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Denver to Omaha

Google Travel Time:  7 hours 37 minutes

Our pace:  11 hours and some change 

I don't know if it was a "How can I help you?" or an "Is there anything I can do for you?" Either way the emphasis was on irritate when I questioned the Nebraska police officer. Sarah and I were off the Interstate. We were off the road that we took to get off the Interstate. We were so far out of the way that the traffic from the highway was only loud enough to make you feel lonely. Paco barked at a willow. He might as well because there was nothing else around. Sarah sat in the car and changed Quin. I ran laps (one really) around a big bald spot on the prairie. I was thinking about ticks migrating to my groin when I saw the cop car barreling towards us. It was dark but he'd lit himself so he'd be visible from space. I knew he was coming for us. Well, there was no one else, but I could tell our car and our activity, this lively aberration on the surface of the moon, had startled the locals. He skidded up to the back of our car. He had to have been disappointed. No one ran. No illegal aliens tossed a baby full of crack into the bushes. Sarah continued to coo at Quin. I stared into his spotlight battling the impulse to run and get my camera. My rushing to pull and point something at Officer Twitchy would not be a good idea.

Moments later I asked him what I could do for him in my snotty bad waiter voice. Not a great idea as this got his cockles all crazy and he scurried up to me with his flashlight in that dual purpose illuminator/skull cracker position. He peppered me with questions. What was I doing there? Who was I with. Where did I work? Who did I know in Omaha? He asked what I did for a living and I refrained from saying "self-employed". I'd never realized how loud that screams "Drug Dealer!"

His purposed deflating and my defense bulletproof, the officer slunk back towards his car. From behind his open door he explained that they'd had a lot of trouble in that spot. This spot so far from anything that you'd almost want to encourage trouble. How many loner Ted Bundy types has this guy chased back into the city? Some guy's waxing hopeful to a porn mag and pulling the heads off Barbies, and from this crater pitted of people and attractive plant life officer Desert Speeder is running them back into civilization. We really should convince suicide bombers to blow themselves up in Nebraska.

The dusty plains just beyond Oglalla is our precious Holy Land. Spread the word.

And our Omaha stay was delightful. It was wearying and sometimes frustrating, but that wasn't our hosts fault. I will blame the baby for that. Allison, or Allie as her roommates and friends call her, let us stay at her sweet collegiate digs. I say collegiate not in the sense that they were on campus, but this was address that every college kid knew. Beer cans and cigarette butts filled the barbecue on the back porch.

Do you remember that house you had right after school? You still felt like you were a student. Your flexibility hadn't gotten all salty. You still had the patience for someone else's dishes, someone else's music and their inability to get you 1/3 of the electric bill every month. This was Allie's house and it smelled like tangy shores of irresponsibility. Sure college loans had piled on the tsunami about to suck you into a sea of change (piss off, it's late), but that makes for even more fevered partying.

Everybody was awake way past our arrival at 2am. This was a normal hour for Allie and her friends. Quin fit right in.

Paco was near suicidal.

Reader Comments (3)

When do we get to hear about the Massive Paternal/Husband blunder or was this story it?
October 18, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter:>)
Nebraska is kreepy. Its not creepy-- its kreepy. Last time we drove through nebraska, mom kept one hand on me and one hand on nicholas and an invisible lasso on pete the whole time. All murderers eventually work in nebraska. its a great place to hide a body and nobody will ever find it.
October 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterVFE
I would like to say that you caught me at my best moment ever.. out all night, after going to the gym (which I think defeated the purpose) at 2 AM. I am happy to say though that I made it through the stay of my unknown guests. People were seriously scared that I may end up dead by morning (hence the 2 guys, 1 roommate, 1 friend) who were there at your arrival. But in the end, it was worth. Got some good laughs, got to play with a cute baby (who didn't puke on me and I didn't sell on eBay) and I'm up $$$ and lunch.. who can beat that!? I still think it's the best that your baby didn't puke on me...
October 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAllie

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