Thursday, January 14, 2010

More Misadventures at Chuckarama

A person on a serious crash diet shouldn't think Chuck-a-rama. However, I have discovered a very healthful menu there. Grandma and I were there at 11:00 a.m. when they opened. Less competition that way. People in search of food can be very dangerous. My menu goes like this. Start with a simple salad. Then move over to the pot roast. Today it was pot TURKEY roast, but that was o.k. I can dip up anything in that tray except the potatoes. Turkey, carrots and onions. Good stuff. And probably okayed by Dr. Oz. (Do you think that is his real name?) Not! Then on to the WHOLE WHEAT rolls. No butter. "A" whole wheat roll! ONE ww roll. And that's it. Marie Osmond herself couldn't have steered me any better. I was so proud of myself that I allowed myself a sliver of carrot cake. Carrot cake is more vegetable than junk food if you avoid the frosting.

To my dismay, the carrot cake, instead of being light and fluffy, was sludgy and heavy. Unlike anything I had ever experienced. I shoved it aside. Grandma looked at me somewhat askance as I went for some peach turnover. The crust looked dark, but I thought nothing of it. INEDIBLE. The crust was burned beyond repair. I was not going to let one small dessert issue ruin my otherwise excellent meal. Grandma looked downright suspicious as I went and got my favorite, chocolate pudding. The nice thing about chock puddin' is: a very full dish doesn't look much fuller than a regular dish. I assured her that the peach dish would have had more calories.

The place was filling up with crying children. The people behind us on her side kept banging the seat, jarring her quite badly. She said, "this never fails." She got up to leave. "Right behind you", I said as I finished the last bite of pudding. As she turned the corner, I quickly ate the perfect peach streudel and wolfed down the perfect carrot cake, frosting and all. I caught up with her before she got even halfway to the car.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


We all hate fog. Fog seems to be the most universally despised weather condition. Pilots hate it. Ship's captains hate it. Some love Phoenix for the heat. Some love Minneapolis for the cold. But we all hate fog. Jodi, Todd and the Big Kids are leaving the SLC fog and heading out into the fog of the Uintah Basin to see Barb, Amanda and the Little kids. I'm jealous. It's worth braving the fog to see that group!

Well, anyhoo, we all have a favorite fog story to tell. The story often goes like this: Ya couldn't see the railroad tracks that ya were standing on at 12:00 o'clock noon. Ya couldn't see the powerful headlight of the approaching train! Ya hadda stoop over and feel the track so's ya would know which way to jump just as the train came whistling past!

My friend Buster told of driving in the "thickest fog of all time". He had the good fortune to get behind another motorist. He admitted that he was tailgating like crazy. This went on for mle after mile. The other driver suddenly stopped. Buster was lost and spooked. The other fella opened his door. Buster opened his door. The other guy stood up. Buster stood up. The other guy said "what are you doing in my driveway?"

My best/worst fog story goes thusly. Uh oh, another Moab story. I had just bought my first auto, a '55 pontiac. (Well, this doesn't include the $5.00 I spent to help buy a $20.00 Buick with some of my Carbon College friends.) That car had real good springs but no shocks. This allowed us to overfill the Buick with a ho-bunch of crazies and go down the main street of Price, hopping up and down, causing the green car to imitate a giant grasshopper, almost leaving the pavement on the upswing. What fun! The ticket we got was more than we paid for the car.

Burton! Wake up! Hey, Flagboy, get back to the story. Coincidentally, my friend and co-worker at the uranium mine, Buce, had also just bought a '55 Pontiac. Identical! Same lime-green and white. Heading into Christmas of 1961, I was excited to head for Price, home of my girlfriend, now known as "Grandma". Bruce was going in the same direction (to Utah County)for the holidays. We decided to travel through the heavy fog caravan style, just in case of mechanical problems. I was leading as we left Moab at about 6:00 p.m., having just finished our shift. Price lay 120 miles ahead.

Bruce was a bit of a drinker. He had a pint of "Old Sunny Brook" to help keep him company, along with his girlfriend and her four children. SIX PEOPLE IN THAT CAR! We no sooner left Moab than I lost his headlights in my rear view mirror. I stopped, assuming it was one of those "routine" stops for one of the young children. His car didn't appear for awhile. I turned back, wondering if he was already experiencing mechanical problems, so common in those days. Mistake. Here he came, hustling right along, trying to catch up with me.

I spun around and tried to catch him. The fog was so thick that I could only see about three white stripes ahead. I pushed the ol' greenie. I knew he would be wondering where in the heck I had disappeared to. I soon glanced at my speedometer. Seventy miles per hour?? Wow! I would knock his rear bumper into his radiator if I caught up at that speed. I slowed to about 30 mph, which was still a bit fast for the conditions.

Nice Christmas. Lotsa fun. When I arrived at the mine on the next workday, Bruce came running up to me. "What in the he** were you doing? How the he** fast were you going? I drove 80 miles per hour all the way to price looking for you"