"Anything for the man who killed bin Laden," they'll squeel.
I'm a happily married man, so I just pat them on their heads and send them on their way.
The fact that there's officially no SEAL Team Six is not a problem. In fact, it actually works out in my favor. First off, how can I talk about something that everybody assumes I'm not allowed to talk about? Secondly, am I really lying if I say I'm a part of something that doesn't exist?
"Are you really a SEAL?" I've been asked more than once.
"I'm sorry," I'll answer. Sincerity? Yeah, I can fake that. "I can neither confirm or deny that."
Recently, however, I was contacted by Don Shipley. A retired SEAL who makes it his life's purpose to expose faux SEALs. I don't want to go into any of the details of our conversation. Who's gonna rip who's head off and feed it to the jackels isn't important. What is important is that after our conversation I decided to take an immediate vacation to the murderous drug lord infested country of Mexico where I immediately felt safer.
It was there that I met Chihuahua Governor Cesar Duarte. I was sitting in the Jocky Club in the town of Zaragosa, quietly nursing a Tecate and lime, when he walked in with his bodyguards. He had just gotten a haircut in the barbershop next door. They all stopped when they saw me, and then his head bodyguard leaned over and whispered in his ear. The Governor approached me.
"So, you're the SEAL who killed bin Laden." he asked me. Impressed.
"I'm sorry, Gov. Duarte, but I can neither confirm or deny that." Why fix what isn't broken?
"Spoken like a true hero, amigo." He stuck out his hand. "Perhaps fate has brought us together."
"Perhaps it has, Governor," I said, and slipped him the expected twenty when I shook his hand. He pocketed it in one smooth movement.
"Consider yourself my guest in Mexico for as long as your dinero holds out."
We spent the next few hours talking about politics and Mexico's place in the world. He seemed to like my ideas on the branding and promoting of our historic city of El Paso.
"You see, Gov. Duarte, perception is reality. How the world sees you is how you present yourself. You either define yourself, or others will define you."
"And how would you suggest I define Ciudad Juarez?"
I thought for a moment.
"Well," I said, slowly. These were landmines I was stepping on. "Everybody hates the drug lords and the violence and the political corruption associated with the name Ciudad Juarez. Why don't you change the city's name to 'Ice Cream!' Everybody loves ice cream." He frowned a bit. I tap-danced some more. "Or you could change the name to Mother Teresa. Nobody trusts Mexican law-enforcement, but everybody trusts Mother Teresa."
"No, no, no. None of that will do. For all your heroic achievements you sure do stink at rebranding and promoting cities."
"What did you just call me?"
"No, you just called me heroic. That's it! The Heroic City Of Juarez. Heroica Cuidad Juarez."
And damn if he didn't do just that.
Fifty Shades of Humor