Thoughts from the ammo line

Ammo Grrrll invites someone to NAME THAT HORSE! She writes

Every Tuesday night, Mr. AG and I play poker with a group of other gun nuts. (Def of gun nut according to leftists: someone who owns a gun. Owning more than one gun elevates that gun owner from “nut” to full certifiable lunatic. Also having more than 10 rounds of ammo.)

Poker night includes the tradition of a light meal, during which we listen to the Pandora stations of either George Strait or Vince Gill. When the dishes are cleared and the chips and cards come out, we switch to The Eagles. Can you possibly guess by our musical taste that most of us are of late, late middle age?

I mention this because last Tuesday, Eagles Pandora included in its playlist the ’70s band, America’s, international hit “Horse With No Name” and I listened carefully to the lyrics.

I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain

And I thought: “There’s a column!”

Now, as it happens, Mr. AG is, in addition to many other things, a composer and musician. So I know a thing or two about lyrics. True, he has never had a hit as lucrative as this monster hit by America, so let’s just concede that. And good for them. The guys in the band were all U.S. Air Force brats, living in England at the time. I have nothing against them or monetary reward.

Nevertheless, being cursed with an annoyingly logical mind, I would like to take a clear-eyed look at “Horse With No Name.” Because obsessing about politics every minute is not healthy, so why not make gentle fun of a song that’s safely more than 40 years old?

Also, I live in the desert and feel that this song may give people a mistaken impression.

Let’s start with the obvious: why the hell does the horse have no name? That can be remedied quite easily. Name it, already. Here are some good horse names: Dobbin, Buttermilk, and Trigger. For a young person today, he may prefer Trigger Warning, or Soy Milk, but Dobbin could still work. It is appropriately gender-free, for example, and could also be a good baby name for the next insane celebrity’s kid. “Apple, North, meet Dobbin.”

“In the desert you can remember your name. ‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain.”

Friends, there is a reason that the Memory Care Units are in lockdown mode. People who can’t remember their names frequently wander off. Now here we have a fella wandering the desert who not only does not know the name of the horse he rode in on, but, apparently, also has difficulty remembering his own name. Except when he is in a desert. Why would that be, you ask?

Because, in the desert he can remember his name since “there ain’t no one for to give [him] no pain.” Setting aside that that makes no sense, here we come to the first possible deadly misunderstanding about deserts. A desert has nothing BUT things that can give you pain, including scorpions, rattlers, cartel snipers, spiders, and many varieties of cactus. So, to be clear: pain galore. But for sure there ain’t no one for to give you no “A” in English. Good grief!

“The heat was hot and the ground was dry and the air was full of sound.”

Yes, that’s pretty much the very definition of a desert. But you have to particularly love the observation that “the heat was hot” except to add: YOU HAVE NO IDEA. When I lived in Minnesota, I used to get a kick out of it when Southerners would say, upon hearing it was 30 below zero, “Well is there really a big difference between 30 below zero and 30 degrees above zero; I mean it’s all just cold, right?”

Bless your hearts. Uh, no. That is incorrect. That is a 60 degree swing you are talking about there. And the difference it makes is YUGE. It’s the difference between being chilly, keeping your hands in your pockets on a walk, or freezing to death in a matter of minutes if you accidentally got locked out of your house without your cellphone or warm clothes. It is a DEADLY cold. And we haven’t even mentioned “wind chill.”

And the difference between a pleasantly warm 62 degree day, and 120 in a place where there is no shade, none, is similarly huge and deadly.

After two days in the desert sun
My skin began to turn red
After three days in the desert fun
I was looking at a river bed

This is also incorrect. Your skin will NOT “begin” to turn red in two days; it will begin to turn red in, perhaps, 20-30 minutes. In two days, you will be medium rare. And in three, you will be very well done. And not having much desert “fun,” which was apparently the best word they could find to rhyme with “sun.”

But, hey, at least you’re out of the rain. For guys raised in England, that could make death almost worth it. Betcha can’t stop humming the song for the rest of the day. You’re welcome.


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