Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The TBoGden Travel Diary - Part IV

Part I

Part II

Part III

Monday, December 29

In the Pantheon of Bad Ideas… - During my last visit to Utah in 2005, one of the (many, many) things I later bitched about was the amount of time we spent indoors doing nothing. (In fact, I'm pretty sure I was the first one to coin the now-tired quip, "I finished the internet!" Prove me wrong.) Anyways, the plan for today was to take the commuter train into Salt Lake City and…shop? As luck would have it, I'd just mentioned to Mrs. Bootleg the day before, "We haven't spent enough money this month."

I'm Told This is REAL America - For any of you who live in or visit New York City with any regularity: you know all those times that you're forced to wait in line behind tourists and out-of-towners who don't know how the subway system works? They can't read the routes and schedules, the turnstiles won't take their tickets, etc. Now, imagine that these people have suddenly become the majority. OK, OK…the overwhelming majority! Exclamation point!

I hadn't heard Mrs. Bootleg's incoherent command to bring Jalen's other TWO jackets, so I was summarily dispatched back to the car to retrieve them. I was gone for several minutes and when I returned, a small army of slack-jawed yokels had gathered at the bottom of the ramp. They were trying to figure out how to pay for train tickets. All of them! Before I could shove aside the intellectual revolution in front of me, an attendant told everyone to get on the train any pay when we reached our destination.

This Moment Can Stand by Itself - The train dropped us off on Karl Malone Drive, right in front of the Utah Jazz's Energy Solutions Center. No sign of the bus stop named after Walter Bond.

My Wife Lived Here Until She Was 18 - Gateway Mall is an outdoor mall. This outdoor mall is open in the winter. Today, it's warmed up to about 28°. After lunch, we roamed from shop to shop – me in an undershirt, thermal undershirt and long-sleeve t-shirt over it with a knit cap; while my wife rocked this Hoth ensemble. For the sake of accuracy in ethnicity, here's another image. Alas, no hat for her ("I don't wanna mess up my hair.") She spent the next few hours complaining about the cold. Outside? In Utah?! In December?! And, that's no exaggeration. Two. Straight. Hours. ("I can't feel my ears. Ow, my face hurts! My toes are, like, frozen! Wahhh! Wahhh!")

Keepin' it Real - It wasn't long before our party crossed paths with another African-American. He walked right up to my father-in-law and declared how good it was to see Black people, since there were so few us who call Utah home. It was obviously an unusual moment, but really not that uncommon in the comings and goings of Negroes. Quick question for my white readers: does the Caucasian equivalent happen to you guys in places like New York and Los Angeles? (And, don't give me that "no, because I'm 'color-blind'" bullsh*t, either…)

That Sledding Guy - A few hours later, we were back in Ogden and changing for a late afternoon/early evening sledding session. I've been in snow just twice in my life and not looking forward to this third excursion. Meanwhile, my son was…ummm, "amped". Before we left, it was time for the obligatory "look how ridiculous Aaron looks in snow boots and heavy coat" catcalls from the in-laws. And, yes, I did quote Pulp Fiction in response:

"Ha, ha, ha…they're YOUR clothes, mutha…"

My son's enthusiasm was tamped down by the challenges of actually walking through snow. And, since my 4'8" wife would've been buried alive if she had to carry the boy, I was tasked with hauling an additional 44 lbs. atop my spindly frame for a few hundred yards. Yes, yes…I know this image isn't entirely accurate for this anecdote, but I really love that image.

My son's enthusiasm ramped up again during our first run down the hill. I don't remember much about it save that I had no idea what I was doing and we took 95% of the ride backwards. Later, we somehow managed to come this close to kneecapping Mrs. Bootleg, whose "old Black woman" reflexes are on par with a bottle of Mrs. Butterworth, at this point. Towards the end, Jalen and I even "caught air" as we unintentionally skidded towards a snowboard ramp…that was made of snow! Extreme!

Y'know this snow thing is actually kind of fun.

(Thank God we're going home tomorrow.)

Next: Aaron Cameron vs. Paris Hilton!


Greg said...

Long time lurker, first time poster (found you from Scott Kieth's blog). I have to give you mad props for the Walter Bond reference, me being a long suffering Jazz fan -- until I moved away from SLC and lost all interest in the NBA. I'd forgotten all about that guy.
I think the Caucasian equivalent of your FIL's experience only happens in Europe: "You're American? You need to meet this guy, he's an American." This is followed by uncomfortable mutterings, maybe a handshake and both parties wandering away.

That Bootleg Guy said...

I actually came *this* close to going with Thurl Bailey for the obscure Jazz reference, but figured Bond was a bit more out there.

And, your Europe example reminds me of my honeymoon in Cabo San Lucas. We were there a week and I must've been asked if I smoked weed about 100 times by random street pharmacists. The ties that bind, I guess.