Thoughts from the ammo line

Upon further reflection Ammo Grrrll offers A FEW MORE LIFE LESSONS. She writes:

One of the sessions I did at Commenter-Con2 was called “30 things I’ve learned so far.” Well, now I have to add a couple. Here are just a few examples to give you a flavor of the Life Lessons I shared:

If you give enough to charity, you will never, ever, no matter how many letters you write, run out of complimentary return address labels.

Everybody lies to his dentist about flossing.

In 50 years, there are going to be a LOT of tattooed old ladies in nursing homes. That tasteful little rosebud at the TOP of your breast may not look as good as a long-stemmed rose down by your waist.

And so on. Well, I got home from Mesa feeling quite wonderful from the infusion of great talks, good food, and smart, kind, witty, generous people over the three-day confab. People were saying lovely, supportive things to me. And then possibly The Lord thought that I might get a swelled head from too much praise. A cunning low curb leapt out at me on the path of my walk while I was busy looking at a woman walking a little dog named Blondie.

One minute I was UP and the next minute I was struggling to recover my balance and avoid falling. I did not succeed in not falling. Sadly, my brain decided the best way to break my fall was with my face, a course of action that would do the least damage. It beat the heck out of a broken hip. DOWN I went, mostly on my geezer kneez with my hands and arms taking the brunt of the jolt, but then – totally against my will! – the momentum bounced my face off the pavement as well. Asphalt LOOKS pretty soft and smooth, but that is only in comparison to concrete. As any biker who has taken a spill can vouch, “road rash” is not a myth.

I SHOULD have broken my 25-year old Maui Jim sunglasses and possibly hurt my eyes as well, God forbid. But the sunglasses were still on my eyes, untouched! I SHOULD have knocked out a couple of front teeth. They weren’t even loose, although they had cut the inside of my upper lip. I SHOULD have broken my nose. But, praise God, all I really did was scrape off an alarming amount of skin from my nose to my upper lip.

I now have those “bee-stung” (read: tar-stung) lips that actresses must pay thousands of dollars to achieve. I think they look more like ducks than sexy, but that’s just me. In truth, I find many women attractive, but none “sexy” because that is not how I roll.

When I went to Sprouts to forage for supper, I felt I looked so pathetic that I wore a mask. The clerks – who had never seen me in a mask during COVID – were astonished and concerned. I explained that I was afraid that it looked like my husband had punched me. They knew that couldn’t be true because I was referring to him in the present tense, so he was still alive.

As the ugly scabs and split upper lip have healed, my face has gone from looking like I live with a domestic abuser to looking like I am an elderly skank whose herpes sores rival those featured on the lips of Nigel Tufnel and David St. Hubbins, the heavy metal band members in the hilarious movie Spinal Tap. So that’s fun and tends to keep me indoors.

It also reminds me of my childhood skepticism about how a cowboy hero could get the living daylights beat out of him with minimal damage. The beating was always by a whole GANG of bad guys with one bad guy holding Roy’s or Gene’s arms behind his back while they worked him over. And the next DAY he would have one small band-aid on his face! If only…

As I have mentioned before, my dear friend TonyP173 believes with all his being that “everything happens for a reason.” So let’s think of the “reasons” that this happened. Well, after just listening for a mesmerizing hour to Captain Jim Wetherbee, astronaut, Navy flyer, and safety expert, I should have had “situational awareness,” but did not. I had “doggie awareness” which is not at all the same thing.

We have all seen YouTube and Twitter photos of MEN being distracted by a woman more closely resembling Dolly Parton than Audrey Hepburn. The guys run into parking meters, buildings, parked cars and the like. And probably, after coming to, consider the separated shoulder well worth it. Near as I can tell, men are helpless in the presence of cleavage.

I would be distracted by the REAL Dolly Parton because I adore her and would love to tell her so, but I am more distracted by cute dogs and bouncing babies than good-looking men. Because I have my own.

One other consequence of the fall was that I tore the heck out of the elbow of my favorite long-sleeved Ruger shirt. Before several kind souls attempt to find another one on Ruger’s website, please know that Ruger long ago discontinued that style. I got the knees of my white jeans all dirty. These are all minor things. Fixable. Temporary.

Anyway, the woman with the dog had on a t-shirt with John 3:16 written in big letters on it. So here is one takeaway from the incident, one more life lesson: if you MUST fall, try to fall in front of a Christian. First of all, she will not laugh at you and humiliation is truly the worst part of a public fall.

Second of all, she will come RUNNING over to offer all manner of assistance. She and the Paranoid Texan, my walking partner for over 10 years, helped me up. Mind you, I had never met her in my life. There are 2,000 families in our complex and I am a homebody. My non-geezer bestie, Angela, is in Card Class, Bike Class, Line Dance Class, Drumming Class, Ceramics, Knitted Baby-Hat Class, and tutors recent immigrants. I do Sudoku from a recliner and write a column once a week. Sometimes, in a burst of energy, I organize a conference.

Then, the nice lady volunteered to run and get her car to drive us home. “Thank you, no!” I said, “I need the steps!” My little FitBit dealybob rules my life. And I had been a terrible slacker in the Hilton Doubletree, sitting for hours at a time passing out Welcome Packets and memorizing attendees’ names off flashcards. And so I walked home, albeit with skinned knees and shaky legs, with the Paranoid Texan feeling terribly guilty (and he isn’t even Jewish!) that he hadn’t caught me awkwardly and destroyed his back. Oh, yeah, a MUCH better option…

On our next walk, he told me he had consulted his spreadsheet – he is utterly devoted to spreadsheets – and pointed out that in just the last five years, we had walked 15 MILLION steps together and only had the ONE misstep resulting in a fall. I’ll take those odds any day.

Final lesson: Almost all people are good. Almost all people will run to help. Even criminals are in shorter supply than we think. It turns out that almost all gazillion billion shoplifting incidents in New York have been done by 327 known thieving doodoo-heads. Why those 327 are not locked up is a mystery. In prison, they should all be assigned dozens of pairs of new Nike shoes upon entry and then every night the doors of their cells will be unlocked so that other inmates can help themselves to the shoes until they are gone and the thieves have to go barefoot for the remainder of their sentences. Talk about “restorative” justice!

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