Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot


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Life — or at least what we refer to as life in our weaker moments — is full of Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot moments. Maybe you’ve noticed.

(What’s with the “Whiskey-Tango” whatever? you say. It’s Army lingo. No, I was never in the Army, but I worked for the Army when I lived in Berlin, teaching English to the German workers. I even had a U.S. Army ID, which amused my friends back in the States to no end, a lefty-liberal such as me carrying a U.S. Army ID. Well, it gave me free access to all the public transportation, which was quite handy, because I didn’t have a car.

(One of the items I taught was what was called the “NATO alphabet” — Alfa for A, Charlie for C, Delta for D; you get the idea. I still remember some of it, though you’ll notice I skipped B; I’m not sure I remember what B was — it might have been Bravo. The NATO alphabet comes in handy sometimes, much like knowing French, because you can curse in public without sounding as though you’re uttering any of those impolite words.)

Thus we have Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot moments.

Such as:

You have to wonder why the city bothers with declaring snow emergencies in order to plow the streets. I mean, if you’re prone to walking on the side streets of the North Side (and if you can walk while you’re prone, you’re a lot more talented than the rest of us mere mortals), you’ll notice that the city doesn’t actually plow those side streets. It dumps a bunch of sand/salt on the roads and lets the auto traffic slowly wear the snow and ice away.

This is effective — sort of. What you wind up with almost a week after the blizzard is a mix of hard-packed snow and an interesting sort of slush on the streets. Interesting in the sense that it’s amusing to try to walk through. I mean, it’s really funny to have icy slush sloshing into your boots. For one thing, it keeps you from thinking about Tiger Woods.

And you have to admit, it’s difficult these days not to think about Tiger Woods, because apparently, Woods (and his “female fans”) is the only news story these days.

Not global climate change, which some still don’t believe is happening. Yeah, right. Tell that to the glaciers in Bolivia and Colombia. (Yes, Virginia, Colombia and Bolivia have glaciers. But there is no Santa Claus.) You’re going to have to tell those glaciers pretty quickly, by the way, because they are disappearing. (Hey, Bolivia and Colombia — I found your glaciers. They’re in the Iowa City alleys.)

Also disappearing is the water supply in El Alto, Bolivia, and other parts of the country, the New York Times reports.

But no, the sex life of Tiger Woods is front and center, so’s to speak. What is it about people that they are so interested in other people’s sex lives. Don’t they have one of their own?

I mean, Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot?

And then there’s the mayor of Arlington, Tenn., and his reaction to President Obama’s Afghanistan speech. The good mayor, in all his wisdom, contended that the speech on national TV was a plot to prevent children from seeing the Charlie Brown special on TV.

No, really.

Can’t you just see Obama and his aides skulking around the West Wing, trying to figure out a way to keep America’s innocent children from seeing the Peanuts special? They probably spent months on it. When they should have been trying to fix the economy and — who knows? — come up with something to do with Afghanistan. (Sell it to the Russians? No, wait — we tried that already.)

The good mayor also referred to Obama as “our Muslim president.”


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