Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mogollon Monty

It’s a long drive between the Mogollon Rim near Payson, and Chandler, Arizona. Especially for a four-year-old who has to pee. But I was driving a fast car and, while I did my best to convince my young son that he could hold it, he was pretty sure he couldn’t. I had learned long before that he was the expert in that field. And since it was my father-in-law’s rental I was driving, I had no choice but to pull over on the Beeline, let my son run to the desert foliage for relief, and hope I could get back out on the two lane highway before that slower-than-dirt green Winnebago got in front of me again.

Our two men were ahead of us in my husband’s landcruiser, but with May temperatures in the desert soaring well into the 100’s, they let us have the air conditioned ride back home. And since my husband’s mom didn’t drive, I was the lucky lady behind the wheel of a really nice, very powerful car, enjoying every minute of it.

We cut it pretty close, but my little guy was a fast runner. He jumped back into the car, buckled up, and I yelled, “Hang on!” to my passengers as I floored it back out onto the road, getting up to speed and beyond, well ahead of the giant pickle closing in on our rest stop.

“I’m glad we didn’t get caught behind him again,” I said to my mother-in-law sitting beside me, who had a death grip on the armrest of her door.

“Yeah,” she answered, her Southern drawl lightly seasoned with sarcasm. “That would have been just terrible.”

With the crisis passed, she relaxed and we kept up a friendly conversation as I continued the drive home. I was well ahead of the traffic behind us, so I set the cruise control, and we settled in for the last hour of our drive.

"It should be clear sailing from here," I commented. Checking the rear view mirror after a few minutes, though, I was surprised to see the big motorhome rapidly closing the gap between us.

“Uh oh,” I thought to myself, “somebody got his widdow fee-wings hurt.”

But I was driving a fast car. And I was still ahead of him. On a two lane road.

Which was about to widen into four.

The spurned Winnebago took the first opportunity to pull into the passing lane as I moved to the right, still chatting comfortably with my husband’s mother. But as he pulled up alongside us and slowed, my keen intuition kicked me in the head, warning me not to even look out my window to find out why the giant pickle didn’t make his move and cut me off. I was pretty sure he had a message he wanted to give me that might involve gratuitous sign language, and I was determined to be illiterate.

Unfortunately, a driver’s intuition is only useful to the driver. And since I had to look straight ahead, keeping my eyes on the road and avoiding a collision with the sun-blocking rolling monstrosity on my left, I never saw the imagery displayed in full glory to my poor mother-in-law sitting next to me. I didn’t even know she was looking out my window. Not until she suddenly broke off her conversation with me and exclaimed,

“What is that. . . . .?? Oh My Gosh!!!”

Just then, the Winnebago took off like a rocket, satisfied that they had made their point and put me sufficiently in my place. They were wrong. They had put my mother-in-law in my place.

I did, however, learn my lesson about pulling out in front of gargantuan motorhomes on two lane roads.

There’s nothing quite like a full moon on a sunny day to enlighten a girl on the finer points of driving etiquette.


  1. Never mess with a giant pickle, Eula! LOL

    1. NOW you tell me! I don't even like pickles. :)