Depressing Charlottesville, and a hero for our time

Call this “The Tale of Two Columns.”  Because it was the best of times (I’m going to introduce you to a new hero) and the worst of times (Charlottesville).

Let’s take our medicine first.   But I’m not going to say a lot about Charlottesville, because:

  1. Some people have complained that my pieces are too long. (How dare you!  I slave all day over a hot keyboard, and this is the thanks I get?  I’ve got half a mind to go back to mother.)
  2. Lots of people who are smarter than me (including CO) have already commented on it.
  3. I’m sick of everybody involved.

But here goes:

White racists are a sad little group (emphasis on both “sad” and “little”).  Hateful Antifa jerks are equally sad, but I fear/know they are more numerous, and more influential on their side of the political aisle.

Taking down confederate statues is 10% understandable and 90% ill-thought out.  Already, some are wondering where this might stop.  Bulldoze the Jefferson Memorial?  Blow up the Washington Monument?  They both owned slaves.  And Lincoln didn’t make a move to emancipate until very late.  Plus, he was a Republican – so…

Anyway, if we do decide to take down confederate statues — because racism — that won’t break my heart.  But I hope that we can then also agree to take down any statues or plaques and change any roads or buildings named after whitey-hater Malcolm X, and genocidal anti-black racist (and Planned Parenthood founder) Margaret Sanger.  Plus at least half of our Democrat presidents. (Have you heard how LBJ talked about blacks, or Wilson talked about any non-WASPs?)  And half the public buildings constructed in the South in the last 30 years are named after Grand Wizard (and member of guess which party?) Robert Byrd.

So gentlemen, start your jackhammers.

The most aggravating part to me is that the far-far fringe white racist groups are such a small and impotent group.  But our horrible MSM has a vested interest in hugely exaggerating their numbers and influence, and trying to tie them to mainstream conservatism, with which they have nothing to do.

That’s not just galling because they are trying to smear all of us – though Lord knows it’s galling for that reason!

It might be even more galling because for the last several years, the MSM has gone out of its way to NOT notice or cover all of the violent leftist hate groups – Antifa, BLM, Occupy Wall Street, plus a menagerie of various “red” subgroups flying hammer-and-sickle flags — and their consistent hateful rhetoric, violence, and crimes against persons and property.

The murderous loser in VA who drove into those people – and I’m an old school (even Old Testament!) conservative, so here’s hoping he hangs himself in his jail cell – has gotten wall-to-wall coverage.  But that John Goodman-figure who opened fire on GOP congressmen on the softball field while screaming, “Bernie Sanders Akbarrrrrrrr!”?

The MSM covered the story, because they had to.  But remember that flood of stories about him being a Bernie devotee, and a symbol of a threatening and disturbing trend on the left that the entire Dem leadership is complicit in, and must answer for?

Me neither.

Anyway, to quote Mr. Gump, “That’s all I’m going to say about that.”


And now for something completely different:

I have a new hero.

Usually, being dead is almost a prerequisite to be a hero, partly because it often takes a lifetime of good deeds to qualify for hero status, and partly because having passed confers a kind of fixed, larger-than-life gravitas.  Thus, most of my heroes – Johnny Cash, Walter Payton, Shakespeare, C.S. Lewis, my dad – are no longer with us.

But this new guy is alive and kicking.  Despite the fact that he shot himself in the heart with a nail gun.

You read that right: Shot.  In the heart.  With a nail gun.

Let me introduce you to Doug Bergeson, 52, from Green Bay, Wisconsin.  His story is here:

I first learned of him while avoiding work by browsing the internet, and coming across this arresting headline: “Man accidentally shoots nail into heart, drives himself to hospital.”

It’s not the nail-in-the-heart part that got me.  I mean, we’ve all been there, right?  You’re doing some rough carpentry, your focus drifts for a moment, and bing/bang/boom – you’ve got a cement-coated ring shank stuck in the old aorta.

It’s the driving-himself-to-the-hospital part.  Read the amazing story, because each paragraph is better than the last.

After the nail ricochets off some wood and lodges in his chest, Mythical-Olympian-Figure Bergeson says, “I thought it just nicked me. I looked down. I couldn’t see anything.  I felt OK. I wasn’t worried about the injury. I couldn’t feel any pressure or blood building up.”

But when he found the nail, “he realized only about 1 inch of the 3-inch nail was sticking out of his chest.”   Then, in the second-best quote of 2017 (Maddog – and I don’t mean Rachel – is still on the gold medal platform with, “Nothing.  I keep other people awake at night.”), Bergeson said, “I could see the nail moving with my heartbeat. It was kind of twitching with every heartbeat.”

Read that again, puny mortals.  The nail.  In his chest.  Was TWITCHING WITH EVERY HEARTBEAT!

The next lines of the story: “He was more annoyed than worried. He knew he had to go to the ER.”

Because you know how annoying it can be when you perforate your pericardium with a piece of sharp metal.  I mean, I wouldn’t exactly get “worried” about it.  Let’s not get carried away.  But annoyed?  Sure, I guess.

“I was frustrated because I knew I wasn’t going to get home until late and I couldn’t get anything done,” Bergeson said, adding that “common sense” told him not to pull the nail out.”

He calls it common sense.  I call it the most counter-intuitive thought since Napoleon said, “Hey, winter’s coming on.  Why don’t we attack Russia on horseback?”

What would I have done in that situation, you ask?

I’m not ashamed to admit it: I would have run around in circles, waving my arms over my head and defecating all over myself, squealing like a 10-year-old girl, “Get it out, GET IT OUT, GETITOUT!”  Then I would have closed my tear-filled eyes and pulled out the nail.   Then I would have staggering around the room in quickly degenerating figure-eights, splattering my DIY project with arterial spray before collapsing to die in a mound of sawdust and ignominy.

(And, scene.)

Not Achilles Bergeson.  He “washed up, hopped [HOPPED!] in his truck” and drove himself to the ER.

I must interrupt the story for just a moment.  If you don’t know the work of comedian Brian Regan, you must watch one of his routines on YouTube right this minute.  Google “Brian Regan” and “Emergency Room,” and watch the funniest 8 minutes of comedy since Sam Kinison died.  Regan also drove himself to an ER, and the story, though not as amazing as Bergeson’s, is hilarious.  (Full disclosure: I want to be a cross between Brian Regan, Clint Eastwood and Doug Bergeson when I grow up.)

Back to Samson Bergeson.  He parks, walks into the ER – because wheelchairs are for wussies — and alerts a security guard to his annoying situation.  “If you could find someone, that would be great, I’m just going to sit down.”  Then he texts his wife, Donna (whom I can only assume requires weeks to recover from each time her bad ass husband has carnal relations with her), “to bring him a new shirt because medical staff had cut off the one he was wearing.”

By the way, this situation constitutes the first time in human history that this combination of words have ever been transmitted – by telegraph, telegram, letter or text:  “Honey, I blasted a nail into one ventricle or another this afternoon.  So my darn shirt is ruined.  Could you stop by the hospital with another one?  Sorry for the inconvenience.” (By the way again, all of the quotes in this column, except the last one, are real.) (And the Napoleon one.  You knew I made that one up, right?)

The surgeon who worked on Bergeson, Alexander Roitstein, “confirmed the nail hit [his] heart, saying it was also 1/16 of an inch from a major artery. He said it was difficult to assess how deeply the nail penetrated, but the nail left bruising and a nail-sized hole.”  (So you’re saying that a nail penetrating one’s chest would leave a “nail-sized hole?”  Thank you, Sherlock Descartes Roitstein.)

Apparently there is something in the water in Green Bay that makes men prone to stoic understatement.  Because Roitstein also praised Bergeson for letting doctors remove the nail.  “It shows the great composure this gentleman had after a very bad day’s experience.”

Yes.  A very bad day’s experience.  Like when your cell coverage is spotty.  Or when the Bears win, but don’t cover the spread.  Or when your Gender Studies prof gets your pronoun wrong, even though you’ve told him/her 1000 times that you prefer “ze.”

Or when you fire a nail into your heart, and it gyrates along with your heartbeat while you are driving and walking and canoeing and cross-country skiing your way to the ER.

And how does Hercules Bergeson sum up the experience?  “I feel pretty good. I’m back to doing things carefully,” he said. “It was a pretty awakening experience.”

We salute you, Doug Bergeson.

Now, let’s give this guy a 10 penny nail and some beef jerky, and air drop him over PyongYang, with instructions to find the guy with the worst haircut, shove the nail into his heart, then pull it out.  Then prepare for a million North Koreans to hoist you onto their shoulders and parade you thorough the city, chanting “Belgeson, Belgeson!” and make you their Emperor.

Problem solved.

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