Veterans’ Day Weekend Open Thread: Marine and Dog.




Happy Veterans’ Day, and props to all those who’ve joined the service of our country and risked life and limb having to enforce whatever foreign policies our elected leaders settled on, damn-fool or otherwise.

I just happen to have a brand new song  that fits this weekend, it’s about a homeless veteran, a homeless Marine in fact, one with a dog without whom he won’t go to a shelter – the latest and 8th of my ten “Songs of the OC Homeless” which’ll all be premiered (mostly with better singers) at The Longest Night, Dec. 21, Anaheim Cemetery.  Here’s “Marine and Dog”…

You pass up my tent each morning on your way to work,
The grizzled Marine in khakis with his trusty dog.
I need a whole lotta weed cuz I’m so PTSD’d … seriously,
There’s things I don’t want to talk about. And you don’t need to hear them.
Just thank me for my service, and then go take a hike … I’m busy today.

“Private we can get you in a shelter,” they tell me, “Private we can get you in a shelter…
But that dog … that dog…”

I can’t stand the Disney fireworks each night at ten.
If you like explosions go get your jollies overseas!
From Kandahar to Garden Grove, we’re looking for some peace … and Fido hates them too!

“Private we can get you in a shelter, Private we can get you in a shelter…”
Well, sure it’s getting cold, but I’m living by a code: Semper Fi, Fi, Fi, Semper Fi, Fi, Fi, Fi…

FIDO! FIDO! My only faithful friend!
Did I ever tell you about that one time Fido saved my life?
Some crazy asshole that I barely knew came at me with a knife when I wasn’t looking,
Raised it up high, and Fido came booking…
FIDO! FIDO! He jumped to my defense!
He knocked the guy down and he sunk in his teeth and he wouldn’t let go –
the fella was screaming, chewed on his leg until he was bleeding,
went to the E.R. and we never saw him again…
SEMPER FIDO, stays with me till the end!

Night sweats … my ears ringing … I’m over there again…
Was that enemy fire… or just another wedding?
Now the silence deepens, now the silence holds me so I can’t move…
and I see them … I see those eyes, the dead girl’s open eyes …
there’s nothing I can do … as it all goes to hell …

Fido! Fido! You got my face all wet.
You must have been worried, I guess I was shaking, it’s all right now – Daddy was dreaming.
Let’s smoke a bowl and get back to sleeping.
Fido! Fido! We left some stories out:
Tomorrow we’ll tell how some psycho was setting our tents on fire – our neighbors were napping.
You woke them up, and kept them from burning.
You saved their bacon but that’s enough singing till then…
Semper Fido, my only faithful friend.


This is your three-day weekend open thread.  Talk about something interesting, that we’ll feel like discussing for three days. 

(PS.  And get ready for “I Hear Voices,” “Demon Meth,” “You’re One Pink Slip Away,” and “The Ghost of Kelly Thomas.”)

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.