Welcome Back!

sun 3

Greetings Readers!

In the past few weeks, you might have wondered if old Bones wandered off and forgot her blog.

Perhaps you were reminded of the dry spell of early 2013 and started to worry.

Maybe a twinge of panic hit your stomach when you realized how long droughts last.

A desperate question entered your head as you briefly considered that this might be the end of another blog.

Will we ever see another post from Puney?

Worry no longer, dear readers. I am back and here to put your curious minds to rest.

I’ve been spending time in the land of sun and skinny people, California, with the Mister.

The cats stayed behind to watch the house and water the houseplants.

It was a glorious time of hiking, drinking, eating and other adventure that can’t be discussed due to a non-disclosure agreement.

Now, back to reality, rested and recharged.

Stay tuned for upcoming posts that are certain to surprise and delight.

Death by Uber

truck

When the bright blue pickup truck cruised into the parking lot, the driver flashed his lights and honked at us. We were the only ones standing outside of the hotel. There was little question that this was our ride and we were the intended riders.

Yet, still the driver continued to honk as he slowly approached like he didn’t see us, the two lone figures in front of his vehicle.

Sure this wasn’t the usual Uber approach, but we were on vacation. Something magical happens to a person’s thinking when on vacation; intuition is easier to ignore, one lowers their guard, suspends disbelief, and takes risks like popping into a dive bar for a drink and talking to leather clad strangers. Or maybe that’s just us?

In any case, we couldn’t have known that the real risk of the trip was getting into this flashy pickup truck.

“Hey ya’ll. Where ya headed?” the driver asked in a slow drawl with a big chunk of chew bulging from his lip.

We’ll call the driver “Justin” as that was how just about every chew chawing, boot wearing native introduced himself that weekend.

It was all so fitting: the weird Uber pickup truck, the Southern accent, the fine Tennessee whiskey tasting that preceded the Uber request which helped to lower our normal standards. We had officially arrived in a mental and physical state of vacation/escape from reality.

So we asked Justin to take us downtown, climbed aboard the ship of uncertainty, and slowly rolled out of the parking lot. He took off towards the highway which seemed to be the right direction, good start so far. I checked out the backseat with satisfaction. No unidentifiable smells, murdery stains, or fast food wrappers, this was getting even better.

As an aside, we recently took an Uber ride in a hand-me-down Honda with an intense college kid driver who had all three of the above in his backseat. It was 10 miles of silence- no radio, no small talk- just silence and uncertainty that we would ever arrive to our destination. This was breath of fresh air, almost.

Then we swerved across the road as we approached the ramp to the highway. I stopped my backseat investigation to refocus on the driver. Justin was completely engrossed in setting his GPS while driving with his knees. FYI: Knees are not the best at controlling a pickup traveling at 50-60 miles an hour.

We made into onto the highway and the GPS was set. Justin was driving with his hands again– we were back on track for a successful trip. Then the voice of the GPS, an English accented female, started to give directions. For some strange reason, she wanted us to turn around.

“Turn right,” she said and Justin drove straight.

She asked again at the next exit, “Turn right.”

Justin shook his head in disagreement and mumbled to himself, “No, that’s not right” and muted her to take us off the highway and down the side street of a small town.

This was more than a little concerning to the Mister- who then turned on the GPS on his phone. Interesting, I thought as I looked over his shoulder. We had gone in the exact opposite direction of where we asked. Justin’s GPS was right after all, who knew?

Once the Mister started to direct Justin, we made it to the big city where Justin did not become a better driver. In fact, his driving became even more distracted as he idled at a green light to show us how he keeps a hand gun on him at all times.

He explained, “There’s a lot of crazy people out there (pause for spit break) and a man’s got to protect himself. That’s why I keep the safety off on days like this.”

Oh, the safety is off on more than just that gun, I thought nervously as he pushed his handgun back between his leg and the seat. He looked up and realizing that he was sitting at a green light, he punched the gas. We lurched forward and then he decided to change lanes, nearly running over a Smart car that had the misfortune of driving next to us.

“We can walk from here,” the Mister said at the next light and opened the door/saved our lives.

It was wild ride that ended just soon enough, costing relatively little for the adventure it provided.

Thanks for the good times, Uber. Don’t worry, we’ll be back.

Wondering what is Uber? (normally a great service)

https://www.uber.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uber_%28company%29

Info on distracted driving- for those of you interested in not driving like Justin 

http://www.distraction.gov/get-the-facts/facts-and-statistics.html

http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/distracted_driving/

Night Noises

Good night, sleep tight, and may the fleas you plenty bite!

Sharing a hotel room with another couple

Can be a challenge

Especially if one person

Has gastrointestinal difficulties    

And the other one snores  

Bloody Mary’s in the morning

Image

The couple sat next to each other on rough wooden stools in a bar.  It was a mostly covered bar, except where the sheets of plastic and tin didn’t come together.  Fresh air, sun, birds, and rain came through the same cracks and openings without discretion.

It was a bright, hot morning.  Silvery puddles remained on the streets and sidewalks from the last night’s heavy rain.  The air felt warm and heavy, a welcome change from the cold and frigid air of the Midwest.

“That was some kind of rain we had last yesterday,” the man said to the woman, as he watched a weather forecast on the tv mounted to the wall.

“Looks like Indiana is about to get hit with a blizzard. Whew, glad we’re out of there.”

Already, they began to identify themselves as a part of the island, thinking they were like locals instead of as conspicuous tourists.  Drinking first thing in the day seemed like the right thing to do in their efforts to acculturate.

“Mmm…hmm…” she agreed without words.

She swirled a straw in a glass of something pink, preoccupied, and took off her large sun hat. With one hand, she smoothed her dark hair back into place.  A cringe took over her pretty mouth when she remembered picking her way through the flooded streets and the murky water swirling around her ankles.

My feet were wet at least four hours, she calculated.  An itch started in the arch of her foot and she cringed again.  Oh god, she thought, what if its trench foot or swamp rot or whatever it is that happens when feet get wet for too long?

As she worried, the bar filled with people for brunch. They jostled and bumped into one another as they ordered rounds of mimosas and Bloody Mary’s.  It was an entire town filled with people on vacation and people who make money from those on vacation.  The unspoken agreement allowed this symbiotic relationship to continue as long as everyone was well-plied with alcohol: morning, noon, and night.

The man broke the woman’s ruminations, “Do you want another Greyhound?”

“No, I think I’ll try a Blood Mary.  I want one of those spicy green beans they use down here.”

He laughed and his blue-grey eyes sparkled, “You could just ask for a green bean, I bet the bartender would give you one.”

They both looked at the bartender, waiting impatiently on another couple.  She wore mystical rings on each of her fingers and her skin was like tanned leather.

The bartender must have sensed them talking about her.  She quickly turned her head with as much sass as one gal could muster for a Monday morning, and gave them a look that said, whatever it is you want, it can wait.

When she turned back to the second couple, her hand was balled up into a fist on her hip.

She explained, “Like I said, there is only one option of champagne for the mimosas.”

The woman from the first pair noticed the couple’s bright gold rings and fresh faces, and whispered to her partner, “Yuppy newlyweds,” with a giggle.

She forgot her foot-related worries as the warmth of the vodka spread across her chest and belly.  Life’s much easier to face when one’s day is started with a good drink, she thought.

“Ok,” the bartender sashayed over. “What can I get for you, two?” she asked with a straight face and a thinly veiled disdain for her patrons.

At least she not’s fake about it, the man thought, noticing her serious demeanor.  I’d much rather know that she dislikes us than have her smile at our faces and spit into our drinks. I suppose she still might spit into our drinks, but at least we’ll see it coming.

“Two Bloody Mary’s, please,” the man requested.

Rather than speaking, the bartender nodded and set off to mixing and measuring out the drinks.

Fat drops of rain started to fall through the cracks.  The rain plinked and plunked when it hit the roof of plastic and tin.  It began to drip onto the man’s head, sliding down his blonde hair onto his chest and shoulders.

His partner began to laugh, and said, “Uh oh, you better come over this way, out of the rain.”

She tugged at his stool to bring him out from under one of the cracks and closer to her.

“Where did that come from?” he asked, peering up through the hole in the roof to the sky, now grey and cloudy.

“It will blow over,” the bartender chortled, seeing the man’s wet head, and set down two tall glasses of Bloody Mary.

“Cheers,” the woman said, picking up her glass.  The man picked up his glass and met hers in the air with a chink.

The woman smiled when she sipped her drink, and two spicy green beans bobbed up in the sea of red tomato juice.

“Thank you,” the woman said, catching the bartender’s attention. The bartender looked up with tired eyes and gave a half smile in acknowledgement.

“We might be here awhile,” the man stated, looking back up to the dark sky while his partner thoughtfully crunched on a spicy green bean.

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