Hello again Ely, greetings from across the big pond!
I continue to receive comments regarding the perception of American travellers and it seems that overwhelmingly, my fellow countrymen (and women) are appalled by â€œthoseâ€? Americans travelling abroad. This week was also curious as I encountered a distracted driver on the road. I wonder if folks on your side of the Atlantic have similar problems? Oh, and things are looking brighter, as in better, for our burning desert.
The Jerry Springer Life
I was recently talking with an American lady friend of mine who had lived in England for three years while attending photography school. She told me about being â€˜obviousâ€™ in England and how some people automatically loved her simply for being American, while others were precisely opposite with their feelings, all without knowing anything about her personally. She witnessed a demonstration in the streets, with protestors burning American flags and carrying â€œDeath to Americansâ€? signs.
I have also run across people who believe we continue to have Indian uprisings.
However, she assured me that, by far, her experiences while living there were wonderful and enriching. There has also been discussion indicating that people in Europe see Americans as living the â€œJerry Springer Life.â€? As it were, I have also run across people who believe we continue to have Indian uprisings. Well, perhaps we do, but it doesnâ€™t involve bows and arrows or arranging the wagons into a doughnut shape. These days it involves gaming casinos on the reservations offering slots, shows, and â€œall you can eatâ€? buffets.
But I digress.
I can say unequivocally, that neither I nor anyone I know would go on national TV and talk about carnal indiscretions with their uncleâ€™s cousinâ€™s sisterâ€™s mom. And we wouldnâ€™t wait to bring our poor unsuspecting brother into the television spotlight to inform him that not only have we all slept with his wife, but, like it or not, he is indeed gay. Nor would we wait for TV cameras to pound upon and flail about with our bitter social enemies in an attempt to create a wardrobe malfunction and increased ratings. Can anyone say bad fiction?
We actually keep that stuff where it belongs, hidden in the closet alongside the articulated skeletons. So to those of you wondering: No, we are NOT like those people on the show. They make us all look bad. As a rule, we are much better actors.
Eye Curling Traffic Patterns
Last week I was driving across town, which around here practically calls for packing a lunch. While waiting at a traffic light, I glanced to my right and noticed a young girl contorted inside a truck in the next lane. It took me a moment to realize that in her left hand she was holding an open round makeup thingy, the kind that contains tan powder and a round mirror slightly smaller than a standard CD disk. (I later described what I saw to my sister and she confirmed it is referred to as a â€˜compact,â€™ although it wasnâ€™t all that small.) The young lady held the opened device in her palm and was resting the back of her hand against the steering wheel. Her other hand was held up toward the right side of her face and contained what I recognized as an eyelash curler (I easily recognized this device although I donâ€™t use one – any more). I also know enough about this contraption to know it clamps onto oneâ€™s eyelashes, giving them a uniform curl. It also holds the userâ€™s eyelid in place. Stationary. When the light turned green, I slowly began to accelerate and took a quick look to my right and observed my lane neighbor moving forward at a similar pace. What surprised me was her right eye still held hostage by the curling device and the steering wheel being manipulated by the back of her left hand.
And how does one concentrate on lash curling, compact holding AND driving
I was in disbelief. I did a double take. With the condition of the local roads around here, I donâ€™t feel comfortable rubbing my eye while driving, much less attaching a semi-medical looking instrument to its upper lid. And how does one concentrate on lash curling, compact holding AND driving, and all the while preventing serious eyeball damage? The only thought that came to mind was: idiot! Ok, it was more like stupid idiot! I cannot believe the carelessness of drivers like these. These drivers who are busy doing things OTHER than driving and paying attention to the road and surrounding traffic. This type of dangerous behavior has to stopâ€¦ Anyway, back to my lane buddy, I was then examining the condition of her truck. I was amazed it wasnâ€™tâ€™ covered in dents, crunches, and dings. It had no smashed fenders, no crinkled bumpers. None. Zero. Her movements inside the truck were fluid and not the least bit frantic â€“ an indication in my mind that this was likely her standard driving procedure.
So, as it turns out, I was watching perhaps a little too intently and didnâ€™t immediately notice the car in front of me applying brakes. I glanced forward barely in time to hit my stopping pedal and swerve to the left, narrowly missing the slowed car. In the commotion, my 44 ounce diet soda tipped and spilled into my lap. The cold shot through my trousers and generated an involuntary flinch which caused me to drop my cell phone flinging it under the driverâ€™s seat. The nerve of some people!
Desert on Fire â€“ update
Currently available figures tell us that the number of scorched desert acres in Arizona have topped 700,000 acres. Fortunately, we are having a nice robust start to our yearly monsoon and the moisture in the air along with the accompanying lower temperatures have drastically slowed down the spread of the wildfires. Things are looking up.