Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Clownin' Around

Being from Chicago, you either take your driving seriously or you get out of our way. Disgruntled by hours of rush hour traffic, riddled by a mess of orange cones, barriers, and detour signs, foot on the gas ready to roll the instant the light turns green, horn happy, road enraged, over the speed limit, illegal lane changing. That’s how we drive.

And driving around Portland was enough to make any Chicago driver lose some steam. I believe Sally described it best on Saturday night when she captured the problem around Portland – ”they drive the speed limit.” Yes, yes, that’s it! Don’t they know that the speed limit signs are really just permission to drive 5 over? 10 if you’re on the highway?

It was no surprise, then, that on Sunday afternoon Chris was on the borderline of boiling madness after driving back and forth to the race site this weekend, repeated trips to coffee shops, grocery stores, and other things you need to do when traveling with two women around Portland.

We were on the expressway heading towards the Portland airport when Chris was trying to change lanes. The person occupying the lane was doing the classic hover – not speeding up, not dropping back. Dangling dangerously in our blind spot without making a move. This frustrated Chris to no end. He needed to get over and get over now but this person was not helping.

“These people drive like clown shit,” he said looking over his shoulder for the tenth time trying to get into the lane.

That was it. In an instant, I was laughing uncontrollably, and then I began crying. I looked over to see Chris’ face bright red and tears also welling in his eyes.

I could barely get enough breath to choke out a few words. “Clown shit?” I asked after three repeated tries where I couldn’t put the two words together without exploding in giggles again. My face was bright red.

He confirmed, “Clown shit.” At this point I had no idea how he was still steering the car.

To hear the word clown out of Chris' mouth is no surprise. Lately, he has a thing about clowns. The word "clown" paired with any other non-related words seems to be his insult du jour.
For awhile, it was clown shoe. To be called a clown shoe is worse than being called a clown. Think about it. First of all, only clowns can wear clown shoes. And the shoe itself is useless. You cannot walk in a clown shoe. They're too big.

But clown shit - this is a new one and this might be worse than clown shoe or even just clown. So I had to know more.

“What exactly does clown shit look like?” I asked. Really, I was dying to know. I mean, it’s not often you hear someone throw an insult like clown shit around so I was wondering what popped into someone’s mind when hearing that.

“Oh you know,” he began….I could tell this was going somewhere good…..“bits of red hair from a bozo wig and one of those paper party horns,” he said choking back laughter but saying the sentence so smoothly it was like he had been thinking about this for some time.

I didn’t even get into asking why a clown was swallowing its own hair or how it also swallowed a party horn - guess that's just one of the job hazards of being a clown - somehow the description just seemed to fit.

But still I had a question.

I guess I figured a party horn made sense, it would be indigestible. Especially the plastic cap on the end. But the bozo hair? Now that one threw me for a loop. I imagine we’ve all eaten hair from time to time and I’m sure it passes right through. So I asked the question that still lingered inside of me.

“Do you really think clown hair is indigestible?”

With that, we both exploded in laughter again, Chris may have drooled on himself, I may or may not have started to pee my pants, and we finally changed lanes.

Here we are at Mt. Hood......


Beth said...

So true about the Portland drivers! I thought my husband would explode on one of the million times we had to drive back and forth from the race site to the hotel to the fair complex back to the race site back to the hotel, etc... all at about 30 MPH.

However I must say, while we did come up with a bunch of other things to call the driving situation...clown shit wasn't one of them. I'll have to keep that one in mind for next year... :)

Great job in your race by the way!

Ashley Long said...

Ah, Silly Sally... what are we gonna do with her?! Yes, she likes her beer on ice. And don't get me started on her wine drinking habits -- she drinks red wine out of a shot glass.

Anonymous said...

That Coors Light on ice thing was kind of weird. I thought it was a "hey, let's pour this beer on some ice and see what happens" king of event you do once in a lifetime event. I guess not.

So what does she do her whiskey then? With a laddle?


Sally said...

I love reading your adventures! I'm addicted. Great photo too. Can't wait to see you at another race. All the best E&C. Sally

Mira Lelovic said...

Great picture!

Bob Mitera said...

At work I often use, "No talent ass clown."

Alicia Parr said...

Ummmm...oops. We figured out a more rural route to the course from the hotel. Probably should have mentioned that to you guys while we were there. Took about the same amount of time or a little less, although a little more distance. Way more scenic and far less frustrating. Portland traffic is stupid.