No offense to those of you who actually live in Wyoming. Really. And yes, I’ve been to Jackson Hole and Yellowstone and some of the comparatively more interesting parts. This was not one of those occasions.
So, some recent travels took me through, and I mean ALL the way through, southern Wyoming. Now, I’ve driven through Wyoming a time or two. My general strategy is to speed through as quickly I can with my eyes shut, so as not to accidentally absorb any of the actual scenery or culture. It has to be among the top three most boring places on the planet. Before I left, I was lamenting to a co-worker about having to drive through Wyoming. He said “Oh really? I’ve always thought Wyoming was interesting.” I said “Where do you live that you think Wyoming is interesting?” He hung his head and said “Kansas.” Turns out if you look up “boring as all hell” in the dictionary, there’s a picture of Kansas, and it says “See also: Wyoming.”
Now, as I passed through Wyoming, I saw a whole lot of nothing and the occasional dilapidated trailer park. I thought to myself, “What sort of person would voluntarily choose to live out here?” Conclusion: People who like to drink, fuck, and blow stuff up. As it turns out, you can’t get a cell phone signal, you probably can’t get roadside assistance, and you sure as shit can’t get a decent radio station, but by God, you can get porn, liquor, and fireworks. One place we passed in the middle of nowhere was a combination liquor and fireworks warehouse. Next door? An adult arcade. No shit. I’m not saying I don’t like to drink, fuck, and blow stuff up, but I’d rather do it in a place that doesn’t make me want to gouge my eyes out.
|Betty Ann is the hottest sheep in three counties.|
I’m also not kidding about the radio. Apparently, the extent of Wyoming’s airwave repertoire is country music, Jesus music, or if you’re reeeeeal lucky, country songs about Jesus. Best of both worlds, there.
Anywho, we were compelled to stop for gas and a restroom at a truck stop outside Laramie, Wyoming, where we encountered some of the dreaded locals. I hear they’re dangerous outside their native environments. As we had tragically run out of things to listen to in the car, I was on a mission to buy a CD from the truck stop, just to have something new. As I stood in front of the limited selection next to a good ol’ boy, I shook my head. He said “What?” I said “All country music.” He looked at me in confusion. “What do you mean?” Sigh. Yes, Virginia, there is more than one kind of music. After much perusing, I settled on the one CD they had in their collection which was not country: Giants of 80’s metal. I was expecting Ozzy and Motley Crue and got Great White and Mr. Big, but no matter. Mr. Big never struck me as a “Giant of Metal”, but that’s a whole other story.
I retreat from the building, which is astonishingly packed for this time of night, and pass on my way a great huge fat woman with a fistful of scratch-off lotto tickets. She had two children in tow, both in their PJs and fuzzy slippers and filthy. Classy. I retrieved my dogs (two pugs) from the car for a little break, and encountered an old man, who informed me that he would buy one of the dogs from me. I said that they weren’t for sale, and he said “I ain’t kiddin’. You can tie ‘im up to my bumper and I’ll take care of ‘im when I’m done in the bathroom.” Um, no. But thanks. This was only slightly more disturbing than the old man who drawled “Awwww, look at them two dawgs.”
Walking further, we encounter two women, one of whom is furiously smoking a cigarette. I say ‘furiously’ because she was sucking on that thing like it was paying her. Picture their accents a lot like Joy’s character from My Name Is Earl. My dogs, who think that everyone is their friend, immediately run up to these two women for kisses, so I am stuck talking to them.
Woman 1: Awww! They’re so cute! How old are they?
Me: 5 months.
Woman 1: Are they them Chihuahuas? (Which she pronounced Chuh-WAH-WAHs. Emphasis on the WAH.)
Me: No, pugs.
Woman 1: How old are they?
Me: Uhh…5 months.
Woman 1: Oh yeah, you said that, huh?
Woman 2: I saw last week on that America’s Funniest Home Videos where they had two of them pugs in a bed.
Woman 1: Your dogs probably smell our dog.
Me: Oh? Where is your dog?
Whereupon the woman gestures towards her car that we are standing next to, and the dog inside is…. a Chihuahua.