New Mexico not without its share of troubles

By Don McAlavy: Columnist

My sister and her daughter told me to write about myself sometime. They live in Texas, so what do they know about New Mexico? But here goes.

Whenever I come to a stop sign, 10,000 cars are waiting right down the street to pass by before I can get a chance to get on that street. It never fails to happen. Around Clovis we call it the “Kilmer Law,” something like Murphy’s Law, which says if anything can go wrong it will. My buddy Harold discovered this law while waiting two hours at one place to get onto 21st Street.

At the bank I always get in the line that will be the slowest. I manage to get behind someone with 10,000 pennies to exchange for Canadian half dollars. At the grocery store I try to play it smart and get in the express line, but there’s a fellow just in front of me with a check that has to be okayed. I’ve even been in line to get a drink of water, and by the time it’s my turn a drought has set in and the city has cut off the water.
You ever notice these things happening to you?

If I phone a place of business, like I did yesterday, they’ll put me on hold for 20 minutes while they take care of the customer in the store. Well, I went to the store and they left me waiting 20 minutes while they took care of someone on the phone.

Am I being too sensitive?

Whenever I drive a few miles farther down the road to find a better price or cheaper gas or whatever, the place I just passed will be the last one for 50 miles.

I think I must be kin to my wife’s grandfather, Levi. It will be a bad time to sell if I’m selling something, a bad time to buy if I’m buying something.

To him it was cows. But he always said, “Well, I got the use of the cow for a year.”

I don’t get many chances to watch TV, but every once in awhile there will be a good show on one of the networks. There will be a good show opposite it on another network that night, too. If there’s nothing good on either of those two, there won’t be anything any good on the third network. Ever notice that?

And another thing I’ve noticed about paddle boats: No matter which way you head out, it’s always into the wind. And if there are kids along, they don’t row as hard as do the weak-back adults. If I’m out in a boat and want to fish, there’ll be no fish; if I want to sail, no wind.

I worked hard several years building a boat to put on Alamogordo Lake — they changed the name to Lake Sumner to fool the fish. I find that they have let most of the water out so Carlsbad can have decent drinking water, but to launch my boat I now have to wade in mud up to my butt … my waist, I mean!

I worked hard to afford a boat and motor so I could pull my kids on skis when they got big enough. But by the time I could afford a big motor, they left home and I’m left with an 80-horsepower motorboat with skis to fish out of. Then when my kids have kids big enough to go with Grandpa, the dern motorboat is worn out. That’s when you are up a creek without a paddle, so to speak.

I’ve noticed through the years that kids drift away from me just when they are big enough to work, find a companion for life, and move to a distant shore, like the East Coast. And then I have to drive across most of the United States to see my grandkids. And when I get there I’m charged with entertaining the little ones.

Well, it’s not that hard, my wife takes over and if I’m lucky I can take a nap each afternoon and get up in time for supper and ice cream. I love ice cream — if I don’t have to churn it. Don’t we all love ice cream?

I write a weekly newspaper column. I write and mention about Joe Smith running his locomotive off the track back in 1910. A little old lady calls me up and complains, telling me it wasn’t Joe Smith, it was Pete Smith and it wasn’t in 1910, but in 1911.

So how was your day?