Better Get Used to It

When I tagged along with other docents at the air museum, learning the ropes, I picked up an anecdote about Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson. One of our display aircraft is an executive jet from the presidential fleet. Not an Air Force One—no president ever flew in it—but definitely a dignitary-hauler, used by vice presidents, cabinet secretaries, other government face cards. The story was that Lady Bird Johnson frequently used it to travel back and forth between Austin and DC, and that LBJ’s nickname for the plane was “Air Force One-Half.”

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Air Force One-Half (photo: Pima Air & Space Museum)

Well, that was worth a chuckle and I told the story to museum visitors for a while, but over time quit. The story’s cute but demeaning, and although visitors always laughed, I’d occasionally see a grimace. Two weeks ago a visitor left a comment card complaining about a joke one of our tram drivers shared, and the museum director told the tram driver his volunteer days were over. I never found out what was said, but it easily could have been the LBJ story.

Docents don’t talk politics, sex, or religion with museum visitors. Yesterday, before the morning tours began, I sat with three other docents at a table on the patio by the museum restaurant. We thought we had the patio to ourselves; none of us saw the solitary visitor in a Harley T-shirt three tables away. We were bullshitting about this and that when one of the docents asked, “So what do you think of Trump’s son?” Before anyone could answer, the visitor announced his presence by standing up and informing us, in a loud voice, that Trump is president whether we like it or not and we’d better get used to it. We clammed up, of course, but oh my god did I want to say, “Yeah and I bet you said the same thing when Obama was president.” Damn near bit my tongue off keeping it in.


I’m going to the dentist to have my teeth cleaned in a couple of hours. I don’t want to get wrapped up in a long blog post because it’ll eat into the time I’ve set aside for showering and flossing, so I’ll keep this one short.

I’m following this story because I’ve always wondered what we as a society would do when the police start murdering white people for no reason. I’m not expecting much, honestly … so many red lines have been crossed we’ve become inured to it.

Here’s another in a long list of reasons why liberals don’t shop at WalMart.

Twitter users are on the fainting couch, fanning themselves over Steve Bannon’s reported description of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan as “a limp-dick motherfucker who was born in a petri dish at the Heritage Foundation.” Look, I agree Bannon is an evil man, but it’s impossible to disagree with his take on Ryan, and anyway, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t use similar language on a daily basis. Just not in front of museum visitors, okay?

And shouldn’t Petri be capitalized?

© 2017, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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2 thoughts on “Better Get Used to It

  • I don’t get if – if LBJ called it Air Force One-Half that is a story/fact (assuming it is true) not a joke. It reflects the times. But as a general comment, man, we have taken this taking offence way too far!!

  • What’s not to get? I choose not to share a story that may or may not be true, and that will anger a certain number of museum visitors. I can be as outspoken as I want to be here on my own blog, or on Facebook among friends … but I’d rather keep certain things to myself among strangers.

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