Thursday, July 9, 2009

Day 2: A logical progression

Sorry today's update is late -- the hotel in Council Bluffs last night had a crappy wifi setup -- pay $6.95 for 24 hours of access and the web site granting said access didn't work. So here we are.

Also, I misplaced the cord that connects the camera to the computer, so I can't upload today's photos. Some pretty good shots of Nora in there -- she put on an Austin Powers-type show with a series of wacky facial expressions on camera. Not funny faces, mind you -- these were complex, well-planned visages on her part.

We covered the second half of Colorado (Vail to the border) and all of Nebraska today, hitting Council Bluffs at 11 p.m. local time. I have to say, Colorado is a big state. Once you get past Denver you think you're through with it, and then you're driving for about another week. Everything east of Denver should just be named Coloraska, because it's virtually indistinguishable from the Great Plains. I can only imagine what the first Anglo settlers in the region must have thought once they saw the Rockies for the first time. "They told me the earth wasn't flat but I was starting to doubt it until now."

That stretch of the drive did produce the Day 2 Backseat Exchange of the Day:

Fiona: "Ugh, what stinks? It smells like poop!"
Dad: "Well, we are in farm country now ..."
Nora: "I tooted."
Dad: "... or there's that."

We got more than our share of foul farmland odors on the drive through Nebraska, but I'm not complaining -- it's just good to be back in the Midwest.

Also, I saw quite possibly the stupidest sign ever on the side of the road in eastern Colorado: "Gov. Ritter Welcomes You to TAXORADO"

This is an epic FAIL for a couple of reasons. One, it was in eastern Colorado, but faced an eastbound road, meaning everybody who could read it was actually leaving Colorado, not being "welcomed" into it. Turn your sign around, genius.

And two, you can't just throw "TAX" into any word and make the pun work. "Taxachusetts" works because "tax" and "mass" sort of rhyme, and of course Massachusetts has a long tradition of liberal politics, which naturally means "big tax bill" in the minds of most conservatives, whether it's true or not.

I'm not up to speed on the tax policies of the Colorado governor or how much impact he's had on the bottom line of Joe Colorado, but after living in the West for the last four years, I've got a pretty good idea of who the sign guy is: He calls himself a Libertarian, wants the damn gummint to get out of his life and let him keep everything that's his, but is the first guy to bitch when any government service doesn't work efficiently enough to suit his needs -- i.e., there's a pothole in front of his house so the DOT is corrupt, his kid's school didn't fare well in national testing so they're incompetent, not underfunded, etc.

I know our country has a rich history of tax protest, but if you bother to read your U.S. history, the colonists were protesting taxation without representation. These newfangled "tea parties" are filled with right-wing miscreants who have plenty of say in how their tax money is spent, via their elected officials. But go ahead and think you're a 21st Century Paul Revere when you call into Rush's show and call the President a monkey.

Wow, not sure how we got from here to there, but I promise to lighten things up the rest of the trip. Day 3 takes us through Iowa and into God's Country, so a trio of happy campers will report back tomorrow!

1 comment:

Dave said...

I've got mixed feelings about not doing a big road trip with the kids this year.... There's the toots in the car (bad) versus the crazy billboards/signs (entertaining). I love the billboard in Utah that has a picture of rattlesnake and says "Pornography, just as deadly." For years after, one of my herpetologist friends would always warn me before I moved a snake: "Be careful, that snake is as dangerous as pornography!"