Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Our Adventure In The Land Of Sky Blue Waters, But Without Any Crappy Beer

In no particular order, this is my life this week:

We've gotten somewhere between six and ten inches of rain in the last two days. Like the snow and ice, it's an interesting thing to see, but not so interesting if you have to actually leave the house and do work, for instance.

Lori and I went to Wisconsin to pick up the new eBay truck this weekend. It was in the mid-60's here when we left Saturday morning and in the 20s when we arrived in Racine eight hours later. We stayed overnight outside of Chicago and came home Sunday, to temps in the mid-60s again.

Racine was a nifty place. We picked up the truck, loaded it on the car dolly and detoured to the lakefront before going home. Lori had never seen the Great Lakes before and was having trouble wrapping her mind around a landlocked lake that looks like the ocean. It was freezing by the lake, of course, and ungodly windy. But the lake itself was impressive, and so were the hardy little ducks bobbing in it. If I could speak duck I would have told them that the bobbing is much nicer in temperate Southern Illinois.

We had foolishly driven up on the 294 tollway, which cost us $15 in tolls just to get around the city of Chicago with a car dolly. Hello IDOT? Have you considered changing your acronym to IDIOT? The tollroad was that kind of teeth-jarring, suspension-breaking, surface-of-the-moon roadway that leaves you wondering why they don't take some of the bazillion dollars they extort from us downstate rubes and apply it towards a little road maintenance.

On the way home from Racine we made the obligatory stop at a roadside cheese store for cheese curds. Then I was REALLY mad about the $15 in tolls. Think of all the extra curds that would have bought! We bought some cheeses and sausages, tried on some cheesewear (cheese-wedge hats, a cheese fez, cheese slippers. You know...all of life's necessities), and headed back towards Illinois. but we were smarter on the way home. The nice tollbooth lady who was shaking us down for $4.25 at the last booth before we left the tollway told me that we should come back on Route 41, which is free.

She was right. It was free, and therefore much more pleasant. It was also fun to drive past the snooty rich folks in the northern 'burbs. At least, I'm told there were snooty rich folks. When you've achieved a desirably high level of snoot, you get to live in a house that's not visible from the street. We did, however, get to see their gates, which are undoubtedly worth more than our entire family compound, with the cats thrown in.

The weather was fine, the drive was nice and for once, I was actually able to go 65 mph pulling something. I was totally proud of myself until I got pulled over outside of Effingham. The cop said to me, "Did you know the speed limit is 55 when you're pulling a trailer?"

Well, crap. I didn't know that. This was one of those rare times when I wasn't actually making the decision to do something stupid. I told him that no, I didn't know. Actually, I was proud of myself for keeping up with the flow of traffic for a change. I had no idea I wasn't supposed to.

He said, "Look. I've got you on the speeding, and the seatbelt violation. I'm going to write the seatbelt violation up and leave the speeding alone. That way you won't get points on your license." In a moment of rare self-restraint, I didn't say, "I wouldn't get points on my license and I wouldn't be out $55 for the seatbelt violation if you hadn't pulled me over in the first place, Asshole."
Instead, I signed the ticket (Which I threw in the glove box with my other three seatbelt tickets. Don't fence me in.), laughed at his joke, and drove away. Slowly. Really slowly, since he'd pulled me over at the bottom of a hill and I had no momentum to carry me up the next one. I sort of halfway expected him to pull me over again at the top for going below the 45 mph minimum. Look at this thing. Does it actually look like it could speed?

I expect to end up in prison someday for my seatbelt violations, which will be fun because I can get Melon's likeness prison-tattooed on my neck and I'd have an excuse to shave my head and lift weights all day. And I could have conversations like this:
"What are you in for?"
"Murder. You?"
"Seat belt violations. Lots of them. I'm crazy. Don't fuck with me. Oh...and touch the red blankie and I'll shank you."

So...We were home by 4pm. Life was good. We'd gone out into the English world...wait, we're not Amish...We'd gone out into the civilized world, interacted with strangers, and successfully nabbed another truck. And it's a pretty one for a change.

Now I need a weekend to recover from my weekend.


Kwach said...

I really wanted the cheese fez. It even had a tassle.

Anonymous said...

You don't wear a seat belt while driving on 294 through Chicago? Damn, girl, you ARE crazy!


Kwach said...

Heh. She doesn't wear a seat belt while driving on the Dan Ryan Expressway, after dark, on a Saturday night, towing one pickup truck behind another one.

Of course, I don't either, but I've never gotten a ticket for it.

: )