Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I drive like a grandma

My grandma taught me how to drive.

She taught me a lot of crazy stuff that I never use, like always drive in the middle lane when there are three or more lanes, and signal about a minute before you need to turn.

But the most important thing she taught me about driving was conservativeness.  I realized from Grandma that it's a lot more important to avoid accidents than it is to be right when driving. I think Grandma and I are in the minority. A lot of people have a lot of road rage.

I was driving on 8th North in Orem, heading toward the freeway.

A little ahead, I saw a car pull out across the three lanes of 8th North traffic to make a very dangerous left turn. By the way that car was driving, I could tell that they were just looking for clear westbound traffic, and were just hoping that eastbound was clear.

Another car from the other side of the road did the same thing, but in the opposite direction. So at this point, there were two cars in the middle of a very busy road trying to do synchronized turns.

A third car appeared, and they were all crawling around the middle a the road where they didn't belong. And I was leading a pack of cars driving sixty miles an hour toward this conglomeration.

A bunch of red flags go up in my head, and I slow down. Really, really slow, so I have no chance of hitting them, or being part of the huge impending conflagration if they get forcefully hit by someone on the other side of the street.  Eventually, the crazy cars all cleared out of the road, but I still drove slowly for ten more seconds.

This event was significant. Utah has some really bad drivers, but these were three of the worst drivers here, stuck in the middle of the second biggest road in Utah County at the exact same time.

It warranted an extra ten seconds of extreme slowness, in my opinion. I think most crashes happen in the aftermath of someone else doing something stupid. I'm trying to avoid accidents, not be right.

The guy behind me honked at me, flipped me off, swerved around me without signalling, passed me, and stopped at the stoplight on 8th North and State Street. A couple seconds later I got to the stoplight, too.

We waited there together for two long minutes until the stoplight turned green.

Photo purchased from Rendery on istockphoto.

Semi-related links:

Monday, July 26, 2010

What is this? Some kind of joke?

I walked into a bar in Idaho. It was one of those locals only bars where I stick out like a sore thumb. Actually, I stick out like a sore thumb in any bar, but those're a few other stories.

In this particular bar, I stuck out like a sore thumb because I didn't have a mustache, because I was under seventy, and because I didn't drive a truck into the bar.

The guy I sat down next to was drinking a can of Olympia. Now, Olympia is the cheapest, wateriest beer in the whole world. Even more so than Natural Light, but they make it out of tasty Washington water, so you don't mind the watery taste so much.

I asked the bartender, "What beers do you have?"

She said, "Um, Bud, Bud Light, Corona, Natural Light, Keystone Light, Keystone Red, um, um, um. How about you tell me what you're looking for, and I'll tell you if we have it."

That question severely perplexes me, because I can't say, "Well, I'm looking for Bohemia, New Belgium Skinny Dip, New Belgium Mothership Wit, Chang, Lion Stout, or any non-wheat beer imported from Germany."

We're in Idaho, remember?  And she just rattled off the five cheapest beers I could get at the gas station a block down the street. It would have been rude in that bar to request a high-falutin' beer.

I say "Keystone Red," because I've never heard of Keystone Red, even though I was almost sure she meant Keystone Ice when she said Keystone Red.

To my surprise, she returned with a red Keystone. Hmm.

"$1.50" she said.

I fished three bucks out of my wallet, in accordance with my tipping philosophy, and put it down deliberately on the counter, and loudly said, "Thank you," kind of indicating she should keep the whole three bucks. Because a buck fifty tip is a whole haul in Idaho, and I was trying to be kind of a big shot.

Now I should probably go back and describe the personality of this super ditsy bartender, but I'm sure she had a good heart, so I'll get on with the story.

The next thing I see is that she drops one of my dollars on the floor, and then she reaches down to pick it up. She brings me back my change, but it's only fifty cents.

Then I look up at one handwritten sign, and it's in Spanish, warning Mexicans to not come in if they're under 21 aƱos.

Then I look over at another handwritten sign, and it says Keystone, $1.25.


This whole instance left me with a ton of questions.
  • Was the real price of the Keystone $1.25, and she overcharged me a quarter?
  • Did she think that I mistakenly gave her an extra dollar, and she stealthily pocketed the extra buck?
  • Does she think I'm a cheap ass because she thinks I only tipped her fifty cents?
  • Is my extra dollar still on the floor somewhere?
  • Did every single one of the above happen?
Hmm. I drank and I left, feeling like I got ripped off, but it's super weird because it was only three bucks, and I was going to give it to her anyway.

Photo purchased from Marina_Ph on istockphoto.

Semi-related links:

Sunday, July 18, 2010

People are zombies too, or "I thought you spelled jugs with two g's"

You know when you're a kid and you get so insanely nervous about something that you contort your hand behind your back and grab on to your other arm also behind your back?  And then your shoulder goes all crooked, even though you're trying really hard to stand up perfectly straight, and then old ladies tell you to stand up straighter and it makes you even more nervous and more lopsided?  And then the old ladies angrily bring out a ruler and then you lopsidedly run away?

Well, that's probably not you, but that was me. Picture my gangling self as a kid running away from those old ladies a lot.

In my apartment complex, everyone goes to bed at 9pm. Everyone but me, that is. It's very bizarre actually.

Late one night a few weeks ago, I arrived home at around 11pm. I noticed a tall, very slim figure in between a couple of cars. I watched this figure and noticed one shoulder protruding oddly higher than the other shoulder.  I stopped my car and watched some more. She carried two gallons of milk in her arms, and a bunch of groceries, too. Her awkward, lopsided appearance probably came from attempting to hold way too much.

I should have been chivalrous and offered to help carry the groceries, but instead, I just watched from the safety of my car.

Another of these tall, slender figures emerged, again carrying two jugs of milk and other sundries, again lurching and hunching awkwardly.  And she looked strangely similar to the first woman.

As they walked toward their apartment, all I could think about was how carrying way too much weight strangely contorted their bodies in interesting ways.

After they disappeared into the darkness, I thought, "hmm, those sisters were cute, I should have looked at their faces."

I've never seen those women before or since. I'm not sure exactly where they disappeared to in such a mystical way.  I was left with a ton of pressing questions, most notably this, "What do skinny chicks do with four gallons of milk?"

Photo courtesy of TomFullum purchased on istockphoto.

Semi-related links:

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Solve it all with Tea!

LahTeaDah and I are guest posters on each others' blogs today. Here's her post, and check out my post on her excellent blog, 
Bad Flu, Bad Hair, Bad Break-up, Bad Attitude - anything adorned with the word “bad”, could easily be cured with a simple sip of Tea, as my mother tells me.  Tea and course a side dish of her mothering “tell me everything that happened!?”

Growing up as a teen many “bad day” stories graced my mother’s ears and of course the world ended every time one of these days would show its face in my life.  From "he said, she said" rumors to Math Class Drama (seriously, when am I ever going to need to know the square root of a circle's circumference) to the famous questions I got at least once a day while petting my hair….. “is it real?”. They say Life can sometimes gives you Lemons and if it does to make Lemonade. Well, I never liked Lemonade; so instead, I’d would use Lemons as sour crocodile tears which my mother could always stop.

As I try to get to the root of how she could work her magic like that, I was beginning to worry that maybe I would need to know how to find the square root of something. DAMN IT I’m screwed! I analyzed every “world ending” drama I pulled…..and I started to see a pattern! We’d always start with a cup of Tea. A dash of Cream and a small sprinkle of Sugar for her and a stream of Cream with a dumping of Sugar for me.  I believe Tea, is the absolute cure all for anything.

  • Stomach Aches? Warm and Soothe it with Tea!
  • Break-Up? Comfort yourself with a cozy cup of Tea!
  • Credit Card Debt? Wash your Stress away with a sweet sip of Tea!
  • Work Over-load? Take a break, visit your happy place and Calm yourself with Tea!
  • Bad Hair? Sip from your finest china, you’ll feel like a rockstar!
  • Cheating Spouse? Make some Tea – extra hot, throw it in their face…you’ll feel a millions times better about the situation!

Tell me something that can’t be cured with a warm, cozy, calming, comforting, eye scolding cup of Tea?

Photo credit probably of the author's mother. This is a picture of the author as a kid, presumably right before being comforted by tea.
Related Posts with Thumbnails