The Incident that Didn't
Updated: Nov 8, 2021
On the Ides of March, I received a message from my friend Caer. “Everyone is safe. Nothing to worry about” My mind raced with the possibilities. Was Caer in danger? Of course not, she just said so. But she had been in danger. Maybe. Caer wouldn’t give many details until the news announcement came out. But I have little patience for such things. Thus, I have assembled my version of what didn’t happen in Tucson, AZ on March 15th, 2018.
Arizona. Not in Texas.
Here’s what I know about Arizona. It’s somewhere in the first half of a road trip between LA and Houston. The second half is Texas, but that’s a story for another time. I think two people live there. My friend Caer and Senator John McCain who has cancer like other senators you might not have heard of. I can’t confirm if other people live there, but for our purposes, let’s agree on these two.
What I know about Arizona, is that there’s two cities. Phoenix and Tucson, which in English translates to Not Phoenix. Caer lives in Tucson, and works at the Cactus Protective Services. I may have forgotten to mention, that everybody else in Arizona is a Cactus. Now you have as keen a grasp on the people and geography of Arizona, as I do, let’s begin.
Protecting Prickly People
Caer’s job is tough. Some of the cacti don’t want to be protected. Some of the cacti are old. Some of the cacti are mean. Cactus Jack was mean. They’d changed out his favorite pudding at the ranch. So he was bristling about that. So he came into the headquarters of the Cactus Protective Services where Caer worked, shouting, “They changed muh Pudding(™) brand pudding an ah ain’t gonna take it no more.”
Everyone froze, except for Caer, partly because she’s the tough one in the group. They almost gave her a badge, even. But also, because she isn’t a cactus. It’s a little unclear how Cactus Jack got there, but I wasn’t given any facts to work with. She leaned out from her cubicle and eyed Cactus Jack. He was a mid-sized Saguaro, two arms on the same side. Each held a six shooter and she could imagine a little Yosemite Sam hat on his head.
“Be right with you Jack.” She stood up and reached into her overhead cabinet and pulled out two shot glasses and a bottle of Jose Cuervo. The blue stuff. Made from the finest Agave Cactus.
“One o’ them better be for me!” said Jack, eyeing the bottle hopefully.
Caer raised a fine Irish eyebrow at him. “When I finish these two shots, if you’re still holding them pistols, I will shave your needles off, stick a spigot in you and plant you next to the Wall for the illegals to find.”
Cactus Jack gulped. Caer swallowed the first shot, a flush coming to her cheeks.
She picked up the second shot, the clear blue liquid still has she held it in her rock steady hands. She tilted her head back and launched the burning stuff toward the back of her throat.
She turned to grab a tissue to wipe her mouth because she was raised with the manners of a lady, before belching. She spoke as she eased one out of the box. “I didn’t hear your guns clatter when they hit the floor.”
She dabbed at her mouth when she heard the hard metallic sound of two Colts hitting the tile floor. She turned back to Cactus Jack, a warm smile on her face. “That’s better, isn’t?” She strode over to Jack and guided him to the intake desk. “Now let’s get these forms filled out and somebody will look into your problem. They can’t just change your desert like that.” She grimaced as she realized she misspelled a word, but it was punny and Jack didn’t notice.
Work in the office returned to normal as Caer walked back to her cubicle, stopping to rotate her co-workers toward the sun as she went. Senator John McCain stopped by later, holding his hand gingerly. “Excuse me, I seem to have gotten a needle in my palm.” Caer looked at him, “Sorry sir, this is CPS, you need Senator Protective Services, and a form J90-B. Next floor up. He nodded at her in thanks then left. She shrugged. Just another day in Cactus Protective Services.
What Kind of Really Happened
Apparently something really did happen, and since everybody was fine, I whipped up that short story of The Incident, before my overactive imagination was contaminated with facts. But as always, I look stuff up. Here’s a link from Caer of the news coverage of the Incident.