Thoughts from Dr. Joe: Rescuing Charlie

Two weeks have lapsed since Charlie Kamar was whisked away to undergo sensitivity training in Madison, Wisc.

Remember? Charlie was greeting his customers with a hearty “Merry Christmas!” Someone was offended and complained to the political correctness police. He was arrested, tried and found guilty.

“Charlie, I’ll come for you,” I shouted, as they took him away.

I couldn’t pull off this rescue alone. I turned to the Bunters, the ragtag mountain bikers from La Cañada. They’re the last of the rugged individualists and their esprit de corps and swashbuckling swagger will solidify their position as the most infamous of La Cañada’s elite. Since they operate under the cloak of darkness, they have assumed aliases: Captain, Lieutenant, Donner, Navigator, Tinkerbelle, Crash, Brave Heart, Cave Man, Nitro, Florence and Porn Star.

“Captain! Assemble the men, Starbucks, Sunday, 0600 hours,” I ordered.

I stared at the rabble before me and felt like Lee Marvin in the movie, “The Dirty Dozen.” I issued a five-paragraph order detailing Situation, Mission, Execution, Logistics and Communications.

“Gentlemen, train-ups commence immediately. Any questions?” I asked.

“Dr. Joe, when do we go?” inquired Donner.

“We’ll hit em’ the day after Christmas, just like Washington did at the Battle of Trenton.”

Washington was no tactical genius, but he mastered the element of surprise. I’ve been reading Glen Beck’s “Being George Washington” and surmise a miraculous hand guided him. Washington wasn’t that lucky. Would we also be led by the miraculous?

Intelligence would be essential in the prosecution of the mission. I called my buddy Vesuvius Johnson, a special warfare operative. He would coordinate with Crash and deploy The Global Observer, providing boots on the ground with real-time surveillance.

Vesuvius reported that Charlie was being held in a lightly defended compound. The lieutenant and I noted guards, armaments, avenues of approach, extraction points and defilade positions.

“We’re ready,” shouted Florence.

Regardless of family commitments, we’d rendezvous at Penelope’s, at 2200 hours Christmas night.

“We’re ready to risk it all for our friend Charlie,” Porn Star exclaimed. If all went well, we would be home the day after Christmas, opening presents with our families.

Our plan was simple. We’d board a C-17 Globemaster, Captain would be our jumpmaster and Navigator would coordinate wind, velocity and altitude. At 39,000 feet Brave Heart would lead a HALO jump into the target. Unlike Washington, who split his forces at Trenton, Tinkerbelle would take us to Charlie. According to SEAL doctrine, a snatch-and-grab should take minutes to prosecute. Cave Man and Nitro would execute.

Prior to our jump, I gathered the Bunters and quoted a line from Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” that says, “Tis impossible to know the end of this day’s business before it comes. But the day will end, and then the end be known. And if we meet again, then we'll smile. And if not, then this parting was well made.”

Our efforts would deal a decisive blow to political correctness.

We got Charlie. Couldn’t have done it without the Bunters.

Washington failed to plan his egress. He wrote a fortuitous note found on the floor of his quarters, “Victory or death!” He gave himself no alternative. He exploited his victory and beat the British at Princeton.

We had Charlie. Like Washington, we had no escape plan. But Vesuvius Johnson arranged our extraction and saved the day.

From out of nowhere, the miraculous appeared. A fat man dressed in red, riding atop a now-empty sleigh pulled by reindeer, appeared out of the sky. He was on his way home. We hung on for dear life and were whisked away home.

It was a Merry Christmas, a very Merry Christmas.

JOE PUGLIA is a practicing counselor, a professor of education at Glendale Community College and a former officer in the Marines. Reach him at

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