Aaron and I visited Smurf and Sarah in Pullman last weekend. We had a great time catching up and doing all sorts of things. We went to see Pixar's "Up", which was pretty fun.
But as with all visits, it came to an end. Aaron and I packed up the car, hugged the natives goodbye, and drove off over the horizon.
Then we were pulled over by a cop. We hadn't noticed that the speed limit had changed, and thus were speeding. It was blazing hot, and we had to wait in the car for what seemed like forever while the policeman went and logged some variety of information.
Fortunately the policeman was understanding. We were strangers to this town, after all. And he gave us some directions we already had.
So off we went yet again. Aaron and I had a grand time talking about all manner of things, but particularly how I've actually become very judgmental of people based on appearance (it turns out that if you dress "nicely" or "trendy", then I'm far more likely to write you off as someone not worth knowing; but if you dress strangely or simply haven't put particular effort into your appearance, then I'm more likely to want to get to know you).
In any case, while we were talking we ended up on the down-side of a hill. Aaron then discovered something quite strange.
"The gas is breaking."
It seemed that whenever he applied the gas, it was actually slowing the car. Strange, I thought. And then...
"Gah. We're out of gas."
"Really?" I asked.
"You mean, like, we're actually all the way out?"
And so we pulled the car over at the bottom of the slope, where there was a small bridge over a train crossing. We sat for a moment, a little unsure what to do. And then we got out of the car.
It was hot.
I wondered to myself if it would be feasible to push the car.
"How far to the next town?" I asked.
"Dunno. Maybe 20 miles?" Aaron responded.
But I wasn't terribly distraught. Honestly, it was a bit fun. Like an adventure. So like an adventurer I wandered off in no particular direction for no particular reason whilst Aaron called his father for advice.
I ended up walking over to the train tracks, under the bridge. It was maybe 20 meters from the car. I tried my hand at balancing on the tracks, hopping from one side to the other. I was fairly successful. But then I got bored and headed back to the car.
"My dad says to try hitch-hiking. Also, we should put the hood of the car up to seem more sympathetic."
So we did. And surprisingly it wasn't long before a car pulled over for us. We ran over as they rolled down their window.
"Can we get a lift to the next town?"
We opened the the back seat and discovered it was full of stuff. They popped the trunk.
"Just move it back there," the driver said. So we did. Among the things in the back seat were several blond wigs. Strange, but not off-putting.
We got in. I tried to start a bit of a conversation.
"Where you coming from?" I asked.
"A drag-queen show."
That explained the wigs! :-)
"Oh cool. I went to pride a couple of weekends ago," I said.
The rest of the drive was totally silent and awkward.
We arrived in the town of Othello. We thanked the kind people who picked us up, went into a gas station, purchased a container for gas, and promptly went to eat food. It was Subway. And it was yummy.
Then we filled up the gas, and were on the road hitch-hiking again.
We got picked up almost immediately by this awesome old-guy with bad teeth and a fishing hat. His name was Eric.
"I can't believe no one picked you up yet! Fuck."
Oh, and he had a puppy. And I got to hold the puppy. The puppy was awesome. It kept on trying to bite me, and I kept on shoving my finger down its throat in response. Each time I did this it would stop biting for about two minutes, and then forget and start biting me again. Silly dog. I adored it.
Eric talked about all kinds of things, and gave us friendly advice. He advised us never to get married, for example. He also swore a lot, but in a positive up-beat way.
Honestly, despite his gruff exterior, you could tell he had a gianormous heart. Just something about him. He was a great guy. I was genuinely glad to meet him.
So we arrived back at the car, poured the gas in, and we were off. We stopped at a gas-station to fill it all the way up, of course. But other than that, the rest of the trip was uneventful.
All-in-all, I'm glad we ran out of gas. It was fun.