My name is The Dead Acorn, and it’s been 13 days since I’ve had to have my car towed while returning from the Outback after attending a rally of enraged anti-government rebels.
I’ve been a member of Triple-A for well nigh over a decade now (I may have conflated several “A-abbreviated ” organizations in the first sentence – I’m referring to the American Automobile Association, not Alcoholics Anonymous or the Australian Association of Apoplectic Anarchists, to neither of which I can claim membership, being 1) something of a supporter of law-and-order in society, and 2) far from anonymous in my over-indulgence.)
Given my long history of driving less-than-fully-reliable cars, membership in AAA has been a wise decision, I think, even though I’ve paid in far more than I would have spent in towing charges over the years – the peace of mind that comes with knowing that when the inevitable finally happens, when my ride ups and dies in the dead cold of winter, potentially blocks ... blocks! from the nearest tavern, I’ll just need to make a single phone call rather than have to deal with stressful details about what to do is well worth the expense. It’s not unlike the fact that during times when I happen to have a significant other, I keep a bottle of Maker’s Mark and a CD of Songs Of Love Gone Wrong at the ready for The Night I Screw Things Up™ (an event no less certain to occur than a cracked distributor cap 22 miles down FSR 212 in central Idaho, believe you me!). Think ahead, my friends ... the fewer details you have to think about in stressful situations, the better off you’ll be.
Still, it is a bit of money, and yesterday, it occurred to me that I’ve been remiss in not taking advantage of AAA’s sweetest amenity: FREE MAPS! I was extremely excited as I drove to their office; understandably so, I think, since, while I’m frequently told by friends and strangers alike, and in no uncertain terms, where I should go, Triple-A goes one step further and provides actual directions!*
Though the number of available maps must surely have been several score, I showed a little self-restraint and only requested the Idaho map (as a bonus, it also shows Montana, so if I ever get a hankerin’ to head to the Testicle Festival in Clinton, Mt, I’ll know exactly how to get there!), though Anna, the courteous and helpful employee, seemed to think that I needed a Boise City map as well, and was quite insistent that I not leave without one (I think I might project an "I Get Lost Quite Easily!" sort of aura). Maybe I’ll use that to plot the most efficient bike routes to all the bars in town … I’d like to think that Anna would approve of that.
So tonight, I’m going to while away the hours poring over the backroads of the Gem State, planning some quick one-night camping trips for the spring, and maybe a few longer excursions during the summer, to be spent immersed in the natural beauty that we, as Idahoans, are blessed with, the kind of beauty so awe-inspiring that, when in its midst, we can't help but become the better for experiencing it, moving just a bit closer toward what we can be, if we just let ourselves, and perhaps even finding answers to questions we didn’t even know were being asked, que ...
Oh, fergawdsake ... all the fancy-schmancy faux philosophy in the world ain’t gonna change the fact that I’m going to spend my night alone looking at a goddamned map. I have got to get a life.
* Damn, I loves me some commas!
7 months ago