The lurch was first mentioned in Dante's "Purgatorio," and I had always wanted to go there. What can I say? I'm an adventurer. That's one reason I joined the military in the first place. Well, that and all the lies about money and college and not having to serve in Iraq. When I'd completed my third tour in Iraq and they stop-lossed me, it felt at least as bad as a ticket to purgatory. How could I stay still longer in this real world hell?
What we expected to happen was obviously very different from what the pundits expected. They expected, I guess, that we would all stay in Iraq with all our equipment, but with no ammunition and no food. I suppose we would either start trading our vehicles for food or get jobs working for Iraqis or flee the place, each of us on our own, or we'd all be slaughtered by the grateful savages we kept liberating. I guess this is what they expected, because they were always hinting at it, but I never saw any of them spell it out. Perhaps because it's so freaking insane.
What really happened, of course, when Congress stood up on its hind legs and bit its master was what any sane person could have predicted. Rather than discard the U.S. military in Iraq, the Pentagon made the radical decision to invest point three percent of what it had already spent there on shipping us and all our gear home. Then, of course, it immediately abandoned us.
But not me. I didn't come home. I'd set my sights on visiting the lurch, and that's exactly what I did, and that's where I'm now writing you from. The lurch is a miserable place, desolate, and filled with doors and paths and roads that all lead nowhere. But there's a remarkable amount of company and camaraderie. Lots of my buddies from the Army are here, of course. And the music is amazing, probably because the whole damn city of New Orleans is crammed into this place. In fact, there are a lot of Americans here, especially children.
There's a population explosion here, and people are predicting that the percentage of humans NOT in the lurch is going to shrink dangerously low, threatening the future viability of the species in the wild and producing more damaged specimens like George W. Bush, Bill O'Reilly, and every unbelievable freaking moron who says things like "fund the troops."
When you're in the lurch already and you leave somebody in the lurch, they get sent to a place where they have to listen over and over and over again to a cheerful voice saying "we have to fund the troops." I expect to be there soon, and do not expect to survive it.