"If Wash O'Hanley didn't cover it, it probably wasn't that important anyway."

Monday, July 4, 2011

Memories of 4th of July's Past

Tomorrow is July 4th and all Americans, regardless of race, religion or political background will take the time to reflect on that which makes America the greatest country in the world. As we light the BBQs, play ball with the kids in the park and watch fireworks we will be reminded of the incredible feats countless Americans overcame to create this great nation, and the sacrifices so many have made to preserve it. The 4th of July holds a special place in the heart of every American and today I'd like to take a moment to talk about one 4th that has stood above all the rest in my mind.

It was the summer of '61 and my parents sent me down to McComb, Mississippi, to stay with my Uncle Charlie. Uncle Charlie was a salty fellow. He swore worse than a sailor and always seemed to be covered in grease of an unknown origin, but deep down he had a kind heart and truly cared for my cousins and I. I remember he'd pull out that handkerchief, blackened from the grease stains of a thousand days, and whip his hands with it as he spit yellow check-juice through his front teeth onto the dusty Mississippi ground. He liked people to think he was a tough customer, but deep down he was a big softy.

I don't think I ever told anybody but growing up I thought Uncle Charlie was the finest man that ever lived.

It was a hot and dry summer, much like the one we're in now. With the fire risk at dangerous levels that summer, fireworks displays were banned in the tri-county area and it looked like all hope was lost for having a real 4th of July. We moped around for days at the thought of missing out on that fireworks display and couldn't seem to muster up enough energy to go do the things boys our age normally did in the summer months like play in the creek or go for a bike ride. It seemed like all was lost.

Uncle Charlie, he noticed we just weren't the same and he knew why. When the 4th rolled around we could barely get ourselves out of bed. Mid-day rolled around and us boys were still in bed, trying to make it through the miserable day without getting up when Old Uncle Charlie came bursting through the bedroom door and shouted at us to "GET OUTTA BED, YA HEAR? GET OUTTA BED!" We whined and complained but he wasn't having any of it and soon the sheets were ripped off the beds and we had no choice but to get up and get dressed.

After a quick meal we were in his old Ford pickup heading down a dirt road through some farmland to a destination we didn't know. He pulled up in front of an old rundown shack in the middle of nowhere where some ancient-looking man in overalls sat rocking back and forth in a rocking chair cradling a shotgun in his lap as an equally lazy-looking smell hound sat with its head dropped over the top step like a sack of onions placed carelessly on the side of the porch. Uncle Charlie went up to the man and after a spell they went inside while us boys sat in the car and swatted at the flies and other various insect-life.

After about fifteen minutes Uncle Charlie comes out carrying a burlap sack full of oblong objects and tosses it in the bed, producing a hollow THUD. We didn't ask him what was in the bag because we all knew he wouldn't tell us, but based on that stupid grin he had on his face we knew we'd enjoy it. After a quick trip back into town that produced strawberry ice-cream cones for everyone we headed back home where Aunt Mavis had prepared BBQ chicken, corn on the cob, fresh lemonade and strawberry shortcakes.

These gestures were all nice but it still didn't make up for the fact there'd be no fireworks this 4th. The boys and I played grab-ass in the backyard as the sun retired over the horizon and made the sky a gradient of blues and purples and oranges. Uncle Charlie sat there at the picnic table the whole time chewing on a long piece of grass with that same stupid grin still painted across his face. Eventually rose from his spot with great effort and made his way to the pickup, pulling that burlap sack from the bed. We gathered 'round instantly and looking down into the void of that bag as he held it open for us. Fireworks. That's right, Fireworks.

He took us out into a field not too far and we shot them off. For about five minutes or so it felt like we were watching one of those big-city fireworks shows we'd seen before. When we ran out we weren't sad because we all appreciated what he'd done for us. We rode in that pickup with the same stupid grins plastered on our face as Old Uncle Charlie. It was truly the greatest 4th of July any of us would ever experience.

We all thanked him modestly, the way a young boy might, not getting too excited, but deep down I knew that day Uncle Charlie was the most generous man in the world and I was truly a lucky boy to have this man as my momma's brother.

What happened next is pretty vague and images and memories come in and out, sometimes without context or explanation. I hope I can remember it thoroughly...

As we come up on the road we normally turned on to get to Uncle Charlie's he keeps going straight and about ten or fifteen miles down the road he finally takes a turn onto this bumpy dirt path. None of us said anything until about six miles down the road when we'd probably been thrown into the air by the ruts and potholes in this road no fewer'n sixty times.

"Where we goin', Uncle Charlie?" I asked.
"You'll see" he replied with that stupid grin.

Something happened next, but I just can't quite remember it clearly.

We pull up at this gate in the woods and he gets out and opens it, drives us through, gets out again and closes it behind us, then gets back in and continues down the road. 'Bout maybe two more miles we come to this big clearing and all the sudden we see maybe fifty or sixty cars and two or three hundred people all sitting around on picnic blankets and what-not, all illuminated by candles and other lights. We get out and Charlie leads us down to an open spot and sits us down among the masses. We don't know what's going on but we all have a good feeling that we're about to see something we won't ever forget.

Why were we at this place? Why'd Charlie take us to this clearing? I can't remember any more. And where'd Charlie go? He must have headed off somewhere at some point when none of us were paying attention.

OH NO! It's all coming back to me!

Soon enough a great hush fell over the crowd. We look around, not quite sure what's going on. On the blanket next to us the teenage couple stop necking and start looking off toward the top of the hill on the edge of this clearing we're all sitting around. So we turned and watched the damnedest thing I ever saw, which at the time I had no explanation for, as a couple of hooded guys come out holding this black boy no older than 17. He's crying and has snot running down his nose looking all kinds of pitiful. So we look at each other and shrug cause we don't have the slightest idea what is going on, but we keep watching, hoping to find out. At this point the hooded guys put a noose around this boy's neck and make him stand on a log and then tighten the noose over a branch. The boy keeps crying and the hooded guy makes this proclamation that has vanished into my memory at this time and when he's done the whole crowd is hooting and shouting at this boy. Meanwhile my cousins and I still have no idea what's going on but we're hooting and shouting along just because we felt like that was the right thing to do in that situation. So once the hooting and shouting reaches a crescendo one of the hooded guys kicks the log out from under the boy and he falls a foot or so and then just hangs there by his neck. He keeps twitching and such, I learned later in life it was probably because they didn't drop him from high enough and he was slowly choking to death rather than instantly dying from having his neck broken. So as he's twitching and writhing around these hooded guys start dowsing him in what was presumably lighter fluid and then set this guy on fire in front of all of us and at this point everyone is shouting and cheering and such.

Oh God, they killed that boy! They hanged him and they set him on fire. And... and... more is coming back to me... Uncle Charlie was one of those hooded men.

My cousins and I didn't know what to feel or how to interpret what we'd just witnessed, but I think we all knew we now had a profound life experience that linked us all, no matter where life took us. We walked back to the truck in silence, waiting for us there was Uncle Charlie. We didn't speak at all on the way back to the house and a few days later my parents came and picked me up and took me home.

I never saw Uncle Charlie again. A few months later my mom said he went back to college, which I thought was odd considering his age and lack of high school education. She told us we'd see him again when he got his degree in 15-20 years, but about two years later he died when a fellow classmate shanked him in a History of 19th Century Irish Poetry class.

Wow, looking back at that as an adult, come to think of it, Uncle Charlie was a terrible person. Wow, I really misread him as a kid, didn't I? Geeze, this really puts a damper on this holiday for me.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Classic Quotes


Wash on the death of Osama Bin Laden:

"The last time I was this happy was at my son's wedding, but this time I'm not firing a handgun into the air while vomiting moonshine and popcorn shrimp. I guess the jist of this post is I'm gonna grab a gun, get wrecked and head to Long John Silvers. AMERICA!"

Friday, May 20, 2011

Wash O'Hanley's final thoughts (on the eve of the apocalypse)

Brothers and sisters, enemies and friends,

As I sit here at my computer typing my final thoughts on the eve of the end of the world, many thoughts have poured through this old and alcohol-damaged mind of mine. According to Harold Camping, end-times-prophet-performance-artist-slash-ancient-mongoloid, great earthquakes will rage across the earth destroying it hemisphere-by-hemisphere and timezone-by-timezone. While most of us won't be around to witness this unspeakable horror as we are engulfed into the fiery bowels of the earth, I still feel bad seeing the earth go out in a more unflattering way than Arnold Schwarzenegger's career. It's no secret I love the Earth, the fact is I've lived here my whole life, and as I spend my last day on her surface I can't help but think about all things I never got to do with her during our time together during my long and illustrious life.

- A sunrise over the Grand Canyon. What majesty that must be, to watch in awe as the sun rises over the beauty that is the Grand Canyon.

- Witness the birth of my son. This one has always stung a little bit. But it was the week of the Iowa Straw Poll Caucus and you know... work.

- Go to Hawaii and learn how to surf. I always wanted to do this. Perhaps it was from growing up in a landlocked state but I always had a fascination with surfing. Something about conquering mother nature, but also showing respect for her great power. Watching those guys surfing in the movies and on tv was like watching an artist, only the board was their paintbrush. It's disappointing that I'll never get to know what that rush is like. Oh well.

- Travel outside the U.S. It isn't like you couldn't. Don't give me that "my job is my life" B.S. The Wash O'Hanley Show barely constituted journalism. Hell, it hardly constituted a show! We both know it's only reason for existence was to sell post-apocalyptic freeze-dried food (which is POISON, don't eat it, for the love of God!) and gold buying services to medicated elderly racists. Heck, half the time you threw a re-run on and those vegetables didn't even realize. One time this old faggot honestly told me my week of shows were the most relevant and insightful he'd ever heard-- WE PLAYED RE-RUNS FROM THE GULF WAR SO I COULD GO TO ARUBA THAT WEEK. It was 2008. God damn!

- Do something more useful than The Wash O'Hanley Show. I had a pulpit, a listening base and a message and all I did for three hours a week for 34 weeks out of the year was complain about black people and teenagers. I could have really been the catalyst for social change in this country. Instead I'd just get hopped up on vicodin, get wrecked on Sailor Jerry and complain about what was on the front page of the newspaper. No wonder I'm a laughing stock in the broadcast community. my autobiography was a joke-- most of it was just stories I made up and the last 120 pages was just the screenplay version of the book.

- Witness the birth of my second son. What can I say? I just dropped the ball on this one. I think there was a shrimp fest at Red Lobster... or some other kind of fest going on. Or I just plum forgot about it. Oh well.

- Finish watching those According to Jim DVDs you borrowed from Craig last year and never gave back. I don't know, I got like 3/4ths of the way through the show and then kind of gave up on it. It's like, they were sitting there on the DVD player but I could never work up the enthusiasm to ever just put them in and watch them. I'm such a lazy worthless ass. It was tv. All you do is sit there and point your face in the direction of the box and keep your eyes open. Jesus.

- Use that gift certificate for a month of spin classes at the local gym. I don't know why I never used this thing. It was sitting here next to the computer for like 6 months. I knew I needed to get into better shape. Hell, I even bought a pair of running shorts and shoes not too long ago to facilitate working out. I don't know why I could never get up the nerve to do it. Jesus Christ, it isn't like you didn't have the time, you fat asshole. What? Too busy to stay in shape. You're fucking disgusting. IT WAS FREE. IT WAS FREE YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE. SOMEBODY PAID FOR THAT, AND GAVE IT TO YOU AS A GIFT, AND YOU STILL COULDN'T USE IT. YOU HAD TIME TO GET THREE-FOURTHS OF THE WAY THROUGH THOSE ACCORDING TO JIM DVDS BUT YOU DIDN'T HAVE TIME TO GO TO THE GYM. I HATE YOU. I HATE YOU.

- Run for political office. It's no secret I've always toyed with the idea of running for public office. We're not talking about Governor or President here, but Comptroller, Treasurer-- nothing wrong with those. I feel like I have a lot to offer and I want to give back to the community that has given me so much in return. It's not like I need the money. I have more than enough saved up from the show. I can walk away at any time if I wanted to. THEN WHAT IS IT? WHY COULDN'T YOU DO IT? I guess it just goes back to getting the motivation to go down there and get the forms and go through all the stuff that it takes to run for one of those seats. AND THE DEAD TRANNY HOOKER? What? THE DEAD TRANNY HOOKER. I... I don't know what you're talking about. YES YOU DO! DON'T YOU LIE. Look, I don't know how she got there. YES YOU DO. I just went to sleep and when I woke up... there was blood everywhere. YOU DID THAT. No I didn't! YES YOU DID. YOU TOOK A LIFE... A HUMAN LIFE. Don't say that. No! I didn't do that to him. YOU'RE AFRAID THEY'LL FIND OUT. Of course I am! THERE'S BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS, O'HANLEY, AND I HAVE THE PICTURES TO PROVE IT. You wouldn't! YOU'LL NEVER GET ELECTED IN THIS TOWN, WASH, OR ANY TOWN. WASH O'HANLEY THE TRANNY STRANGLER, CHOKED A SHEMALE WITH A COAT HANGER. No! No! Stop it! I cannot take any more, grim voice inside my head!

- Go to that Thai-fusion restaurant in the mall. It was there for years and I always wanted to go in, but I don't know. It was sort of intimidating, you know? What was I going to order? I've never had Thai food so I felt like I needed someone that knew what they were doing to go with me and order, but I didn't know anyone. And it wasn't like I didn't go in the mall often-- the kid at the cell phone case cart got a restraining order against me because I spent so much time there. (He looked inquisitive and I figured he'd be an inexpensive alternative to a real psychiatrist with an M.D.) I mean, it was always there and I never went in. I always liked to blame my not eating there on my social anxiety disorder but we both know that's a lie. MEN DON'T GET SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER. STOP BEING A PUSSY AND JUST GO IN THE RESTAURANT YOU DICK. THEY WANT YOUR BUSINESS. THEY DON'T CARE IF YOU GET A SPONTANEOUS ERECTIONS WHEN YOU MEET NEW PEOPLE. IT'S NORMAL. IT'S NORMAL YOU PUSSY. STOP CRYING. STOP CRYING YOU LITTLE GIRL. YOU LITTLE FUCKING CHILD. STOP CRYING.

So in the waning moments of our mortal existence on this rock spinning around the sun I a feel a bitter sweetness as look forward with great joy on the life I'm embarking on, yet look back on all I never experienced in this life of mine. As we spend our final hours with our friends and family I implore all of you to take a moment and perhaps come up with a list similar to mine to share with each other. Don't be afraid to spill your inner-most secrets, for it's not like anyone is going to be able to read this tomorrow.

-Yours in him,
Wash O'Hanley the Tranny Strangler
Washburn 'Big Tex' Rutherford O'Hanley III

Thursday, January 20, 2011

How does this person still have a job?

What if I told you there is a person in these United States this very moment who has a very important and prestigious job? Many, many people rely on this person to show up for this job every single day. Whether this person is sick or tired or hung over this job is so important that this person needs to suck it up and drag their butt into work every day because of the gravity of this job. This is a job that requires common sense, dedication, commitment, empathy, determination, and the ability to sometimes look past your own opinions to see the greater wisdom in decisions that need to be made.

What if I told you the person who holds this job hasn't been doing their job lately? They haven't even been half-assing it. This person has flat-out stopped trying. Do you think it's fair that this person gets to hold this lucrative job while so many fellow Americans are without one?

What if I told you this person hadn't been in to work in nearly two weeks, without so much as a phone call? Do you think that you, Dear Reader, would be able to hold your Sales Associate position at PetCo if you decided to take an unannounced two-week vacation without so much as calling a single person? So how do you feel when I tell you that this person isn't going to lose their job?

You may no longer believe that I am talking about a real person, for this description I've provided is so incredibly outrageous that surely no person, no matter what position, would be able to hold on to their job after showing such an utter lack of respect for the dignity of the position or for the responsibilities that having such a position would entail. However, I assure you that this person exists in the manner that I have described.

It should come as no surprise to you that I am talking about a politician in our very own Government, a system so corrupt and morally bankrupt that someone of such poor moral fiber would be able to slip through the cracks totally unnoticed... or maybe no one cared to notice. I think the real question, though, is how much longer are we, the American populous, going to let our elected officials spit in our faces before we finally do something about them? And it is at this point that I feel that it is necessary to finally reveal the name of the heinous vagabond for which this topic is dedicated...

The person to which I have described in detail above is none other than United States Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D) of Arizona. It should come as no surprise to my Patriotic Conservative® readers that this lazy Democrat has, for the past fortnight, made absolutely no effort to show up to work. Even worse, my inside sources have informed me that not only has she refused to make so much as a phone call explaining herself, but has also not left her bed during this time.

At this point the actions of selfish Liberals should no longer shock us, but even for a seasoned newsman like myself I find it hard to fathom this level of negligence towards one's duties.

Folks, this woman is not a hard-working American like you or I. She has no blue collars among the pant-suits in her closet. She has never tasted the sting of sweat in her eyes from a hard day's work at the baby food/rat poison factory like you have. Yet she feels entitled to a day off. Where's your day off? I say that until Gabrielle Giffords goes back to work, Conservative Patriotic Ameri-Hero-Cans™ shouldn't have to work either. That is why starting tomorrow I'm calling on all my faithful listeners and readers to stand up to Democratic tyranny and shout:

"I'm not going to work until Gabrielle Giffords does!"

It's time Conservatives stopped turning a blind eye to this fat-cattery and big-wiggery among the Democratic left and took a stand. Maybe if enough people don't show up for work during the coming days Mrs. Giffords will see just how important a little hard work and dedication to your job really is. I want to hear it shouted from the rooftops, I want to see written in chalk in the streets, I want every True Christian(TM) Conservative to post those very words in this topic this very instant!!!

"I'm not going to work until Gabrielle Giffords does!"

Who knows, maybe it'll compel her to turn off those re-runs of [i]How I Met Your Mother[/i] and finally get out of bed and maybe, just maybe, do a little work (you know, that thing she was elected to do). I doubt it. 

May God be with us,
Washburn 'Big Tex' Rutherford O'Hanley III (Southeastern Iowa's #3 most trusted voice in political news and punditry)