Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Grumpy Summer Vacation, Day 13

After disembarking, the kids and I waited while Mrs. Grumpy went for the Sienna. To give them something to do, I told them to count taxis as they went by. This turned out to be a bad move, as most had signs on them advertising a strip bar called “Dream Girls”, with photos of scantily clad women. This gave the wild bunch the giggles, and they quickly evolved to counting just Dream Girl cabs, then the number of boobies on each cab ([taxis with dream girls] x 2 = total number of boobies).

So we drove through the Pacific northwest, passing though Yakima (with a sign that said “Yakima- the Palm Springs of Washington”, whatever that means). We also went by a sign for Tacoma Screw Products.

On the trip overall we’ve been through quite a few towns of varying sizes. This has included Afton, Wyoming, home of the world's largest arch made entirely from elk antlers. For the benefit of animal lovers it was noted that all antlers were naturally shed by elks as they grew, and no elks were harmed in the making of the arch.

In one small northern Utah town, when we were at a red light, I happened to glance at the car next to us. A muscular guy winked and waved his tongue at me.

This afternoon we needed to pee, and top off the car, so pulled into a small town. To my surprise the gas station doubled as a feed store. I went in to pay for our purchase and the friendly clerk (wearing hunting gear, a gun, and a T-shirt that said "Shh!!! I'm hiding from the voices!") asked me if I needed any livestock feed (in our family "Livestock feed" constitutes a trip to McD's). The place also has a small restaurant, so I guess they cover pretty much all land creatures.

Oddball combination businesses have been a common finding on this trip. In one area we passed Rocky Mountain Fireworks & Fur store, which sold both.

We finally stopped in the late afternoon, in a place where Mrs. Grumpy has more family. She asked me to keep the kids at the motel, So I marched them out to the pool and plunked myself down with my faithful 2005 iBook and a Diet Coke.

Shortly after starting work, I poured Diet Coke down the front of my shirt.

We were meeting her family for dinner, and I don’t have many clean clothes left (tonight is laundry night). So I decided to get the stains out of my shirt by rubbing that part in the pool (guy thinking, I know). Unfortunately, after doing that it occurred to me that the chlorine in the pool might only stain that part of the shirt. So to balance it out, I soaked the whole shirt in the pool, and hung it over a chair to dry.

At dinner my in-laws asked me why I was wearing a wet shirt. I mumbled “it’s a guy thing” and left it at that (the shirt came out fine).

The restaurant they chose was a local roadside place, where I suggested my kids get something safe. So Craig ordered fried shrimp. Fortunately, I suspect they were from Costco (which is where I’d suggested going for dinner in the first place, thank you very much).

Fried anything, regardless of how bad it is for you, has always reminded me of Bill Crosby’s old routine about how Americans can eat anything if they can put it between 2 slices of bread. Similarly, we will also eat anything as long as it has been breaded and deep-fried. This is not a joke. Red Lobster and Long John Silver’s have built empires by realizing this.


celindaCPhT said...

Interstate 84!! I know exactly where the fur and firework shop is! The exit to the tiny town of Notus (ironic I know) Being from Oregon, my friends and I travel to the fur shop to get our "illegal fireworks" just so we can have the yearly roman candle fights.... sigh... yes I know... this is why we need doctors in the ER on the 4th of July. Anyhoo, kinda cool to know you were in my neck of the woods, sounds like you had an amazing trip. Thank you for sharing your adventures, such a highlight of my day :)

the observer said...

Oh, no, is the Grumpy family vacation over? Just when it was getting good!

WarmSocks said...

Dinner at Costco... My kids like to wander up and down the aisles and fill up on samples.

Tacoma Screw supplies construction companies. It's always weird to see their signs in Yakima & Pasco, and even Boise & Portland.

Glad you're having such a great vacation.

Li'l Azathoth said...

I think you and Bill Cosby just solved our nuclear waste disposal problem.

terri c said...

I do think you must have a magnet for, um, unusual people and situations! You will need to get back to work to relax... great post!

Captain Foulenough said...

Woo-hoo! 50 pounds of feed "good for ALL ANIMALS" for $6.99? That's like a tenth of the price of big-box-store dog food. Imma order me up a tractor-trailer load of that shit to feed my dogs... and maybe to the kid, too; he sure as hell is an animal.

Capcha: "senizero." The only thing lower than senione.

me said...

I wish I'd known you were going to be passing through here in Yuck-ima...
We would have invited ya'll in for BBQ lunch or dinner!!
Or we could have taken you wine tasting... (NO Costco fried shrimp!!!)

Mike said...

There is a local family owned nursery and ice cream stand which has a sign advertising some of their more popular products and services.

Ice Cream

I am afraid to stop in and verify this menu.


Anonymous said...

Wait...you filled your tank and only put in 5.888 gallons? Small tank!

The Mother said...

Umami always wins. Fried, bacon, salty. All those things that we now think aren't good for you are evolutionarily hard wired into our palates.

Don said...

Rocky Mountain Fireworks and Fur? You were in my neck of the woods Grumpy. That is my favorite fireworks stand.

Funny thing about Idaho, if you sign a piece of paper saying you are purchasing fireworks for "export" purposes, you can buy anything you want.

Tacoma Screw Products is one of our suppliers. We purchase an environmentally friendly soap from them that we use to clean machined parts.

About 30% of our business is supplying parts to the medical industry

Rothase said...

My favorite road sign of all time was when we were driving through Ireland and I spotted a sign that read "Irish National Stud- next exit." I was disappointed to learn that the Irish National Stud was, in fact, a horse.

Spring said...

Wow. You went through Yakima in late July? Must have been hotter than hell there.

I love the Pacific Northwest... lived in Spokane for about 30 years before moving to NYC. It's beautiful country. My son still lives there, but I don't get back to visit as often as I'd like. Hope you enjoyed your drive through.

Chris@Knucklehead! said...

Okay, that's weird, this is the second reference I've seen in blogland today referencing the Cosby "two slices of bread" line.

Also, the Fireworks and Fur place makes more sense when you realize that they use fireworks to obtain the fur. Just sayin'.

Sounds like a fun trip!

a.generic doc said...

Americans will eat all sorts of breaded and deep fried stuff, but surprisingly, chocolate covering doesn't work as well.
The chocolate covered menagerie (ants, baby bees and grasshoppers) that my cousins fed me years ago doesn't seem to have caught on with any major chain, though a google search does find a few sites with chocolate covered bugs for sale.

Perhaps the Grumpy kids might want to try those some day.

Don said...

BTW, in reference to Rocky Mountain Fur and Fireworks

There are people in the area who still run traplines. Mink, Coyote, Muskrat, Fox are some of the more common ones, just off the top of my head.

Rocky Mountain Fur is a fur buyer. They purchase the furs from the trappers and sell them to the clothing industry.

Anonymous said...

My mom's out in the country & the store by the off-ramp is called "Bulk Food and Fireworks"

for all your bulk food and fireworks needs.

Have Myelin? said...

"we will eat anything as long as it has been breaded and deep-fried.." YES! I know!

I was shocked when I found out Olive Garden had FRIED LASAGNA on their menu. I mean why???

I didn't order it but my friends did. =)

Shalom said...

So far the best incongruous business combo in my experience was the Aubin Motel & Gardening Supply, in Cote St Luc, Quebec... (This was over 20 years ago; they're still there, but from google streetview they're just a motel now, unless they moved the greenhouse to the back.)

Of course, as a fan of ancient Warner Bros standup comedy LPs, you ought to be familiar with the Grace L Ferguson Airline & Storm Door Company, right?

(word verification "micrugh". What is that, a thousandth of an ugh?)

Sunny said...

I am so envious - a [35 litre]fillup for only $25?!? It costs $40 where I live, near Vancouver.

Debra said...

My brother always calls me when he's on his way to the Gorge Amphitheater for a concert. He calls from the Yakimart and asks me if I would like any pork rinds or a 40-ouncer. This is what passes for humor at our house...

Jo said...

Breaded fried things are the safest things to eat on the road. Any con...conness...expert in road food knows that. Because it's all dispensed from a central location, untouched by human hands, and fried in a sterile environment.

mcgee said...

My favorite weird business combo was a place in Union, Missouri called "Liquor, Guns and Ammo".

Anonymous said...

mcgee- run by batf? a similar store is in willow creek, california that also advertises the cigs.

MJAY said...

on the note of odd combination in Rehoboth Beach Delaware there is a store named Bills Bait shop that until recently had a banner advertizing "PERMS AND WORMS."

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