Under normal circumstances, I’m not a political animal. If there’s a gene for passionate political engagement, I don’t have it. I vote, I pay my taxes, I serve on a jury if I’m called, and I try to behave myself in public so as not to disturb the peace.
But these, as has been amply demonstrated, are not normal times, which is why our front yard currently looks like this:
There’s not much else to say, really. I’ve known since 2016 that I would be voting for whoever the Democratic party chose to run in 2020, up to and including a well-behaved golden retriever.
At the time of this picture, the depth was 4 inches of heavy wet stuff. The road crews were talking about how thing were “getting greasy” out, and how somebody had to put on their chains up by Beaver Brook Falls. And just now the Errol Fire Department got called out for a tree on the line over in Upton.
The cabin fever got strong in us this week, so today Jim Macdonald and I went on a six-hour-plus road trip to eat take-out food that didn’t come from our little town – just him and me and our masks in our comfy blue Subaru.
First we drove to North Conway, admiring the foliage all the way, starting at 9AM in order to reach Luchador Tacos not long after opening time.
We ate all by ourselves at a shady outside table. Macdonald had a cheese quesadilla with guacamole and pico de gallo on the side, and I had a pork burrito bowl with all the usual burrito stuffings minus the tortilla. We also had Jarritos Mexican soft drinks to go with, plus extra chips and – you guessed it – guacamole.
After we were finished there, we continued driving southward and admiring the foliage until we reached the WingStop in Manchester, where we ordered the big All-In Special, featuring two flavors of boneless wings and two flavors of chicken tenders, plus fries and lemonade. While it was being prepped, we took turns – masked, of course – looking at the stuff available in the craft beer store next door, and purchased a four-pack of Backwoods Bastard brown ale for later consumption.
Then we drove home, snacking on the wings and tenders en route. The order was large enough that we’ve got enough left over in the refrigerator to handle breakfast and lunch tomorrow as well, so that’s good.
Now I am having a Lemon Drop that Macdonald made for me, and am feeling considerably less cabin-feverish than I was before we left.
(We weren’t the only people out admiring the fall foliage. When we were passing through Crawford Notch and later through Franconia Notch, there were so many trail hikers out that they had to set up overflow parking for them. Lots of Massachusetts plates in evidence. Most of the hikers we saw were properly masked, which is good, though I can’t say the same about the ATV riders.)
. . . while they’re working on the complete replacement/restructuring of the entire US police system:
They could get rid of all the SWAT teams and other similar units out there. Because the kind of incident that really requires a massively armed police response is fairly rare (to the point of being, most of the time, nonexistent) – but if you’ve got a dedicated unit meant for just that purpose, they’re not going to want to sit around waiting for that maybe one day out of a year when they might be needed. And heaven forbid a so-called elite unit should go back to directing traffic and pulling cats out of trees instead of doing macho stuff with body armor and heavy weaponry.
So instead, they end up getting called out for all sorts of things, and make things worse as often as or oftener than they make things better.
One of the good things about life up here in far northern New Hampshire is that if we want a SWAT team, we have to send down to Concord for one, and it takes them three hours to get here. So mostly we don’t bother, and it works just fine. We’ve had a couple of so-called “armed standoffs” over the years – there was the guy who was supposed to come in for a court date, for example, and instead decided to exercise his right to keep and bear arms in the woods beyond his house; what happened was that the local ambulance squad staged down the road a bit, just in case, and a Fish and Game officer sat in a lawn chair just outside the woods with his radio and said words to the effect of, “Don’t worry. It’s going to start raining in about three hours, and he’ll come in.” Which it did, and he did.
SWAT would have probably gone into the woods in force, and ended up killing the guy in question, plus a couple of stray hikers and maybe a bear and a raccoon or two, not to mention shredding all the trees and bushes for a mile or so around.