoochfest, jostling with the Black Caucus for the choicest section of Fidel’s saliva-slickened heiny.
Fidel looks behind and pats their heads gratefully, then turns and points the baton toward the woodwinds (Fox News) and…. what!–a discordant note?!…The NERVE!! Who’s that?…Why it’s Brit Hume daring to raise the issue of media servility to Fidel and the Democrats.
"You THERE!—-OUT!" A quick nod and the woodwinds are mobbed by security goons, then hustled off the stage in chokeholds. No press credentials for these insolent bums.
So the music continued. 70 per cent of Americans found it as pleasant as Brahms lullaby, soothing them to slumber, dulling the critical faculties.
To Cuban-Americans the music was captivating but harsh and starkly evil, like Tubular Bells, the soundscore to the Excorcist.
And again, Limbaugh marshals the evidence. He reminds (or informs) us in Absolute Power that several affidavits swore to Juan Miguel’s original wishes for his son before the Maximum Leader (translates to Fuhrer in German) looked over and clapped his hands. These were from Juan Miguel’s first cousins. One even swore that Juan had repeatedly told him how he yearned to escape to the US, if necessary, even "rowing over in a washtub."
David also reminds (or informs) us of an affidavit by Sister Jeanne O’Laughlin. This was the President of Barry University and personal friend of Janet Reno who’s Palm Beach home was the site for the famous meeting between Elian and his grandmothers. Most importantly, the good sister was a kindly, intelligent person who originally favored returning Elian to Cuba.
Seemed commonsensical to her. A child belongs with his father. Who, in good faith, could oppose this?
Herself, after a glimpse of Castroite terror at work. She, a lifelong Democrat and Reno supporter, soon found herself in line with us "Miami Mafiosi." Her affidavit mentions Castro goons scouring her house before the meeting, obsessed and jittery over security details and even asking for architectural plans of her home. It mentions the President of the National Council of Churches confessing to Sister O’Laughlin that "Castro was dictating negotiations."
But it was the abject fear in the eyes of Elian’s visiting grandmothers that convinced Sister O’ Laughlin. It was impossible to mask. Remember the 1971 song by the Undisputed Truth, Smiling Faces: "The truth is in the eyes, and the eyes don’t lie — my friend. "
Sister Jeanne saw that truth. She confessed to praying and weeping all night after the meeting. This, again, in the sworn affidavit, ignored and drowned out by Castro’s Orchestra, but exposed in Absolute Power.
Sister O’Laughlin saw through the elaborate charade after a half- day’s exposure to Castroite gangsterism. Imagine those who’d lived under it for years. Read Absolute Power and you’ll understand why all those "zealots" were weeping and screaming and praying in front of Lazaro’s home for so long.
"It is brutal, it is monstrous, it is as mad or bad as anyone can call it." Thus did Chesterton define Communism in 1919, when it was a mere babe, cooing in the crib, with a delighted G.B. Shaw poking it playfully in the tummy.
Chesterton, as usual, was right. It grew into a homicidal beast, killing as many and as atrociously as the Black Plague, scourging civilization with the might of a hundred Genghiz Khans. And now, after 80 years of incessant murder and butchery ,with its last disciple a deranged and senile septugerian, his moldy fatigues crusted with the blood of almost 100,000 victims — Now! Clinton-Reno still hand it a toy!
Humberto Fontova is the author of The Helldiver’s Rodeo.