Few of my friends, and none of my extant enemies, know that I am in fact a card carrying member of the NRA. Actually I must admit, right up front, that I had originally intended to join the ACLU but I sent my money to the wrong address. Of course, as they were quick to assure me, there's very little difference between the two organizations so I let my membership stand.
And so it stood until last ...whenever... when an amazing thing happened: they invited me down to speak to their convention in, well I'm a bit confused where it was actually (Hey! I'm the guy who nearly went to No-yu-xville to speak at a UCDA Conference just because the organizers had a funny way of saying Na-yu-shville--it was a good job I got that e-mail in time) but anyway, it was somewhere hot.
It seems they wanted me to give one of my little talks to their assembled multitudes. They were really rather nice about it, they even sent me a working title for it 'How To Deal With Stinking Pinko Broadcasters Who Try To Make Fun Of You On The Radio', I thought at the time that it was a bit of a weird title, but then I'm on public radio so I'm used to that sort of thing, and made little of it. Wherever it was in mid- ...whenever is an interesting sort of a place, hot as a hummingbird's armpit and sweaty withal. With all what I don’t know, but it made the place really quite interesting.
The convention was interesting too. Now the only other conventions I've ever been to have been computer-oriented, and we all know what monomaniacs computer people are, still I wonder if it's usual at conventions to have all those guns on display. I asked my new friend there Billy-Joe, and he assured me that everywhere that he went they had lots of guns, often on display, and I shouldn't worry about it. It seems that I've been spending too much time in front of the computer, and I'-I've got out of touch, anyway I did go to some very interesting talks, like the one entitled 'Fireworks, a Warning to us all' which seemed to be about something called lobbying, I didn't understand it but they all jumped up and down and chortled a lot which made the whole thing rather amusing to watch. And they had interesting activities too, like 'shooting fish in a barrel' which they seemed to find quite a challenge. My talk was the last thing on the agenda and I must admit that as it approached, and I saw how things were going, I started to become anxious, you see it seems to be a convention at conventions held in hot places that the air conditioning should break down for at least part of the proceedings, I suppose it's done so that you can really feel that you've been there. I suppose further that if anyone were ever foolish enough to hold a convention somewhere cold the heating would break down, but I don't suppose anyone's ever tried.
You have of course guessed by now: the air conditioning did not break down, ...at least not until just before I was to talk. The windows were, naturally, tightly shut, so it is probably not amazing how quickly the temperature soared once the air got out of condition. I could hardly concentrate on Billy-Joe's introduction, he was saying something ---something rather emphatic about pinkos and smart-allecky foreign intellectuals, but I wasn't concentrating, I was too busy wishing I hadn't decided to wear my woollen English suit with a waistcoat and a tie. And in fact when the moment came for me to speak, the first thing I did when I stood up, was to turn round and open one of the windows. Now I must admit that this was against advice, Billy-Joe had whispered to me, urgently, when the temperature first started to rise "What ever you do don't open the windows, they're sound-proofed", but I didn't understand, and I saw little harm in it.
Oh dear, if only that car hadn't back-fired!
Well when the smoke cleared I, of course as a left-wing liberal chicken had immediately dived down under the podium, so I seemed to be the last one left standing.
It was awful!
Cheerio for now
from Richard Howland-Bolton.
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