Thoughts from the ammo line

Ammo Grrrll takes a break from the news with MORE NUGGETS OF JOY. She writes:

Who can measure the collective depression, grief, and anxiety when in the space of a couple of weeks, three psychotic losers murder and maim dozens of our fellow humans? And when the Democrat/Media Megaphone bellows with one loud coordinated voice, that – despite one of the losers being a Bernie/Warren and Fraud Squad fan – it’s just all completely President Trump’s fault. Never was a mass murder before he was President. Well, not counting those “people who did some things.” And don’t mention 51 shot in Chicago last weekend.

And so when the world is too much with us, it’s time to take another of my patented “Nuggets of Joy” breaks. I promise we will return to our regularly-scheduled hellish news next week. The Leftists aren’t going anywhere. And with 330 million people here, if only 1 percent are mentally deranged, that’s still 3.3 million lunatics who can go off the rails at any time.

For today’s column, let’s channel the first couple lines of the Zac Brown/Jimmy Buffett song, “Knee Deep”:

Gonna put the world away for a minute
Pretend I don’t live in it

Sunshine gonna wash my blues away.

Though there is abundant sunshine in Arizona, sadly, not all of us can be “knee deep” in the water somewhere. Some of us live in a desert, which nevertheless did not keep the imaginative street-namers in our Gated Geezerland from naming the next street over “Ocean Breeze.” Due to the presence of the remnants of John Wayne’s quarter-million head herd, we locals have another name for that breeze, in which one can still be “knee deep.”

We recently had a front-row seat to a joyous little nature drama that went on for over a month. A mama hummingbird had built an amazing little tiny nest woven into a string of lights on our front patio, about two feet directly in front of our library window. With a front-row piano bench seat for the drama.

My neighbors in Gated Geezerland seem to compete to see who can produce the most spectacular display of outdoor Christmas lights and decorations. We are Jewish, and do not participate, though I enjoy the displays. One year I bought one festive little single string of multi-colored, non-Christmasy lights in the shape of chili peppers for the front patio just for fun. After a few years, some lights burned out, but it seemed like a lot of trouble to take them down. And thus, the string became a platform for a nest.

How in the world Mama Hummingbird “chose” that space is anybody’s guess. Woven into the nest there appeared to be some longish hairs that some would mistakenly call “grey” and others refer to more accurately as “platinum blonde.” I shed like a Siberian Husky, so it’s nice to have some of those hairs recycled.

Mama Hummingbird sat on the eggs in the nest for about two weeks, leaving every 15 minutes or so to find sustenance for herself. I understand the impetus to eat every 15 minutes, plus I am small and flighty. I am having my DNA tested to see if I am 1/32nd hummingbird. Gotta be worth a professorship at Harvard, at minimum.

We researched hummingbirds and learned a lot of interesting facts. For example, they cannot walk. They can only hover, perch, and fly. At night they go into a state of “torpor” in which their vitals drop to ridiculous levels so that they no longer need to feed themselves every few minutes in order to live. I bet I do a version of that which accounts for my miserable metabolism. If I were a car, I could drive coast to coast on one gallon of gas.

At some point, it became clear that the eggs had hatched and that there were two tiny baby birds sharing space in a nest the size of a double-wide thimble. Mama H then had to go off and find food for all three of them and return to feed the little parasites who mostly sat around with their tiny beaks in the air waiting to be fed.

Unlike with baby humans who can take up to 25, 30 years to leave the nest – if you’re lucky – these little babies turned into fat, antsy teenagers in a little over two weeks! Then the bravest one flew off about a week after that. At first his brother (I went ahead and assumed their genders) appeared happy to see him gone and took over the whole nest plus his stereo. But the next day the first bird returned and schooled his brother on how it was done and encouraged him by pecking at his behind and then they were both gone! Mama H returned from a food foray, looked around for the kids, seemed to shrug and say, “Whatever. My work here is done!” and took off herself never to be seen again.

Both the Paranoid Texan (PT) and Mr. AG claim to have seen some members of the family in the neighborhood, but I have not. It was a real delight to watch that little drama unfold and a heck of a lot cheerier than hearing human bird-brains squawking “impeeeeachment,” “Puuutin,” or “raaaacism” tediously. But now we are empty-nesters. Literally.

Still, it was a month-long Nugget of Joy. There are others.

Sometimes God – or the PT – just gives you a nugget of joy. We were riding in the PT’s truck to get a new propane tank for our barbecue grill when we passed the elementary school on the way to Walmart. There on the sign out front were two messages: “Kindergarten Roundup Monday” and “Job Fair!” to which the PT, without missing a beat, said, “Looks like the Chinese are recruiting for their factories.” The PT is a very funny guy.

I am blessed to know a lot of funny people, not least of which is the famous novelist Max Cossack, whose novels are on sale on Amazon. Max was visibly upset by the many commenters in a recent column of mine who challenged his claim of being “the worst dancer who ever lived.” He suggests a new television show called “So, You Think You CAN’T Dance,” on which the contestants cannot TRY to deliberately dance badly — they just have to dance “normally”– if such a word could be applied to these dancers, honor bound to do their best. And THEN we’ll see who will wear the crown!

Woopsie! 15 minutes gone. Time to eat.

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