If the Rebels Only had Flashlights

Blackhawk Helicopter Interior, vulnerable to flashlights

It seems a federal trial is beginning for a local man accused of shining a small, hand-held spotlight at a helicopter flying low over his house. Apparently the flashlight blinded Homeland Security Agent Dave Simeur, causing him severe pain, and almost made him crash. He also claims the homeowner, Wayne Groen, continued to chase him with the flashlight.

Being a man who spends most nights awake and outside under the stars, I know nighttime helicopters. Even here, far away from international borders, few nights go by without darkened, low-flying helicopters hovering by. I don’t know why. And I don’t even know who to ask. Do I contact the mayor’s office and ask, “what are all these helicopters flying about at night, and who’s flying them, and what gives them the right?”

I thought the airborne ruckuses might be primetime-worthy fugitive chases at first, except that their appearances are almost never accompanied by police cars or sirens. Often, they trace back and forth across a few miles, never going out of hearing range. Sometimes, they are moving very slowly, at a very low altitude, which does indeed rattle everything in the house. In the middle of the night. Which, if I were asleep, would infuriate me.

That’s what happened to Wayne one night while he and his wife were fast asleep. A loud roar, a shaking house, and objects rattling off the shelves. It wasn’t the first time. He ran outside, he claims, to see what the hell it was, and to warn it off the top of their house. It really does make an impressive rattling…

You know he was mad. Furious probably. Of course he was. And it’s perfectly natural. Those assholes don’t care one bit what they keep doing to people down below in their houses, you would think. And they don’t. Not really. Not enough. And so he shined the light: I see you, you son of a bitch! Look at me down here! Pay attention to what the hell you’re doing!

And then Dave the Airborne Agent thinks, how dare that stupid fucker shine a light up on a Homeland Security helicopter! We’ll teach that arrogant SOB a lesson in respect and get him behind bars! Let’s see, I’m blinded, and almost crashed – yeah – putting government agents in danger – yeah – and the neighborhood too maybe. It’s too bad we can’t just take him out, though.

Or was it really, as Dave’s testimony suggests; oh god! My eyes! It hurts! We’re gonna crash in this Blackhawk helicopter that fights in war zones, from a flashlight! Holy moley my friend co-pilot, are you okay?

You know what, asshole helicopter pilots, agents, officers, or whatever you are, who fly low down around people’s homes all dark and secret-like at night… watch out! Wayne’s certainly not the only one you’re pissing off. If thoughts were crimes, the fantasies I’ve had about downing a few of you… and I’m about as far being a violent person as you can get.

And if a flashlight can so easily take you and your $14 million warplane out, just wait until you go up against my slingshot!

Do you think I’m being uncaring, insensitive or disrespectful about agents and police and pilots who are just doing their job when shaking houses apart in the middle of the night? No, the “just doing my job” excuse was long ago used up. For everyone. In everything. It’s your responsibility if you get slapped upside the head eventually, when you’re continually harassing and terrorizing people – for whatever reason.