That moment you hit the ball into the neighbor’s yard. Except it’s a spy drone!

December 15, 2016: 5o nautical miles from somewhere no good where the Chicoms are doing shady shit, and the U.S. is doing them dirty to keep'em clean.

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That’s what happened to the USNS Bowditch a few days ago when it was steaming (lurking) near Subic Bay in the South China sea, except the ball is a stealthy “surveying” drone (every time you read “surveying” substitute “spy”), and the neighbor is China. You know the feeling. You shouldn’t have been playing there. Your mom has told you a million times, but you just can’t help yourself. You love playing your game. It’s fun, and as long as you don’t get caught…well no harm no foul. Then it happens. Your ball goes sailing over the fence into the neighbor’s yard, and as if he’d been watching the whole time, your neighbor opens his porch door walks out to his yard, and picks up the ball ignoring your protests, and apologies.

“Hey mister, you mind if we get the ball back?” You promise that you aren’t going to play there again, but you both know that you’re a lying little shit. You both know that you can’t help yourself. This isn’t the first ball you’ve sent over that fence, and it’s certainly not the last. You were probably trying to hit the ball over the fence just to show your buddies that you could crack. That all said, you have to keep playing the game which in fact includes the coy role-playing that follows after each ball is hit over the fence.

Most times, your neighbor scoops the ball and heads back inside. You cuss him out a bit, but it’s a beat up, dirty ball anyway so who cares. But this isn’t one of those times. No. Today you’ve lost a shiny new official MLB baseball. (Maybe one signed by some girl named “Baby Ruth”…never heard of her.) What’s worse is that you borrowed it from Uncle Sam, or your step-dad, not important.

What’s important is what comes next. You know how sometimes that neighbor keeps the ball for a while and then gives it back to you after you beg him a few times? You know how he goes back into his creepy, dark house and comes back with a random ball? You don’t know if it’s even yours, or if it is, there’s just something off about it. What did he do to it? Wait, did he do something nasty to it? He’s giving you a creepy smile as you reach out for the ball, and then he grabs your arm with his other clammy hand while he drops it into your palm, and says some mondo creepy shit like, “Good. Good boy.” (Oh fuck! He rubbed himself with it!) But whatever you just got to get that shit back before your step-pops notices. So you book it home from Mr. Creepy’s house, and you’ll never look at that ball the same way again.

That’s kinda how those “dudes” (read “spy motherfuckers”) on the USNS Bowditch felt when they got their “surveying” drone back. Did those Chicoms do some shit to our “surveying” drone? Does it have their computer hacking nut-juice on it? We ain’t touching that shit till we get it back to Langley…I mean the dock.

© J. Manuel

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