Thoughts from the ammo line

Ammo Grrrll reviews the HIGHLIGHT REEL OF THE END OF THE ROAD TRIP! She writes:

One time in the Green Room of a Minneapolis comedy club, my colleague Sid came in from a round of golf. He was an excellent, almost-scratch golfer, a very smart guy, and funny comic. He said that a sudden squall had come up on the back 9 and he was almost hit by lightning. He said, “I was wearing my golf shoes, with my putter over my shoulder, and standing a few yards from a tree. When the bolt hit the tree, I thought, ‘Have I left anything OUT that would guarantee my getting killed today?’” Luckily, he was spared that day.

But my, how often we do conspire to guarantee ourselves a bad outcome! This incident came back to me when I was trying to get to Wichita Falls, TX on my return trip from Minnesota. It was a sunny 77-degree day, the pavement was dry, there was little traffic. I was Cruise Controlin’ at around 80 miles per hour. Suddenly, I was weaving and hearing that “woogedy, woogedy” sound as one travels over the metal warning strip just before you run out of asphalt. To the right was a fairly deep ravine.

Some people risk life and limb to pull a cat out of a burning building or hoist a car off an injured person. I imagined the scene when my dear husband, famous novelist Max Cossack, got the news of my turning my car into a crushed beer can suitable for the recycling bin:

Anorexic Woman News-Head with Frowny Face, hereinafter AWNHFF: So, Mr. Cossack, I am sorry for the loss of your wife, Sharon.

Max: Susan. Her name was Susan.

AWNHFF: Whatever. We just have 40 seconds here. Were the authorities able to determine what caused your wife to leave the road in such an unfortunate way?”

Max: Well, as near as they could tell, she seemed to be rooting through her large snack bag looking for a particular item. Our daughter-in-law said she gave her two Starbucks Cake Pops in St. Paul, and we could only find one half-eaten one at the bottom of the bag. She died with a stick in her hand, white frosting around her lips and sprinkles on her shirt.

AWNHFF: I see. I mean, I don’t PERSONALLY see because I only eat kale, but I’ve heard of people being very fond of cake pops. At least she died doing what she loved.

Max: Yes. Her two main hobbies were snacking and hypochondria. In her personal papers she requested donations in her memory to Sickle Cell Anemia, Narcolepsy, Leprosy, Macular Degeneration, and Prostate Cancer.

AWNHFF: Was your wife a survivor of those diseases?

Max: No. My wife was a white woman with 20/20 vision who wasn’t sick a day in her life. But those were just a few of the major things she worried about or looked up daily on WebMd. She figured if “men” could have periods, she could get prostate cancer.

AWNFF: Of course. Is there anything else you would like to add, Mr. Cossack?

Max: Yes. My books are for sale on Amazon and Jeffrey Epstein did not kill himself.

When one drives all day alone, you can see where the mind can wander. I DID get control of the car. Piece of cake, so to speak. And, in my defense, the cake pop was moist and chocolatey and, as mentioned, did have hard white frosting and sprinkles. I gently took the snack bag off my lap and did not root in it ever again unless stopped. Lesson learned.


I have previously mentioned the bizarre highway signs around road work in Oklahoma: “Slow down! Don’t hit our workers! Avoid a $10,000 fine!” Well, yes. That’s a pretty steep fine alright, but it would seem to me that the IMPORTANT thing, the truly CRITICAL thing is: “DON’T HIT A WORKER. THAT’S A HUMAN BEING!”

Which occasioned another flight of fancy in the form of an interior dialogue, the only kind I can have with no passengers in the car, the three hitch-hiking prisoners having begged early on to be returned to the relative safety of the penitentiary.

AG, phoning home: “Honey. It’s me. Listen, I’m in the middle of a spot of bother here, just outside Edmond and I wonder if you would mind bringing me $10,000.”

Mr. AG: “Good heavens! What happened?”

AG: “Well, it’s the darnedest thing. I didn’t FEEL like slowing down and I went and clipped one of the workers, a father of six, and…hello? Hello?”

Dialing my walking buddy, the Paranoid Texan. “Hey, remember that t-shirt we liked in that catalogue? — A friend will help you move, but a good friend will help you move a body — Oh, how we laughed and laughed! Well, you would not believe what just happened to me. So, if you could bring your pickup, a large carpet remnant, and a shovel…hello? Hello?”


Now at least I have hotel personnel to talk to, which is clearly an improvement from the voices inside my head. As reported, it was 77 when I arrived here. Somehow – don’t ask me how, people I ask just say “Texas!”– it plunged overnight from 77 to 18 with freezing rain pellets and 400 mph winds (my own estimate, not official). I decided to stay on an extra day and write and sleep. Besides, I’m annoyed with Mr. AG for hanging up on me in my imaginary phone call. (Has anyone else ever been upset with their spouse all day for something they did in a dream?) Tomorrow will be better. I have put the snack bag in the trunk.

It is Veterans Day and I just listened to a moving and inspiring speech by the President. Every word about the veterans and not one word about himself. He is a better speaker than Obama by a country mile. Just one more thing for which he gets no credit.