Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What Planet Are We On?

Since our trip to Arizona was over a month ago, I guess I will tell the story of the last leg and then move on to other issues, like the commercialization of Valentine's Day or something.

After the scary guy on Highway 54, our drive was uneventful, and we cruised into Tucumcari just after dark. Tucumcari is a fairly small town on I-40/Route 66. We found a hotel just off the freeway, checked in, and went to find some supper.

We drove down a long street that used to be Route 66 and still has lots of kitschy stuff, like a Mexican restaurant with a huge neon sombrero, pink flamingos, etc. We stopped at a sixties style eatery called Dean's Diner. Looked homey and like it would have good family style food. We walked in and something weird happened. There were probably 15 people at various tables and booths. Men of all ages, mostly dressed in coveralls, and, I must say, eating dinner with their hats on, stopped talking and stared at us. Stared as if we had just stumbled into a place where we had no business being. I felt like I was in "Rosemary's Baby." Or "Deliverance."

We stood there for a few minutes, not knowing if we should seat ourselves or wait for the waitress. After awhile, we decided to sit, and found a booth. All talking had stopped when we came in and, after we sat down, it resumed slowly. We sat for maybe ten minutes, no one greeted us, brought us menus, or acknowledged our presence in any way. Finally, I took a note pad out of my purse, wrote "maybe they ignore people who aren't from here until they go away," and passed it to hubby, who nodded. We decided to leave. On our way out, the waitress, who had been pouring coffee, turned around and almost crashed into me. She laughed a little and said, "Oh, I almost got you!" Then she went on her merry way to pour coffee for someone else. Didn't say, "Oh, I'll be right over," or "I'll get you a menu." Clearly, nobody was sorry to see us go.

The next morning, we got gas, and then I had to take pictures of Dean's because obviously, it was going on the blog. Now, don't you think, if someone comes into your eating establishment and just stands there snapping pictures, you would sort of freak out? Especially if you were the pod people from the previous night. But no, Dean's was a totally different place in the light of day. I stepped in and started taking photos. My goal was to snap a few and then run away before they mobbed me.

Instead, I heard what sounded like nice, sane folks in the background, and they seemed to think it was pretty cool that I was in there with my camera. I heard one guy say to the waitress (not the one who had almost scalded me to death with hot coffee), "Hey, Marge, show her the mural in the back, that's what she oughta be taking pictures of!" So Marge obliged, led me to the back where, indeed, there was a cool mural. She asked if I wanted her to "put the spotlight on it," and I said no thanks. Because I didn't trust them and still wanted to get out of there. Part of me thought maybe they had taken me to the back so that they could make me disappear forever. So I took the picture and left. We drove home, wondering all the way what the hell was up in Tucumcari. We will probably never know.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Vows Say Nothing About the Price of Tuna

Overheard at the grocery store, a conversation between a couple that I suspect have been married for at least sixty years:

He: "Here it is, it's 68 cents," pointing to a can of tuna.

She: "It's supposed to be 79 cents!"

He: "But it's 68 cents, that's better."

She: "I'm not buying it here. It's supposed to be 79 cents. I'll buy it at United."

He: "But if you buy it here, you'll save 11 cents."

She: Quite indignant. "I would NOT!"

He: "Yes, you would."


He: Quite confused. "Fifty-nine? You said seventy-nine."

She: "I did NOT!" Starts on down the aisle pushing the cart. He's following and mumbling.

"I don't know why you don't just buy it here . . . "

I am cracking up. And wondering how long before hubby and I will have conversations like that in the grocery store. Oh, wait . . .

Sunday, February 03, 2008

The End . . . Almost

We spent the night in Las Cruces and the next day drove around to see how much things were different. Which was a lot. From there, we drove over the Organ Mountains, named because they supposedly look like organ pipes. I used to rock climb up there. What an idiot. Back then, I probably would have taken that Bright Angel Trail at the Grand Canyon. Ah, youth.

Then we went through White Sands and Alamogordo, then up 54 back to I-40 into Oklahoma where we could go north to home. US 54 is an interesting road between Alamogordo and Santa Rosa. Mainly because there is NOTHING there. Oh, there are a couple of 'towns,' but you can drive there in the dark and see no lights for hours. There was some construction on one part of the road, so we had to stop until the 'guide car' came for us. In the meantime, on a not that cold day, we encountered this.

He would look up the road and then turn around and stare at us. Okay, he was probably looking down the road, but I swear it looked liked he was staring at us. I'm not prone to paranoia, but after awhile, like five minutes of this, I turned to hubby and said, "I feel like I'm in a horror movie." After which, he very slowly turned to me, so as not to annoy the whatever, and said, "It's pretty creepy." Well, of course, I had to take a picture for the blog, but we were right in front of him and I knew he could see us taking a picture. There was nothing else to be taking a picture of, so he had to know it was of him. So I was ascared. But it's the blog, so I did it anyway.

We finally got through without carnage and drove until dark. Which was Tucumcari. What a nightmare. DUN, DUN, DUN!