Thoughts from the ammo line

Ammo Grrrll begins the first of a three-part series on her high school reunion. Here is ON THE ROAD, Part One (Eat your heart out, Jack Kerouac):

I recently returned to Arizona from a 5,000 mile, 17-day road trip back to Alexandria, Minnesota, for my – Krikey! – 50th high school reunion. My two best friends from high school joined me – Bonnie flying in from Minneapolis to Phoenix (after driving 2 days from Ontario!); Heather picked up in Ft. Worth, on our way north. They are twin sisters. Power Line readers will get many chances to hear about our Excellent Adventure, including local restaurants, the reunion itself, and a detailed description of all 1300 varieties of barbed wire in the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City with a quiz to follow: “Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?”

Bonus best bumper sticker: “Honk if you love Jesus; Text if you want to meet Him.”

A road trip with me is bound to be an adventure because I have the worst sense of direction in the history of the world. I’m also seriously “dys-mapic.” My forebears were probably navigators on the Santa Maria who “found” America when they were looking for the West Indies. My husband says I have a PERFECT sense of direction: I’m always wrong! Sadly, I cannot argue with this. Time and again on this trip we would be headed out of a restaurant parking lot with me saying, “Go right here, correct?” and Bonnie and Heather screaming in unison, “Left! Left!” Fortunately, all one needs to know to get from Phoenix to Minnesota (picking up someone in Texas) is 10 East til it turns into 20, to 35 North.

With three women of late, late middle age in one car, I worried that finding room for our luggage could be an issue. I begged, pleaded and cajoled to get my dear friends to pack “light.” For this tiny, reasonable request, they called me “Bossypants” for the rest of the trip. Well, that, and my wanting to be in charge of everything. Sorry – firstborn; can’t help it.

Clearly, “light” is in the eye of the beholder. I have seen women in airports with 7 pieces of matched luggage for a 3-day weekend. My sister and cousin and their saintly husbands once went on a day trip backpacking in the Rockies. The fellas thought that their packs felt a bit heavy, but soldiered on. Later it was discovered that my sister had packed a large cast iron skillet, and our cousin had packed the Denver phone book with which to press wildflowers.

Ammo Grrrll is something of an expert in packing light. I spent 30 years on the road for standup and usually had to shlep my own luggage. That’ll learn ya right quick. Admittedly, my requirements are quite different from more normative women’s: For example, I do not use makeup, which saves one large bag right there. Many years ago, an upscale department store tried to give me a “makeover” as an act of mercy, but I resembled an aging and none-too-successful hooker and washed it all off when I got home.

One of the twins – OK, Bonnie — had made a valiant effort to comply with the light luggage suggestion, mainly by dividing what would have been a mountain of stuff into dozens of small tote bags. But Heather brought out a suitcase that could have transported a smallish spinet piano and still had room left over for an alto sax. To the best of my knowledge, she did not have any actual musical instruments, more’s the pity. But apparently she had included an anvil in case she wanted to do a little blacksmithing along the way to pay for the bowling ball packed next to it. It took all three of us to lift the bag into and out of the trunk. We definitely should have brought along a man.

Speaking of which, because we were Ammo Grrrll and a pair of twins, we called our road trip the Thelma, Louise and the Other Louise Trip (TLOL for short). Search as we might, a young Brad Pitt never showed up to steal our money, possibly because of the six handguns between us, including a .357 and .45. But then, we didn’t go over the Grand Canyon at the end either.

One of the highlights of our trip was shooting with John Hinderaker at his favorite range. Which was why we brought so many guns. He has previously posted what he called “the one target in which I beat you.” Thanks, buddy! We fired a lot of rounds, so it was undoubtedly more than one. He is being gracious. John is an excellent shot, take my word for it.

Glenn, my shooting instructor, who teaches Law Enforcement Officers, has me practice almost exclusively with lifesize man-shaped targets from a distance of 21 to 75 feet. On most good days, I can make a nice two-to-three inch group in center mass, heads, and groins from those distances, with only a couple of fliers. For whatever reason, I am not as good with other types of targets like shapes and bullseyes. Be assured that should any of you be attacked by little green triangles or yellow circles, John has got your back.

Finally, I would like to thank all the lovely commenters from last week who, among other things, compared me to two of my humor columnist idols – Dave Barry and Erma Bombeck. My mission from Scott and John is to make y’all laugh or smile in the terrifying and depressing world that the rest of Power Line addresses. That so many of you respond positively is a source of great joy for me. God Bless You Every One!

And stay tuned for more about our trip next week.


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