Sunday, July 13, 2008

Long Drive Off a Short Pier

This morning began with a fight. As we were preparing for our ten-hour drive to the Grand Canyon, Wifey encountered some problems combing out the girl’s hair. In fact, she broke her favorite comb clean in half on a massive tangle.

You have to understand that Wifey has had this comb since she was a little girl. I think this comb is a family heirloom. She’d planned on handing this comb down through the generations. Now it’s garbage in the bin at Holiday Inn.

“What the hell have you been doing with her hair?” Wifey asks. “You’re supposed to be in charge of making sure that they’re clean.”

“They are clean,” I shot back. “In fact, they’re clean enough to eat off of.” To prove my point, I wiped a donut across the boy’s forehead and took a big bite.

“How is this clean?” Wifey gestured at the Gordion knot atop the girl’s head. She was now weeping big tears as Wifey fought to bring order to the rat’s nest.

“We’ve been swimming like ten times since we got to the states,” I said. “Pool water is chlorinated to kill bacteria. Ergo, the children are clean. Case closed.” And I crossed my arms to prove that fact, because everybody knows that crossed arms and Latin phrases pretty much win any argument, ipso facto.

Wifey decided to be ignorant and continue arguing. “Haven’t you been using conditioner?”


“Con-dition-nerrrrr.” She said it like she was explaining Quantum Physics to Forrest Gump. “You have to use conditioner on her hair or it gets tangles.”

“You don’t condition,” I pointed out. “And your hair is as long as hers.”

“I do so use conditioner. Haven’t you ever noticed in the shower how I put shampoo on first, then conditioner?”


“We shower together almost every morning, and you never noticed this? What the hell are you doing in there, then?”

“I’m usually staring at your tits.” Note to self: next time pick a less honest answer.

She glared at me for a good thirty seconds, then finally said “I can’t believe how stupid you are.”

“It’s your fault for thrusting them out like that. I swear, you’re like Jezebel in the shower or something.”

Note to self: next time simply accept accusation of stupidity.

Although I had a plethora of routes to choose from to go to the Grand Canyon, I chose to go through Mesa Verde. I have had lots of friends who have gone there to see the ancient Puebloan Indian cliff dwellings that are there, and they all tell me the same thing:

“This is really amazing. You have to go see those once in your lifetime. They are not to be missed.”

After having visited there, I can honestly say that every single one of them was absolutely incorrect and I need friends with better taste and more honesty.

First of all, I don’t believe that the area was built up by ancient Indians, because as I understand it the Casino was the main building of the Native American lifestyle, and there was absolutely none in evidence.

Second of all, these buildings are less impressive than you might believe. Maybe this is cultural bias, but mud-and-wattle is simply not as cool as stone.

Third of all, they’re built at the end of a sixty-mile long road that weaves up and down treacherous cliffs, and is so not worth the stress and Dramamine required to navigate it.

Fourth, it costs fifteen bucks to get in. Hey, I only spent nine bucks to smell the Great Fart Lake and see the psychedelic buffalo statues of Antelope Island.

Other than that, Mesa Verde is not to be missed.

As we hiked down the path to see one of these cliff dwellings, we came across three 20ish college girls hauling down a load of “restoration” stuff. Personally, I think they were expanding Mesa Verde and the whole thing is a government conspiracy to create antiquities and prevent exploration for oil and gas in the area in order to keep us dependent on Saudi Arabia.

Sorry, that just slipped out. Been watching too much late-night Public Access Cable.

Anyways, we came across these girls, and everyone in the family hiked right by them as they struggled with their giant cases. Everyone except the boy. He sensed an opportunity. Remember that he is only five.

“Hello, ladies,” he said to them. “Hot enough for you?”

They all blush at him and giggle.

“Are you scouts or something?” he asks.

“No,” said one as she giggled at him. “We’re students going to work on restoring the ancient ruins.”

He then strikes up a five minute conversation with them about what that means, at the end of which they invite him to ride up on top of the box that they’ve been struggling with, with the third one fanning him as they walk.

Do they make chastity belts for little boys?

After a few hours in the park, during which the children adopted an attitude of “what was the point of this again?” we finally left, stopping only long enough to get ice cream.

The children ordered mint chocolate chip, the foulest ice cream devised by man. It’s their mother’s influence. Everybody knows that all right-minded people eat Pralines and Cream or Cookie Dough.

If you disagree, remember that this is my blog and I will figure out how to ban you if need be.

Once we’d left Mesa Verde, we did what every single American family should do at least once in their life: we went to Four Corners.

Hey, where else can you and your 2.3 children stand each in a different state? Nowhere, that’s where. Unfortunately, Four Corners stands in Indian Territory. Specifically, it stands in the lands belonging to the Greedajo, whose ancient custom is to charge excessively for even the most mundane service.

They’ve set up a large square of stalls full of crap, which all costs about twice what it should, and for which they do not provide change. So if you want to buy a 30 cent postcard, prepare to either pay in exact change or pay a dollar. There is no middle ground.

As we stood looking at the giant seal, I decided to see if Wifey’d cooled off over the whole tangled hair incident.

“So, you wanna make it in four states?”

“Honey,” she said sweetly to me, “Maybe you’d do for Rhode Island, but these are big states. I just don’t think you’re up to it.”

Verdict: still pissed.

Whenever we travel anywhere, Wifey has to get a magnet for her sister (who has appeared here before as Sis-In-Law). We decided to look for a magnet for her at Four Corners, because it’s a noteworthy stop along the route.

We went into one of the grungy roadside stands and examined authentic Greedajo hand crafts. Apparently the main body of the Greedajo tribe lives in Thailand.

“This is outrageous!” Wifey said.

Having learned from my earlier problems, I immediately said “I didn’t mean to! I’m sorry!”

“This magnet is five bucks!” She showed it to me.

“Inconceivable!” I pretended mock outrage. “Unconscionable! A magnet like that should cost, uh, no more than, um…what should it cost?”

“A buck ninety-nine,” she said. “Every damn magnet I’ve bought costs a buck-ninety-nine. There’s no way I’m buying this.”

“Yeah!” I said. “You go, girl!”

“Good afternoon!” said the jovial Greedajo shopkeeper. “How are you folks this afternoon?”

“You should be ashamed of yourself,” Wifey said in her voice reserved for child molesters. “Come on, let’s go.”

“Yeah!” I said.

In order to break up the monotony of the drive, we’ve been playing the license plate game. This went really well, until we got to Arizona, where there are no passing lanes, and the roads are all one-lane. So we spent 6,472 miles behind the same slow truck with a bumper sticker that said “Don’t like my driving? Go fuck yourself!”

Finally, I reached a stretch where I could go past him. Wifey mooned him as we went, and he, blinded by her posterior, swerved off the road into a fiery crash.

“Good riddance,” Wifey muttered.

After longer than I care to think about, we finally arrived at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel in Williams. We turned in, all tuckered out from a long day’s drive.

Wife, perhaps aroused by the fiery crash, perhaps appreciative of me having driven the entire way, saw fit to spend quality time together that night.

Her earlier prediction proved to be inaccurate: I didn’t even live up to a tour of Vatican City, much less four whole Western states.

Tomorrow: The Grand Canyon by rail

1 comment:

Alice H said...

Haagen Dazs Rocky Road, dude. Best ice cream ever.