“Bush Lied, They Died” Draws a Drunken Punch

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Only an American would visit a foreign country and even think of doing what three Yanks just did to me. Here’s the skinny.

I was walking Prince, my golden retriever, along the lake front boardwalk in my Toronto ‘hood midday on Monday when I got hit in anger for the first time in my life.

I was wearing my Bush Lied / They Died t-shirt with the names of all of the service people killed in Iraq through August 2007, when I bought the shirt online. Three 20-something louts, half-drunk at noon – probably because Americans don’t realize that Canadian beer is real beer, not the watered down mother’s milk that Bud and Miller and Coors sell, and so they get drunk much faster – were walking towards me.

One of the three stopped and, facing me directly, shouted in my face, “You Canucks really piss me off. I’m an American, pal, and I fucking resent you assholes telling our president how to run America!”

Looking him as squarely in the eye as I could – in his semi-inebriated stage, his gaze kept shifting so it was hard to know just where to look - and said, “Well, I’m an American too, pal, and I resent Bush being president and resent him telling me 935 lies to stage a phony war.”

With that, the guy slugged me, aiming for my head but sort of hitting my shoulder mostly by accident. It wasn’t hard enough for me to lose my balance, let alone fall over. As I stood there in amazement, his two buddies pulled him away and headed into the park along the lake front.

charley-james.jpgI wasn’t hurt, just surprised. This being Canada, strangers immediately crowded around to see if I was OK and two lifeguards from the beach who saw it happen went chasing after the trio. Not sure if they caught them.

Prince was no help at all, being much more interested in a bag of chips one of the three was holding than in the fact that I was a victim of grevious bodily harm.

by Charley James

Charley James is an American journalist, author and essayist who lives in Toronto.

Reprinted with permission from The Progressive Curmudgeon

Earlier articles by Charley:

Published by the LA Progressive on September 1, 2008
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About Charley James

If you are born in Milwaukee, chances are you're born a Democrat. So, I gravitated naturally to liberal politics as an activist and a journalist. I've been writing since I was eight and, after working in newsrooms for far too long, I have devoted much of the past decade as an independent investigtative jouralist. For much of the past year, I've been writing about homelessness - America's immorality play.