Sunday, June 24, 2007

Moab Part 3:

After a hearty breakfast of Krispy Kremes and juice, I talked my wife and a few friends into scooting into town for a hearty breakfast at the Jailhouse cafe. (I usually eat two breakfasts a day, but normally one before bed and one in the morning. This habit may be the main reason riding slickrock was such a disaster.)

After breakfast number two, we all rode through Arches National Park. Here are the highlights: Riding scooters through amazing scenery, hiking to the Delicate arch, hearing two funny off-color jokes, not getting ripped apart by the wife over said jokes because I wasn't the one who told them, having a front-tire blowout going 60, fixing said tire on the side of the road.

I think part of the reason I enjoy riding scooters so much is that there is always the risk of something going wrong. On a larger cycle a certain element of adventure is removed from the equation. So I'm serious about the flat tire being a highlight of the day.

Later Tommy Two Shoes, Dusty Bottoms, Leslie Lew, my wife and myself ate pizza at a wood-fired buffet called Zax. Zax's motto should be: "The name's pretty gay but the pizza is great." I can't even think "Zax" without singing to myself the Flash Gordon song by Queen. "Zax! Ah Ah! Savior of the Universe!"

I think I ate about 15 pieces of pizza. One of them almost came out of my nose I laughed so hard at something Leslie said. For some reason the subject of marriage and divorce came up and I said that if I ever got divorced I would never remarry. Leslie said, "Oh, that's so sweet!"

My wife and I busted up pretty hard over that one. I had to explain that what I meant was that if I ever got a divorce, I'd never be dumb enough to remarry.

I've seldom felt so close to my wife as when we both laughed at Leslies naive outlook on life. Yep, those moments are the foundation of a long and happy marriage.

Later that evening, basking in the glow of a fun trip together, we drove home. It was at this stage in the trip that I was forced to listen to "The Secret." My wife brought the CD's along because her mom had been trying for months to share this "life-changing" wisdom with us. A lot of people are firm believers in "The Secret," so I have to be careful what I say about it.

"The Secret" is the biggest pile of horse crap the world has ever known. If all of the Budweiser clydesdales went and ate at Zax pizza, then chased it down with cola and pop rocks, the aftermath would pale in comparison to the staggering payload of equine dookie that is "The Secret."

If you aren't familiar with "The Secret," here is the the transcription I made while driving back from Moab:


ANNOYING AUSTRALIAN LADY (Picture a female Steve Irwin who gets off on money instead of crocodiles.)

"Throughout the ages, a great secret has separated the successful from the losers, the haves from the have-nots. I used to be a have-not like you, but then I discovered the secret. People like Plato, Einstein, Newton, and every other famous person I can think of, knew the secret. I know the secret too because here I am, making a tape for you to spend lots of money on. Now you can know the secret. Blah, blah, blah, the secret, blah. . ."


"The law of attraction works like magnets. You will attract that which you express. (This isn't true by the way. Magnets are attracted to opposite poles.) Now you hold the greatest secret of all time. You can have anything you desire. You are master of the universe! (By the power of Grayskull, I have the Power!)


By this logic, I now can have whatever I want. Therefore Universe, I command you to create a human race smarter than the average bucketful of Lemmings. Make mankind stop paying attention to this nonsense. And I want a billion dollars. Right now.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

On the way to Moab, we stopped for gas at the mouth of Spanish Fork canyon. Not to reinforce any stereotypes here, but it's worth mentioning that the this particular Chevron station is owned by Indians. I'm not mentioning it in order to make reference to Apu and the Quick-E-Mart, but because this gas station advertises an Indian buffet.

Common sense tells me that an Indian buffet inside a gas station in Spanish Fork Utah is as likely to give one food poisoning as a McDonalds in Mumbai, but I'm neither common nor sensible. For the same reason I once ate a pickled egg after learning that the scuzzy crust on top of the vinegar was a mat of microscopic worms called vinegar eels, I knew I had to try the Indian buffet.

Actually, it wasn't bad. I didn't even get diarrhea. And since my van is really drafty, the remaining drive to Moab wasn't made too unpleasant by my customary flatulent aftershocks. I would even go so far as to say that if you are ever at the mouth of Spanish Fork canyon and you don't feel like eating at The Little Acorn Drive-In, and you don't feel like driving anywhere else to eat, and you don't feel adventurous enough to forage for nuts and berries in the woods, you might as well try the Chevron Indian Buffet. It's that good.

For the rest of the drive we talked about a book I had just finished reading. This doesn't sound too exciting but you need to understand that usually our conversations revolve around things like potty-training and family finance. Discussing a book was a wonderful indulgence.

When we got to Moab we went straight up to the slickrock bike trail. This is the part of the trip that I affectionately call "The Tour De Humiliation." You see, the last time I rode slickrock I weighed nearly 100 pounds less than I do now. I also rode my mountain bike everywhere I went and I rode fast. I used to ride so hard and fast, that one time a stranger pulled me over and said, "Boy, you look like a hard worker! Let me tell you about a business opportunity called Amway. . ."

Back then, I could ride the entire slickrock trail without getting off my bike. At least that's how I remember it. This time, I was just a flabby has-been. When I got a flat tire a few miles into the trail, I secretly breathed a sigh of relief, and rejoiced at the opportunity to walk back to the car with a good excuse.

The entire ride I kept telling my wife, "I used to be able to ride up this hill" and "I used to do this whole trail in a few hours" and "I used to weigh 185 pounds." It was like getting slapped in the face by a former, better self. I am a shell of the man I once was.

That evening we met up with all the other rally people at the Big Bend campground and watched people get drunk for a while. We got tired of that pretty quickly, so then we went to sleep in the van down by the river.

In the morning everyone gave us a hard time for going to bed early. Wisecracks abounded. My personal favorite came from my friend Martinio Calderrama of Senor Martgage Mortgage who took to calling me "magic fingers Dave." I had helped him fix his scooter and he commented on how it made him feel dumb that I could do such fine work with my big clumsy fingers and I made the mistake of saying that my wife is amazed at what I can do with my big fingers. (That's not what I meant, get your mind out of the gutter.) I knew it was a mistake as soon as I said it. Damn Tourette's. The fact is, my wife has commented in the past upon seeing me work on machinery that it's amazing I can do delicate work with such huge hands. (Oh come on!) There's really no way to say that without it sounding dirty is there? Anyway it was a compliment and I'll take them when I can get them.