Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Ripley's got nothin' on me!


The last leg of our driving trip from Chicago to a book engagement at the Woolly Worm Festival in Beattyville KY last week was breathtaking. Never in my sixty-one years on planet earth have I driven so many consecutive miles surrounded by a more glorious fall splendor. Spontaneously (and suddenly, according to Big George, which was perhaps my subconscious payback for his last veering - second paragraph) I couldn't help but dive off the four-lane into the colorful back roads for a slower and more intimate submersion into God’s splendor.

George, who was taking a turn at map reading, deftly eyeballed the map and charted our route back to the interstate. But for an hour or so we took our wind-y time to explore an unlined two-lane (yes, there is two-way traffic on the road in that picture, which is reminiscent of many scary places I drove in England back in 1995), stopping when something, anything, caught our attention. This time it was a flock (a word that sounds WAY too pretty) of buzzards or vultures or whatever they were, thickly perched on telephone poles, wires and tree branches off to the right of this scene. (They are not what I’m trying to show you.)

After noticing the mass of those ugly whatevers, I eked along until I came to this little pullover place where, since the car was visible from both directions, it felt safe to get out, rummage the car for the camera and then saunter a few paces closer to my subjects to snap a dozen pictures or so.

I exited the driver’s side and walked around the front of the SUV to the passenger-side back door, retrieved the digital camera, turned it on, stepped toward my subjects and . . . WHOOOSH! I suddenly looked like an airborne, backward-swimming cartoon character since, believe it or not, I slipped on a banana peel! Out there in the middle of NOWHERE! What, I ask you, are the odds?

You can see (well, the picture is kinda small) my slip-n-sliding trail on the ground just off to the right of the back door. I took more pictures of the smashed banana peel than I did of the whatevers! Never in my life have I slipped on a banana peel (nor do I know anyone who has) and I had to drive three states away, spontaneously veer off onto a back road, notice a gathering of ugly somethings, cruise to a “safe” spot in the remote location, walk around to my SUV's back door and take a few steps toward a flock of BUZZARDS (or whatevers) to do so.

Luckily I didn’t hurt anything since my backside didn’t touch the ground due to my stupendous aerodynamic flight pattern. But let me just say I went a long way for this Traveling Laugh, which is much more fun to write about than the incident felt while I was airborne.

1 comment:

Lindsay said...

Hilarious. Eric and I were driving from Steamboat, CO when our friend who was with us in the car threw his banana peel out the window. Mind you the weather is gorgeous, sunny, a few lingering clouds and LOTS of beautiful white snow. Steamboat is in the northern part of Colorado and is surrounded by huge tracts of pasture land. Barns and dormant tractors lie frozen, covered with snow. We are all enjoying the passing scenery when all heck breaks loose. Tom finished his banana and whiped the peel out the window. Eric slammed on the breaks, I screeched, and Tom jumped out of his skin! We couldn't believe he would toss the peel so casually and then not care. He said the animals would eat it or it would bio degrade. True, but this is in the middle of noware northern Colorado and littering is WRONG! No matter the peel. More than likely is became fodder for the snow tractors that ran up and down the bleak highway. Not too many roaming animals looking for banana peels!
So after reading your banana peel, we could help but think of our litterbug friend Tom, who never thought a harmless toss of the peel would do anyone harm. Little did we know!