The Riley Factor

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

I don’t know anyone named Riley. I once knew a dog named Riley, but he was kind and now he’s in doggy heaven. Therefore, I have not been predisposed to lecture a Riley. Until today. I was on the Genehouse walk, going west to east on the River Road trail and kicking acorns and swaths of fallen leaves and thinking about my new house.

And there, on a limestone slab resting up against the bluff wall, was the name “Riley,” etched in two foot letters, defacing a thing of beauty, a rock of ages, and replacing it with a pathetic, narcissistic pronouncement that some jerk named Riley was here.

I hereby volunteer to face this Riley and inflict punishment. If it’s a kid, I get to repeatedly kick his or her parent in the butt for not taking a willow switch to the miscreant’s butt. If it’s a teenager, I get to read everything I’ve ever written to him or her, until they’re numb, disgusted, scared, incontinent, oleaginous and triple pimply. If it’s a millennial, I get to put down that bitch or bastard—millennialism is a disease. It it’s an adult I will force him or her to watch “Two Broke Girls” reruns in an endless loop.

I have been in countless national and state parks and wildernesses, and I have yet to not see defacement. I have seen 5,000 year old sandstone paintings raped with modern “Susie loves Billy” scrapings. I have seen redwood trees with people’s names carved into them, looted Indian mounds, chipped-off 1700s gravestones from the Revolutionary War, people stealing things from archaeology sites.

A modest proposal: Keep the guns, but for shooting idiots. Execute all idiots.

Forgive murders and thievery, but blow away the Rileys of the world. You see someone not pick up their dog’s excrement? Shoot them—the idiot, not the dog. You see some hillbilly throwing trash out the car window? Pull out that AK-47 from your hall closet and blow that selfish prick up. You see some kid perusing a smart phone, thus not giving up his bus seat to a senior? Shoot the MF in his dumb head with a dumdum. You hear Taylor Swift “music” blasting from a tween’s headphones? Kneecap that girlie with your Yancy Derringer.

Call it Riley’s Law. Rules for enforcing Riley’s Law: A. Confront the perpetrator. B. Say, “You, sir, are an idiot.” “You, ma’am, are a fuckhead.” “You, teenager, are a zit on the earth’s ass.” “You, millennial, are a waste of space, a blight, a blogspot, a big-headed bane-loving, fast-fingered clod, an uneducated mommy’s boy.” And shoot those fuckers.

Mommy killed the milkman? Oops. Daddy murdered his mommy to get her money? Naughty Daddy.

Riley defaced a rock? The Wrath of Gene shall smite him.

Or her.

About Eugene Jones Baldwin

I am a writer: non-fiction, fiction, journalism (Alton Telegraph), essays (The Genehouse Chronicles) and have a website: I've published a couple dozen short stories and had eleven plays produced. Current projects: "Brother of the Stones" (available on Kindle), a book of short stories; "The Faithful Husband of the Rain, short stories"; "A Black Soldier's Letters Home, WWII,;" "There is No Color in Justice," a commentary on racism; "Ratkillers," a new play. I am an avocational archaeologist and I take parts of my collection of several thousand Indian artifacts (personal finds) to schools, nature centers, libraries etc. and talk about the 20,000 year history of The First people in Illinois. (See link to website) I'm also a playwright (eleven plays produced), musician, historian (authority on the Underground Railroad in Illinois, the Tuskegee Airmen) and teacher.
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