Schlepping my pallet of toilet paper in D.C.
Mark Twain said, “Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of congress; but then I repeat myself.”
Well my too-kind and loving wife says, “Suppose you were an idiot, or suppose you let them talk you into going to Washington D.C. again; but then I repeat myself.”
Last week I was on the longest schlep ever. I was packing two 50-pound bags of groceries and a pallet of toilet paper from the grocery store to my apartment.
In D.C. I walk, take the metro, or use Uber; I don’t even have a car back here.
My routine is to walk to the grocery store about a mile away and carry my groceries in my cloth bags to my one-bedroom apartment.
I am just not good at schlepping. I swear like a longshoreman when I am schlepping.
It used to be that I only swore when I golfed or worked with cows, but I have developed a talent.
Schlepping a handcart across the plains would have sifted me like chaff in the wind. If I had been in the Martin-Willie handcart company, I am sure I would have quit in Ohio or Nebraska. Any corn state would have done.
I am not proud of this character flaw; strap a gun on me and I can walk for weeks on just jerky and Pepsi. Make me push a shopping cart and my feet hurt before I get past the rotisserie chicken.
I am weak; I would have been one of those always asking, “Are we there yet?”
Sure, my too-kind and loving wife is one of the stalwart Hole-in-the-Rockers; it’s in her genes.
She and Sarah would have walked to Mexico and back while whistling “Come Come Ye Saints” and packing a piano, but I couldn’t have done it. She would have had to carry me…
Escalante or Ticaboo would have looked just fine to me. No need to blast that hole in the rock – just set up a tent and wait for a Wingers or KFC to show up.
So here I am in D.C., schlepping and complaining with every footstep, thinking about how weird my week was.
Remember how I met Jesus in my Uber the other day? Well, it’s just getting weirder and weirder, so you won’t believe who I met at the Lincoln Monument: Joe Davis, my old high school coach!
I heard Joe giving pep talks to total strangers encouraging them to go uphill (the stairs) because that was going to make them a better runner and a fine human being.
Nobody gives that talk like Joe; I knew it had to be him. Who else would dance like Rocky at the top of the stairs without a care in the world? Joe and Pat are fine and say hello to everyone in San Juan County.
However, I digress. This coronavirus thing is quite out of hand. I am two months into my stay in D.C., and after being scared to death by the news, I decided that I had better get to the store and fight for my fair share of toilet paper.
I cannot overstate how bare the shelves are. How bare you might ask? Barer than the firework shelves in Wyoming on the 24th of July. Barer than the Smitty’s Liquor in Cortez on New Year’s Eve.
Barer than J-Lo at the Superbowl halftime show, which I have to say was very family friendly and done very tastefully considering all she had to work with was a stripper pole and some glitter. You get my point; the shelves were bare.
I bought the only provisions left on the shelves: Beenie Weenies, sardines, and a dented can of asparagus. In D.C., my food storage would last for two days if I fast for one of those. If this pandemic keeps up, basically I am going to die.
In Monticello I have two years’ worth of food and enough guns and ammo to outfit a small militia.
Besides, I chum deer and turkeys into my yard with corn, so if the store’s shelves are empty I am not worried. And if do run out of food, I could just go over to Debbie’s (Frost) house and she would feed me because she is one of those truly nice people who love everybody, even people like me. I dunno.
But out here in D.C. in my fridge, I have an apple, a wilty carrot, and something I think was yogurt in my fridge. It could be a science experiment, but I don’t have any school-age kids living with me. Although my grandkids, Dean and Kennedy, did come visit me. Hmmm.
And there ain’t nobody going to feed someone with an “out of work federal worker” sign around their neck.
I am going up the service elevator with my pallet of toilet paper when it suddenly dawns on me that I will have to go to the bathroom seven times a day until I am 105 to use half of my pallet.
So although I only have two days’ worth of food, I am comfortable knowing I have 45 years’ worth of toilet paper.