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Home --> Politics --> War/Anti-War --> Old Lady and Umbrella

Old Lady and Umbrella

Claim:   Old lady offered an anti-war pamphlet offers to shove her umbrella up an anti-war protester's ass.

Status:   Undetermined.

Examples:

[Collected on the Internet, 2003]

To nobody's surprise there were protestors today in DC, they attempted to disrupt the metro system and block the Key Bridge, a leading artery into DC from Northern Virginia. I got hosed twice because I come in from NoVA [Northern Virginia] on the metro and it is raining hard which makes traffic worse anyway...to the point —

I got off my train in Rosslyn because I had to use the bathroom. When I was getting back on the train, there were protestors on the train platform handing out pamphlets on the evils of America. I politely declined to take one. An elderly woman was behind me getting off the escalator and a young (20ish) female protestor offered her a pamphlet, which she politely declined. The young protestor put her hand on the old woman's shoulder as a gesture of friendship and in a very soft voice said, "Ma'am, don't you care about the children of Iraq?" The old woman looked up at her and said, "Honey, my first husband died in France during World War II so you could have the right to stand here and bad mouth your country. And if you touch me again, I'll stick this umbrella up your ass and open it."

I'm glad to report that loud applause broke out among the onlookers and the young protestor was at a total loss for words.
 

[Collected on the Internet, February 2012]

GOD BLESS THE OLD BRITS!!!
It happened in an underground station in London . There were protesters on the concourse handing out pamphlets on the "evils of Britain". I politely declined to take one. An elderly woman behind me was getting off the escalator and a young (20-ish) female protester offered her a pamphlet, which she politely declined. The young protester put her hand on the woman's shoulder as a gesture of friendship and in a very soft voice said, 'Madam, don't you care about the children of Iraq?' The elderly woman looked up at her and said, 'My dear, my father died in France during World War II, I lost my husband in Korea and my grandson in Afghanistan . All three died so you could have the right to stand here and bad mouth our country. If you touch me again, I'll stick this umbrella up your fucking arse and open it.' God Bless Great Britain

Origins:   This tale about a wizened old lady standing up to the pushy anti-war protestor first landed in our inbox on 27 March 2003. Some versions we've received identify the author as "an Army captain stationed in Washington, DC," but others don't provide even that much of an attribution. The authorship of the piece is
unknown.

Did the events as described actually take place? Well, they might have. Then again, this account of a feisty war widow's response to anti-war protestors could just be someone's attempt to express in story form how that person feels about those who oppose the war in Iraq. Let's look at what little is known.

On 20 March 2003, war protesters blocked rush-hour traffic on the Key Bridge, one of the main bridges between Northern Virginia and Washington, closing the span for about 30 minutes. The protests began shortly after 8 a.m. in Rosslyn and continued throughout the day. Although news accounts we examined failed to mention anything about protestors handing out pamphlets, that does not mean those involved in the event were not providing literature to passersby.

Yet that something could have happened does not mean that it did happen. One point in the account does give us especial pause — the author speaks of getting off his train in Rosslyn because he had to use the bathroom. Those familiar with the station at Rosslyn point out there are no public washrooms in that facility.

Even so, for now let's place this one in the "possibly apocryphal" category and leave it at that.

Barbara "bumbershooter" Mikkelson

Last updated:   28 February 2012

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  Sources Sources:
    Bradley, Paul.   "Anti-War Activists Block Bridge into D.C."
    Richmond Times Dispatch.   21 March 2003   (p. A14).

    The Washington Post.   "Few Arrests in D.C. Area Protests."
    21 March 2003   (p. A26).