Sunny, cool (10-15C), clean and spacious. Cactus. Flat. No Maga hats yet. Cars, cars, cars. Gasoline (from Canada) at $2.69 US a gallon. First impression: it’s growing. More buildings. Newer ‘centres’ and malls.
We came in on the airport shuttle with a young Texan who seemed to be ‘real careful’ talkin’ to foreigners – at first – but loosened up. He’s a catfish farmer! Digs holes, fills ’em with water, throws in ‘itty-bitty ones’ and then raises them to adulthood whereupon they are shipped out to other catfish farmer’s regional ‘fattening ponds’ to be custom sized to the regional menu. I guess Arkansanians like their catfish a different size to Georgians and Kentukians. Who knew?
There is a lot more to a catfish than meets the eye it seems.
Guy lived for years on the Arizona-Mexico border. Grew up there. Wants a wall. “No problem for good Mexicans. They good people. But they gotta apply and line up. Wait their turn. Fill out our papers. It’s those rotten Mexicans who are the ones who run across the border and try to get our services and food stamps and welfare. They real good at getting taxpayer’s money. We need a wall to stop them!”
Unlike many who speak that way, he was just a ‘good ol’ boy with little to no REAL animosity except to rule-breakers. This was more of a ‘law-and-order’ guy than a racist. Still, he has never been anywhere except the red-light districts of border towns. “They fun!” His view of life, people, culture, government and the US of A is somewhat limited, albeit colourful.
But…..so is mine…..so we wished him and his cowboy-hat wearing girlfriend (he had pics of her) all the best and departed our shuttle at another airport east of Phoenix. My buddy, S, had left his car there for us. An Escalade. Nice.
I walked around the rather small parking lot and found it. Then found the hidden key and opened it up. I felt as if I should take off my shoes! S is a great and healthy, normal guy who is smart and capable and competent and honest and good. We have mutual love without having mutual characters. I do not measure up to all those standards. But I have always thought of myself as ‘at least’ clean. I am a clean guy. I wash and clean up stuff. Mostly. I am NOT great but I eventually clean up whatever mess I make (if Sal doesn’t get to it first AND hides all the tools she finds).
But I am a pig-dog in mud-slop compared to S. The car was so clean I wondered how he even got it parked there. Surely there must be a hint of road grime somewhere even if he came direct from the car-wash and the OCD surgical detailer! Nope. There was not a speck of dust, not a bit of dirt. The tires were black and shiny with no dirt in the grooves. The floor mats were freshly armor-alled. The car was cleaner than the clinic I volunteer at. I have – I swear – undergone major surgery in dirtier operating rooms. My appendix was removed in a pig-sty compared to this car!
I pulled up to get Sal and the luggage. She opened the passenger side while I put the luggage in the back. I watched as she tapped her shoes on the door-rails to make sure she didn’t trek in any dirt. Unprompted she said, “Oh my God! This car is immaculate!”
“How the hell are we gonna give this car back as nice as we got it? It’s not possible unless we start cleaning now!”
Talk about pressure!
I wrote and complained.
S. wrote back: “Sorry, man. I like to detail. It’s kind of a zen thing. Therapeutic. If you wanna freak, look in the engine bay. It’s crazy clean!”
Arizona will take some adjustment…..
This guy has WAY too much time on his hands!
A young reticent farmer from Texas later opens up and reveals that he is a catfish farmer who raises fry and sell them on to fish finishing stock ponds to attain the preferred weight and length.
Feeder fish ponds. Are you being “catfished?”
I do not think so……THAT might be humorous. This guy was all serious, all the time. Tough. No nonsense. Used to ride bulls….in rodeos…kind of serious…..tattoos…called me “sir”. Hard-lined face in his thirties. Think: a bad cross between Clint Eastwood and Tom Cruise (with the process going a bit wonky). NOT a lot of humour there. Still, very ‘Merican in so many ways.
One needs the ironic mask to go catfishing.
Well, I was NOT lured in any way. In fact, it was Sal drawing him out and me just eavesdropping. But I did say, “Geez, man. I may write you up as a character in a book some day. Hmmm….a catfisher named X, living in Texas who rides bulls for fun……”
If all goes well we will be in Arizona on an RV trip from Bellingham in February. Coming down for women’s softball at ASU. If all doesn’t go well I am in for a different kind of adventure in Bellingham, one that will come sooner or later. – Margy
Stay in touch. Maybe ‘ribs and taters’ in Phoenix?
Maybe, will keep you posted. We’ll park our rig in Tempe for softball games if we get to go as planned. – Margy
I do the same thing with my truck. I took it in to Toyota for its warranty oil change and tune up last year and I specifically told them ,” DONT wash it after the service”.
Because I wipe my truck down to avoid “drop spots”. Lot boys dont.
I went for breakfast( sat. morning), went for a walk, came back two hours later.
I went in to get the keys and sign off.
The service manager jokingly asked me if I wanted a job detailing the cars when I retire.
The head mechanic came out to see,the owner of ,” the cleanest engine he’s ever worked on.”
I clean and wash my RENTAL cars when I’m vacationing before I return them…..I know I know stupid ……..
If its spotless, you usually dont get hassled.
Take the truck to a detailing shop the day before you leave Arizona.
He’ll be happy.
My brother vacationed in Arizona a few years back and checked out “Tombstone” one day. Very close to the Mexican border….they went through three roadblocks of US Customs checks before they got to Tombstone…..his girlfriend is Chinese Canadian.
On the way back, they recognized her and waved them through.
They had a van full of illegals to process.
Enjoy the weather and the “civilization” ya lucky snowbirds!
THAT’S HILARIOUS!! And I thought S was unique! Sheesh…..must be a man-gene I didn’t get in the chromosome handout. I’m missing a few of them, I think. I prefer long sentences, for instance. Prone to showering twice a day, too. Just CAN’T shoot a deer. That kind of thing. But I got ENOUGH of the bad stuff to get by (says Sal). NOW she wants me to get the ‘cleaning-the-car gene’ when they offer swap-outs of gene sequencing. I dunno…
Don’t eat any beans.
I had a roommate back when I was in university where four of us shared an apartment . The guy was so neat he folded his socks and underwears into tiny squares. We used to tease him by turning some of his little squares into balls and it drove him nuts.😆
Totally off subject but If you’re still in Phoenix in Feb. there is a “stalking trial” that is going to hit the Courts.
This guy met a girl via internet dating and they went out on a date once.
The guy wasnt interested and told her “Thanks but no thanks”.
She started texting him….and texting him…..aaaaaand texting him.
159,000 texts in 12 months ….later…she broke into his house and waited for him…..showed up at his work place….etc etc etc.
Cops, charged, court case…….
If you’re bored you get to see the crazy side of “civilization”…… 🙂
What the hell…. its free entertainment!
I may follow that, thanks….but it brings up so many bad memories, ya know? So many women, so many trials. ‘Course I have always been attracted to the crazy ones….which is obvious when you think about it. Who else would be out here with me? Crazy Sal!
I choked on my beer!