Sunday, April 17, 2005

NRA Banquet Thoughts

Bill and I attended last night's NRA Banquet and we had a blast. If you're an NRA member and you haven't been to one of the banquets, you need to go. If you're not an NRA member and love guns, join for a year and go to the banquet. If you're an anti-gunnie go attend one of your banquets and argue over who gets tofu turkey or the vegetarian plate.

Let me tell you, the NRA Banquet was actually fun. They do very little business there. Wayne LaPierre served as Master of Ceremonies and kept the show running. First there was a reception with cash bar followed by dinner. A comedian, T. Bubba Bechtol later riffed on the fancy salad that started dinner.

I'm not trying to steal Bubba's riff. I couldn't do it anyway, but this was not a salad I'm familiar with. Bill and I think iceberg lettuce with shredded carrots and spinach leaves is one fancy salad. No, the Banquet salad was beyond our definition of fancy. To quote the menu we ate, "Mesclun Greens Green Leaves in a Cucumber Ring with Goat Cheese and Toasted Pine Nuts with Orange Thyme Vinaigrette." As Bubba said, "that ain't Texas."

The cook settled down and we tucked into steak; a real grilled sirloin. I didn't expect steak when we planned on attending the convention and Banquet. I expected rubber chicken with a bit of yellow sauce poured on it. I travel a lot for work and get a rubber chicken treatment too often. That's why I'm telling you about steak. Another thing that was refreshing; there was no business with waiters trying to figure out who got the vegetarian plates. To the best of my knowledge, no one got a vegetarian plate. Hallelujah I found myself among carnivores!

Enough about food now. Tom DeLay was the guest speaker. I'm not overly fond of Tom thanks to his recent ethic problems. I know Democrats are out to get him and they are blowing some of his acts out of proportion, but that's my point. A man in his position should know his enemies want to get him and know that you don't give them ammunition to get you with. He practically handled them an arsenal.

That's my final rant on Tom DeLay. He gave his speech and received a Flintlock musket. He held it over his head, ala Charlton Heston, but I couldn't hear if he said, "From my Cold Dead Hands." Contrast this moment with an earlier Ted Nugent session we attended, When Shemane Nugent introduced her husband, she lofted up a full-fledged "assault weapon" and roared, "FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS." I loved that moment.

Let's return to the Banquet. After the speeches were over, T. Bubba did his, well, Bubba routine. He was one funny comedian. He's a very large man and he directs much of his comedy to his size and his country-boy self. Bill laughed so hard he about split his sports jacket. No more harder than I was laughing. After Bubba, Hank Williams, Jr. came out and entertained us until 11:45. I'm too old to rock this late, but I loved every minute of it.

So that's the Banquet. We will be posting more on our visit to the convention even though it is closing its doors until next year when it is hard in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

By the way, we caught up to Michael Bane and he is every bit as friendly and well-spoken as he is in his show Shooting Gallery. We will have more on our adventures later, but for now have a good Sunday.

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