Archive for June, 2010

Openings to Letters I’m Not Ever Going to Write

June 11, 2010

Dear Sweaty Hillbilly Ohio State Fan who Installed my Internet,

Firstly, let me thank you for installing my internet– it really feels great to be reliably connected to the world wide web after a year of stealing other people’s wireless and trying to finish writing various f’book status updates while one of any number of the adorable old lady Rangeley librarians shut off all the other computers around me in a way that felt very passive aggressive and menacing. But moving on to more serious matters, do you really think that that story you that told me about the lady you know who just got sent to jail for delivering heroin that ended with the sentence ‘what I want to know is how many times has she given that ass up for some drugs, because you know it’s happened’ was an appropriate way to represent Comcast Cable to one of their newest customers?

My Dear Rabbit, Joey Chaos Thunder,

You might think I’m just some monstrous, terrifying fool who doesn’t realize that you’re only pretending to nap next to those wires so that you can start chewing them to useless electrified ribbons as soon as I get up to refill my water, but let me just say this: I bet I can wait longer for a drink of water than you can wait to run off to your litter box and shit. Who’s the fool now, old friend?

Dear New Apartment,

Thank you SO MUCH for not being haunted!

Dear Toilet that Won’t Stop Flushing due to a Rare Rubber Malfunction in the Tank,

While I appreciate your vigor, your enthusiasm, and your truly admirable level of job satisfaction, I feel obligated to point out that your eagerness to completely rid yourself of my waste and that of my guests is most likely going to end up costing me a small fortune in water bills. So, as much as I hate to be wet blanket/party pooper (*Note: Choose your own pun adventure!) I’m going to have to respectfully ask you to cease this behavior and please start acting like a regular toilet. Thank you.

Dear Cup Phones,

I was always only pretending that you worked. I could never actually hear any one talking to me through you.

I don't even know which science to blame for this...


Two things about driving in Rangeley

June 3, 2010

This post was originally going to be titled bumps do not equal dips, but then I realized that that is not enough to fill up one whole post, so I decided to included some other thoughts on driving here as well. But that’s the most important part so I am electing to discuss it first.

So, yeah, we should all have that straight by this stage of the game (the game being automotive history and development, or even human evolution and its effects on mankind’s ability to perceive the concavity of sections of asphalt). Not only do bumps not equal dips, but they are the exact opposite of dips! Bumps are even less like dips than level road! The reason that this is relevant is that recently someone whom I can only assume is not affiliated with the Department of Transportation has put up between 3 and 5 home made bump signs to indicate some dips in this one 4 mile strech of road. I think this is total horse shit. The reason we even have a DOT is so that any old yahoo can’t just wil-nil erect nonsensical road signs! This is potentially a very hazardous pastime. For example, on this same road as all the bogus bump signs there is a hair-pin left curve called Geneva Bog (I always accidentally call it Fisty’s Bog after a level on this game World of Goo that comes as a free demo on the Nintendo Wii). What if some ambitious (/totally batfuck) amateur sign enthusiast were to opt to hang up a big sign with an arrow bent 90 degrees to the right? Many people would crash into the snowbank is what would happen there. That would be just awful! This same person could wander out to Dead Indian Pass in Wyoming putting up signs that said ‘NO OPEN RANGE, DO NOT WATCH FOR LOOSE STOCK ON ROADS’, or out to Grafton Notch in New Hampshire and erect notices that indicated ‘THERE ARE NOT ANY FROST HEAVES, MAINTAIN SPEED AND CONTINUE FIDDLING WITH YOUR IPOD RADIO TRANSMITTER, MICHELA’. This would result in many collisions with things and people and cattle.

Now, in fairness, the examples that I have provided are not quite right, because in reality, you do the same thing to prepare for a bump as you do for a dip, which is (hopefully), slow down. But slowing down isn’t the only preparation that I undergo in readying myself for a bump. Not by a long shot! The major preparation involves tightening all my muscles to theoretically increase my chances of shooting up like a spring at the crest of the bump, so I can get a little air even as my car is gliding safely  over the bump. For a dip, I loosen all my muscles, causing me to sort of melt downwards into the seat, then I tighten them halfway through to try to get that spring shit going. *Note: none of this actually works. All that usually happens is I almost fart. When I’m taking for granted the road alterations promised by the counterfeit signs, my whole body is preparing for a sensation that never comes. Like the first time I rode Splash Mountain and I kept telling everyone in the boat to prepare to scream, as each drop was going to be The Big One and once it was just a sharp turn and I said it sucked and my mom made me apologize to everyone in the raft for saying ‘sucked’ and the whole raft was full of bros who probably didn’t care anyway and I was mortified. So I guess that makes the bump/dip signs total karmic retribution for my actions that day? Oh…shit…Thank goodness I blogged it out or I may never have reached that enlightening conclusion. Whew. Case closed then! On to my next driving in Rangeley anecdote.

I’m the first person to admit that I am not a perfect driver. Though others may disagree, I will also say that I’m not an awful driver. One thing on which we should all be able to agree, though, is that I do not cut people off. If anything, I am overly cautious when turning into traffic and often miss opportunities due to playing it safe! For some reason, though, the only 3 times in my life I’ve ever cut some one off, it’s just been this one old lady. Three separate times. Same old lady.

Rangeley is a real small town, and like all real small towns, you see and recognize the same vehicles on the road all the time. Especially if you drive an enormous red land monster. This old woman happened to drive a slate blue Rav 4. So in short, we could easily recognize each other.

In my defense, the only reason I cut her off (all three times) was because it was a choice between cutting her off or T-boning her. As some of you know, the Bronco didn’t really have any brakes, so downhill stop signs were a real white whale for that truck. All stop signs were a little iffy, but down hill stop signs were a real roll of the dice. Each of the incidents went something like this: I got to the stop sign, stopped, let go the ‘brakes’, realized she was coming but that it was too late to stop again, gunned it, offered an apologetic wave while she made this face:

Exactly this expression, but an old lady making it...and more hurt surprise and disbelief and less unbridled yuppie rage.

The face got more and more surprised with each incident, as if to ask ‘are you serious, 20-something Bronco driver? Do you ever not cut people off?’. Because the only times she ever saw me were when I was cutting her off she must naturally have assumed that I was just cutting everybody off all over town. This was not the case, but I can’t blame her for making logical conclusions. I was going to describe each incident in loving detail, but I realized that to the vast majority of you who are unfamiliar with this particular small Maine mountain town, these details would mean nothing. So I drew this really excellent map instead:

Slate blue Xs mark her position at time of cut-offs

Please note that in my rendering of the Saddleshack (our devilishly clever nickname for our house. It works on 2 levels- 1) all the residents worked at Saddleback, 2) it was actually a total shack), I accidentally drew it slanting the wrong way. The degree of the slant is accurate, but the roof should be pointing to 11 o’clock, not 1 o’clock. Also please note that it took me like an hour to draw that Bronco, so be sure to take a good long look at it so as not to make my efforts a total waste.

I know that the odds of that old lady reading this blog are miles beyond calculable, but if any one who does read this knows who she is or is in a position to contact her, please let her know that I am so, so sorry.

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