Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Hearse Show & Leash Law Report

Our Saturday in Joplin was a pretty nice trip for us. As the only non-hearse in the bunch, The Ambulance won "Worst In Show," the plaque is oddly pretty in it's own unique way; there's something so fascinating about black glass... The weather was lovely; sunny with just enough breeze to keep it cool. We had a great time hangin' out, checkin' out hearses, and chattin' with people. I also enjoyed smiling and waving at that poor lady in the Honda Civic who made a lap around the group of us shaking her head with her hand over her mouth as if she were trying to hide her worry and silence her "nooooooooo..."

We had dinner at an interesting little place called "Red Hot & Blues" and since I'm not a big fan of barbecue (burnout, sorry), I was glad to see the part of the sign that said "BBQ & Southern Grill." Southern Grill... Oh my my, I'd go back in a heartbeat -- that steak was excellent, and the salsa was one-of-a-kind too.

On the way home, out on the Will Rogers Turnpike, just a little ways before we could see the big McDonald's up on the bridge, we were talkin' about needin' to stretch our legs and deal with my crusty contact lenses... Right about the time I made up my mind that The Glass House was gonna be the place to stop ('cause they have milkshakes there), I found something brown and squirmy right in my lane.

At 65mph or so, I couldn't really identify it, but it was dark brown, bigger than a coon or possum, probably smaller than a deer, and had at least four violently wiggling short stocky appendages pointin' upward. I couldn't miss it, I just couldn't. I'd do my best to "brake and evade" for a horse or a big ol' rodeo bull, but anything deer-size or smaller is just gonna get hit, 'cause I ain't jerkin' the wheel in anything, especially not something that rocks and sways like an E-350 with a huge box on the back.

l hit a possum with the Mark 8 a couple weeks ago, and that was a noticeable thump. The Ambulance is a lot bigger than the Mark, and this thump, even in the bigger vehicle, was a considerably bigger thump -- my foot was resting on the hump in the floor where the left front wheel is, and I felt the smack. Clay says he felt the whole truck take a bit of a jump, I was just holdin' the wheel real tight and trying to make sure we stayed in our own lane.

Okay, since there's no tellin' what that was, we should stop and look these tires over...

I was stunned by what I found -- I've made some roadkills before, but I've never had any actual messes to clean up afterward.

Just as we pulled in and parked, there was a pickup that parked a row over that had just exited ahead of us -- there were two cowboy-lookin' dogs in the back and one jumped out to try & follow the people into the building. I could be wrong, but I think the humans might have been lookin' around for a third doggy.

Ten or fifteen years ago, I might've been freaked-out by that, but hey, I'd bet the fall from the pickup really boogered the little fella up -- by smackin' it with a front tire and then a set of duals, I'm sure I ended a horrible moment of severe misery.

That's what I'm tellin' myself, anyway.

I just hope nobody ended up risking their life to walk the median and whistle for their little buddy in hopes that he'd landed safely and not been hit yet...

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