Monday, February 27, 2012

Grueling weekend






Saturday.  Early AM.  Still dark.  Doing gruntwork restaurant job.  Noticing some cars in parking lot have snow on 'em.  Pondering having to drive a U-Haul through the Columbia River Gorge to pick up my brother-in-law and his stuff.  Ugh.

Yep, immediately after work I had to dash up to The Dalles and rent the truck and then head down US197 to the middle of B.F.E. to get BiL and his stuff.  The Gorge can be an amazingly scenic drive when the conditions are good.  But the canyon acts like a funnel.  Storms coming in from the coast get channeled into it and drastically amplified.  Turns out that the snowy cars were an omen and Saturday was a Storm Day.  Ugh.

Experienced the joy of driving a U-Haul in snow, rain, dust storm w/ about 50' of visibility, and STUPID winds.  After going down 197 and coming back to The Dalles we stopped for lunch.  Even the locals were griping about the wind, and they're supposedly used to it.  Driving the dang truck was like flying a kite.  Along about Cascade Locks there's a narrow, twisty bit on the interstate.  As we rounded the corner, there was a Dodge Dakota with a crunched front end, stalled sideways in the middle of the freeway.  He must've got crossed-up and hit the guardrail or something.  I *just* barely managed to get whoa'd up without center-punching the Dakota as its passengers scrambled out and hurried to the road shoulder.  Then the little voice in my head said "You're sitting dead still in the middle of a tight turn on the interstate during a wind and rainstorm.  This is going to be bad."  Thankfully we got around the truck and were able to help them push it out of the roadway.  Nobody was hurt, but we could have been one Inattentive Moron away from being in a dozen-car pileup.  Phew!

Finally got back to my place in Corvallis.  Spent the rest of my weekend rearranging the stuff to make room for BiL's stuff.  Remember that George Carlin bit about "Your house is just a place where you keep your stuff, while you go out and get... more stuff!"?  Yes, the inside of my house now looks like an overstuffed mini-storage unit.  But BiL is now out of a bad situation, so I guess there's that.

So...  Last night, wife and I get back from church.  There's a stack of scratch-off lotto tickets on the coffee table.  BiL says "I won a few bucks, but I saved one for you guys to scratch off."  I'm not into lotto games, but heck, if it's a gift I guess it's OK.  It was a poker kind of theme...

My wife scratched it off...  Holy Crap!!  "I just got a straight flush!  We just won $25,000!!!!"  BiL says "Are you sure!?  Check it carefully!  Read the back!"  On the reverse, the card reads "To redeem your winnings, take this ticket to any lotto retailer stupid enough to believe this is a valid lotto ticket."

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha.

I am now taking suggestions on how to get BiL back for that little tee-hee that wasn't really all that funny.

15 comments:

  1. Inno, glad you made the round trip successfully. Having to stop in the road like that can be bad. There was a crash in the fog here in TN back in the fall and over 50 cars ultimately piled up.

    As for getting back at the BIL for the gotcha lottery ticket, the disguised voice call from a Publisher's Clearing House advance man with really good news might work.

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  2. I suggest forcing him to read Little Green footballs over and over and over until his head explodes.

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    Replies
    1. The literacy is not strong in this one.

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  3. My suggestion: get a U-Haul yourself, and get out of that hell hole of a state. I did, and after awhile, your head clears up. I think it's the water....

    Note: Ducks beat the Beavers in a must-win, at Gill Colliseum this weekend. I am not sure why the First Lady's brother is still calling the shots in Corvallis, seems to me I recall the Beevs ruling the roost in hoops. Not so much anymore, Inno. The Beevs are mediocre at best, not the way things used to be...

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I watched that game. Gack. Coach Robinson is still the coach, but the natives are getting restless. This was supposed to be Our Big Year. It started out that way, but things went kaflooey and we're barely .500 now. I don't know what the coach's contract looks like or how expensive it would be to cut him loose, but we're heading that direction I think.

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  4. So pranks on BiL. Once my cousin took everyone's underwear, soaked them in water, and then put them in the freezer to... freeze. Then he got up early and put them in the drawers right before anyone got up. Pretty good, but I'd buy a large harry spider from the $ tree, note: this is a plastic spider, and tie some string to it, tack it to the ceiling above where he sleeps. Of course he has a wife...

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    Replies
    1. Good idea except I really don't want to touch his underwear.

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  5. If I thought I had won $25,000, my prank would involve a late night trip with a shovel and an unusually heavy burlap sack.

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  6. Sounds like the BiL PiL might be tough to swallow.

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    Replies
    1. Decent enough guy except that he talks too much and his sense of humor makes me wanna commit felonies. Other than that, pretty cool.

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  7. Back when I was a bank courier, I had to drive the Gorge every day. The area between Hood River and Cascade Locks has been improved since those days, as they've installed barriers and done some grading to keep most of the boulders from falling onto the freeway. Still, when you pass Cascade Locks heading west and hit that twist near Tanner Creek, you'll take a side hit from the wind. That's why the manufactured homes can't run that area when the winds hit, I believe, 40 mph or better. Probably what happened to your friends in the Dakota; good you were paying close attention!

    So, was your BiL living in Dufur, or Rancho Rajneesh?

    BTW, if alternative history appeals to you, you might check out S.M Stirling's stuff - he seems to know Corvallis/Gervais/Mt. Angel pretty thoroughly, along with Portland.

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  8. BiL was near Tyge (Tigh? Tygh?) Valley which is kinda by Dufur which is kinda by a wasteland of rolling hills with tumbleweeds that tumble quite vigorously when the wind gets frisky like that.

    Never heard of Stirling. Will check it out.

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  9. Even the locals were griping about the wind, and they're supposedly used to it.

    One o' my FAVORITE past-times.

    Glad you avoided serious trouble on the super-slab. That could've been REAL ug-leee.

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