Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
What In the Horsefeathers Wuz That?
Saturday, April 24, 2010
A *Roasted* Skunk
Here is the gist of the 'roast':
My 'knack' for writing was recognized well before I acknowledged it. In the mid 90s, through what can only be called a 'fluke', I began writing a weekly humor column for a small town newspaper in Colorado. In '99, a friend convinced me to start a web page, featuring my columns. When the paper changed hands and I was discontinued in December 2000, I was used to posting on the web page -- known as Out of (Cyber) Thin Air -- twice weekly, and kept it up for years. A writing friend -- a blogger herself since 2004 -- pestered me into starting a blog in June 2005. It became my hobby, and remains so to this day (I pulled the plug on my web page in March 2007). That's a quick "how I came to blog"; why I blog is, it is, as stated, a hobby. A fun, intellectual hobby. And it's brought me into contact with some incredibly talented, gifted people I have the honor to read and be read by. Every time I do a post that gets one smile or *guffaw*, is reason enough for me to continue.
What's the story behind your blog name?
When I first went online in 1995, my first email address was horsefeathers; since then, I've used cowfethers, moosefeathers, badgerfeathers, snowsnakefeathers, t_rexfeathers ... about the time I started my blog, I commissioned an artistic friend to draw me an icon for my new blog, Skunkfeathers. And that's the way it's been, ever since.
What is the best thing about being a blogger?
The people I've met online, the fabulous talents I've had the pleasure to read and exchange correspondence with, and befriend. And it allows me to share my off-the-wall brand of humor with a degree of comfort; it also allows me to combine my off-the-wall humor with something of a public service: unmasking/making fun of online email scammers, and posting my escapades with them for readers to enjoy (I've been an active scambaiter since 2000).
What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?
Be wary of pet rocks that disassemble your TV remotes, and reassemble them AFTER watching an The Outer Limits marathon on the Sci-Fi Channel ... it'll get you interesting blogs, but mayhem on the home front.
What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?
That's a tough question to answer... and about the time I try, a more significant post by one of several quality bloggers I read will come along. The significance is, there never seems to be a 'ceiling' in the quality of bloggers.
What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?
Again, a tough one to answer. I think the one I wrote that meant the most to anyone -- besides some of the military history posts I've done -- was a tribute to a fellow blogger who is always going out of her way to help others; then she suffered a mild stroke (TIA), and I wrote a piece for her titled A Time To Give, A Time To Heal. This was back in '06 or early '07; she still reminds me that it's her favorite entry I've ever written.
If you were to suggest two blogs for roasting who would you pick, and why?
I don't know if these have been through the roast before but I have several in mind:
She of She Writes who is worthy of all the attention she gets.
Other wonderful blogs I would recommend are:
Sniffles And Smiles (Janine Abbott)
Baron It All (Frank Baron)
A Day In The Life of Me (Monica Newton)
Mayden's Voyage (Cora Blinsmon)
The why is simply the quality of the product these bloggers bring to their respective blogs. I'm never disappointed with a visit to any of their blogs, unless they haven't posted in a while.
That concludes the formal aspect of the interview but it would be nice to get to know you a little better while you are slowly turning on the roasting spit. So while you are screaming in agony above the open fire here are a few more questions for you.
Pick three things you can't live without (no you cannot have ice cubes to cool you down)
My sense of humor, my blog friends, and my storm chasing.
If we were to make a movie about blogland, what would it be and who would you cast in the leading roles?
Ah, a sore spot with me right now; my pet rock Seymour, keeps trying to write movie scripts he claims are first-run and one-of-a-kind; all of them appear to be knock-offs of classics, done in parody-style ("are NOT!"..that was Seymour in the background). So if a movie about blogland were going to be done, I'd leave it to Seymour...I'm comfortable that Steven Spielberg will never option the script ("will TOO!").
If you could live your life again who would you be, and why?
If I could live my life again, I'd live it as me. And hope to do it better. Being able to go back and do it again, retaining the wisdom and lessons I've learned/squandered up to now, would be a triple plus. At any rate, why would I want to be someone else, with my own glaring imperfections staring me in the mirror?
You have been given a wonderful talent from above. This causes you to make your mark on humanity and be world famous. In which area would prefer: a best selling novelist, a brilliant artist, a gifted musician, a fantastic singer, a charismatic leader, anything you choose, and why?
I'd settle, albeit reluctantly, for the best selling novelist. But with fame comes a price; I'm not sure it's a price my preference for a low-key lifestyle would reckon well with. But I'm not famous, so no worries ;-)
If you were an ice cream cone, which flavour would you prefer and who would you most want to lick you?
Oh horsefeathers, that's easy: chocolate. Women LOVE chocolate. 'Nuff said.
(Yet another fine answer - I've had several good ones lately LOL)
Describe in one sentence your perfect day
I write a blog entry that everyone who reads it, laughs aloud.
If you were a fictional writer which one would you be and why?
I'd be me...I don't see myself in the ranks of the top fiction writers of the day. I'd settle just to be me, and write something that people enjoy reading.
And finally if you have answered all these questions I invite you to ask me one in return - it's the least I can do. OK fire away!
Well, lemme see h'yar...*mulling*... okay ... if a sheep is a ram, and a donkey is an ass, why is a ram in the ass a goose?
*Jeopardy Theme Music*
Now ladies please shut your eyes while I answer Mike's question. Oh go on then, but I did warn you!
Because he likes to ram his point home of course! Also he trys to solve riddles, is a bit sheepish, confuses geese with turkeys and requires the services of SpecSavers! There - understand it now?
You are most welcome Mike and a popular choice. Thanks for the interview.
Friday, April 23, 2010
"Get Back To Me"
*Note: this is from the Xmas archives from about '05 or so...but I didn't have time to prep something else, so you gets this 'un now*
Andy Williams (and others) sang it's the most wonderful time of the year.
Santa hears that these days and winces.
But, he perseveres. Tradition and public expectations are hard to buck. Easier to get a reindeer to do that, but I digress.
To the newly-dubbed and totally unofficial (for the season only) Santa Claus email addy (aka, one of my email addys) , came an email today with the title "Get Back To Me". It was from none other than Chief Anthony Mayor.
It's basically the same old same old, with the same old typos and spelling gaffes; and it demands immediate attention because time is shot. I think he meant "short", but whatever.
As if Santa hasn't got enough irons in the fire (the elves are trying to prevent him from playing any more bad golf), now he has Nigerian email scamming Chief Mayors demanding "immediate attention".
And Rodney Dangerfield thought he got no respect.
But Santa knows that the Missus won't brook him ignoring a wish letter. Especially now. So Santa returned the following response, diplomatically balancing answering something of a wish with providing the reality of the times in his suave, debonair style:
Chief Mayor Tony:
Damn, that's an impressive title you got yourself there. Some mayors are called "chief" by their adoring and/or grovelling subords; I oughta know, especially in the latter case. But you have twice the title of a regular chief or mayor. While it tends to be a bit redumbdant, that's strangely in keeping with your email to me, and has some bearing on my response.
Chief/Mayor, I am so sorry but you present me with this offer to give me the business at the absolute WORST possible time of the year for me. You see, I have a 24/7 gift preparation service that is running behind schedule, with elves working triple time, getting me in all sorts of hot water with elves rights groups, payroll, my comptroller....you know how it is; you're a chief.
And it gets worse: three of my reindeer are questionable for the 'Big Night' (two with muscle strains, and one with cramps...who knew?). Training replacements is no easy matter, as flying reindeer aren't a dime a doe-zen.
See what I just did there? No...I'm sure you don't. That's a little North Pole humor, but I digress.
And while I'm busting my hump to get the production and shipping end ready, the Missus is being hounded on the administrative and PR end by animal rights folks, labor rights folks, the PC folks who want the mere mention of "Christmas" banned in public, those incredibly pesky ACLU types who don't think I go far enough to represent everyone well enough to avoid offending SOMEBODY, SOMEWHERE, the OSHA folks, etc.
Add to that, my having to file flight plans in countless national airspaces, taking into account "no fly zones" where some trigger-happy software program is waiting to put an anti-air missile up Rudolph's tail pipe, and those nit-picky homeowners' associations and their "no rooftop landings" rules. And on, and on...
Finally, there's the wee matter of my having to cover the globe to reach every good boy and girl's homes (another bone of contention with the ACLU...the "too much time on their hands" clods) in the 31 hours I am allocated according to this silly thing designed by a Roman tyrant called a calendar, over 2000 years ago. In so doing, I have to violate more than a few laws of science, Nature, and piss off the global warming crowd with my "alleged" contributing to the ozone hole with my and the reindeer's flatulence.
Call it rude if you want: but you try eating a few billion cookies and drinking an ocean of left-out beverages of various types, and see if you don't get gas. The reindeer don't fancy hauling my ever-expanding ass all over the stratosphere, either.
Bottom line, Chief/Mayor: I am just not available right now for you to give the business to.
But in having perused a proof-read copy of your missive (I have an elfen secretary who is positively anal-retentive about spelling and grammar), I find that there is something I can leave in your...er...whatever it is you use for a stocking over the firepit. Maybe a meerkat hide, I dunno (I won't tell the animal rights folks). Anyway, I think you'll benefit from a spellcheck program for your computer. And I also think you'll benefit from a brand new case of Handi-wipes, for when (or if) you remove your head from your ass, especially when it comes to sending out fourth-rate scams from Third World countries, you moronic turd.
The Handi-wipes may give you a whole new perspective. Try and use 'em.
Just so's you know that Santa isn't always jolly; I have a public image to keep up, even when shrieking rugrats are peeing all over me. But the public ain't here now; it's just you and me, Chief/Mayor. So permit me to tell you, in all genuine and season's greetings, heart-felt candor, that you, Chief/Mayor, suck ass.
Merry Christmas, outhouse breath.
"Jolly" Ol' St. Nick (and other "nick" names...*snort*)
If a reply is received, you'll be the third to know. If, that is, my anal-retentive elfen secretary doesn't have an apoplexy trying to decipher it, first.
*Chief-Mayor Tony did reply...but not coherently: I got a return email with no text. Left the poor buggers speechless, I did*
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
A Rumor of Kansas
*Author's note: this entry was originally released 9-2-05; updated 7-31-08; and re-released in April '10, in keeping with the travel humor theme of late*
In a recent post I read, a blogger was in the midst of waxing most favorably about his driving visit to Colorado. Like most good things, it -- the visit -- had to come to an end. Faced with a return to Texas, he opted for the eastern route out of Colorado, and faced that dire dearth of splendor to the east, what he referred to as "the visual equivalent of wiping ones' eyes with sandpaper".
Being a native Iowan, I am accustomed to jokes about my particular state of origin (note: Stephen King's Children of the Corn used Nebraska as a backdrop, not Iowa..nyah nyah). Being a transplant in Colorado, I am accustomed to hearing and making jokes about transplanted Texans (about hunting), Califorlornians (about them having screwed up their state, and now seeking to do the same here), Floridians (about their winter driving and ballot-reading inacumen). And of course, who hasn't heard a joke or two about the great waste of the northern plains, North Dakota, rumored to be one of the last places on Earth that the Ice Age revisits yearly, along with my ex-fiancee, but I digress.
For anyone who's driven across Kansas by accident or design, and survived the sheer boredom of it, well..."ack" doesn't begin to describe it. Travelling east, you leave the splendor of Colorado's mountains and foothills, and emerge into a vast...flatness, relieved only by crossing the border into Misery.
In Colorado, on a clear day you can climb to the top of a mountain, and see for miles in every direction. In Kansas, you can do the same thing using an 8' step ladder.
But the thrill just ain't there.
I once mused that so much of eastern Colorado, from Limon to the border, looked so much like Kansas -- flat and desolate -- that Colorado would eventually declare, fight, and win a border war with Kansas. Then, flush with victory, Colorado would force Kansas to take everything east of Limon.
Misery -- not the state -- loves company.
But I would be most remiss if I didn't acknowledge that there is another side to Kansas, and many a staunch ally who stand up vociferously for that side of Kansas. To them, Kansas is the I-ching. Kansas is an oracle. A temple, a shrine. Indeed, a diety. Kansas is the answer to all things mesocyclonic. Kansas is a paragon of EF* virtue. Kansas isn't Iowa...but it, to this sect of dedicated, devoted, science and meteorologically-oriented, mild-to-madly-insane lunatics, is Heaven.
To them, beholding mesocyclonic supercells on the vast plains of Kansas, is akin to a deeply poignant, intensely moving religious experience. To drive through horizontal rain, and suffer the slings and arrows..er..the dings and pits of golf ball/worse size hail, to get that perfect image of the swirling leviathan from the 'bear cage', is akin to a cigarette after perfect sex, or a score in a karaoke bar that doesn't lose it's luster outside of barlighting.
For them, the miles tallied in Kansas are a badge of honor. It is the Yellow Brick Road of meteorologic reality. And in the midst of what they seek, it's not unlike the interior of a Walmart the day after Xmas. Or Katrina.
And just so's you know, I do know a person or two who resides in Kansas, and do so by choice. Yeah, they do seem pretty sane, and neither one's a storm chaser. And they proudly love it.
It's one of the many rumors that is Kansas.
* Enhanced Fujita Scale, a system of rating the energy/destructive power of a tornado
Sunday, April 18, 2010
A Tale of Three States
Thursday, April 15, 2010
A Product Review, Eh?
Monday, April 12, 2010
More Politically (In)Correct Travel Humor
Friday, April 9, 2010
The "INCOMING!" of Spring
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
*From the 2006 archives, and third in the Kansas Has Company-Politically Correct Travel Humor series...*
Okay...it's now "another time". For those of you hypersensitive to gender issues, you may want to skip to the next blog entry. Or re-read the previous one (Kansas Has Company, from October 2006). *Warning: stereotypical male opinions/observations upcoming*
There we were: two brothers, at a Travelodge in Mesa, Arizona, down for a little family unfun of the abruptly deceased kind. It was the early evening of that first night, just before sundown that I first noticed her, walking with slow deliberation across the parking lot toward her room, about a dozen doors or so away from us. At a distance, she was tall, in the 5' 10" or so range; she appeared to be rather lean and sleek, moving with something of a grace that one might expect to see of a woman in elegant attire, or finely honed like an athlete. She was blonde. At a distance, I couldn't judge her age with any accuracy, but guessed anyway that she was 30-ish. She was clad in very short shorts, and a t-shirt that didn't cover her midriff. And she had that walk: the walk so demonstrated by Jessica Rabbit in that dimly-lit bar lounge.
No doubt about it: she caught my attention.
Later that evening, while little brother was trying to get a wireless signal for his laptop computer (the hotel said it had such, and it did: but only if you opened the door of the room, and sat in the doorway to "get" it), sitting next to the open door, he saw her for the first time, too: and did one of those classic head-jerking double takes. Yep: at a distance, not bad.
We're guys; that's the way it is, until we're indifferent or dead.
The next morning, while awaiting Maricopa County deputies with whom we had to meet, I saw her again, walking from her room to the office; during that slow, purposeful walk of hers, she turned and glanced my way, and nodded her head.
Little Bro: Looks like you might have made a new friend here.
Me: So it do.
Perhaps just male-ego illusions...
After a busy day of dealing with the things necessary for the trip and getting dinner in another seemingly over 60s eatery, the sun was coursing it's way below the roofline of the hotel; in the dying embers of daylight, it was still quite warm, but calm and pleasant outside. So we grabbed a couple beverages (lightweights we are, they were Cokes from the vending machine at the office), and 'parked it' outside of the room, shooting the breeze and enjoying the relative peace of the evening.
Then she came out of her room: once again, clad in those very short shorts, and midriff-baring t-shirt. She was apparently in the process of cleaning the air filter on the AC unit for her room; she glanced our way a few times, and threw a couple comments in our direction that neither of us could discern.
Okay, we're guys; we stared back, particularly when she bent over at the waist to do something, facing away from us. After finishing up whatever it was she was doing, she -- with a bottle of Corona Beer in hand -- leisurely sashayed to the dumpster near the street, and then walked back, and chose then to stop and visit with us.
Still cloaked in the lengthening shadows of night, she looked, well...interesting. Then she walked up to within three feet of moi, and the soft lights escaping our open hotel room splashed across her features like a lighthouse, revealing...a rock-strewn, hostile shoreline. And right there, up close and personal, we saw her in all her...self.
Recall if you will or can, the visual reaction of one of the members of The Dirty Dozen as the seven prostitutes entered their barracks, and one of them was exceptionally....rough-faced (he stared, shook his head and went "phwhew").
That was the reaction both of us suppressed, as we entered into conversation with the body of a woman, with the face of the late Sam Kinison:
Her: (in a voice that left us in some doubt as to the gender we were speaking to) How're you boys doing tonight?
Us (more or less): Uh, fine. And you?
Her: Oh, just great! I'm on my third Corona *takes a long pull at it*...ahhhh, I just love a good cold one on a hot night, don't you?
Me: Never had the stuff, myself...I prefer Sam Adams...
Lil' Bro: Stuff's terrible. Makes me see things. (Lil' Bro was having more subtle fun with this than I was, and made it rough for me to keep a straight face).
Her: Really? Too bad....it's really good stuff *takes another long pull on the bottle in what we took to be a suggestive manner*
She introduced herself as "Karley", we in turn, introduced ourselves as ourselves.
Her: Where you from?
Me: Colorado. And you?
Her: Oh, I'm a native to this area.
Lil' Bro: Do you still live here (meaning in the area, since she was staying in the hotel)?
Her: Oh yes..I've been living in this hotel now for about three months...are you two just visiting, or on business?
Me: Just visiting for business, so to speak.
Her: And what do you visitors do?
Me: Well, he (Lil' Bro) is a rocket scientist type who works on quantum thingees or some such..
(she giggles in a gravelly sort of way)
Me: and I work in a casino.
Her: Really? Bet you know how to play the spreads, don't you?
(unable to resist)
Me: So what do you do for a living, Karley?
Her: Ohhhhh, I....I work in personal customer service.
(Lil' Bro and I exchanged brief *TOING* glances while she took another pull on the bottle)
(unable to resist again)
Me: Personal customer service, eh? I get the sense you enjoy what you do.
Her (with another giggle sorta): Well, it pays my bills...and depending on the client, it can be quite fun.
Lil' Bro: I'm sure it has it's sucky moments, too (this one nearly ruined my weakening facade).
Her: *Taking a long last, draining pull on the beer, and tossing her head in a "this way, boys" manner* Well, you two, if you get bored or want some fun, drop by my room, anytime.
And away she Jessica Rabbit-walked. Almost seemingly even slower, so we'd get the full effect.
We sat there for a minute, exchanging glances like *are you number two-ing me?*, then meandered back into our room, holding the laughter until the door was shut.
From that moment on -- and here, my conservative mean-spiritedness comes through like a belch in church -- as the story of the trip was/is told, she became known as Barlight Betty, the Travelodge Trollop.
Monday, April 5, 2010
Politically Correct Travel Humor
In the previous blog entry, a reader took offense to my tongue-in-cheek anecdote of travelling across New Mexico, enroute to it's somewhat look-alike neighbor, Arizona. Among his other emotional observations was that my seeing eye dog must have been asleep, I'm full of sh**, and he even managed to throw a f**k in there (to borrow his colorful metaphors, which are not standard fare in this blog; unlike some individuals, I don't need to employ the simple four letter words to make a point).
Guess that person told me, eh? What he told me, he didn't intend to. I'll return to that momentarily.
But I must acknowledge that the person did have one point that was relevant and, for a critique, carried merit: I misspelled Albuquerque originally. That much has been corrected. Thanks for that correction.
If you've read much of this blog, I tend to make fun of things. Frequently, the target of my humor -- satire, parody or sarcasm -- is me. I do things that, in the light of having survived it, it's funny. And I have no problem poking fun at myself. Hard for anyone to be offended when it's me I'm having a laugh over.
As for places, I've made fun of Kansas: I've often suggested that Colorado start a border war with Kansas, and after we've soundly thumped them, make them take all of Colorado from Limon, east. 'Cuz it all looks the same. I've also poked fun at North Dakota; my very capable chiropractor is from North Dakota, and is a doll to boot. I let her read it; she laughed, and didn't bend me into a pretzel thereafter.
I've poked fun at the Left Coast (aka, Califorlornia); I've poked fun at Florida. I've poked fun at my own home state of Iowa (I've heard jokes about the place for years, and find some pretty inventive humor in some of them). Ah writs like ah dun think them thar rednecks writs, 'speshully when ah'm funnin' them thar Nigerian scamster fellers hyar.
Yep, I do that.
At the same time, I've travelled through 38 of our 50 states thus far: and no matter what the state, there is always something good I can write about it. Each state is unique; each state has history, geography and culture unique to it. That's a simple statement of fact.
If I'm of a mind, such humor will be written at such a time and place as I wish to. It just so happened that in the previous case of New Mexico, I found the good thing was leaving it behind...*oh dang, I dun it agin*. Hate when that happens.
Since my reason for traversing New Mexico was for attending to a family loss, and not for seeking the scenery I'm sure is there in abundance, that didn't factor heavily in the previous blog entry. The fact that a map would lead me to such stuff, and I wasn't there for that, obviously went over the head of this emotional, in-need-of-Valium critic.
Now, what this complainer to my one-time view of New Mexico has decided is, in essence, I'm full of ca-ca. Tell ya what, fella: sometimes, I am. Deliberately. It's called humor. It might not fit your definition of the word; but perhaps you find humor in something that someone else objects to. From the tone of your pithy comments, I'd reckon so, even though I have to concede not knowing you, any more than your pathetic comments indicate that you know me.
Be that as it may, you can challenge my facts, where/if I've bothered to put up any outside of tongue-in-cheek; you can point out my typos and misspellings, which are pretty hard to deny once they're posted for all to see. You can even challenge what I consider humor, and deign it nothing of the sort. And you'll be right for your little universe. No doubt, you'll even have folks who agree with you.
Humor is subjective, and humor tastes run quite the gamut.
Folks are free to come and go here; those who enjoy what they read, I always welcome their comments when they choose to do so. Those who don't like what they read, are free to not visit again; no point for someone to come in here and constantly grouse about what I chose to write about and/or how. If they choose to comment, it's my choice to let their words stand, or take them down, if I feel they've crossed a line of decorum that I set on my blog, and I won't brook the crossing of. Constructive criticism is always welcome. Heck, I can even live with some emotional criticisms.
* the unhappy party fired a couple parting salvos in comments that showed he didn't get it, picked up his marbles and left, and -- *yawn* -- took me off his overflowing blog roll. Boy, that sure hurt...considering I never knowd I was on it, and noticed not a whit of traffic difference, before or after.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Kansas Has Company
*This originally wasn't intended as a two-part post; it started as a one-time entry, from what started as a very unhappy life event in 2006; but thanks to one very disgruntled reader, it became a two-part entry, and amused at least a few...be sure to read the comments at the end, and Part II will make perfect sense*
The reason for the trip was anything but enjoyable. But the reason made the trip necessary: I had to drive from Denver, Colorado, to Phoenix, Arizona. Cost negated the flying option, leaving me only the choice of route.
SW across Colorado and into Utah, then straight south to Phoenix, or straight south from Denver to I-40, and then straight west into Arizona, traversing a fair portion of New Mexico. Those were the choices.
For expediency, the choice was dictated by interstate highway: I-25 to I-40 to I-17, destination Arizona, by way of New Mexico.
Having now made the drive and returned via the same route, I am armed with an opinion based on personal experience. And personal experience renders an opinion somewhat more viable from one what's been there. And that experienced opinion is thus: Kansas has competition for *yawn*.
Or put another way: driving across New Mexico is like wiping ones' bum with a cactus*. At least, the route I took, anyway.
Less than an hour into New Mexico, I was already bored with the flat, endless vista of not a helluva lot, punctuated by little else, interspersed with several mega herds of antelope. After passing perhaps the fifth such mega herd, I dared to mindlessly venture a set-up line to my equally-smart ass younger brother:
Me (in a mind-numbed state): I wonder what the antelope's main predator is here?
Lil' Bro: Kenworths...
A hundred miles more -- and nothing else added to the scenery -- it was his turn to lazily stumble into a set-up line:
Lil' Bro: What do you think the New Mexico state slogan is?
Me: Roadrunner...the coyote's after you..
Of course, there were a few breaks in the scenery vacuum that defined New Mexico south toward I-40 at Albuquerque. One such was Santa Fe, New Mexico. Which my brother slept through. Waking up 30 minutes later, this brief conversation:
Lil' Bro: Where are we?
Me: About 40 miles south of Santa Fe.
Lil' Bro: Missed it, eh?
Lil' Bro: Miss much?
Me: Dunno...I slept through it, too.
Lil' Bro (tilting his head back to resume his nap): Good. Then we both have something to look forward to on the return trip.
We approached Albuquerque with some trepidation, knowing that not only did we need I-40 west there, but from our distant (sorta) childhoods, we recalled the sh...crap that Bugs Bunny used to get into, everytime he missed that infamous "left turn at Albuquerque".
On the trip down, a turn left simply wasn't in the geographical cards, short of circling the town and approaching it from the south. Ideologically, it was even less in the cards, but I digress. Anyway, it worked out okay: no stuttering pigs or maniacal ducks were encountered as a result of turning right at Albuquerque.
Instead, once clear of it, we re-encountered that signature geography that so well defined this part of New Mexico: nuthin'. Save for some curious rock formations that straddled the interstate for a period of some miles: my rocket-scientist brother suspected that they were lava bed formations; my less-geologically-educated self suspected that they were large deposits of petrified dinosaur dung. While Lil' Bro was probably right, we spent a few miles considering the warped notion of some NMDOT engineer -- probably off at a donut shop giggling to him/herself -- over routing I-40 direct through a massive petrified Jurassic outhouse.
And, of course, there were the various and sundry Indian reservations we motored through. Each marked by a sign noting the entry to a particular tribal reservation, a sign noting the exit from a particular tribal reservation, and somewhere there betwixt -- in the middle of absolutely nuthin but petrified lava or dino dung, depending on ones' education level -- were ornate, even lavish, tribal casinos.
We figured that the only craps we needed to chance were the fauxpetrified ones we passed at 80 mph.
As we continued west, a discussion briefly landed on an issue that cuts across national politics and science fiction:
Me: do we pass anywhere near Roswell?
Lil' Bro: *scanning map*...nope. It's behind and well south of us.
Me: So much for alien encounters.
Lil' Bro: There's still Arizona.
Me: Not the same...these here have big heads and eyes, and those ahead have fake IDs.
Seven hours after crossing the Rue-it-con, we exited New Mexico for the distinctly similiar geography of NE Arizona. Relieved as we were, we both knew that, in roughly three or so days, we'd have to do it again. And neither of us fancied another seven hours of wiping our bums with cactus*. So we pondered the alternate route north to Utah, and east to Colorado.
But after three days in Mesa, AZ (a SE 'burb of Phoenix) -- where every restaurant we stopped in, WE were the youngest people present; and on every other block in the town sat a mortuary, as if we needed constant reminders as to why we were making this trip -- we were ready to face about anything other than another meal with false teeth in the mashed potatoes.
Even New Mexico.
And that was how it wound up: weather to the north and a rockslide along western I-70 in Colorado made it necessary to revisit that which we'd just yawned through. Dadgummed Roswellians: they were going to make sure we took that left turn at Albuquerque.
Which we did, without incident or interference from animated animals, aliens of any kind or local/state gendarme, strangely enough (since we passed through at 80 mph enroute, and returned through averaging 85+).
And even with the left turn at Albuquerque, nothing had changed. New Mexico remained exactly as it had probably been for eons: the equivalent of wiping ones' butt with a cactus*.
At least in Kansas, they don't have cactus.
At any rate, that's my fauxtravelogue for New Mexico. Great people, I'm sure. Wonderful place to avoid, I know (at least the route we took).
In a brief aside, I did leave out one aspect of the Mesa experience: the encounter we had with the hooker at the Travelodge we stayed at in Mesa. But that's for another time.
* of course, I was kidding about the wiping the bum with a cactus. But as readers will note, one reader took mighty offense at my poking fun at the state to our south...