The New York Times crossword puzzle is used at our house as a way for Cheryl to prove she is smarter than me. But you can learn a lot from crossword puzzles, in addition to ‘epee,’ if you wait until about Thursday. Most of us first heard that 2019 is the International Year of the Pig from the puzzle and we were puzzled as to how to celebrate it, or whether it was even true, until we were presented with a grand spectacle in the Orient (is Korea considered the Orient? Cheryl will know.)
As two of the snoutiest pigs yet bred curled their tails together and oinked. Now we must reverse anthropomorphize, a word seldom found on one-down, but which you must do when you have spoken of humans as animals and want to get them back to humans again. So now try to imagine that the subject pigs are not pigs at all but Great Leaders Trump and Un. Trump and Untrump, if you will, or even if you won’t.
Trump, ever the humanitarian, quickly ran out of his second summit with Un after hearing that his new BFF had executed some of his negotiators for failing at the art of the deal in the first summit. Leaving the second meeting quickly may have saved the lives of some North Korean patriots, who were holding their breath last week when Trump lit in Korea to earn his Nobel Prize. Either that or he was in a Boeing 737 and it just went there on its own.
But it is fake news and as Charles Lowe, Sr. used to say “false and untrue” to say that Trump was unprepared for the DMZ deal. He actually had called back to the White House and told them to get on the word processor and find that old agreement we had with Iran, and everywhere it said ‘Iran’ to type in ‘North Korea’ and fax it to him and he would find a Notary somewhere if Un agreed to sign it.
Trump was just glad nobody ran up to him and put a rag up to his face at the airport. He was anxious to get back to some of his homes. And maybe find time to get another one of our sworn enemies back to building nuclear bombs again. Or to direct our permanent wars. We need a chart. Are we fighting Afghanistan or in it, and who? Are we still at war with Iraq and if not, who won that one? What is the record of the United States now, since Bill Murray proudly announced we are 10 and 2? Are we 11-2-1? 10-3-1? Could Iran upset us?
This is the season for ’patriotism.’ That would be a difficult crossword answer to frame a question for. One who zealously supports his country? What in the world is a country? One who jealously supports the ideals of his country? That is more like it and requires opposition when those ideals are bereft of value.
And one more thing. A flag is just a damn symbol. The whole purpose of symbols is that you can worship them, or destroy them without having to do it directly to what they symbolize. It is dangerous to our country for people to blindly worship it, and it is just as dangerous for us to allow it to be destroyed.
Reach Larry Webster, a Pikeville attorney, at firstname.lastname@example.org.