We stayed last night at the home of Pat, a 56 year old cycling enthusiast and reformed asshole. In an effort to keep the inner asshole at bay, Pat does a lot of charity work, including taking in stray cyclists who meet a certain profile. Pat has strong views on many subjects, especially political, and we left his house this morning intending to turn left but kept turning right, and right, and right....
PAT'S RULES OF PROPER CONDUCT
1) Always carry a gun. Always. We'd been cycling with Pat for about an hour before he shared that he never goes anywhere, ever, without a gun. Cue the Twilight Zone music. Who'd have thought the back pockets of cycling jerseys could be so versatile? Right pocket - 9 mm; center pocket - spare magazines; left pocket - Republican Party card, power bar.
2) If you aren't a conservative, you're stupid. Pat's not judging, cuz he was a stupid liberal once too. Then he got smart. So it's not too late to stop being stupid. Just get your head out of your ass and look around you. Welfare bums, Obamacare, taxes, and gun control - not a country Pat wants to live in.
3) Never relinquish control of your destiny to another person. In 2005, Pat was on a cross-country cycle tour and met up with a young professional couple, also touring. One morning, one painful morning, Pat blindly followed the couple as they turned out of the campsite, submitting without question to the orientation skills of the young doctor. TWELVE MILES LATER - TWELVE MILES!!!!! - Pat realized they'd all been going the wrong way. He dropped them like a hot potato, pondered a malpractice suit, and vowed never to put himself in a position of dependency again. 10 years later, not a day goes by that Pat doesn't think of those goddamned, spatially-challenged freaks who made him pedal an extra 24 miles; a hard but valuable lesson.
4) If you tell a man "God Bless You" a hundred times in a row and he doesn't flinch or break eye contact, he's alright. Seb and I are alright.
5) If you make a mess, you clean that mess. Pat was in charge of the Punishment Room in the Air Force at one point in his career, and no one in that room needed plates, cuz they ate off the floor, cuz the floor was cleaner than the inside of a hazmat suit at the Atlanta Centre for Disease Control. Pat had squeegees in his bathroom shower stall. We used them.
Pat showed us tremendous generosity. He's a guy making his way through the world and trying to do good works when he can. We were one of his good works. Hope it works out for all of us.
Last night we stayed with Charles and Mari in Superior, Az. These superi... er.... extraordinary hosts provide an Airstream for flagging cyclists and the above-pictured dog to protect us from sadness. While I suspect Charles and Mari of harbouring liberal thoughts, I love and forgive them. God bless.