Ted's and Vietnam | 06/16/08
So there I am at Ted's Montana Grill, a place that Liz turned me on to in Tallahassee, on a comfortable Saturday afternoon in Crystal City. I had considered driving out to Ballston to go to the Mall Chick-Fil-A but since I had just had CFA the night before at Brian's Video Game Night my body was begging for non-fried food and Ted's (barely) fit the bill. Because I was by myself I sat at the bar, two seats to the left of the only other person there since I figured it appropriate to follow the Urinal Rules since he had clearly called for them by his initial seat location. If you're a girl, or have only ever peed in the Wrigley Field Trough, you're probably unaware of the Urinal Rules (gets less funny as it goes).
Anyway, so there I am, minding my own business when the gentleman next to me leans over and says "Hey, did we win Vietnam? Why does your generation think we lost Vietnam" Apparently the correct answers were "Yes" and "We don't". Stupid me got a 0/2. This launches the man into a tirade against "my generation" and how ungrateful we were. Being in the 100th percentile for analogy use, I unleash a couple of gems, both of which were completely lost on him. I tried to make the point simply that he didn't ask me if we were appreciative but rather if the US had won and we did not. I successfully lured him into a lawyer-snare with "What were the objectives of the war" and following his answer "Did we accomplish those?" but the fact that no, we did not accomplish the objectives was apparently inconsequential to his argument that the US won. I followed up with yet another devastating analogy to combat his argument that his unit had accomplished their missions (and ergo the US had won the war): that the HR department of Enron was fantastic--all of their employees were 100% happy, and performing at 100%. Their individual and modularized success had nothing to do with the fact Enron went under. This doesn't take away from their success but the fact is that Enron went bankrupt because the people calling the shots did not make the best decisions. Sensing defeat, he called upon our bartender a girl of about our age. It was a last resort, of course, because he had already railed on our generation however the traitor's father was a Vietnam vet and she came out swinging. At this point I recruited another guy in his mid-30s in a suit to the US-Lost side and then our food came out. Long story short, what he wanted was for me to say "Yes, those of us in our late 20's / early 30's agree that our government did not adequately take care of you when you came home or show the correct amount of appreciation for the work you did. Yes, there should have been a parade." You should have said that in the first place.