Today we drove to Middleofnowhere, Utah, where my MIL has rented a large house for us to meet up with her, Mrs. Grumpy’s brothers, and their families for a few days.
Family reunions with this branch have always been interesting. In the past they’ve involved trips to the lake, which have ended with someone accidentally sinking a boat in shallow water. So this year they picked a place nowhere near a lake.
As we drove through Utah we had to stop for highway construction. A young guy holding one of those Stop/Slow signs brought our column of cars to halt. He motioned for us to roll down the window.
Mrs. Grumpy: “Hi.”
Mr. RM: “Sorry, folks. Road work going on. Gonna be about 5 minutes before the guide vehicle comes back.”
Mrs. Grumpy: “Okay.”
Mr. RM: “While you’re waiting, would you like a copy of the Book of Mormon?”
When we finally got to high-altitude Middleofnowhere, it was colder than we thought it would be. Unfortunately, we’d sent our jackets back home with my parents after the cruise.
All of us were fine except Craig, who was convinced he was going to die of hypothermia. So I set off to find a cheap sweatshirt.
This wasn't as easy as it sounds. We’re in the middle of nowhere, and couldn’t find a Wal-Mart (those of you who know how much I hate Wal-Mart will understand how desperate I must have been to be looking for one).
After driving through town (which took < 1 minute) I located the local store, which had some cheap sweatshirts. When I was checking out the guy at the cash register asked me “do you need any ammo or kerosene?”
My MIL has rented this HUGE house for the family reunion, so that each family can have their own bedroom. Whoever designed this place was remarkably fond of mirrors, and has them on, quite literally, every wall (and a few ceilings) in all the rooms & hallways. It makes me wonder if we’re being videotaped for some sort of “family reunities in the boondocks and kills each other” reality show.
Another oddity of the house is an old headless mannequin, wearing a white dress.
Exactly why anyone thought this would enhance the beauty of the place is beyond me. All it needs was some blood on the gown and ghost stories to scare the little kids.
Since getting here the thing has made the rounds, randomly showing up in various showers, closets, and beds.
One of my SIL's brought some gifts for the kids, leftover headbands from the movie "Kung-Fu Panda". Their are 5 types, each one listing a character's martial arts style from the flick. So they say things like "Monkey Style" or "Tiger Style". In retrospect, I guess it's a good thing there wasn't a doggie in the film.
When dinner finally rolled around, my MIL called a local place to order food, and my BIL Rob and I were designated to go pick it up.
Rob is an interesting guy. His job requires him to drive long distances between rural areas. To pass the time he installed a DVD player in his truck so he can watch movies while driving (I swear!). Ever since I married his sister he’s been after me to leave my job and open a lawn mowing service with him.
As we were driving along I noticed that the the DVD player had broken, and asked him what happened. He replied “Oh, I loaned the truck to this stupid kid who lives in town. While he was driving he accidentally spilled a milkshake into it. People are so fucked up these days. I mean, what kind of idiot would trust a kid like that?”
I didn’t bother to answer the question.
The sign in front of Local Dump said: “Take-Out Service: Pull up on east side of building, and we will bring it out to you.”
So Rob pulled up on the west side of the building, and stopped.
I wanted to be polite, so I didn’t say anything. I watched as someone drove up to the other side of the building, got their order, and headed off. Rob just sat there.
Finally he said: “I wonder where our order is?”
Dr. Grumpy: “Um, I think we’re supposed to be on the east side of the building. That’s what the sign says.”
BIL Rob: “I know, but we are on the east side.”
Dr. Grumpy: “We’re on the west side. See, look at the sun.”
BIL: “No, the sign meant east side as you look at the building from the road. We’re turned around now, and so the sides are reversed”.
Dr. Grumpy: “East and west don’t change. We need to be on that side of the building”
BIL Rob: “We’re on the east side. Trust me.”
It wasn’t worth arguing. So we continued waiting. After a few more minutes Rob went into the restaurant and came back with the food. He told me he hadn’t tipped the waitress, because she was an idiot who didn’t know the difference between east and west.