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Commentary Last Updated: Sep 20th, 2010 - 00:16:59

American graffiti
By Missy Comley Beattie
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Sep 20, 2010, 00:09

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Had my runner�s high become a hallucination?

Turning quickly, I almost twisted my ankle, but I had to get a better look at the black and white image taped to the inside of the car�s back windshield, the car parked in the lot of my neighborhood restaurant. I ran, in place, staring at what looked like a photocopy. It showed George W. Bush, his arm extended upward, obviously, waving. He seemed to be waving to me. I scrutinized the silly grin and frightened look in his eyes--you know, the body language he wears that fits like uncomfortable underwear.

I�m continually shocked when I see an adoration display of one of the worst presidents in history. But, then, I�m, also, surprised that people aren�t scraping Obama stickers from their bumpers and other locations on their cars.

Interlude: Years ago, I was waiting for a parking space at one of those shopping areas where you line up and watch for someone to leave. I saw a man approach his automobile, get in, and back out. Suddenly, a new, shiny white Cadillac sped around me and zipped into the spot that was MINE. On the front of the car was a huge red bow as in, �For you on your birthday.� Or, �Happy anniversary.� A tall blond, who resembled Barbie, emerged from the driver�s seat. She was dressed in a teensy white tennis skirt and a white shirt.

I pulled forward, rolled down my window, and yelled, �Excuse me, that�s my space.�

�I am in a hurry,� she said with a French accent.

�Yes, most of us are,� I said. She performed one of those head motions�an indication that she felt superior�and, then, went into a shop. Unlike George W., she wore her body language well.

Within a few minutes I had parked. I made my way to the dairy section of a market and bought a dozen eggs. I rushed out and examined my surroundings. Then, I reached into the carton, withdrew two eggs, and smashed them into the handle of the Cadillac�s door. The driver�s side, of course. Then, I grabbed a couple more and slammed the handle again, noting the vibrant yellow, running down a white canvas. Feeling like a criminal, I glanced this way and that, and, then, made a dash for my car. I wanted to hang around and watch French Barbie�s reaction to my egg graffiti. I wanted to see yolk drip from her hand and transfer to her perfect white tennis outfit, but I decided to leave the scene.

When I got home, I called my husband at his office and told him what I�d done. He said, �Honey, you are so mature.�

Okay, back to the photo of Bush. Beneath his image were these words: �He Kept Us Safe.�

I�m no longer a vandal, so I didn�t mark the vehicle with the questions I wanted to etch into the paint: What about 9/11? On WHOSE watch did this occur? How many warnings did Bush ignore that Osama bin Laden was �determined to strike within the United States?�

And this: Did the people of New Orleans feel safe as Katrina assaulted their lives? When Bush flew over to survey the damage? When everything he did and said was a detachment from tragedy?

If I�d acted on impulse, scratching the reasons George Bush made us unsafe into the car�s finish, certainly, I�d have been apprehended, at the scene, while yelling, �No, no, there�s so much more.�

Missy Comley Beattie lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Her email address is

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