Thoughts from the Ammo Line

Ammo Grrrll contemplates the disappointment of GREAT EXPECTATIONS. She writes:

I reckon I was about three when I had one of the biggest disappointments of my young life. We were at a carnival of some kind and, after enduring sustained, relentless wheedling, Daddy bought me some cotton candy. Whipped pink sugar on a stick – what could be better? Most anything, as it turned out.

All that promising pretty froth and you put a wad in your mouth and it melts away to nothing. It could almost be a metaphor for the huge, frothy 2014 Republican victory, but I don’t want to talk about politics today. Especially since that Republican majority is slaving around the clock, building the fence to protect our border, reducing the debt, repealing and replacing Obamacare, scuttling the disastrous Iran deal, and reforming the tax code, so…say what? They aren’t? Seriously? Nada, bupkiss, nuthin’? Not even the Iran deal?

Well, crap, there’s ANOTHER big disappointment. Also, I hear there’s no Santa Claus, but you couldn’t prove it by the last several Administrations.

I spent 30 years on the road in my comedy career, living out of a suitcase and staying in hotels that escalated nicely in quality over those decades. Early on, two other comics and I once stayed in a motel outside Omaha whose motto probably was, “You can’t see our parking lot from the highway!” A room cost $14.00 a “night” and the clerk was befuddled by guests who intended not only to stay the WHOLE night, but for three fun-filled days.

I have always enjoyed hotels. Until my sister — the fanatic germophobe — gave me a synopsis of some buzz-killing exposé she had watched which asserted that one might as well immerse in a vat of bacteria as touch anything in a hotel room. Particularly the remote control, light switches, bedspread, or shower. Thanks, Sis. Purell should give you freebies for life.

Though my clients often put me in five-star Marriotts, Ritz Carltons, and the like, as I enjoyed John Hinderaker’s recent English travelogue with accompanying pictures, it seemed to me that he stayed in rather nicer hotels than I am accustomed to. For example, I’m going to guess that never once did his hotelier have a Post-It Note affixed to his headboard advertising that they had troubled themselves to provide clean linens. John? Yes, truly, in my last Hampton Inn in Texas there was a yellow Post-It note printed to look written with a Sharpie that boasted “SHEETS ARE CLEAN FOR YOUR ARRIVAL.” Hosanna! They were so proud it made me wonder whether this was a recent departure from previous practices.

“Clean sheets? You betcha! Not so much in the past, but now we have decided to provide them. And we’re just pleased as punch, so we want to bring this to your attention via this attractive, if somewhat scary, note.”

Aren’t clean sheets pretty much the most minimal standard for a hotel room, a normal expectation? Periodically one of my foster kids who was (and undoubtedly still is) a pathological liar would come to me and declare that he had decided to stop lying. His tone and demeanor were always one of believing that he deserved some kind of special credit for this resolution. And I would have to explain to him that, no, you do not get gold stars for not lying. Telling the truth is a standard expectation. It is a basic starting point for being a trustworthy, standup kind of guy. And I also explained to him that, although he had had a hard life, one of the reasons he did not trust anyone was because he himself could not be trusted.

Another of the saddest falls from great expectations for me has been the utter degeneration of the feminist movement and the whiny, hateful, wussie-pants quality of today’s female grievance-mongers. Ladies, you are a flat-out embarrassment.

When I marched for equal opportunity in the ’60s and ’70s, I honestly believed that women would just get tougher and more competent and confident.

And clearly, we have paved the way for two or three wonderful levies of brilliant, talented, kick-ass young women – Michelle Malkin, Eliana Johnson, Heather Mac Donald, Mollie Hemingway, Mary Katherine Ham, to name but a few. Those, of course, are writers. There are also millions of doctors, dentists, lawyers, astronauts, CEOs and athletes. My great expectations were that once barriers were down, women would soar. And millions have.

It never occurred to me that we were simultaneously breeding a crop of spoiled, furious, entitled, intolerant loons who needed Trigger Warnings and Safe Rooms to retreat to in the unlikely event that anyone dared to disagree with them. That their delicate ears could not handle hearing things that upset them. Which was most everything. That ordinary courtship rituals and mutually-pleasurable sex would be defined as rape at the whim of vindictive headcases. Or, frankly, that standards would be lowered substantially to accommodate them. I expected that if women became firefighters or Marines, it would be because we had made the grade and exceeded it, not that the goalposts had been moved.

Oh, well. They say that a cynic is just a disappointed idealist. Great expectations. It’s still my favorite book by Charles Dickens.


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