Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Patriot Woman

Yesterday, we pondered Weird New Jersey and that strange place, named in more innocent times, “Pleasureland.” Today we ponder weird questions. CNN.com posted an article about weird interview questions. Some of the questions are from the CNN writer; others were questions posted by readers:

• If you were a superhero, who would you be and why?

• On a scale of one to ten, how weird are you?

• If you saw someone steal a quarter, would you report it?

• What would be your theme song?

• If you were a professional wrestler, what would your stage name be?

• If we asked you to wear a bumble bee costume, walk around and hand out candy to employees, would you do it?

• If a movie was made about your life, who would play you and why?

• If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?

We had a lot of fun in our office answering these questions. Some of my co-workers are too young to even know who McGyver was. One young lady did have to wear the company mascot costume when she first started in our Public Relations department. She didn’t have to hand out candy to employees but she did appear in public. Her paws were too big to manage pieces of candy so she just waved instead. One of the mascot rules is that someone has to escort the mascot so they don’t trip and fall, and so kids don’t punch them.

If I were a superhero – heroine, actually - I would be Patriot Woman. My mission in life would be rescuing abandoned American flags. That’s been my mission for most of my adult life, anyway. Being a parade musician, I’m in a unique position to rescue flags that people, particularly little kids, drop on the ground. I’ve volunteered as flag retriever for the Tea Party rallies. When they asked me what I wanted to do to help, I instantly said, “Pick up American flags.”

I have a collection of rescued flags. I found one flag lying on the side of the highway, as I was returning from a parade. Clearly, it had fallen off one of the fire trucks that had been in the parade. I pulled off onto the shoulder and ran back to get it. Fortunately, it was already on the side of the road.

Yes, as Patriot Woman, I would instantly transform from my band uniform into my red, white, and blue costume. I’d simply step out of the line of march to tie my shoe. Once behind the crowds, I’d transform. Nothing short or revealing, mind you, because I’m way too old for the mini-skirt nonsense, although my legs are still in pretty good shape. I rather fancy a tea length skirt with a gold fringe, a modest but frilly white blouse with poofy sleeves, and of course, the obligatory cape, which would be red with a gold fringe, with an embroidered American flag on it and an inscription, “Never Forget.” Oh, and white boots. I’d love to have white boots. Plus, I’d wear my honorary tricorn hat, the one I earned in high school.

If I saw someone drop an American flag, or carry it the wrong way, or do something disrespectful to it, I would spin around in a blur until I was in costume, then with a tap of my magic mallet, crying the words “E Pluribus Unum!”, I would summon my faithful glockenspiel, “Gloria”, to bear me aloft. I’d stand upon this shield like a magic carpet or a skateboard, and it would wing me to the scene of the “crime.” Just a wave of my magic mallet marching along would be enough to lift up a child’s drooping flag. After rescuing the flag, I would lecture the offender firmly but kindly, if they were a child, that the flag is not a toy, and more seriously, if they were an adult – this is the standard of our country.

I would also give lectures at schools and at Tea Party meetings and rallies, leading everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance. In my spare time, in between rescues, I would search out flags that were worn and neglected, and deliver them up to the nearest VFW post for proper burial or disposal.

I would also teach one and all about the importance of American history and why we owe the greatest of debts to our military. Finally, I would offer my services fighting terrorist guys to Homeland Security which, in good comic book form, they’d spurn. I’d foil terrorist plots single-handedly and earn the everlasting ire of the law enforcement authorities. Still, in my heart, I’d know I was doing my duty, though no one would ever learn my secret identity.

Everyone would just think I was kind of a simple-looking, mild-mannered reporter/photographer for a great American insurance company. Little would they know the truth or believe it! Alas, that is the lot of all superheroes and heroines. They must sacrifice fame, fortune, and glory for the greater good of the United States of America.

If the soldiers at Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, the Meuse River, Utah Beach, Iwo Jima, the Chosin Reservoir, Da Nang, Tora Bora, and Basra could make the ultimate sacrifice for our country and freedom, how much of a superhero do you have to be, what kind of superpowers do you need to show love and respect for America and liberty? If the word “freedom” is kryptonite to the enemies of freedom, then let the word always be on your tongue, at the ready.



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