There are a lot of things I don’t expect to hear when I answer my cell phone. A few of those are "You’ve won the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes," and "We’ve decided you’d make a pretty darn good king for England," and "Hey, Dad, I don’t need any money. I just called to say hello." And so far I’ve never heard any of those things. Probably never will.
Another thing I never expected to hear upon answering my phone was "This is Rick Perry." As a matter of fact, if you’d proposed a wager Friday morning, I would have bet you a blackland farm I’d never hear that. You just don’t expect the governor of Texas to call. At least I didn’t.
But Rick Perry did call me Friday, because I’d called his office that morning to see if he’d be available if I came down to say hello. Unfortunately he was busy all afternoon, but he called back within 20 minutes to see if he could answer any questions on the phone. And he spent about 10 minutes with me, mostly just being friendly and visiting.
The reason I’d called Perry’s office to begin with was about the situation at the capitol building, to see how the new metal detectors are working out. If you’ve been to the capitol during the past several months you’ve probably noticed these metal detectors, and if you don’t have a concealed handgun license you’ve probably been through one of them.
What happened was, early this year a yahoo went to the capitol with a rifle, got on the steps, and fired off a few random shots at, basically, nothing. He was chapped about something, and was trying to make a statement. The statement he made was, "I’m an idiot."
Up until then you could walk right into the capitol, through any of the four entrances, without being challenged. After the Idiot Statement a lot of folks got their knickers in a twist, and wanted Perry to Do Something. The complaints finally caused Governor Perry to authorize putting in metal detectors at two of the capitol entrances, and changing protocol a little.
Now, people who work at the capitol get cards, and go in through two of the entrances. Everyone else doesn’t get a card, and goes in through the other two. These other two entrances have metal detectors, which slows things down, which creates a line, which is annoying.
But if you have a concealed handgun license you can skip the line, show your card, and go right in. Which has caused a lot of the mamby pambies to complain, but then, they’re going to complain no matter what you do. It has also caused a lot of people, such as lobbyists, who visit the capitol a lot, to get CHLs, just so they don’t have to wait in line.
This situation got lots of ink awhile back, so I planned to go to the capitol and check it out, to see how it was going. And I figured, while I was there, I would look in on old Rick, maybe see if he needed any advice on running the state. So I called, and he called me back. And I completely forgot that I was going to ask him about the metal detectors.
What we talked about, mainly, was the incident when he shot a coyote with his little Ruger .380. He told me all about that, how he yelled at the coyote twice and it wouldn’t go away, and how it seemed about to attack, so he shot it. And I completely forgot that I had planned to ask him if the laser sight on the pistol was a Crimson Trace (which someone else told me it was). So I was two for two, forgetting what I wanted to ask him.
But Governor Perry doesn’t have that pistol anymore, anyway. He donated it for an auction to benefit the Former Texas Rangers Foundation, and the auction was held a couple of weeks ago. The little pistol, which retailed for around $400, brought in about $19,000 for the cause. Pretty impressive.
I’m not campaigning for Rick Perry. I have as little to do with politics as I can manage. I believe our word for politics comes from two Greeks words – poly, which means ‘many,’ and ticks, which means ‘blood sucking parasites.’ Still, it’s hard for me not to like a guy who obviously believes in upholding the Second Amendment. From a purely outdoors point of view, that’s worth a lot.
I also have to admit that my opening paragraph is not entirely accurate. My son, Courtland, did call me a while back just to say hello. So I’ve been having a pretty good run of luck lately, phonewise.
Now if those bozos at Publishers Clearing House will come through I’ll have it made . . .
Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist and public speaker who always sends in the ‘No’ envelope. Write to him at PO Box 1600, Mason, Tx 76856 or firstname.lastname@example.org