America Walks Into a Pub

As I prepare to take my show to Edinburgh, I wrote this piece to get my thoughts together.

Hello old friend. It’s me, America. I know you’re tired of my misbehavior and shenanigans. To the point where if you hear one more awful thing, you’ll turn your back on me forever. I know. It’s bad.

I’d say I’m sorry but that wouldn’t change anything. Instead, I’m going to come out and admit it. I’m addicted. To all sorts of things. And I wrestle with myself day in and day out about them.

I’m addicted to football. Not your kind of football. My kind. The kind that has caused severe concussions, even though the players wear helmets, and an outbreak of pedophilia at Penn State. While I sometimes wish an adult will come along and take away my football privileges, I’m glad nothing has changed because I wouldn’t know what to do with myself on Sunday afternoons or Monday evenings. Plus football is cool because it makes great advertisements and lots of money.

I consume everything in sight. Where everyone once admired me for being in great shape, now I’m bloated and worn down. I barely have the energy to get off my couch and squeeze into my non-electric car. I can’t help the fact that I love my car. And that I like how it sounds and smells like a real car. Because when I hear and smell my car running on expensive gasoline I’m reminded things aren’t so bad. It affirms that I’m not as poor as others who can’t take care of themselves.

I’m sorry for pulling you into fights I started because I’m addicted to trying to make others like me, whether they want to be or not. But, come on, who wouldn’t want to be like me? I can do or say anything I want. Unless it infringes someone else’s ability to say or day what they want. But if they try to counter-infringe, I will take them down. Because if anyone comes between me and my freedom—the ultimate aphrodisiac—I will “stand my ground.”

Which brings me to how I care and keep my Second Amendment toys. I need them. Without them, I wouldn’t be me. I have to bear arms because being weak is a greater sin than being poor, though they’re close. Being scared is even worse than being weak.

So you can’t take my guns. Don’t even think about trying. I’ll shoot anyone who does.

Sorry. I get carried away sometimes and I get defensive when I feel threatened. Look, I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I’ve been crying out for some time now. This is difficult for me to say because I’m addicted to being strong. So I’ve been stockpiling guns more and more and more.

On the bright side, I’ve been killing less people with them. Almost half what I did twenty years ago. Then again, when I rage I really rage. At schools and theaters and places people shouldn’t have to worry about being shot.

You are really cool and smart with what you do with your guns. Parts of me—most of me in fact–really want to be like you. But I’m riddled with addictions. Awful, terrible addictions that make me seem like a self-centered, childish, greedy, stupid, lazy slob. So I’m begging you to pull together some of your like-minded friends and give me an intervention before sending me to rehab. Help me, please, before I cause more damage. I can’t fix myself on my own.