Thoughts from the ammo line

Ammo Grrrll has a few LEFT-OVERS. She writes:

For reasons I do not at all understand, “leftovers” have gotten a bad reputation. Now, I get it that there can be a limit. I once saw a cartoon in which a housewife, confronting an unhappy husband at the dinner table is saying, “Monday you liked beans. Tuesday you liked beans. Wednesday you liked beans. Now, all of a sudden, on Thursday, you don’t like beans?”

The great writer Bill Bryson claimed in The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid that his mother ONLY served leftovers and nobody had been able to document the source of the original meal. But there are things that just get better with age: chili, beef stew, spaghetti sauce, meat loaf, all make desirable leftovers. In fact, in my young housewife days, the cookbook writers often called these things “plan-overs.”

Anyway, some experiences are so deep and profound that it takes a while to process them. And such was our recent road trip. These are some of the random left-over observations and highlights from that great adventure, little tidbits that do not merit a full column apiece:

I cannot say too many times that most Americans are kind, generous, open-hearted, and willing to give everyone a fair chance and an even break. The vicious slander that there are thousands of domestic terrorists or white supremacists loose in the land is deliberate, relentless, and dangerous bovine excrement. It is Pravda- or Der Sturmer-worthy propaganda in service of power-hungry America-haters. RESIST!

The Resistance to Mindless Authority fights back in small but significant ways. In my favorite tourist gift shop in Alexandria, Minnesota, a sign on the door read: “Masks not necessary if you have a medical excuse.” And, under that, another sign: “HIPAA prevents us from asking about your medical excuse.” But certainly in late April and early May Minnesota compliance with masks was still very high. I went to a hair salon twice while I was visiting Daddy, once for the cut, once for the color, and both my stylists had already had COVID. One did not care if I wore a mask and one asked me to do so.

You never can tell when you’re going to catch a break. When we drove from Tuscaloosa to Aiken, South Carolina, we were strongly advised to just “grit our teeth” and go through Atlanta. There are bypasses, but our experts told us they were just as crazy as the route through town. We planned to grit our teeth, but we needn’t have risked TMJ – we sailed through Atlanta at noon on a Tuesday like we were on a Sunday drive on a country road!

To balance out the universe, however, just past Beaumont, Texas, a sudden plague of brake lights up ahead portended an hour-long bumper to bumper 3 mph crawl due to an overturned truck which HAD been loaded with watermelons. Oh my. Rarely have I ever seen such a discouraging mess. What I love in those situations are the crazed lane switchers who believe that their sanity, their future erections, or their very lives depend on getting one car-length ahead by wedging into a different lane. Wave to them as the slow-moving lane suddenly spurts ahead 6 car lengths, leaving them in the dust, or in this case, the watermelon rinds.

To top it off, a driver in the opposite lane was apparently attempting either to text or take a photo of the mess and left the highway at a high rate of speed, flipping his pickup in the median. At the gas station a few miles past the mess, everyone was still talking about it in a kind of debriefing bonding experience. A young black guy pumping gas next to me shared how he and his wife had gone on a “Date Night” in Louisiana just across the state line and had got caught up in a multi-car disaster on the way home which had them on the freeway from midnight to 6:30 a.m. Had that happened to us, I could have driven Max straight to an insane asylum once traffic got moving again.

Trying to get from our lovely old Southern hotel in South Carolina down to the Brewery where three of us were meeting two others, we all had phones with GPS. Now I am infamous for being unable to find my way back to the freeway when I get gas, but both fellas were smart and tech-savvy and it was exactly six-tenths of a mile to our destination. We wandered for quite a while, getting many steps on my little clicker. But the Cajun Pasta I ordered when we finally hooked up was worth it, believe me, not to mention the company.

Living in South Dakota as a child, and as a Minnesota neighbor for decades, I never realized that Sioux Falls contains an ACTUAL falls. (People often name things without regard to veracity. Witness both “Joy” Behar and “Joy” Reid. On one street over in my DLV, for example, the street is named “Ocean Breeze” when we are over 300 miles from the nearest ocean.) Oh, the waterfall in Sioux Falls is no Niagara, but it’s pretty and sweet and part of a very nice park. We walked there from the hotel in late April wearing many winter clothes.

On a gorgeous pontoon ride in Tampa, organized by TonyP and his lovely bride, we passed the $21 Million dollar home of Derek Jeter. It was literally not possible to get it all in a photo. Around the same time, we learned that Oprah has a new yacht that is bigger than the Titanic. If that be “systemic racism,” I want in on it. I’m pretty sure when I lose the seven pounds I put on with the trip, I will have high cheekbones.

If you EVER get the chance to meet any of our regular commenters on Power Line, TAKE IT.

Lastly, 2020 so distorted regular life that we didn’t get my 6th year column compilation book out at all. Frankly, I am surprised and impressed that you, dear readers, have been able to carry on, but worry no more because HERE IT IS!! Our traveling book company VWAM (“Selling out of our trunk since 2021…”) has its latest edition on offer, Ammo Grrrll Reloads!

Highlights include the Jussie Smollett disgrace, several columns about our LAST road trip in 2019, and the Hunter Biden influence-peddling for BIG MONEY in the Ukraine. The last three columns presage the COVID disaster, although they are quite jaunty and naively optimistic columns featuring the infamous “two-week lockdown to flatten the curve.” That curve is now flatter than CNN’s ratings, flatter than Wile E. Coyote after the Road Runner runs over him with a tank, flatter than Joe Biden’s brain scan. You get the idea…

So we invite you to order this, the sixth book in my series, in time for Father’s Day, the 4th of July, Labor Day or Rosh Hashanah. Whatever floats your boat as a reason to celebrate. And we thank you in advance. To receive your 20 percent Power Line discount, just enter PLDISCOUNT (one word, ALL CAPS) at checkout. Seriously, we have hundreds of books in the hall closet, relegating our suitcases to the living room, which you never see in the finer homes. Please help. Should you not fancy the book, could I interest you in a used suitcase?

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