Monday, November 12, 2007

Road trips can be -- whimsical

"Lawnmower races, Sisterdale VFD Annual BBQ and Dance, August 18 -- be here!" Road trips can be whimsical.

Once I saw a faded La-Z-Boy recliner sitting in an ocean of red Indian Paintbrush, out in the middle of nowhere, facing the distant, beige mountains. It was a little the worse for wear, but the view from its lumpy cushions was as good as it gets.

On the backroads of Alberta, a witty farmer stuffed a pair of blue work britches with straw, fastened boots at the ends of the pant legs, rolled the whole works up in a hay bale with the legs and boots protruding and left it neatly centered in his field, causing drivers like myself to do a double take and veer wildly over the center line. They like to be push the envelope down there, those Canadians.

Once in Missouri I was in a MacDonald's where every single customer, down to the smallest child, wore cowboy boots. They stared at my family and our feet, we in our scuffed tennies, as if we had just landed our space ship in the parking lot.

I paid $12.44 for a meal in Tennessee. The figure sticks in my mind because it took me a few minutes to interpret, "Thatah be tway-uh fo-ah-tee-fo-aah," each syllable drawn out like the strands of some verbal taffy pull.

Okay, now, don't laugh. I fell in love with a blue-eyed cowboy at a Texaco station in Durango, Colorado. But after a few smitten minutes I signed the credit slip he offered me and left him and his tight jeans for the siren call of the road. I'm not sure it would have worked out anyway. Do cowboys take road trips?

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