Regarding Winchester

It’s very rare that I come out here to an otherwise dull internet and liven it up a bit with a recounting of various relationships I’ve had over the years.  Even still, I would be remiss if I didn’t take the opportunity at this time to seize the moment and do exactly that.


Well hold on to your delicates ladies and gentlemen, and try to keep them dry.


For all tents and porpoises, Winchester served as one of my finance managers for the better part of 14 years.


I actually have multiple managers to handle all categories of the TharpSterCash, ranging from my retirement portfolio, to my conscripted income, to that which is disposable to spend on stuff like nachos and really cool Star Wars stuff.


Winchester was in charge of a small, yet very important section of that disposable income that transcended what could be paid electronically.  Winchester was charged with handling my “spreadin’ ’round cash”, specifically the smaller bills reserved for purchase of lemon poppy seed muffins and energy drinks designed to have Viagra-like effect on my blood pressure.


Even though Winchester served a very important role in my life through the tenure of no less than 9 acting and/or appointed Treasury Secretaries, I couldn’t always take Winchester with me whenever I participated in various activities like air travel, jury duty, going to concerts, or anything else that involved a metal detector.


The reason for that had nothing to do with the massive tattoo of a Pony Express Rider, and everything to do with the fact that there was never a time when Winchester wasn’t armed with a blade or two.  As such, I always had to make other arrangements for my financial management on those occasions where Winchester’s patriotic adherence to the 2nd Amendment got in the way of keeping the junk grabbing paws of the TSA out of my britches.


Over the years, I had plenty of discussions with Winchester about that issue.  Through 14 years, I can think of at least 6 trips on a plane, 8 or 9 concerts, and two calls for jury duty which spawned initially civil conversations about the issue at hand.  In recent years, the civility had exited and heated arguments laced with threats and profanity occupied the discussion instead.


And then it happened just a few weeks ago on June 14th.


Ladies and gentlemen, for what it’s worth, June 14th, 2017 will go down in TharpSter History as quite a memorable day for yours truly.  There were a few really good memories and a bad one or two.


At approximately 6pm on that day, Junior and I found ourselves in my beloved 2003 F150 somewhere in the vicinity of the Alamodome here in San Antonio trying to get into the parking lot.


For those of you not familiar with getting into the Alamodome for an event, understand that hastily planned pantie-raids conducted by the overly medicated children of helicopter parents have been executed with more efficiency.


Needless to say, Junior and I were on edge.  We had been on the road for a better part of 90 minutes of a 30 minute drive.  Traffic was all over the place, and there appeared to be no rhyme or reason to explain how the police were guiding the traffic that day.


We felt that we were never going to get there.


Once we got within 50 yards of the entrance to Lot B where I had a pass to plant my beloved 2003 F150, Junior got a phone call.


Quick side note.


Junior just graduated from college in May.  The day before (June 13th), he had interviewed for a job.


The call that Junior received was notification that he was within a few days of being hired.  Human  Resources would call him back in a few days.


Junior was excited.  I was pretty happy too.  Winchester was ecstatic.


By the way, Winchester was with us.


We were going to a concert.  Winchester shouldn’t have been with us.  I wouldn’t realize this for another 15 minutes.


With memorable event #1 of 06/14/2017 out of the way, it was on to number 2.


We finally got my beloved 2003 F150 parked in Lot B and started humpin’ it to the Alamodome.


Did I mention who we were going to see?  Of course not.


We were there to see Metallica.  I have wanted to see this band for 25 years, and the stars had never lined up for this band and this blogger to be in the same venue at one time.


By the time we got to the metal detectors, I had the epiphany I should have had two hours before.  Winchester wouldn’t be allowed in.  The young man working the detector advised me of the same.


It never even occurred to me just to take Winchester back to the truck.  Instead, I opted to leave Winchester there at the door.  Winchester would not join us for the concert.


I guess it sucks to be Winchester.


We have had plenty of discussions and heated arguments over this subject and knew the consequences.  I think we were both done with the discussion and weren’t going to mess with it anymore.


With that, Winchester gave me the designated amount of “spreadin’ ’round” cash which had been allocated for the event.


We then parted ways mere hours before I was able to fulfill a bucket list item by experiencing Metallica live.


The next few hours were filled with amazing assaults on my auditory and visual senses.  If the opportunity to see Metallica again should ever arise, I’ll be sure to seize on it.  As I compose this piece, I’ve called up a playlist of videos from the concert to listen to.  Even still, listening to recordings of the concert pales in comparison to actually being there, feeling the music pound through your chest or the heat from the flame throwers 50 yards away.


And then there was Winchester.  I looked for Winchester at the door where we had previously parted ways in hopes of reconciling our differences.  Winchester wasn’t there anymore.


Two weeks later, I haven’t heard from Winchester.  Since then, I’ve employed a new manager for my small bill finance.


Thank you for 14 years of valued service Winchester.


You served me well.

Randy Tharp

TharpSter is a husband to one woman, a father to two kids, a master to two dogs, an occasional cubical occupant, and unable to make up his mind on an adequate theme for this website.

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