Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Escape to Green Mountain Day 4: Angering the Hornets With Joy

I've been torn between trying to keep my updates timely, and trying to maintain a buffer of material so I have something to post everyday; this time, the need to be timely is winning out, so here you go: the last official leg of my Colorado Book Monkey adventure.

On our way up to the cabin, the girls and I had gotten up and around bright and early; for the return trip, we weren't quite so gung ho. We got up, packed up, cleaned up, filled out our separate entries in the guest book (each of which, by the way, contained some reference to doing everything with joy), and took the obligatory group photo:

We then headed down to the nearby diner called The Pantry for breakfast. Just a few words on The Pantry: man, was that some good grub. Our waitress, the quintessential small diner waitress who Bunny said has been there every time she's eaten there, was definitely an example of someone who did her job with joy, peppering her speech with "darling"s and "honey"s and "sugar"s and the like. Some danged fine home cooking there, too, and in ginormous portions; I ordered the smaller of their two pancake options, and it just about did me in. Buster opted for the chicken fried steak, which I thought to be an unusual choice for breakfast, but considering some of my breakfast choices of the past, I can not sit in any sort of judgment on him. The Mag ordered some bread pudding, which I tried; not bad, but not something I'll be ordering for myself anytime soon. Out stomachs well and truly stuffed, we piled into our cars and hit the road.

The trip up to the cabin had practically whizzed by; the journey home felt nowhere near as speedy, for our carload anyway. I think there were a couple of factors there. First of all, there was no music playing for a goodly portion of the drive, in deference to poor Rebel Monkey's migraine. This, in turn, made us all too aware of the swarm of angry hornets hovering over the Matrix; well, it was either angry hornets or the wind vibrating the heck out of the car carrier, but either way, it was mondo distracting and annoying. After one of our bathroom stops I moved to the front passenger seat while The Mag drove. There are those who can sit in companionable silence for long periods of time with no worry or strain; I am not one of them. In the deafening silence I felt compelled to serve as driver entertainment, and yet my mind was blank; conversational gambits flourished and died in my mind before they could ever leave my mouth.

Thanks to the massive portions from The Pantry, we didn't feel the need to stop and eat until we were a good ways back into Oklahoma. We stopped at a burger joint and enjoyed a conversation about the merits of 24 among other things; afterwards we said our goodbyes to Buster and Bunny, who would be separating from our caravan soon as they headed to Enid while we continued on to Stillwater. However, as it turned out, our caravan was separated a little bit sooner than we had anticipated.

After our meal, Rose Hips took over the driving yet again, and this time we took the lead, traveling at a greater rate over the speed limit than Bunny; while Bunny and Buster dropped out of our rear view for a while, they eventually caught up thanks to Rose Hips seeing a police car ahead of us, forcing her to drop down to a less ticketable rate of speed. We were trapped behind the copper for quite some time; eventually, as we were heading up a hilly section of road, the cop came zipping by from the opposite direction. I noticed Rose Hips staring into the rear view, a look that was followed by her pronouncement that things were about to get exciting as the police car had turned back around, turned on its lights, and headed straight for us.

Or, so we thought, until the cop car settled in behind the Bunny driven vehicle, pulling them over instead of us.

Rose Hips felt awful; we were the ones who had been in the lead, and had been traveling much faster than they had for great stretches of time. And now, here they were, getting pulled over in our place. We had many theories about why they had been targeted and not us; at first glance our two vehicles looked a lot alike, with the main difference being that we had a car carrier on top, while they had a ski rack. We debated calling them to see what happened, but decided to wait for them to call us; a little while later The Mag's cell phone rang. She answered it and was greeted by Buster's pointed question: "Why'd y'all frame us?" Luckily, the cop had taken pity on them, and Bunny had escaped with just a warning.

As darkness fell on our journey, the back seat crew started to get a little antsy; The Mag began to belt out "I'm bored" at random intervals; at one point I asked what she wanted us to do to entertain her, and she replied "put on a play for me." I said okay, and instantly broke into Roald Dahl's Jack and the Beanstalk, which I had performed as both a Humorous Duet and a Humorous Interp for Competitive Speech back in the day. There was silence throughout, whether due to appreciation or appall, I haven't the foggiest.

At one point The Mag was threatening to do something which I can't recall; all I remember is adjuring her "Don't listen to the hornets!" She replied that the angry hornets were her friends, and told her to do all sorts of stuff.

Clearly, it was time to get out of the freaking car.

But, that not being an option, we instead put in the 80s CDs Rebel Monkey purchased on the trip and all sang and car-danced along to a wide variety of nostalgia-laced tracks. Rebel Monkey dug out Elizabeth, the glowing frog proxy, and we discovered that, in the dark, her little light show greatly resembled the lights of a police car; thereafter, when a driver around us behaved badly, we were tempted to pull up behind them and activate Elizabeth, Radioactive Police Frog.

Speaking of the police . . . we received one more phone call from Bunny and Buster before we made it home; apparently, their vehicle is officially a cop magnet, as they were pulled over for speeding yet again, this time mere minutes from their home. Luckily, this time it was Buster behind the wheel, and they were able to escape with yet another warning. Three police encounters, three warning; it's hard to call that sort of luck "good," but it's not quite "bad" either.

After what seemed like an eternity, we finally reached Stillwater; although I was sorry that our Colorado adventure was now over, I was glad to be off the road again. Rebel Monkey decided to spend the night at her mom's house so she could visit with her a bit and see her dog; the plan was to meet up at Panera Bread in the morning for breakfast before The Mag and Rose Hips went to work. I called home to let mi madre know we had made it back to Oklahoma in one piece, logged on to CoIM to post my last minute Movie Monday post, and then headed off to bed.

And believe me, when I went to sleep, I did it with joy.