Strangers In A Strange Land

With all due apologies to Robert Heinlein.

While none of us actively seek to do so, each member of our family often manages to be the odd man out.  The last place the son worked, he said he was the weirdest guy in the room.  He’s actually happy at the new plant, where, he says, he’s just the opening act.  There’s nothing that will hold a mirror up to your normalcy, or lack of it, like a road-trip, to see how others do it.  Jeff Foxworthy says it’s like goin’ to the local fair.  “Why, we’s dang near royalty!”  With that in mind, the son and I spent a weekend in the Detroit area.

He hasn’t been able to make the trip for almost ten years.  He had seen the photos of the big wind-turbines we passed last October, but nothing gives the scale like driving right under them.  I’ll include pictures, and maybe a video, in a later post.  He was impressed by their size, and proximity to the highway.  He was less impressed by the two fields of solar panels, which we didn’t get a picture of.  They just looked like someone had pulled a black shroud over a couple of acres of dead farmland, which, in effect, they had.

I think we passed the home of the lady who objected when the turbines were going up.  She complained that they already had enough wind in the area.  They didn’t need these big fans making more.  She could have been Liz’s sister.  D’oh!!

We crossed the Ambassador Bridge and stopped at a Security booth manned by a 30-ish male.  As I’ve said, we never mention knife shows.  As I do when the wife and I go down, I told him we were going to do some shopping.  I should have told him that the wife had sent along a list of stuff we can’t get in Canada.  We got Searched!  He looked in the car and saw two males claiming to be going shopping, and said, “Pop the trunk.  I want to take a look.”

I wasn’t worried.  He saw a shopping basket with five bottles of Pepsi, a large orange juice bottle, filled with iced tea, a smaller bottle with two days worth of orange juice, two newspapers and two crossword puzzles.  I’m surprised he wasn’t so bored he dozed off and fell into the trunk, but, back he came.  “Thanks guys.  Have a nice time.”  Them boys is too bland to be smugglers or terrorists.

We were supposed to have phoned the wife, our designated worrier, when we crossed the border in each direction, but we got distracted by all the big-city lights, and forgot till we were on the wrong side of the river.  The son tried to place a billed-to-the-room call when we got to the motel, but the phone system malfunctioned.  Finally on Saturday he placed a collect call.  She said that no police officer had showed up by 11 PM to report an accident, so she assumed we were safe.

After we booked in, we both lay down for a nap.  Mine was only an hour and a half.  Since the son had been up since 7 PM the previous day, I let him sleep four hours.  While he was still out, I took a walk, circling the Big Boy restaurant in front of the motel.  In the James Bond movie, Diamonds Are Forever, Bond apologizes to a rat for having a gay assassin’s cheap cologne spilled on him.  He says, “One of us smells like a tart’s handkerchief.  Sorry old man, I think it’s me.”  Around on the unused side of the restaurant, two guys were doing something near two vehicles.  I assume they were the gay assassins, because, from 10 feet away, I could hardly breathe from the tart’s handkerchief smell.  I left quickly, lest I be invited to join the party.

We went out to check a couple of possible places to get good fish and chips.  I passed a place I had found on-line, on the way to another spot.  We decided to go back to it, because it looked more reputable than the one recommended by the on-call ambulance team I had met.  We walked in just ahead of two young men, just before 7 PM.  A sign out front threatened “Live Entertainment”, and they were it.

The fish was good.  The chips were the milk-powder coated variety for crispness, the kind the lactose-intolerant wife can’t eat.  Without the spoilsport chaperone wife along, I had a cup of decent bean soup, a bowl of crisp, well-dressed coleslaw, and  a 20 ounce glass of well-chilled, Australian-type, 8.5 percent, craft-brewed ale from Wisconsin.

The two musicians (?) played a keyboard and a guitar, and one of them sang – I think, although the noun caterwauling came to mind.  Without any help from the studio audience, I managed to identify every song they played, even if they couldn’t.  Is it cynical to note that those few of the audience who clapped, did so when these guys stopped playing?

We stopped at my favorite Meijer store on the way back to the motel, and got everything on the wife’s list except flavored coffee creamers.  Oh, the excitement, it was like electricity in the air.  We were asleep again by midnight.  Tomorrow we attend the knife show.  Stop in to the site, I hope to post pictures.

14 thoughts on “Strangers In A Strange Land

  1. whiteladyinthehood says:

    Archon, stay the hell out of these parking lots! I worry about you….
    …you didn’t go to the spot recommended by the on-call ambulance team you had met….who meets an on-call ambulance team? LOL.
    Then you had some good food with crappy entertainment….(A+ for the use of the word caterwauling) That kinda reminded me of this hole in the wall bar I went to on a riverboat (they were so stupid they ACTUALLY had pool tables! You can’t have pool tables on a boat with it rocking…) anyway, the one-guy band is on the back deck with his guitar – he looked like he had just come out of the bushes and had a “Don’t pay me with money, pay with beer mentality.” He was a caterwauler! Nobody clapped until he said he was taking a break…


    • Archon's Den says:

      I broke my arm in two places. Stay out of those places. I’m reasonably alert and aware, and might not have gone near these two in the dark. There’s a 2/3 Person ambulance crew who cover the five mile square city. Like firemen, they’re oncall for 24 hours but bed down at this motel until called out. Since they cruise the city, they should know the best places to eat. I saw them roll in and approached them. Their taste was just a little more casual than ours. Leo’s Coney Bar 😀


      • whiteladyinthehood says:

        Leo’s Coney Bar…(you could probably get a good chili dog there!) Well, you mentioned you broke your arm in two places, so you know I’m going to be an askhole and ask how you did it? Bar fight?


      • Archon's Den says:

        No real broken arm, just another old Vaudeville line. “Doctor, it hurts when I do this. Don’t do that!” Cracked a rib once, and, of course, smashed the left shoulder. I usually think my way out of trouble. The closest I came to a bar fight was when some guy wanted to sit next to my then-fiancee. He was drunk and obnoxious, but before I even figured how to handle the situation, the other six guys at our table ALL stood up, and one of them told him to f…ly away. 😆


    • Archon's Den says:

      Point taken, and reply made. You know your blog-pals better than I do. Could we make up a seven blog-dwarfs group? I’ll be Dopey; you’re Sleepy. Rants is Grumpy; Erickson can be Doc when he comes out of hibernation. Who else? Who else…. 😕


  2. shimoniac says:

    As regards the fish and chips place and their live entertainment, I would have preferred canned music to fresh squeezed.


  3. BrainRants says:

    I think you ought to have been detained at the border, at least for little while, but at least you’re not a gay ninja.


  4. The perfect border check camouflage? Get a bunch of stuffed animals. My wife and I have crossed the Canadian border a number of times, and the smoothest was when we had a pair of large stuffed dogs, traveling as both companions and pillows (before we had real dogs). The border guard was about to interrogate us (and was in a truly filthy mood) when he peered into the back of our station wagon. Instantly, he smiles, starts whispering, and hands us our stuff and shoos us through. We later figured out he thought we had a carload of kids in the back, asleep! 😀 (It worked out quite well, as that was our visit to the RHLI museum, and I had a full WW2 uniform in the back, though I was clever enough to leave the rifle and bayonet at home.)


    • Archon's Den says:

      The last time the son came with us, he and I were in the front seat, and the wife was asleep in the back. I don’t think they even noticed her. Nowadays, with the passport rule, every body must be accounted for. Two adult males with a car full of stuffed animals?? We’re back to the gay ninja thing! 😀


  5. […] Archon’s Den […]


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