“It don’t go no higher,” says Peter Probert, founder and CEO of Poles Poles Poles, the United States leading manufacturer of magnets. And flagpoles.
“This is the new half-master you see,” the elderly man says as he runs the Stars and Stripes half way up the pole, where its halyard terminates in a turning block that has been permanently affixed at the midway point to the top of the mast. “So it don’t go no higher.” And then he repeats that sad fact quietly to himself a third time in the flat, late-afternoon light, with the flag hanging limply a little ways overhead.
Saying that they called it the ‘Thoughts and Prayers’ model, “Cause it makes about as much damn difference,” Mr. Probert said that it saddens him deeply that this type of flagpole is even necessary.
“Much less being the most popular model we’ve ever come up with. Damn things are selling like AR-15s.”
Mr. Probert revealed he’d just taken an order from Donald Trump to ensure that all of the president’s personal properties were outfitted with the new poles, and the pole-seller said he expected most US government buildings would be quick to follow suit, “Seeing as how they don’t seem to intend to do anything to stop this from happening again, other than just hope real hard.”
“You know what they say though,” Peter says, as he looks up at his slender monument to a permanent state of mourning. “Solvable problems don’t kill people. Lobbying groups with vested interests and deep pockets kill people.”