Average Joe's ArmybyPositiveThinker©
This is a true story about Average Joe and his army celebrating National Nude Day.
When a bunch of thugs moved in the neighborhood committing petty crimes and selling drugs and gave Joe, of all people, Average Joe, a hard time while he was out walking his dog, Fifi, a precious 5 pound, white Chihuahua, there was no need to call the police. Joe pulled out his cell phone and made one call. The thugs thought he was calling the cops, but Joe called his army instead.
"Go ahead and call the cops, they ain't gonna do nothin'," said one man with an attitude much bigger than 5'7" frame and too impossible for him to defend with his illiteracy. "If they respond at all, it will take them an hour to get here. They're probably all sitting in the donut shop flirting with the waitress. After beating your ass, robbing you, and killing your dog, we'll be gone before they even show up."
"This is their shift change," said another angry man. "The rest of those pigs are busy with car accident calls or sleeping in their patrol cars," he said slapping the guy behind him a high five. "Ain't no one gonna help you, sucker. You're all alone."
"Look at that dog. I have rats bigger in my apartment than that dog," laughed one of the gang members at Fifi.
"So what are you gonna do now that the cops won't come? I say you hand over your wallet, watch, and wedding ring and get off my street," said the first man. "We own this neighborhood now and you're trespassing in our 'hood."
Within seconds, emerging and converging from every direction, it didn't take very long for Joe's army to respond and assemble. One at a time, two at a time, and then three and four at a time, suddenly surrounded by angry men within minutes wielding baseball bats and attitudes as big as their sizes, friends of Joe who were loyal to his cause and committed to eradicating the scum and crime from their beloved neighborhood, the thugs suddenly weren't so tough when confronted by Joe's vast army.
They tried to flee, but enclosed in the center of a circle of Joe's friends, there was no where for them to run. After having their asses kicked and forcibly and physically removed from the neighborhood and with all their furniture and possessions thrown out on the sidewalk, his community was safe again. After that violent confrontation, it didn't take long for word to spread that Joe's neighborhood was protected by an army.
* * * * *
After having to defend lawsuits and pay out hundreds of millions of dollars because the Catholic religion harbored and protected pedophile Priests, allowing them to molest more children in new neighborhoods, the Bishops continued their policy of transferring the child molesting priests from church to church, instead of defrocking them, prosecuting them, and disgracing them. Then, finally in fiscal desperation and nearly bankrupt, the Catholic Church tried cutting costs by closing neighborhood churches. When the Bishop wanted to close Joe's place of worship, the church where he was married and his parents were married before him, Joe called upon his army to resist the shutdown.
"Father, I can't have you close this church. The community needs it. Some of the older residents don't have transportation to get to the other church that is clear across town. How can you deny them their religion? They've been faithfully attending Mass here every Sunday since they were kids."
"I'm just as saddened by this as you are, Joe, but it's not up to me. My hands are tied. It's a directive from the Bishop. I'm sorry. I'll give you his address and, perhaps, you can plead your case to him by writing him a letter or sending him an e-mail."
Joe wrote his letter to his Bishop, but he never received a response from His Excellency. He and his army had helped support the church with a new roof and a new furnace, as well as helping with plate collections and special donations to help the poor and the needy over the years. Now, feeling that their plight was falling on deaf ears and that all the financial support was for naught, they called the newspapers and television stations before locking arms and amassing in front of the church to not allow the Bishop to padlock the door.
"With all due respect, Your Excellency, you can't close this church. We, the parishioners of this community, forbid it," Joe said while his army closed their ranks. Standing as one and blocking every door, they were an unyielding force of Joe's devoted friends.
Deciding to retreat than to have an altercation with Joe's army, an altercation that the Bishop would surely lose and one that would only evoke more bad publicity, the Bishop didn't need another negative headline. The Church had already received enough bad press that adversely affected the reputation of the Catholic Church by revealing more of what the hierarchy of the Catholic religion had done in closing churches to protect pedophile priests. Even though the closing of this one church was a battle they could afford to lose by choosing to allow this church to remain open, the Bishop would eventually win their war of cost cuts by closing another church. The Bishop decided to close a different church in a different community instead, a community that wasn't protected by an army of parishioners and loyal supporters of Joe.
"God bless you my son, for your faithful devotion. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, Amen," said the Bishop while giving Joe and his followers the Church's blessing. "Pray in peace."
* * * * *
When the owner of the appliance store not only refused to honor Joe's warranty and/or give him a refund for a defective air conditioner he had just purchased a month earlier, Joe called upon his army.
"You got kids?"
"Yeah," said Joe to the man. "Of course I have kids. I'm Catholic."
"Then, how do I know your kids didn't break this thing? Look, see, the knobs are all loose," he said jiggling the loose knobs of the air conditioner. "They're not supposed to be like that."
"They were like that when I bought it," said Joe already exasperated by the owner's negative attitude. "The salesman told me that is how they come from the factory in China. He said they are all like that," said Joe staring down the owner. "I should never have bought the thing in the first place, but the price was right and I've been trying to shop locally instead of buying from the big outlets. Then, when I did finally regret buying this air conditioner, I should have taken it back then, but I didn't feel like removing it from my window, boxing it all up, and lugging it back here. The last straw was when it died yesterday when the temperature outside was 92."
"Sorry, Pal, but you bought this air conditioner more than 30 days ago," said the owner handing the receipt back to Joe after looking at the date. "It's too late to return it. You'll have to take up your claim with the manufacturer."
"Listen, now that I look at it out of the box and out of my window, it's obvious to me that it's been dropped. See? There's a dent here and another one on the under side of it. You sold me a defective unit."
"How do I know you didn't drop it putting it in your window or taking it out of your window to bring it back here?"
"So, you're not going to honor my warranty, even though—"
"Warranty? What warranty? Your return guarantee with my store expired two days ago and the manufacturer's warranty doesn't cover customer abuse. Sue me in small claims court, if you want. I can't be giving free warranty service to every Joe blow that walks in here."
"I should have listened to my friends and not bought anything here and from you," said Joe getting agitated. "Is this how you do business? Is this how you treat your customers?"
"Listen, Pal, if you have a problem with the way that I do business, report me to the Better Business Bureau," said the owner of the store walking away and leaving Joe there to stew. "And if you continue to make a scene in my store, I'll call the police and have you arrested," he said turning around and pointing to the door. "Now, get out of my store and take that pile of junk with you."
"Report you? I'll do better than that," said Joe pulling out his cell phone. "And I'm not your, Pal, but I plan on calling all those who are my friends," he said calling after the man while making his calls.
It was a small problem, a petty thing, but it was something that powerless people confront daily and Joe was angered by the owner's disrespect and total disregard of customer service. As it turns out, this store had developed quite the reputation of screwing their customers by selling them defective merchandise and not allowing them to return it. Had the store not given Joe such an attitude of rude defiance and disrespect by telling him to sue them in small claims court, and/or to report them to the Better Business Bureau, and threatened to call the police on him, he may have not bothered calling his army, but he was glad he did.
Joe was angry and decided to fight them on behalf of the little guy who doesn't have an army to support him. Joe's army of mothers with children and men of white and blue collars filled the store and the sidewalk outside. The police were called (some were members of Joe's army, too) and reporters (more members of Joe's army) arrived with their satellite trucks wanting to know the reason for the mob scene. It wasn't worth the bad press of having so many of Joe's followers, people who would certainly shop elsewhere, than not to give Joe the service that he had paid to get.
The store gave Joe a better and more powerful air conditioner at no charge. They even offered significant discounts to all those who had turned out to support their self-righteous leader. After the people of the neighborhood boycotted the store, the store closed within six months.
* * * * *
When Joe lost his job at the factory, laid off due to a bad economy, he called upon his army to help him in his employment search in finding a new job. A super network of friends who were white collar and blue collar, management and staff, factory workers, service workers, educators, government workers, and business owners, with Joe's resume in hand, as if they were asking for jobs for themselves, they all asked around on his behalf.
"Hey, my friend, Joe, is looking for a job, do you have any openings?"
"I know a guy, Joe is his name, and he's looking for a job. He's a good guy, a family man. Hell, yeah, he's experienced. Here's his resume."
His army of friends kept their ears and eyes open for employment opportunities for Joe. With dozens of people scanning want ads and searching online databases, Joe felt confident on finding employment. Certainly, it was better for his friends to beat a hundred bushes than for Joe to beat just the one.
"What's that? You're looking for someone to hire? Do I know someone? Yeah, I sure do. My friend, Joe, would be perfect for this job."
Before Joe could even collect his first unemployment check, his friends helped him find a job within a couple of weeks. Moreover, it was a better job that paid more money and had better benefits than his old job. Grateful to his network of friends, Joe never could have found this job without the help of his army.
* * * * *
When Joe's daughter needed surgery and needed blood donated, Joe called upon his army. His army of friends donated more blood than the hospital needed and could use.
"Hello? Yeah, I'm calling for Joe. His daughter is having surgery and the hospital needs blood. Joe needs our help. Can you get down to the hospital and donate some blood in the name of his daughter?"
"Sure, no problem," said the man at the other end.
"Hello, I'm calling for Joe. It's his daughter. She needs an operation. Can you donate some blood for her?"
"Of course, just tell me where to go," said another member of Joe's army.
There was so much blood donated that the hospital sold the excess blood and applied the money they made from the sale of the excess blood to lower Joe's co-payment for procedures and medication that his daughter needed. Ordinarily, unbeknownst to most people, hospitals do this all the time, sell blood to other hospitals, but they never credit those who donated the blood in the name of the patient by lowering their co-payments.
Yes, of course, when donating blood for a specific patient in need of blood, they credit you with the blood towards the blood they use for the operation, but that's all. In Joe's case, with so much blood donated, they reduced his bill by several hundred dollars. A hospital can only store so much blood for so long, so either they dump it or sell it.
The hospitals don't want donors to know that they make money from selling their donated blood. Only, the hospital administrator was one of Joe's friends and a proud member of Joe's army. It amazed the hospital staff that so many of his friends turned out to donate blood on behalf of his sick daughter. Certainly, it was a win/win situation for everyone and being witness to the line of people waiting to donate their blood was gratifying to see.
"The Red Cross doesn't get as much of a response when they advertise the need for blood as Joe received by calling upon his army," said the Head Nurse.
Because of his friends helping out by donating their blood and wishing and praying for her swift recovery, his daughter made it through the operation and recovered fully.
* * * * *
When Joe's Mom needed help after her house burned to the ground, Joe's army made the calls on Joe's behalf. Too overwhelmed and too busy in helping and consoling his mother, he had no idea that his army of friends had taken over in his family's time of need. He was too embroiled in his mother's tragedy and emotional upheaval to even take the time to ask for their help.
His mother was devastated. She lost everything. She had fifty years of memories in the house, a wealth of irreplaceable photos, keepsakes, and antique furniture that had been passed down to her by her mother and grandmother.
"As if I never existed, I feel as if my most precious memories were erased," she confided to Joe while crying.
Meanwhile and behind the scenes, Joe's army was awaking to the sad reports of the tragic house fire. Telephone call after telephone call, the members of his army e-mailed one another and discussed the latest neighborhood news with one another while planning what to do to help.
"That house that burned down last night was Joe's mother's house."
"Oh, my God, it was, no way. Tell us how we can help."
And it was like that with every telephone and cell phone call and e-mail notification to every person of Joe's army. His friends gave his Mom a place to stay, clothes to wear, and food to eat while those other skilled members of Joe's army built her a new house, a better house than the one that had been consumed by fire. Those who could not be there physically sent their checks donating their money to Joe's Mom. With many of the materials needed to build the house donated by the members of Joe's army, the house was literally built for free.
Within a couple of months, she was home again.
* * * * *
Now the matter before the City Council was to pass an ordinance that made National Nude Day illegal in their city. An unusually hot day, nearly one hundred degrees, the controversy started last year when a few of the town's residents, members of Joe's army, stripped naked in the public park and waded and frolicked through the fountain. Figuring they'd get off with a warning when confronted by the police, instead of saying they were just hot, they defended their bizarre actions by proclaiming that they were celebrating National Nude Day.
Putting a bad spin on a good holiday, they blamed their need for public nudity on National Nude Day. This small town wasn't ready for big city problems and in this closed minded bedroom community; there was no room for nudity in their code of ethics or civil liberties. Had the violators said they were just hot and put their clothes on when the police arrived, they would have been given a citation and it would have been over already. The fact that the nude streakers made an issue of it meant that they were arrested and charged with indecent exposure and lewd behavior in a public place.
Now, normally, had it ended there what had happened to a few naked people last year would have been long forgotten and everything would have been fine. Unfortunately, the City Council, hoping to avoid another public display of nudity by flexing a little legislative muscle, took it upon themselves to make the act of celebrating National Nude Day illegal.
Now with headlines spread across the newspapers in this town and surrounding towns and telecast on radio talk shows and news stations, the whole debacle was made into a blown out of proportion issue that divided the town in two. There were those who believe in the right to celebrate National Nude Day, even if they don't believe in nudity, and there were those against celebrating that as a holiday, even though they believed in nudity. Those for nudity were willing to strip off their clothes to make a public statement and those against nudity were ready to make a citizen's arrest and call the police. If nothing else, it brought the town together in their right to disagree.
As the City Council had suggested by passing an unjust ordinance, it wasn't the mere fact that decent people don't strip off their clothes and appear naked in public; it was a bigger issue than that. It was more about freedom and the right to strip naked on National Nude Day, if people so desired. One day that was unofficially assigned to public nudity for those who wanted to celebrate it should not be so outlawed.
This is America, God damn it, and we are free people. Joe fought in Viet Nam to have the right of that freedom and other members in Joe's army fought in WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, the Gulf War, Afghanistan, and the Iraq War. Yes, of course, it says nothing in the Constitution nor in our Bill of Rights that we have the right to get naked in public on National Nude Day or on any other day, but if we want to do that and if we aren't hurting anyone while gathering and assembling in one central location to get naked, why the Hell not?
If you don't like it and if nudity offends your sense of propriety and sensibilities, then don't look. Matter of fact, if nudity offends you, then avoid walking by that area on that day and time when so many are celebrating National Nude Day in public. It's time that America's puritanical ethic values are replaced by a broader and more socially sophisticated and accepted opinion regarding nudity.
The people of this country need to adopt the open minded attitudes that are held by so many other countries around the world regarding nudity. Not counting the Middle Eastern countries when regarding the nudity of their women, nudity is no big deal anywhere else, but in America. Why are we all so uptight and cloistered by false values in this country? The bigger deal we make out of nudity and the more forbidden we make it by outlawing it, the more of an issue it becomes with sexual deviates who take pleasure in stretching the sexual norms.
Joe called upon his army when they wanted to ban books in the library? Ban books? What the Hell is that about? This isn't the 15th century. This isn't Egypt or Iran or China where they ban books and behead writers who dare express their opinions, this is America. Needless to say, the library in Joe's community did not ban any books that day or on any other day. Thanks to Joe and his growing army of supporters our freedom is still intact, even in small town America.
Now, certainly a short, fat man, Joe is not a nudist nor is he an exhibitionist, but because the City Council made an issue of it by taking a vote and enacting an ordinance that declared National Nude Day illegal in their city, that was enough to make him take action. Joe called upon his army to gather at the public common on July 14th and strip.