Tea Bag protests bring up memories from college days

The revolution has always been in the hands of the young.

-- Huey Newton

My son, knowing I am of the adult strata often called relic, was watching last week's Tea Bag protest on TV when he asked if I had ever been part of a political uprising in my youth.

"Of course," I told him. "College in 1971. There was tear gas, billy clubs, pepper spray, rubber bullets wooden 'knee-knockers' and riot cops with dark-visor helmets and those big plastic shields."

"Really?" he asked, suddenly looking at his rumpled old man slouched in a nearby chair and trying to imagine a long-haired radical with his fist in the air.

"Really," I answered. "One of them fired at me point blank from 15 ... 20 feet with a tear gas gun. Missed. Apparently those tear gas canisters aren't very accurate. Wobble, I guess"

"He shot at you?" he asked with some anxiety.

"Yeah, but he missed. So it's OK. And I eventually graduated college. Got a job. Married your mother and we had you, so everything worked out."

"But he shot at you?"

"Yeah, but he missed. I was a lot skinnier back then. Quick. Pretty good dancer."

He was quiet for a moment, then he asked, "What were you protesting?"

"I wasn't protesting anything," I said. "I was coming home from a date. Cutting across campus. It was Friday night. I thought I could walk through the crowd. I don't know what they were mad about. Hundreds of them, though. A lot of them drunk."

He was silent again. Then said, "So because of a girl, a guy almost shot you?"

This time I was quiet, appearing to reflect on life's many mysteries.

"Yes," I finally said with the slightest of grins, "but he missed."

TODAY'S JOKE: Seth Benson, of Millen, offers this one.

A husband and wife were out golfing together one day when they came upon a tough par 4 hole.

The husband hooked his drive deep into the woods and proclaimed that he would have to chip out.

Then the wife said, "Maybe not, dear! Do you see that barn over there? If I open the doors on both sides, I do believe you could hit it right through and reach the green."

So the husband agrees to give it a try, but when he hits the ball it goes straight through the first doors of the barn, hits the crossbeam, ricochets back and hits his wife square in the head, killing her stone dead.

Well, about a year goes by and the man is golfing with a friend. he finds himself on the same hole, with the same results: a hook deep in the woods.

He is all set to chip out when his friend runs up to him and says, "Wait! Do you see that barn over there? If I open the doors on both sides, I think you can still reach the green."

"No way," replies the man, "I tried that last year and got a 7."

Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 823-3344 or bill.kirby@augustachronicle.com.

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