Thursday, August 29, 2013

"Target acquired"

I had a brief conversation with a guy in a restaurant today. I was talking to my elderly father about the various military personnel in the restaurant, and wondering why the Navy guys wore green camo, instead of the usual blue camo, and the guy next to us kindly explained why they sometimes wear green. (He wasn't really barging in on our conversation; even with hearing aids I have to speak pretty loudly for my father to understand me!). I noticed his shirt said something like, "Old pilots never retire; they just find a new target," and I almost struck up a conversation with him, because I guessed he was retired Air Force, and my father was in the Army Air Forces in World War II. I thought better of it, because no one really wants to talk to my dad about World War II, as the conversation can get painfully long and involved. So I kept my silence.

As the guy got up to go, I glimpsed the word "atheism" on the back of his shirt, and had a brief moment of excitement. I haven't met many "out" atheists. But then I saw the back of his shirt read, "Target acquired," and beneath it was a target symbol including various words such as atheism and "Mohamadism"-- presumably bad things he wanted to get rid of (if not literally shoot at). I was very grateful I hadn't continued the conversation at that point. Imagine the awkwardness: "Hi, I'm an atheist, and I'm one of the targets you want to take aim at."

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