Thoughts from the ammo line

Where the country rock group Poco once picked up the pieces, Ammo Grrrll is PICKING UP THE THREADS. She writes:

Big doings this week for sure. I put in my opinion as a short comment on John’s Tuesday post. But I figured by Friday we would have so much new information that anything I wrote for Wednesday’s submission would not age well. However, even more important, I have been mercifully distracted by hosting my dear friend Ladiehawke, who is visiting from Minnesota. I believe that my thoughts on friendship will be of more comfort and consequence than anything more I could say about the grotesque invasion of Mar-a-Lago, with agents pawing through Melania’s clothes closet. How proud they must be!

My almost lifelong buddy arrived for a week’s visit last Sunday. In the airport pickup, I remarked to myself – not for the first time – how much easier is a drop-off than a pickup. When pretty much anyone asks me if I could take them to the airport, I say “yes.” It’s about a 35 minute trip from my house, depending on day of the week and time of day. You slow down slightly, tell your passenger to grab his or her luggage, open the car door and hurl them from the car somewhere near their airline. Easy peasy. Centrifugal force does most of the work!

The pickup is FAR more inconvenient, especially in Arizona in the summer. You try to get there at least 20-30 minutes ahead of time, pull into the Cellphone Lot which only has Porta-Potties. I would sooner put a tarp over the seat and wear triple Depends than use a Porta-Potty. (“Jeez! What’s up with your yuge behind? Are you a Kardashian now?”)

Then you try to find an empty slot where you can see the Big Board of flight arrivals and departures. Naturally, when it’s 110°, you can’t shut off the car and lose the Air Conditioning.

In this particular trip, the Big Board was not working, because NOTHING works in Biden’s America. It is my belief that that is on purpose. Immiserating people is part of the kink. That’s how much they hate us. Can you imagine President Trump tolerating a months-long baby formula crisis? Within days, Mike Lindell would have converted his pillow factory into a MyFormulaCompany. Or NASCAR’S Formula One would have stepped up.

But last Sunday, all that appeared on the airport board was the endless list of delayed flights. I had to use my cellphone to look up Delta and the flight # and learn that it had landed 10 minutes early. Whew. At least she was here. Looking at the list of “canceled or delayed” flights, it seemed like a minor miracle.

She texted me the Door # on the North side and I came curbside to pick her up. We yakked all the way from the airport to Prescott. In true Geezer-American fashion, I asked her to help me remember to turn off the 17 onto the 69. When I picked up my friend Barb for the same trip four years ago, we were talking so much that I whipped right by the 69 and went halfway to Flagstaff before I said, “This is wrong and taking too long. I missed my turn.” Oh well.

Ladiehawke and I are having a spectacular time despite endless monsoon-level rain, and monsoon-level depressing political news. Nothing to be done about either of those things – so we resolved just to enjoy each other’s company.

We have known each other since we were in 9th grade. (And she’s known Joe/Max only 5 fewer years than that.) We have been through long separations for college, for living in another country (I’m told that Canada is actually a whole ‘nother country with their own money and everything…), for long journeys from the left back to the right (me, only), through several marriages (her, only), miscarriages, children, loss of parents, and so on. But, the main thing is that no matter what length of separation, we can pick up the thread right where we left off and carry on in a seamless fashion. This is the beauty of soulmate friends. I hope you have several. We need each other more than ever now.

We have not always been on the same page politically, although she has been far more consistent in her political life than I have. But it never mattered. It is tragic when politics breaks up long-term friendships and relationships, even families. I believe the intolerant one is usually the leftist, but I’m sure there is responsibility to go around.

Like most friendships, there is a yuge element of serendipity involved, starting with the fact that our last names started with “B.” Her twin sister sat directly behind me in 9th grade Social Studies and we hit it off, and then I was thrilled to get two friends for the price of one. (Minnesotans LOVE BOGO — Buy One, Get One — sales…) And eventually, though I always remained close friends with Heather until her untimely death, Ladiehawke (not her real name, more’s the pity…) and I just bonded slightly more tightly.

We had the same sense of humor and were Mad Magazine fanatics. We were both crazy obsessive readers. And of an analytical bent. I’ll give you an example of our Sherlock Holmesian analysis at the tender age of 14:

Ladiehawke: So did you see Brian at his locker?

Susan: Yes! I casually lurked in the vicinity of his locker from 6:30 a.m. until class started at 8:00 and I ran into him!

Ladiehawke: Did he say hi?

Susan: Yes! Wait til you hear! He said hi AND today for the first time he also said, “Susan.” Do you think this means he likes me? “Hi, Susan!” my heart is still racing.

Ladiehawke: Hi AND your name? Oh, yeah, that’s a very good sign.

Susan: Do you think we will get married?

Ladiehawke: Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Maybe a date first?

Susan: Okay, you’re probably right. So who would you rather go out with – Dr. Kildare or Ben Casey? (This, of course was decades before we learned that Dr. Kildare was gay.)

And so on. We were all about “analysis.” In the same way the Climatistas are all about “Science,” just not the Scientific Method where you have reproducible results.

Let me digress just briefly to say that we have recently learned that many of the places where the Climatistas keep their trusty thermometers are in pretty much the hottest places they could find. It reminds me of when I was trying to convince my mother that I was desperately ill so I could skip school and finish reading Gone With the Wind. I had rubbed the thermometer briskly on the bedsheet. Alas, a bit too briskly. Mama was smarter than Greta Thunberg and Al Gore (put together). She figured out that 108 was probably not an accurate reading no matter what the thermometer said. And I was on my way to school. Curses! Foiled again!

But back to the topic of friends. By the way, if you think that teenage girls have changed any in 30, 40 years, once when I was working nightshift in a printshop, a couple of us went out for “lunch” at an Uptown Minneapolis Dunkin’ Donuts at 3:30 a.m. (Now, you’d be killed, but this was the early ’80’s). I was seated in an uncomfortable plastic booth (to discourage lingering), having a nutritious lunch of several donuts, some of them chocolate frosted for the magnesium. As it happened, I was facing in the opposite direction from the teenagers behind us. I could not see them but I could hear them. And I swear there was almost an exact replica of the above conversation about stalking the fella I fancied.

As I left, I turned to look at the young women – half expecting to see knee socks and penny loafers and white blouses and plaid skirts with a circle pin on the collar of the blouse. But they were Goths with all black clothing, Doc Marten boots, multiple piercings and white lipstick. And they STILL were mostly concerned about whether or not their current inamorata was interested in them. Hormones will out. Unless, of course, an entire generation gets on various puberty blockers at age 10 after a half-hour discussion with a “gender-affirming therapist” in the pay of a pharmaceutical company.

Although there is a kind of liberation in getting to know new people – where you can have a clean slate and invent a more interesting personality — there is enormous comfort in being around someone who has known you forever. As Geezer-Americans, of course, there is a good chance that at least half of those good friends have passed away. And so, with courage and optimism, we make new ones, even ones we have met through this column. This time around, we don’t have the luxury of taking 60 years to get to know someone, and so we have stopped trying to impress each other and just go straight for the “heart” stuff.

Stay strong, my friends. Don’t fudge on your taxes even a little bit lest you find yourself in the gulag after being investigated by the 5-plus new DIVISIONS of IRS agents and, no matter how tempting, don’t use any silly violent rhetoric. Remember, only celebrities and Democrats are allowed to threaten to kill people. When called on it, they always say they were just joking. Haha. What cards! So, if you aren’t a celebrity or a Democrat, just be careful. It’s gettin’ pretty real out there.

Notice: All comments are subject to moderation. Our comments are intended to be a forum for civil discourse bearing on the subject under discussion. Commenters who stray beyond the bounds of civility or employ what we deem gratuitous vulgarity in a comment — including, but not limited to, “s***,” “f***,” “a*******,” or one of their many variants — will be banned without further notice in the sole discretion of the site moderator.