This was the first "serious" Teabag story. It was posted just after the EP-3 was released in April of 2001. I was looking for a way to poke a little fun at the commotion around the whole situation.
Also, Navy Times, the weekly newspaper of the Sea Services, picked it off the net, and printed an edited version on their opinion page. Besides giving me a massive ego boost, this made me pay more attention to the stories for the future. Fame and fortune can easily ruin a guy.
Well, things have been pretty excitin' around here lately.
Andrew and Leroy, you know, those guys that live in the singlewide off route 16 next next to the old jute mill, they got a satellite dish and started watchin' CNN and such. ( I think Leroy managed to keep a job long enough to qualify for unemployment when he got fired, that's why they're so flush. He says he "got a state job".)
Right away, they got shook up about this deal with this airplane what got arrested in China. Leroy was confused, he thought the Navy had ships, not airplanes, but Andrew explained to him how the plane flew off the USS Nimitz, just like in that movie, "The Final Meltdown".
Back in the 60's, Andrew and Leroy was anti-war protesters, 'til they found out that there was a mental test for when you got drafted, so they decided it didn't matter so much after all. So then they decided to be patriotic, hoping to get a few free drinks down at the VFW.
Naturally, they got into this China stuff. When they found a copy of the paper that had a headline saying "Spy Plane Forced Down", they got all over upset. They drove down to the newspaper office, and commenced to complain to the editor. "It ain't a spy plane!" said Leroy, "It's a surveylance intellagensh plane!" "No!", said Andrew, "It's a eelectronical recone-ass aircraft!"
Mr. Miggles told 'em, "When you boys learn to spell and how to fit 'Electronic Surveillance and Reconnaissance Aircraft' into a headline without using up all the want ad space, come back and we'll talk."
Not to be discouraged, the boys bought a big spool of yellow ribbon and went all over town wrappin' trees and fence posts and such. Just as they finished up decorating the tree next to the fire station, they noticed the tag on the tail end of the ribbon: "Made in China".
This got 'em hostile in a heartbeat, so they hustled back to Wal-Mart to complain. Unfortunately, however, Miss MayBelle was workin' the service counter that night. Miss MayBelle used to spend her days sittin' in the porch of the feed store, saying hello to folks and generally bein' nice to everyboy just like her Momma taught her. Then Wal-Mart came to town and offered to let her to do the same thing in their new store and even pay her for it! Miss MayBelle does not like to hear anything bad said about Wal-Mart.
She listened to their rant for a while, then came around the counter and headed their way. At first Andrew and Leroy jumped back, 'cause Miss Maybelle goes about 220 pounds and knows how to use it. But she walked right past them without a word and headed out to the parking lot. It was easy to spot Leroy's pickup, the one with the NRA decals covering most of the rust spots. She reached in and pulled the confederate flag right off the gun rack and waved it in their faces. It seems they had never noticed the "Made in China" tag right next to the lower grommet.
"If brains was ants you two couldn't spoil a picnic! Now get this piece of junk out of my parking lot!"
I heard about all this and decided it was time to run another batch of tea bags through the wringer on the front porch. Here's what oozed out:
1. There will be much anti-China rhetoric from the "Social" Republicans for a few weeks, but no significant action.
2. There will be no trade related sanctions, since this would hurt the "Business" Republicans. MFN will be loudly assailed, but the current administration will arrange for passage, using the VP's vote if necessary (but it won't be necessary.)
3. There will be increased military sales to Taiwan, since these are purchases from guess who, major US corporations.
4. Due to the recent lamentable loss of public support for outright bribery and extortion, the influence of the US on Olympic hosting decisions has greatly diminished. The current incident will not affect the 2008 decision.
5. I will be adding the EP-3 to "The List" as a museum display aircraft.
6. Congressional Republicans are really beginning to miss Bill Clinton. "Who can we blame for everything now?!"
7. Now that the troops are safe, Congressional Democrats are laughing their asses off ( privately ) and will immediately commence a campaign accusing the administration of being "soft on China".
Note: These are predictions, not prescriptions or recommendations.