>It is Fleet Week in New York City, when the large carriers dock in the City and unload zillions of their personnel for a week of excitement. (Are Navy personnel and Marines soldiers?) I don't know what about Fleet Week intrigues me so. For the most part, I am not a fan of the military or the people who willingly enlist, as they tend to vote for Republicans despite the fact that Republicans tend to fuck them and their families up the ass repeatedly without lube. (OK, that was probably too graphic.) For example, as we send thousands of people over to Iraq to die so that George W. Bush can avenge attempts that Saddam Hussein made on his daddy's life, Republicans have slashed veteran health benefits. They have also significantly cut funds for schools that serve the children of enlisted people. Sure, those kids are under tremendous stress and anxiety with their parent(s) overseas in Iraq, but Republicans seem to believe that they don't need extra support services. The fact that military families - and so many other Americans - bend over so willingly is just horribly distressing to me.

Anyway, tonight I went out with Dr. P and Dr. H. Let's just say that I have had such an unpleasant past week that I was driven to drink. Granted, it was only a very weak Amaretto Sour, but I never consume alcohol. Ever. There were a few sailors at the bar we were at, and I really enjoyed watching them interact with my fellow liberal Upper West Siders. (Although that little stereotype is really falling away as more yuppies move here, I amused myself by assuming it was true.)

After we left, we passed another bar. A very inebriated Marine was smoking outside. "Hello!" he cheerfully and loudly slurred at us as we walked by. "You should come in here." The previous evening I had pondered why some of the enlisted men I saw were wearing white, and some were wearing khaki shirts with navy pants. I suspected that the guys in white were in the Navy and the other guys were Marines. I decided to ask my new friend if that was the case. He was overjoyed by my question, although I think I could have asked him about anything and he would have been happy. "You gotta understand. There's four branches to the military: the army, the air force, the navy" - here he made some noises of disapproval - "and the Marines. The Marines are the best." (Needless to say, he was wearing a khaki shirt and navy pants.) Then he put his arm around me, thanked me for my question, and wished us a good night. Man, he was so wasted. I was a bit surprised (and glad)that he didn't try to kiss me (or Dr. P or Dr. H at that point), but I think he might have thought I was a dyke due to my short hair. Or I could just be making that part up. I have been quite sensitive about my short hair lately for no good reason. Chalk it up to overall bad self-esteem when it comes to my appearance.

In the end, I am happy that I could amuse someone who could die in a completely useless war against people who had nothing to due with the Sept. 11 attacks. Even if he does vote Republican, he probably does not deserve it. Best of luck to him and his comrades.

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