Thoughts from the ammo line

Ammo Grrrll has a few TRAVEL LESSONS. Let the cacchination commence. She writes:

Democrats have achieved maximum lunacy (so far), so it’s time for another mental health break while we ponder how and why President Trump is making fat black women so fat. No, really. He has been “credibly accused” of that by a fat black woman. With a big fat Ph.D. If he can make unhinged Jewish women fat — Bette Midler and Babs Streisand say he has force-fed them like a pate-bound goose liver – it would be racist not to make black women fat, too.

So let us leave crazy talk, and let me give you some advice about road trips instead. I have heard recidivists brag that they know how to “jail.” Well, after 30 years on the road, I know how to “hotel.” Let’s start with the Mundane and move on to the Wise and Important.

Does it get any more “mundane” than toilet paper? Now, I have not stayed in the Georges Cinq in Paris, where 30 years ago I read that the rooms STARTED at $1,000 a night. So, it’s possible that when you are paying that amount, corporate management chooses to spring for a second ply. (On the other hand, it’s FRANCE, so who knows?) But I can assure you that even in some of the mid- to luxury-level properties in the U.S.of A, the toilet paper is pathetic.

You can almost hear the conversation between the hotel purchaser and the paper goods wholesaler: “Yeah, this one-ply tissue paper seems nice, but it’s more than I was hoping to spend. Do you have anything both thinner and rougher? Maybe something in your sandpaper line? Rough, but you can still SEE through it? Is there a half-ply brand?” For this reason, I always bring my own favorite toilet paper. (Charmin Ultra-Soft.)

Our friends Margie and Don, world-class hosts of the lovely lake home in southern Minnesota, have top-notch toilet paper which they jokingly claim they dole out two to a guest to limit the scope of the visit. When you’re out of Charmin, you’re out. A reasonable policy. Otherwise, you might be tempted to stay the entire summer…which is our plan for next summer. Shhh…it’s going to be a surprise! We plan to eat no fiber and drink no liquids and make those 4 rolls last the entire summer. Who needs both kidneys anyway? I mean, Margie is a great cook, and she and Don have a Jet Ski AND a speedboat; it’s a no-brainer…

Here’s another thing: hotels expect – generally correctly – that most guests are going to use their hotel rooms for two things, one of which is sleeping. Neither activity requires bright light. However, when your hotel room is your “home away from home” for, say, two weeks while visiting your Papa, lighting becomes more important. I often bring 60 watt bulbs, paper plates, napkins and plastic silverware, so that we can take leftovers from restaurants and reheat them in the microwave. Two meals for the price of one! Amortize, amortize!

Some of your finer hotels will provide upscale shampoos and lotions, sadly soon to be illegal in California. It’s tacky to steal extras from the maid’s cart – and the whole world has security cameras now — but if you tip generously, sometimes several extras will just appear. Once when I treated my parents to two nights at the Ritz Carlton in Naples, Florida when they accompanied me on a gig there, Mother managed to charm the maids enough to make off with a good starter kit for her own boutique.

Also, if you are over the age of consent, never look in the giant magnifying makeup mirror in the bathroom. Especially if you tend to depression and are traveling with a weapon. One small chin hair looks like the rope you climb in gym.

GOOD IDEAS ON THE ROAD

Be open to spontaneity and adventure! Talk to EVERYONE. People are incredibly interesting. I have had great conversations with a Muslim housekeeper who was fasting for Ramadan and a Vietnam vet who had fostered 24 troubled kids; a Pakistani hotelier during a tornado in Guthrie, Oklahoma, and an Indian waitress in the White Buffalo Bar in the Gage Hotel in Marathon, Texas, to mention just four out of a thousand fun conversations on the road.

From just opening up a conversation with strangers, we have had the opportunity to attend a Bat Mitzvah party in a hotel in Amsterdam, and a pro basketball game in Israel with an Iraqi Jew. In Columbus, MS, a businessman in line at the coffeeshop was embarrassed by the curt response by the young barista to my request for bottled water and led me back to his store, introduced me to his entire sales staff and gave me water. I bought several dresses. Win-win.

SMALL SETBACKS WILL OCCUR. STAY COOL.

On our recent summer trip, I was flying along, making good time, when I heard some kind of No Good Very Bad Terrible noise underneath the car. I assumed a tire had blown and by the grace of God, there was Exit 120, so I pulled off. It was not Arizona hot, but Iowa hot in July was plenty toasty enough. Mr. AG discussed our situation with AAA for many long sweaty minutes. The Customer Service Rep promised a tow truck would be there within 45 minutes. I had personally heard Mr. AG say very clearly at least three times the name of the Highway, the name of the Exit and the make, model and color of the vehicle.

When asked for the fourth time the color of the car, I had to stifle a laugh when he said calmly, “Tell you what. Just have them tow ANY random 2018 Genesis with two people in it that they see parked on the shoulder of the off ramp of Exit 120.” Haha. Mr. AG, also known as Max Cossack, is quite the card who writes very funny novels you might enjoy.

At last a great guy (and Trump supporter) appeared in the world’s oldest, dirtiest, smokiest, but extremely welcome, tow truck and took us back to the Hyundai dealer in Council Bluffs. It turned out to be the cover over the oil pan thingy – okay, I’m not a motorhead – that had popped out, and was dragging, making a horrendous racket. Fixed in about 30 minutes and back on our way. Experienced quite the feeling of déjà vu retracing our miles. Both ways.

UNRELATED RANDOM THOUGHTS AND PIPE DREAMS

In Del’s Restaurant in Tucumcari, New Mexico (highly recommended), we saw a table of bikers who were three of the hugest men I have ever seen. Not fat either – evidently Trump’s be-fattening wiles don’t work on bikers — solid muscle. Where’s Antifa when these guys are around? Even the ladies with them could take the little Antifa soy-boys. If one of these men barely tapped a lock-wielding masked Antifa woman-like substance, he would perform an unauthorized splenectomy. After watching the disgusting violence that was encouraged and enabled by the Democrat government in Minneapolis during President Trump’s recent rally there, a Grrrll can dream.

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