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Punch Drunk

Letters From a Statue



Beloved Richmond,

It feels like I see all of your freedom-loving faces every day. You look great! Exercising, picnicking, strolling with children, spending your hard-earned gray backs, driving your magical stagecoaches to and fro. You seem like virtuous, upstanding people, so I thought it would be kind of me to check in. Let you know how Virginia’s favorite son is coming along.

Yeah, the favorite. I said it. Sorry I’m not sorry, George, Tommy J, Justin Verlander, Chris Brown.

It’s not all that bad here at Monument and Allen avenues. At least I’m not down there at Belmont like lil’ Matty Maury. He’s not even riding a horse. Pathfinder of the Seas? More like Chicken of the Sea. Am I right?!

Sorry. I heard that somewhere. Thought it would be funnier.

But seriously, losing the Civil War wasn’t as devastating personally as you might think. Obviously I’m still a legend. I got a whole slew of cool stuff named after me — colleges, riverboats, sandwiches, fictional sitcom racecars, an entire day, you name it. You know Lee’s Fried Chicken? Right over there on Broad Street? That actually isn’t named after me, but what tipsy girls at Club Mansion don’t know at 4 a.m. won’t hurt ’em.


There also are probably about a million kids named after ol’ Bobby Lee. Although don’t ever call me Bobby Lee to my face. I’d literally besmirch your honor with an open palm to your face and then stick you with my Arkansas toothpick in the bread basket, thus cashiering you from life pulse.

But I digress.

More important, and unlike Stonewall and J.E.B., I’m basically the only approachable Confederate general in Richmond because of all this grass and this huge traffic roundabout, which is nice, for the most part.

OK, so those mischief-makers who scaled me last week during the snowstorm and proceeded to pelt passing cars with snowballs were annoying and disrespectful. But on the flip side, attacking from a position that’s higher than your enemies is always sound doctrine, so I can’t fault their military acumen.

That being said, perhaps if they were in school learning and not free to terrorize the community because of a piddling amount of snow, I wouldn’t be getting desecrated. Kids in my day learned to respect their elders or they got the lash! They also learned to fear the onset of cold weather as it meant at least a quarter of them would be lost to the dreaded whooping cough. But times have changed. What do I know? I’m just an old general.

I’ve noticed that everyone’s rocking a beard these days. Hmm, who was one of the first men to popularize beards? Here’s a hint: It wasn’t any of the pretty-boy, powdered-wig-rocking, blush-applying Founding Fathers, I’ll tell you that much.

But I won’t sit here and say anything bad about those lady boys and their silk stockings. They only set in place a system that indirectly led to the disintegration of the Union and the death of around 600,000 young men. But even with crystal clear foresight, something like that was bound to happen eventually. And I can’t really complain because your boy obtained superstar status in that little conflict. Got me this glorious statue that so transfixes the eye today, in fact.

And again, look at my beard. It’s perfect.

So hey, on a lighter note, the Monument Avenue 10-K is approaching. And you know what that means — Cleavage City, my man! This brilliant tactician snagged the best seat in the house. Sixty feet in the air. Prime, belle-scoping real estate. The homie Jeff Davis right down the street knows what I’m talking about. I’d fist bump him if we weren’t both cast in bronze.

Well, again, Richmond, I’m glad you’re looking so well.

I do see that we finished Reconstruction. Of course it’s a damn shame that we lost Northern Virginia to a bunch of carpet-bagging rascals who wouldn’t know Southern gentility if it bludgeoned them over the head, but history is always written by the victors, is it not?

Anyways, what’s the deal with this Heritage place everyone is talking about? I hear that Sparatta guy is doing wonders with hardtack. Perhaps we’ll meet there in the near future and get wallpapered on the bark juice.

Your humble servant,

Gen. Robert E. Lee

Connect with Jack Lauterback at bartender@styleweekly.com. Lauterback also is co-host of “Mornings with Melissa and Jack” on 103.7 Play weekdays from 6-9. On Twitter @jackgoesforth.

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