August 10, 2022

Gun-toting Grandma


Drivers over 65 are more likely to get into crashes. American communities are instituting programs to address the crash rate of senior drivers. But, do you think in Sedona with its inner quest awareness center specializing in bio-kinesiology reframing (I don’t make this stuff up, I report it), that have people who call themselves head estheticians and use tantra to “birth everything from dreams to releasing karmic loads” would follow suit? That’s a rhetorical question. No siree! In the cloud-cuckoo-land called Sedona, we not only put seniors on the road, but also encourage them to join a program that aims them towards your radar screen.

Volunteer in Protection puts them in a bad-ass Crown Victoria and encourages them to patrol our streets in the name of safety. Think about it. You have seniors famous for not using blinkers, stopping dead on Verde Valley Road to let quail shuffle across the street, and tax dollars are paying to arm them with not one, but two, lethal weapons that kill you if you fail to stop for a roadrunner.

Not only do they give VIPs a car, but for 50 hours of additional training, they also can carry an armed weapon. You read right, an armed weapon. Can you say gun-toting grandma?

We have seniors driving the bat mobile, heads barely peering over the steering wheel, and carrying loaded weapons. What genius thought of this scenario? Did he create a charrette to study this? Managing the Elderly through Motor Vehicles and Magnums? Before I speak on this topic, let me say this is not a column about gun control.

Rational talk about gun control in a state that considered allowing patrons bring guns into bars is like giving Congress a blank check and telling them to use it wisely. It is about common sense, and none of these scenarios has it.

It is great seniors want to volunteer; look around you. They are doing just that. But putting them in a car and giving them a weapon doesn’t seem like a good idea. There must be better uses for senior volunteer time: think library where the only weapon is a book stamp. When was the last time you heard of an octogenarian attacking a patron because of an overdue book?

So, you’re cruising down the road and you hear a siren and see blue. You pull over and wonder what you did wrong. From the patrol car emerges a Ross Perot look alike whose name is Bettee (with two Es and don’t you forget it) and identifies herself as a VIP. No problem, it is just grandma, and the blue was the result of her rinse at the Cut and Curl.

Just grandma? Well, think again, chump. This is one fantasy-filled mama who has serious illusions of having you make her day. If she asks you, “Do you feel lucky?” you know your karma went kapoot. This will teach you to skip your sage regenesis session. Bet you’re sorry you left home without your lucky pendant. That Glock she’s packing ain’t no prop. If you think all grandmas are like John Boy’s Grandma Walton, you are sadly mistaken. This old gal means business, bad to the bone business.

I think back to my grandmother and my childhood images of her. When I was misbehaving, my mother would tell me she was sending me to grandmother’s house to straighten me out. I had visions of a mean witch and would immediately whip myself into shape rather than let her do it–whip being the operative word. There was no way I wanted to spend time with a woman who gave birth to 13 kids, worked on a farm while holding down a full time job. And, like all hard working, farm women, grandma could shoot. Ask any cow at the end of her rifle during slaughter time. She never missed.

Back to our magnum mama. As she struts to your vehicle, humming Patsy Cline’s Crazy, you think you’ll schmooze and talk her out of whatever punishment she is going to dish out. As she is asking for your license, you notice the gun straddling her hip.

This may not be the time to tell her that you are a member of the ACLU. You could be another statistic of a shaky hand and a hot flash. What’s a fella to do? My advice, give her “yes, ma’am” treatment and agree to everything. Better humble than dead.

After speaking to a VIP, I believe our county is safe. He told me about a sting operation that was so successful the perp did not realize while he was heeding Mother Nature’s call that he was within two feet of a camouflaged VIP crouching in the bushes. No sooner had our criminal zipped his fly than five VIPs nabbed him. After regaling me with more awe-inspiring tales of criminal mischief, I did the only thing I could. I asked for an application.

May as well start my retirement planning early. “Do you feel lucky, punk?”

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