A venture to this state park is on the must-do list for many, the park being the only spot in North America where you can dig for diamonds and other gemstones and keep your finds.
Some of you might remember Rev. Huckaboo or Huckabunch, Huckasomething besides Huckafundraiser, who used to be governor and now is in full Republican pursuit of the presidency.
Huckacontributions in the presidential scramble so far have been of the hen’s teeth variety, so the Bro.-ex-Gov. is reduced to pumping for bargain pub by the irresistibility of his trailside quips and quotes.
“Jump-starting” a dead-battery campaign, this is called.
There was his take on the Virginia Tech massacre, for instance. The Bro.-ex-Gov. is himself a packer — or he does an awful lot of nudge-nudge-wink-wink pretending to be one — and it seemed to be his notion that it would put a stop to these big campus hits if we all packed. He apparently wants ready heat at every ribcage, and he’s not the only one. Jerklegs galore have boarded this wagon already.
The idea, as I understand it, is this: If on reaching the age of vulnerability — school-age, say — we all gatted up, and were trained in marksmanship and counseled not to take crap off’n anybody, it would level the playing field against the armed crazies. They’d know beforehand that any one or every one of their targets might be shooting back. And that sobering thought might persuade them to hold off on this “snapping” of theirs that the shrinks describe. Or to forget it altogether, and be content to express their rage in a more tolerable manner — perhaps by muttering, mooning, flipping people off, refusing on principle to bathe, and such as that.
What I like most about the Rev.-ex-Gov.’s gunocracy brainchild is the peace of mind it would bring us as a people. When nations made policy of a similar construct, we called the resulting calm in the storm’s eye a “balance of terror,” and we grew to like the thing and feel good about it. Universal packing would bring about a new balance of terror — one in which we wouldn’t have to look to the Jack Rubys and Bernie Goetzes as our equalizers. Every one of us could and would be avenger and vigilante, whacking creeps whenever the occasion arose and sleeping better at night because of it.
Here are just a few of the encouraging scenarios:
• How many bullies are going to be left after the first few thousand of them get their asses shot off?
• How many drive-bys will occur when it becomes the rule for concerned eyewitness neighbors to step into their duplexes and step back out with peacekeeper bazookas?
• How many of these brazen latter-day bank robbers would calmly waltz in there in stocking masks if they thought they might not get back out with anything left of masks or what masks had been pulled onto?
• How far would those hijacker rats of 9-11 have got with their piddling box-cutters if whole planes had introduced them to Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson? (With this bonus: less aftermath frustration and impotence among countrymen so less likelihood of our huffing off to start a war against some innocent bystander country and getting thousands more of our people killed.)
• Trigger-happy quail hunters like, say, Veep G.F.Y. “Dick” Cheney might be less given to unloading on hunting companions if there was the understanding that reckless fusillading is a two-way fricking street.
• Some serious salvo backatcha might turn most of these road-rage outbursts into cases of Uh, Never Mind.
• The neighbor’s dog that’s always wanting to fertilize my azaleas might decide, when a hollow point catches him at his business, that he owes it to his owners to make his subsequent contributions to their back yard instead of mine.
• Saying hello to my leetle friend here might persuade the speed demons through this otherwise quiet residential neighborhood to pioneer alternate routes. Or at least to turn their radios down.
• After just one or two murders, the Jonesboro school could’ve sent its best 10- and 11-year-old marksmen to circle around and take out the Johnson and Golden boys, doing the world a favor. Maybe strapping them on a car hood later, tongues hanging, like opening morning of deer season.
• And speaking of: These deer that get high and crash into a furniture store or mall boutique won’t be getting away with just begging pardon and running off anymore.
• Shadowy figures on Grassy Knolls will be dead meat.
• See how much sand somebody can kick in your face with a nub.
• The code duello’s return should bring a new birth of civility. I’m pretty sure I could take Turdblossom.
Somebody’s rude to you, sics his dog on you, insults your sig other, calls you nappy-headed traitor or base poltroon, disses your frat or mascot, it’s requiescat in pace for him.
The new covenant: If they screw with you, you don’t have to take it. We might even pass a Second Amendment amendment making it your constitutional duty to shoot first and ask questions later.
That’s how it went down in toter places like Hadleyville and Deadwood — even right here in River City once upon a time — and no reason why we couldn’t make it so again.
Bob Lancaster, one of the Arkansas Times longest and most valued contributors, retired from writing his column last week. We’ll miss his his contributions mightily. Look out, in the weeks to come, for a look back at some of his greatest hits. In the meantime, here's a good place to start.