Back in our old hometown of Show Low, Arizona, I had a couple of good buddies who would occasionally tell me to shut up. This usually happened when I was teasing my wife or secretary about something, and teetering on that edge where one verbal misstep could lead to very bad results. I always appreciated those guys. They saved me a lot of grief over the years, and more than once I’ve wished they were along for the ride in our bus.
I think a lot of other people need someone to tell them to shut up now and then, for their own good. It amazes me how many people get themselves into dumb situations just because they can’t shut up.
Case in point – I got an e-mail from a reader who wanted me to blacklist a campground in California. As he explained it, he and his wife had a week’s reservation, and when they arrived, he noticed an Obama campaign poster in the office while he was registering. He said he is a dyed in the wool Republican, and wasted no time in telling the campground owner that she and people like her were ruining this country. One thing led to another, and they got into what apparently was quite an argument. Then he wondered why his reservation was cancelled and he was told to leave. Maybe somebody should have told him to shut up.
A couple of years ago I got a Letter to the Editor complaining about another campground, this time in the Midwest someplace. My correspondent reported that while checking in, he noticed in reading the rules on the campground’s map that firearms were not permitted. As an avid proponent of the Second Amendment, he felt it was his duty to tell the campground owner what he thought of their rules. He too was told to take it on down the road. Why did he even have to bring it up? Did he plan to sit outside his rig at the picnic table cleaning his shotgun? Maybe somebody should have told him to shut up.
We also knew a couple who were headed to Alaska, and just by chance they happened to spend their last night before crossing the border at the same campground in Washington state as another RVing couple we know who were also headed north.
The subject of not taking guns into Canada came up, and one of the men said he owned a gun, and had left it with his son while he was on the trip. The second gentleman said he too had stashed his guns someplace, but he planned to tell “those damned Canuks” what he thought of their country’s gun laws. Both wives and the other man advised him not to say anything, but some people just can’t keep quiet.
The next morning they both approached the border crossing at the same time. When the Canadian customs inspector spoke to the first couple, he noted their Texas license plates and asked if they had any firearms onboard. They told him they had left their gun at their son’s house, but that he was certainly welcome to look though their rig. He nodded, gave them a cursory inspection, and waved them on.
When the inspector asked the second fellow about firearms, he told them (in his own words, later related to me), “God, guns, and guts made America free! And if you damned Canadians had guns, you wouldn’t be answering to any damned queen!” Several hours later, his rig nearly disassembled, they told him he was free to continue on his trip. Wouldn’t it have been a lot easier to just shut up?
I learned early on as a young driver that if a police officer stopped me, not to argue. “Say yes sir, no sir,” and otherwise keep my mouth shut. It took me a couple of bad marriages to learn that same lesson at home. And I might not have learned it then, if it were not for my pals who were always ready to say “Shut up, Nick.”
I’ll shut up now.
Thought For The Day – Four wheels move the body. Two wheels move the soul.