• Despite the demographics and the rich cultural history of Tucson, it's freakin' impossible to buy tortillas anywhere in town on Christmas Day. I learned this the real hard way. I was going to make my traditional lasagna for Christmas dinner so I went to the store and bought all the stuff the day before. I remember actually looking at the tortillas in the store but didn't see how we would have any need for them.
The next day, I was about to start cooking when the plans changed. Due to an odd set of circumstances, the only person for whom I would be cooking that evening was my daughter, Darlene, who was leaving for San Francisco the next day and requested enchiladas for dinner. I cursed the fact that I hadn't bought them the day before but I figured I'd be able to find some somewhere. This began my three-hour quixotic descent into furious frustration.
Walgreen's is open on Christmas Day and it's always packed. They carry adult diapers and NyQuil and greetings cards, but, for some reason, no tortillas. I stopped at a QT, a Circle K, an AM/PM, and a Quik Mart. They all had overpriced sodas and bags of chips, but no tortillas. I went to someplace called a Family Food Store, but when I went in, it looked like what used to be called a head shop. It's not a medical marijuana dispensary but it had some serious paraphernalia. All I saw in there were crack pipes and Twinkies. And there's a sign outside that says that they sell Bitcoin.
You know the urban legend of how Chinese restaurants are open on Christmas Day? Why can't there be a grocery store owned by non-Christians open to serve us knuckleheads who forgot to buy tortillas? I actually started calling some of my former basketball players to see if they had a handful of corn tortillas they'd be willing to sell me for twenty bucks or so. No luck with the first three. Then I called a family where the dad is Hispanic but the mom isn't. My former player said that they almost never have tortillas of any kind in their house. I called her a Fake-Ass Mexican and then moved on.
I finally struck paydirt on my fifth call. I had to drive up north of Tangerine and the tortillas they had were a weird golden color and were gluten free (like I'm some kind of hippie). Darlene got her oddly-colored enchiladas around 9 p.m. that night. I went back the next day with a brand new pack of the same tortillas and my eternal gratitude.
After the gifts are all opened, Christmas Day is pretty much the boring-est day of the year, which explains why the movie theaters are packed. Somebody is eventually going to figure out that opening their grocery store from, say, noon until 7 p.m. or so on Christmas Day would result in Black Friday-like revenues.
• On Christmas Eve, I read the most-disheartening item of this or any other year. According to a survey, 53 percent of Republicans believe that Donald Trump is a better President than was Abraham Lincoln. That would be sad if the number was 3 percent. For generations, Americans across the political spectrum have almost unanimously considered Lincoln to be our country's greatest president. And now more than half of all Republicans put him behind Donald Trump.
As I have said, I am going to try to see things from the perspective of a Trump lover. This was a hard one, but I think I got it. All Lincoln ever did, besides keeping America from splitting in two, was that he freed an entire race of people who had been bought, sold and owned by other people. However, the people he freed all had dark skin, so it was only three-fifths of an accomplishment.
Donald Trump, on the other hand, besides doing his very best to split the country in two, freed a whole lot of rich white people from having to pay their fair share of taxes. Yeah, I see it now.
• I learned that, despite my best efforts, I will never be able to leave Planet Fitness without one of those ridiculously friendly at the front desk wishing me a good day.
They say that it's a "Judgement Free Zone," although I can't help but be judgmental about the fact that they have an "e" after the "g" in "Judgement." The people there are all really cool and supportive; they never once look at me and say, "Are you sure that you want to be using that machine?"
I've tried to time it so that I'm leaving as a whole group of people are coming in and scanning their passes but it's like the front desk people have Tom-dar. Maybe if I lost more weight and turned sideways...
• Researchers discovered a new low for Donald Trump. We already knew that he stole millions of dollars from his "charity," using money that was meant for cancer research to pay his legal bills. But when he was forced to pay back $2 million that he stole, it was learned that one of his illegal expenditures was a check for $7 to pay for Don Jr.'s Boy Scout dues.
Would Lincoln have done that?