Coffee Gawd

Bless me Coffee Gawd, it’s been a month since my last visit. In my defence I’ve been busy. First there was the holiday to Arizona and then there was the fallout of said holiday.

What is it about a vacation that makes you more tired when you get home than you were before you left? Are the Vacation Gawds assholes? Shouldn’t we be leaping out of bed on our first day back at work, excited to see what the day has to offer? Shouldn’t the ringing phone be a pleasant sound instead of a deafening siren of impending doom? I thought the whole purpose of vacations was to revitalize and re-energize, but I have about the same amount of vitality and energy as a damned Bassett Hound.

We’ve been home for six days and our Overnight Bag hasn’t unpacked itself yet. I’m tired too, but that’s no excuse to make me search the bag repeatedly every day looking for another toiletry. And the laundry hasn’t sorted itself either! It’s only one bag and it only takes a minute to start the washing machine. What is it waiting for?  It hasn’t been on vacation! There’s a bra in there that I need!

I dragged my ass to the grocery store so we at least had some coffee and a sandwich. The fridge is behaving as though it has all the time in the world to restock. Where are the salads and cheeses?! This is the perfect weather to make a nice beef roast with mashed potatoes and gravy and maybe some sesame carrots. The stove is just waiting to get going. You’re holding up the proceedings, Fridge!

Izzie seems to be the only person happy to be home again. She’s running and leaping and jumping and whatever the fuck else she does in the middle of the night. “Yes, I know you want to play but can’t you see that I’m in no shape to be moving from my computer chair? And the lacerations and bitings are not helping your case! And we aren’t in the truck anymore so find somewhere else to sleep that isn’t my shoulder!

The Viking comes into the house and plops in his computer chair. “Is there anymore coffee?” He’s so tired his lips barely move, combined with the Danish accent it comes out more like “Z en mo kuf e”. I mumble back, “S” while I jerk myself back to a vertical position and my eyes snap open. Where the fuck is Daylight Savings Time when you need it?! NOVEMBER 6th?! I can’t wait that long! I need that hour now!

It didn’t help that we must have eaten something on our way home that didn’t entirely agree with our intestinal tracts. That’s the problem with driving 2300 kilometers (1430 miles) in a day and a half – you are at the mercy of the Fast Food Industry. The Fridge didn’t help matters by being empty; it’s not like it didn’t know when we would be home. I specifically told it so we wouldn’t be shocked and surprised if it had a date over.

Anyway, that’s why I haven’t been by for a visit, Coffee Gawd. If you think about it, it’s probably for the best that I didn’t come sooner. I wouldn’t wish myself on anyone in this condition. It’s Saturday though. Maybe The Viking won’t notice that I’m not getting out of bed. If the fucking Fridge and Stove would cooperate and put something hot on the table for him at dinner time I could conceivably stay in bed until Monday morning at 8:58am. I need time to dress and commute to my computer chair. Apparently the phones won’t answer themselves.



Divorce, Sex and a Pub Fight

How long does it take for a repressed, depressed, anally retentive, ultra-sensitive, terrified, divorced woman to become normal? 10 years. Well, 9 years and 4 months for sure but I’ll be positive and give myself an extra 9 months to get the job done.

I’m not going to tell a long, sad tale of abuse; a lot of people have those. Too many people have those. What I will tell you about is that moment when I was feeling like shit because I had just had my gall bladder removed. I was lying on the sofa, sort of whacked out with drugs, listening to the husband holler because he had to warm up a bowl of soup for me. When he handed it to me I looked in his face and it hit me.

On the day I die, I don’t want this man to be anywhere near me.

Death is such a personal thing. It’s intimate and heart-breaking. It is vulnerability and hopelessness and fear. And a man that can’t bring me a fucking bowl of soup after major surgery doesn’t deserve to be there at the end of my damned life. Especially that guy who has been coddled for more than 2 decades by yours truly.

I went to see the Psychologist who had saved me from myself several years earlier. I asked him if I was making the right decision because once you’ve had depression you learn that sometimes your emotions lie and you can’t always trust them. I told him I didn’t want to end a 23 year marriage because of fucked up reasoning and emotions. It took him 32 minutes to say that my logic and emotions were just fine and he wasn’t sure why I had come to see him to begin with.  I needed to be sure though.

Having embraced the idea that I would rather die alone and homeless than be married any longer, I moved on. I found a lawyer. I bought a condo and a car and found a job I loved. Dissolving a marriage doesn’t transform one overnight; it doesn’t quiet fear and it doesn’t make one care-free. There’s baggage. And I carried all the baggage alone. I was worried about the kids and my future and money and because that’s just what I do. I had determination though and I was bloody well going to learn to love life and love myself, even if it killed me.

I met an English, childrens book writer. He was….well…..English. He was also the second man I ever had sex with. And he was the first guy who’s approach was “It’s not the size of the army but the fury of the attack!” I went for a glass of wine and ended up on my back on the floor with an impressive rug rash. I thought of my childhood dog that used to hump my stuffed tiger the whole length of the basement. I drove home slightly stunned and wondered if all Englishmen are so enthusiastic and if so it’s a wonder the entire world doesn’t speak with an English accent. I didn’t see him often; he wasn’t looking for a relationship, just very fast sex. When he found someone else for speed screwing he asked if we could remain friends. I said we never were friends so why would I want to be his friend now? I figured he kept women as friends so when he hit a dry spell he could always call up a friend who had a spare 5 minutes.

I met a couple other guys but none were of note. And then I met The Viking and fell in love with his mantra of “Who gives a fuck?” before I actually loved him. He won me over with things like:

“I was an asshole! You should have just said so instead of having hurt feelings for 6 weeks.”

“Who cares if you farted?!”

“I filled your car up with gas.”

“Why in the fuck would you spend your money on lingerie when I just have to waste time getting it off?!”

“It doesn’t matter if it’s burnt. I’ll eat it anyway!”

“It’s just a sex store! Everyone has sex! There’s nothing to be shy about!” and “Yes, he’s creepy but we’re only buying the dildo from him, not inviting him to join us.”

“I’m going to make supper for you.”

“How could I not love you? You drive a manual transmission car and it’s not a piece of shit Ford!”

He introduced me to his friends in Denmark and I learned about loyalty and who has your back. It came in a pub where a guy called me Canada and kept touching my ass and brushing (accidentally) against my boobs. I thought I might have to punch him but if I got into a fight then The Viking would be in a fight and if The Viking was in a fight then his best friend would be in a fight and if the best friend was in a fight then the best friend’s giant of a son would be in a fight and then the whole pub would be in a fight……so I decided to maneuver closer to the corner away from Mr. Too Friendly.

Over the course of 9 years and 4 months I’ve changed a lot. I’m not afraid anymore. I can let things go. I don’t hold a grudge for more than a day or two. It hasn’t been easy and sometimes I thought I’d never make it but it seems that as good as The Viking was for me, I was just as good for him.

There is a school of thought out there that no wo/man is complete without a partner, that alone s/he is only half of what s/he could be. The right partner brings the balance and harmony that is required to be whole. Despite being married I was alone and, to be fair, so was my husband.

Now, together, The Viking and I have been transformed into one viable, complete human being.  But just one. I could never be so impertinent as to suggest that we could possibly be two complete humans. He curses too much for that. And yells.  And throws things.  While I drop things.  And fall over things.  And get lost.

So as long as I don’t curse and he never drops things we qualify as one whole person.  Which is all we ever wanted to begin with.


Wild Sabretooth Burros and Burritos

The first time The Viking brought me to Lake Havasu there was a big, greyish plywood sign immediately after we left I-40 onto Highway 95 south.  The sign said CAUTION in big, hand-painted letters in yellow and below that WILD BURROS in red and below that DRIVE WITH CAUTION in red as well.

I peered through the darkness hoping to catch a glimpse of these exotic Wild Burros.  I didn’t even know there was such a thing as Wild Burros.  What would they look like? Would they be bigger than normal burros or smaller?  If someone put a Wild Burro beside a Tame Burro would we be able to tell them apart?  I wanted answers.

Sadly, I didn’t see one.  Not on that trip and not on the trips of the next two years.  And then the Government of Arizona must have decided they should make a small effort to protect these wild beasts because they put up an actual, real sign.


Holy Mother of Gawd!!  These Wild Burros are nothing short of Sabretooth Burros!!  Look at that open mouth!

“The doors on the truck are locked, right?”  I asked The Viking as we drove past the sign.  I was suddenly glad I hadn’t seen one yet!  I think a person needs to prepare themselves for an event like actually witnessing Sabretooth Burros in the wild.  Would we be safe inside the truck or would a person need a Brinks Truck?  Or an Army issue Humvee thing with little openings to stick gun barrels through?  Would regular guns be enough?  Maybe we would need a Rocket Launcher or a Bazooka?

Me:  Why are you driving so slow?!
The Viking:  The speed limit is 65 mph.
Me:  What?!  That’s waaaay too slow!  One of those things could catch us!
The Viking:  I don’t think Wild Burros can run 65 mph.
Me:  Maybe not Wild Burros, but we’re not talking about regular Wild Burros, are we?  We’re talking about Sabretooth Burros!  Maybe those bastards can run 80 mph!
The Viking (sighing):  That’s impossible.
Me:  No wonder this area has such a small population.
The Viking:  ….
Me:  What if the speed limit is set so slow so the Sabretooth Burros can catch us?  Maybe we are a feeding program sanctioned by the government?!
The Viking:  For fuck’s sake.
Me:  Think about it!  They put up a dam to make a beautiful lake which lures boating enthusiasts but then they force them to drive so slow that Sabretooths can hunt them down and catch them!
The Viking:  That would never happen.  How do you even think these things up?
Me:  I’m just surprised they warned us about it with the sign!

It would be another year before we screwed up our courage to actually go looking for them.  Okay, it was only me that had to screw up my courage.  For some reason The Viking didn’t seem concerned at all!  But on October 16th, 2010 I posted this on Facebook:

Disregarding our own safety, we embarked on a determined search to locate the shy, elusive Wild (Sabretooth) Burro. Yesterday, we finally found a small herd of the beasts in the middle of the desert. Contrary to the image captured on the official, government sign, these beasts appeared to be herbivores and NOT carnivores. In fact, they looked identical to TAME burros, except their mane and hair was not nearly as tidy as Tame (non-Sabretooth) Burros.




So it was a bit of a disappointment.  I had talked myself into being excited about carnivorous burros that may or may not be able to run faster than 65 mph.  I was sure that Tina the Truck could easily keep us from being Burritos (see what I did there?) for Wild Sabretooth Burros unless they can run faster than 100 mph which is where the damned governor kicks in.  At that point we would probably be swarmed and killed and turned into Burritos.

I bring this all up because yesterday we went for a drive to see the new bridge over the Hoover Dam – amazing! – and then toodled through Historical Oatman on the way home.  We love the drive through the rocky hills but wouldn’t want to do it without air conditioning – it’s smoking hot!  If you haven’t read The Grapes of Wrath you should, it’s a kick in the gut and you won’t soon forget it.  It also gives you a new perspective of Route 66.

As for Oatman, it’s an old mining town turned tourist stop and it’s over-run with Wild Burros.  Contrary to my first thought, no one was eaten by the Wild Sabretooth Burros here.  I asked.  The gold ran out, that’s why it’s turned Tourist, so if you visit this wonderful place you don’t need to worry about becoming a Burrito.  Buy carrots though.

Anyway, Oatman has a lot of Wild Burros…..and there are babies!  Several babies!  And Wild Burro Babies are about the cutest things ever.

baby-wild-burrosAnd the best way to end a lovely drive.

I Barely Survived the Ultimate Seadoo Owner’s Ride

There’s a reason we go to Arizona every October.  We time our arrival to coincide with the International Jet Sport Boat Association’s (IJSBA) World Finals because The Viking’s friend Mike Klippenstein is one of the world’s best.  During the week-long event, BRP holds an Ultimate Seadoo Owner’s Ride from Lake Havasu City, through London Bridge Canal and down the river to The Pirate’s Cove where lunch is provided and prizes given away.  This year there were 71 Seadoos on the ride, including The Viking and I.  It’s a very nice event and BRP pulls out all the stops to appreciate their customers.
To be honest though, I am no Water Enthusiast.  The Viking, having grown up in Denmark, is a Water Baby and I spend a good deal of my life trying to convince him that we shouldn’t have anything to do with water that doesn’t come out of a tap.  It’s a losing battle, I’m afraid.  And before we even leave home he’s already talking about the Owner’s Ride and how much fun it’s going to be.  Frankly, I’m groaning on the inside while smiling on the outside.  He throws water words around willy-nilly, like swimming pool and lake and river.  I think he just likes to see me flinch.
Until I met him, I hadn’t even been in a boat.  I’m a Mountain/Forest/Prairie Girl!  I may have waded through a stream once or twice, most likely by accident, but that’s the end of my desire to flirt with bodies of water.  I watch the Discovery Channel and I know what’s hiding in lakes and oceans and it’s not comforting.  But, because I’m a supportive and loving partner, I endure the water.  Honestly, I’m a ‘Fair Weather PWC Enthusiast’; ‘Fair Weather’ being the key words.  And, I have one less spinal disc than most other people so when the water gets rough, I pay the price in agony.
Which brings me to the Seadoo Owner’s Ride this year.  It was my second time showing my support and love to The Viking by participating in the Ride; there would be a lot of Seadoos, and a lot of Seadoos make a lot of waves and cross waves and water sprays and cross water sprays.  The riders that go in a straight line are fine because you can ride in their wake but there’s always at least one Yahoo that likes to slalom and create nightmares for me – this year there were definitely 3 and maybe more.
In the beginning it was lovely.  Except for the fact that Ron (my Seadoo) began wailing because the battery had a low charge.  When I say ‘wail’, what I really mean is a piercing, brain dissolving, eye squinching beep that can be heard 13.6 miles away.  And it didn’t happen when we were going at speed, only when we were idling so everyone could hear it.  I was already out of my comfort zone and Ron was announcing my presence in the most annoying manner possible.  Just great!  The Viking was laughing and said “It’s perfect for your blog!”  That doesn’t help, Viking!!
We idled, and Ron shrieked, our way through the London Bridge Channel.  The organizers wanted us to make a Seadoo Chain across the channel for a photo-op but that sounded exactly like the makings of chaos to me.  I have a tendency to panic and curse when I have to get my boat too close to someone else’s boat and there were children participating who shouldn’t be subjected to that.  So we hovered behind the Seadoo Chain in our own brand of Anti-Social, where we weren’t doing what we were supposed to be doing but at least everyone was safe and no Seadoos were damaged in the making of the photo-ops.
Once we cleared the channel, 71 Seadoos roared to life and blistered across the lake toward the river entrance.  The Viking started to go with the rest of them; the feeling of being one with the roaring, snorting, whining mass of Seadoos was music to his soul.  Unfortunately, he was saddled with me.  I tried to go, I really did, to be one of the crazies, to hit the throttle and soar over the waves, but I was caught in the cross waves and spray of all the other boats.  I tried standing up but that only worked for a short time because my back ached even more while my ass was being spared.
So I did what any other sane person would do:  I started shouting curses as I held onto the handle bar for dear life.  I cursed six ducks and 3 fishing boats and threatened a goose.  F-bombs were peppered throughout my sentences for a brief amount of time until I ran out of real words and just started shouting F-bombs in a never-ending loop.  The harder I squeezed the throttle, the more hair-raising my curses became.  Thankfully no one heard me over the sound of the Seadoos or I may have had to apologize to people and animals alike.
And then I hit a big wake and Ron’s nose drove into the wave and water drenched me from head to toe.  My glasses were useless and WATER GOT IN MY MOUTH!  I had to pause the cursing while I spat out the fish poo/algae/pee.  I wiped it off my glasses and my face.  I vowed to never go on this ride again!  I bellowed at Gawd for even allowing Seadoos to be invented!  I cursed The Viking and the day I met him.  I cursed Ron for slapping my ass with his seat and jerking my arms out of their sockets and making my right hand numb from vibration.  I cursed the guy with the drone and the driver of the Seadoo boat and I especially cursed the guy with the pimped out boat who cut me off and nearly dislodged me from Ron.
And then The Viking was close enough to yell at me “Go wide where it’s smoother!”  He had a smile a mile wide and I hated him.
I said, “F-Bomb, F-Bomb, F-Bomb, weeds, F-Bomb, you’ll pay for this!  F-Bomb, F-Bomb, F-Bomb!  Never again!  F-Bomb!”  And then I realized that every time I opened my mouth more fish poo/algae/pee got in so I shut up and just endured, focused on surviving this ordeal.
The smile never left The Viking’s face.  He loves this shit!  I plotted a slow and painful death for him.  My shoulders ached, my hand was numb and my ass was taking a beating.  I just don’t understand why people love this so much and I gave everyone around me the Stink Eye.  Either they didn’t notice or didn’t care, I’m sure which.
I had to admit that all these Seadoos running together down the river was probably an amazing sight and everyone, aside from me, was loving the hurricane-sized waves.  It’s beautiful going through Copper Canyon and stopping for a rest at the Sand Bar.  The ‘no wake’ zones protect bird habitats and riders have the time to appreciate the scenery.  I can’t think of another place that could be more lovely.
Maybe if I was 25 years old again I would be more adventurous with water sports.  On second thought….no.  I just can’t unlearn the things in lakes, rivers and oceans.
Finally, we arrived at The Pirate’s Cove.  I love this place.  The food is great, the view is wonderful and there is booze.  Lots and lots of booze.  It took us a few minutes to find parking spaces because 71 Seadoos take up alot of beaching space.  The organizers reserved an area of beaching and docking for us so it wasn’t long before we joined the rest of the riders.  The staff at The Pirate’s Cove were wonderful.  Despite the number of hungry people arriving all at the same time, we didn’t wait long for our food and it was as good as usual.  There were really nice gifts given away to people that were not us.  Unfortunately.  A T-Shirt would have been nice.
at-pirates-cove-2    at-pirates-cove
We were all on our own for the ride back to Havasu, which was good because I wouldn’t have to deal with such messy water.  Or at least that’s what I thought.  It was still quite early in the day though, only about 2:30, so there was quite a bit of traffic on the river.  At one point a deceptively small fishing boat went past, leaving a huge wake behind it.  I hit that wake at about 70 kph.  I stood up in anticipation but it was bigger than I thought.  My feet left the foot wells, my shoulders took the full force of my upward flight and abruptly reversed my direction back down.  My mouth opened involuntarily and filled with fish poo/algae/pee.  My left boob hit the handle bar, my chin hit the crossbar, clacking my teeth together and my ass hit the seat.  My hand was jarred off the throttle and for a moment there was a distinct possibility that I may end up in the water/fishpoo/algae/pee!
When we got back to the marina I reported my close call to The Viking but he didn’t seem to care at all!  Instead he showed me the huge cut on his right leg.  Apparently it happened when he was loading Ron onto the trailer.  Shit.
“Are you saying your cut trumps my bruised boob?  It’s not a competition, you know!”
I suppose I’ll have to let it go, though.  He wins this one because it really is a big cut.  But he’s not allowed to touch the left boob for at least 3 days.

Dear Road Trip Diary

Day One

The Viking and I have a 37 foot Fifth Wheel trailer, two Seadoos and a little Honda motorcycle in storage in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.  Every April and October we drive down to visit our belongings and enjoy the sizzling heat for 3 or 4 weeks.

This October’s trip began without much ado, which concerned me.  Every  vacation must have its drama and I prefer mine to happen before we actually begin the vacation rather than in the middle or near the end.  Let’s just get it out of the way so we can enjoy.  There should be hair-raising curses, arm waving, tears and mumbled threats while we try to find all the shit we haven’t used since the last time we went to Havasu.  We should sit in the truck in stoney silence until we hit the Tim Horton’s in Fort McLeod where we strategically pee, order coffee, breakfast sandwiches and Tim Bits.

But I changed things up this time.  I decided to try a new approach – leave everything to the last minute and then panic.  As a strategy for a fairly long vacation, I don’t recommend it.  At one point, The Viking looked at me like he was about to say something so I screeched to a halt and said “Just do yourself a favor and don’t comment on my organization skills, alright?  And it might be a good idea not to talk to me at all!”  He must have decided it was sound advice because he didn’t make a sound – he just backed up slowly, not making eye contact until he was close enough to the door to make an escape.

And that’s where we made the mistake.  He should have accused me of being lazy and I should have yelled that he was insensitive and then he should have questioned my intelligence and I should have outlined my theory on why he’s never been married and he should have hollered about my procrastination and I should have bellowed about him leaving everything on my shoulders.

But we didn’t and I dared to think that this trip would be different than all the other ones.  Sucker.

Once the cat, The Viking and I squeezed in the truck with all our shit, we set off.  It became clear almost immediately that Izzie wasn’t happy with the mode of transportation because she started shouting and calling us names, some of which I’d never heard a cat use before.  And, to be honest, I was a little impressed with her eloquence.  The Viking and I are constantly surprised by her capacity to swing wildly between beautiful, gentle sweetheart to a biting, vengeful Harpy in a micro-second.


She carried on for several hours, only stopping for a few moments when The Viking and I started shouting and yowling too.  She wasn’t amused.  Eventually, she crawled up between the back of The Viking’s head and the head rest.  It was the perfect position to minimize the bouncing and bumping of the truck, but it also gave her the ability to stare at my left ear with The Stink Eye for the next 300 kilometers.

Having failed miserably to get me to return her home, she then took up a position between my head and the head rest in order to gift The Viking with The Stink Eye.  And that was her location when we crossed the border into Montana.

Border Guard:  What’s the purpose of your visit?
The Viking:  Vacation.
Border Guard:  And what is your destination?
The Viking:  Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
Border Guard:  How long will you be staying in Arizona?
The Viking:  Three weeks.
Border Guard:  That’s a long vacation.
The Viking:  Yes.
Border Guard:  Do you have $10,000 or more in your possession?
The Viking:  I wish!  I mean, no.
Border Guard (squinting suspiciously):  Any firearms?
The Viking:  N….
Border Guard:  Is that a cat?!
The Viking:  Um…yes.
Border Guard:  Does she ride there all the time?
The Viking (turning to look at Izzie behind my head):  Um….yes.
Border Guard:  She’s a cutie.  It’s okay.  I don’t need to see her documents.
The Viking:  ……
Border Guard:  Here’s your passports, have a wonderful day.
The Viking:  Um….thank you.

We were both a bit stunned for a few minutes.  Finally, I said:  “I guess he’s a cat-loving Border Guard”.  In hindsight, I think he was just taking pity on us.  He could probably see the sheer evil residing in the eyes of the ‘cutie’.

She was very needy but overall she weathered the first day sort of fine.  The Viking and I were sort of fine as well.  We arrived at our target of Arco, Idaho about 8:30pm and Izzie was….well…..fucking ecstatic!

Day Two

We loaded all our shit back into the truck to an audience of 3.  I don’t know who these people were, they didn’t appear to be staying at the hotel, but they seemed to like what we were doing.  Maybe it was a new thing the residents of Arco were supplying to tourists.

Without really trying, The Viking and I can produce a Laurel and Hardy-esque performance.  I would try to help load stuff up and The Viking would unpack the things that I packed and then pack other things instead.

He says “Please stop.”
I say “I’m just trying to help.”
He says “You’re doing it all wrong.”
I say “I didn’t know there was such a thing as a wrong way to put shit in the truck.”
He says “There is and you’re doing it.”
I say “Just because it’s not your way of doing things doesn’t mean it’s wrong, you know.”
He says “Yes it does.”
I say “Fine.” and stand on the sidewalk beside the other 3 spectators and watch him do something like solving a Rubik’s Cube in the back seat of the truck.  It makes me want to go pull something out from the bottom like ‘Jenga’ but I keep my impulse under control.

We wave goodbye to our audience and hit the road.  And that’s when things got interesting again.

Izzie is howling like we’re torturing her.  When we stop, just down the road, to fill up with fuel, I make a small change to the backseat Jenga puzzle.  I move the Sirius Boom Box from the middle of the back window to the right side of the back window and make a bed for the damned howling cat so she can see out the front window.  It didn’t help.

We had barely cleared the town limits when Izzie lost her fucking mind and in a complete frenzy of slashing claws and snapping teeth she attacked The Viking!  Yup!  It was a rodeo in the front seat as he tried to push her away and stop the truck while I tried to get a grip on the scruff of her neck.  Once I got a handle on her we sat in shocked silence, staring at the cat who was still spitting.

“Holy Fucking Hell!”

I wrapped her in my arms and put my hand over her face in an effort to calm her down.  “I guess we know how she feels about another day in the truck.” I ventured.

I had packed a small spray bottle of stuff called ‘At Ease’ and sprayed it in the truck.  She calmed down, closed her eyes and hunkered down against my boobs.  And then I noticed a pronounced rattling in the back seat.  It was the damned Boombox banging against the window!  Fucking Jenga!  Another stop to rectify that problem and several moments of The Viking staring at me in accusation and enduring the silent lecture on doing shit his way all the time from now on!  Gawd!  I hate it when he has proof to be self-righteous.

When we reach Wells, Nevada, we stop for a pee, coffee and some Dunkin’ Donut equivalents of Timbits.  The Viking went in to pee first because it was already getting hot and we couldn’t leave Izzie in the truck without the air conditioning.  While The Viking was inside, I sat watching a cluster of state troopers – six of them – and a couple other people fiddling with the engine on a car two parking spots down.  I thought maybe an animal got caught in there or something because I couldn’t quite explain to myself why 6 troopers would be fixing a car like mechanics but apparently that’s exactly what was going on.

In the meantime, The Viking came back out and I went in to pee and buy the coffee and donut holes.  Then things got even more interesting.

While I had been fetching refreshments, Izzie was berating The Viking, calling him names and biting and he had finally had enough!

“I’ve had enough of this fucking cat!!  What the fuck is her problem?!  This is bullshit!  Does she need more space?!  I suppose I have to take everything out and put it in the back of the truck?!  FUCK!!”

And he proceeded to do just that.  The carefully constructed Rubiks/Jenga puzzle in the back seat was unceremoniously tossed in the box of the truck: power inverter, our orthopedic pillows, the CPAP machine, the cooler and a couple other things were heaved out, accompanied by shouted curses and death threats against the cat.

I grabbed Izzie and pushed her into her kennel.  I tried to calm The Viking but there is no talking to Blood-Eye the Beserker – ‘At Ease’ doesn’t work on Vikings apparently.  I climbed into the back of the truck and tried to arrange things so they wouldn’t fly out of the box while we were driving.
Blood Eye shouted at me to “Leave that fucking shit right where it is!!!!!!” and he promptly got into the cab and waited for me to join him.

As I was getting out of the box of the truck I happened to glance up and 2 of the 6 state troopers were walking past.  At that point I may or may not have actually rolled my eyes and tipped my head back in resignation.  I got into the truck and was putting on my seatbelt when there was a tap on the driver’s side window and there were the 2 troopers.  The Viking rolled down his window.

“Afternoon, sir.  Is everything alright here?”

“The fucking cat is driving me nuts!”  The Viking said reasonably shouted.

The closest Trooper looks past The Viking over to me.

Okay, let me just say that I’ve have only been pulled over by police once in my entire life and that was a routine traffic stop checking everyone’s driver’s license and registration.  I almost cried.  I was 24 years old.  I’m more than twice that age now.

And I’m fairly sure that I looked like a deer caught in the headlights.

“Sir.  Would you step out of your vehicle please.”  It wasn’t a question.

The closest cop puts his hand on the pistol case on his belt.  The second cop takes a position slightly behind and to the side of the first cop.

“Shit.”  A small part of me wanted to just drive away and leave him with his new friends.  I’m a reasonable woman though, and decided that instead of making a shiv out of his toothbrush, I should probably go and save him.  I can hear The Viking shouting about the Boombox and the cat and the Rubiks Cube construction in the back seat and his frustration.  I should probably intervene.

I got out of the truck and smiled nervously at the troopers.  “Sorry.  It’s just been a long drive, and we’re a little tired and the cat is being bad and we just needed to blow off a bit of steam.  We’re fine now.”  I smiled again.

The second Trooper takes a step towards me and looks me in the eyes.  “Are you sure, ma’am?”

“Yes.  I’m completely sure.  Sorry for the bother.”

“No problem, ma’am.  Have a good trip.”

And with that, The Viking and I climbed into the truck, put our seatbelts on and left Wells, Nevada.  Gawd.  We won’t be able to stop here on our way home.

We spent the remainder of the day not speaking to each other.  Izzie spent the next hour and a half in her kennel until she finally stopped name calling and making threats.  Our plan was to overnight in Laughlin, Nevada but apparently there isn’t a single hotel/motel that allows cats.  Fuck you, Laughlin!

We found a place called the Red Roof Inn in Needles, California though, that would allow the cat.  The room was spotless and very nice.  So, for anyone travelling with pets – especially cats – go to The Red Roof Inn in Needles, California.

Day Three

I had a lengthy conversation with Izzie about getting back into the truck.  It’s only for about an hour and then she can go into the trailer.  It seemed to have worked because she was completely reasonable, curled up on my boobs.


Izzie slept for two solid days once we were settled in the campground.  The Viking didn’t break any laws for a solid week.  And I did my level best to stay relatively sober.  Someone needs to keep their wits about them around here.