Tuesday, January 16, 2007

It's the terror of knowing what this world is about
Watching some good friends scream, "Let me out!"

Let me review:

Thursday, I headed out at the not-at-all bright and early hour of 6:30. I was driving from Bozeman to Salt Lake City to pick up Danno. Too make a long story, and even longer drive, short, the trip to Salt Lake took a little over four hours longer than it should have.

See, I live in a wild and wooly kind of place. There are mountains everywhere and in between those mountains are valleys. The highways and roads generally follow the valleys. Occasionally, you cross a mountain pass to get to another valley. Understand, I am not bitching about this geographical situation; it is exactly the reason I quit my previous gig and moved here.

On Thursday, I was cruising down the Madison river valley toward West Yellowstone, which was the speediest, most direct route to Salt Lake City. Or so I thought.

It had snowed 6 inches and the wind was a-whipping that dark morning. The Montana Highway Department did a nice job clearing the roads.

Then I crossed into Idaho.

There was a little, orange sign that said "Road Closed." There was a big line of semis. No cops, no highway workers, just a sign. Up ahead, there was something like a railroad-crossing arm lowered across the highway.

I sat there for a few minutes, then turned around to try to find someone to give me an explanation. There, just back across the Montana border, alongside the neatly plowed road was a snowplow. I wheeled in and ran over to the driver.

I said, "Is this highway really closed?"

He laughed and said, "Yup."

He took in the quizzical look on my face and added, "Idaho plows their roads whenever they feel like it. They didn't feel like it today, so they just dropped the arm and closed the road."

I had to backtrack 4 hours, cross over into another river valley and drive through Dillon.

At least it was a pretty drive.

Oh, and as a side note, I bought a new car a few weeks ago.

Since Christmas, I have been pulled over in Idaho 3 times now. (Have I mentioned that I am an excellent driver? Dad used to let me drive the car in the driveway on Sundays. On Sundays. Of course, we have fish sticks on Fridays. Fish sticks. Uh oh. Fart. Wal Mart sucks.)

Once a couple weeks ago, when Quagmire was here. I was real friendly, and got a warning.

Then, after my four hour backtrack, I, uh, had the hammer down in an effort to get to Danno, who was patiently waiting in the Salt Lake airport. Um, this time I got a ticket. Apparently, driving a really fast car really fast kinda gets the attention of state troopers. (Although, the bastards were driving a silver Dodge Ram pickup with no external lights. C'mon. That's not even fair. What happened to the boxy Crown Vics with huge lights on top?) That time I got a ticket. FYI- in Idaho, driving 94 in a 75 nets you a $ 62 ticket. I almost laughed.

And, yesterday, on my way home, I got pulled over again, and I laid on a little story about driving down to Utah to meet my friend, Danno, and his mother, who was recently widowed. Apparently, that tugged on his ray-ban-wearing, mustachioed heartstrings, because I got a warning.

What is it with cops and 'staches? Do you think if I grew a big Tom Selleck mustache and wore Ray-Bans and got pulled over, the cop would walk to the side, I would roll down my window, and he would just give me the single nod and walk back to his crusier and leave?

Although, rest assured, I am thanking my lucky stars and Idaho's Finest for the 66.66% Warning Batting Average, and I will happily cut my $ 62 check and set my cruise in Idaho forevermore.

But would it kill them to put some of that frigging money into plowing their goddamn roads?