Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Guns or Firecrackers?

Click here, then read.

I’m not one to lose my temper, but I seem to be particularly on edge lately. This could be the result of my new green tea having an aftertaste like manure, or knowing that Arizona is one step closer to allowing guns on campus, or both. At least I can return the tea; I can’t return a bullet once it’s been used to pierce my skull: Here, this one left a mark. I’d like a fresh one please.

For me, the larger complications in life often make smaller problems seem more serious than they really are. Everything that goes wrong, no matter what its caliber, carries the same spirit-crushing weight. Like yesterday for example: Between not knowing what to get Arizona for its 100th birthday or how to thank Wells Fargo for lowering my mortgage payment by eight dollars, I was consumed with anxiety. With all of that plus having to fill in for Jesus on the cross a few times, I walked into the grocery store after school and assaulted a row of shopping carts.

It wasn’t like I started it. I approached the long row of metal carts, one nesting neatly inside the next, and pulled on the handle of the last one. The cart didn’t budge, so I yanked on it hard with both hands. After taking a moment to pop my bones back into the sockets, I grabbed the cart’s handle and yanked and yanked and yanked, finally freeing the last one, which came out fast, knocking me back. Then I shoved it, which I swear was in self-defense and that’s what I told the security guard as he escorted me out.

Back at home, groceryless, I was looking through the cupboards for something to eat when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I froze as my heart rate soared. Positive that my time had finally come, that I would soon be staring down the barrel of a gun, I turned in terror to look into the eyes of my cat Sara sitting on the kitchen island behind me, cocking her head. “Rah,” she said.

“You get down from there!” I bellowed. You would have thought she was waving my dirty laundry from the rooftop, clearly crossing the line. “You don’t belong up there and you know it!”

Sara didn’t move. “Rah,” she repeated, challenging my authority.

“You get down!” I yelled again. “Get down, on the ground, NOW!” I stomped my feet and clapped my hands, a square dancer gone mad.

Having managed to frighten Sara and her sister, but not anybody with a gun, I apologized with tuna and went to watch the sun set. It had been a gloomy, rainy day in Arizona—cold even—but the sun had finally come out. What had it been waiting for? Did the sun know that Arizona was celebrating its 100th birthday by trying to make it easier to bring guns to school? Whatever happened to centennial niceties like giving everybody a day off work?

Oh yeah: we don’t have jobs here anymore because the illegal immigrants took them all. That’s why everyone is going back to school…duh. And soon everyone can go with guns. Pop! Pop! At least with fewer teachers around, our runaway education budget can finally be reined in.

Happy Birthday, Arizona. Get well soon.


  1. It sounds like you had one really lousy day. So sorry. At least the tuna hadn't spoiled and sent you all to the hospital. Small favors. By the way, you're a really good writer.

  2. Thanks Stephen. It's true that with all the oppressive state legislation pending (against teachers), my mood has spiraled a bit. I'll find my happy feet soon. Do-si-do!

  3. I realize the seriousness of the subject matter at hand, but tossing in the line about the square dancer gone mad really wasn't fair. I've done that, with my cats, and recognized it all too well :)

    1. And by "wasn't fair", I meant it cracked me up :)

  4. LOL Seriously though, why on earth do kids want to have guns on campus. That would end up as all out war here.