IMAGE COURTESY OF DVDBEAVER.COM
SECTION V: I HEAR THAT THERE IS SUCH A THING AS JUSTIFIABLE HOMICIDE
VOLUMES 1, 2, AND 3 CAN BE FOUND SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE MYSTICAL, MYSTERIOUS MISTS OF LARRYLAND.
This portion of the trip between the stop in Idaho and Salt Lake City actually went really smoothly. The driver was a female, both nice and courteous, not to mention a pretty good talent behind the wheel. Normally, one might be able to rest comfortably with someone so competent behind the wheel. However, Hell in the form of a trashy blonde female was also riding the bus today, so nobody was able to get any rest.
At one point, even the driver told her to please be quiet, in that corporately smooth manner, as “other occupants would probably enjoy a rest from your beautiful laugh”. Unfortunately, the idiot in question, on par with her other rebuffs, simply laughed off her excessive loud cackling with even more laughing…and I still wasn't able to get any sleep.
As I sat in my seat, occasionally selling a candy bar or a Twinkie to a fellow traveler, at three times what I paid for it, I began to think more about just why in the hell I was on this bus to begin with, which was:
1. I was an idiot.
2. I didn't know if Janet was actually in trouble or not. I had a sinking feeling that she really wasn't in any such difficulties.
The problem with my sister-in-law is that, like my wife, she sounds incredibly intelligent both over the phone, and in person.
The similarity ends there, however. My wife is intelligent, while Janet merely sounds that way.
In addition, my wife doesn't issue paranoid schizophrenic accusations, engage in temper tantrums, nor does she engage in bloodthirsty assaults on her mate (me).
The stark difference between the two sisters might be explained by the way each were brought up. My wife's sister led an interesting life. She never really had any responsibilities growing up; she would steal her mother's credit card and go shopping, nothing would happen. A check would be forged, and no punishment was dealt out. Janet lived without any rules to speak of, to be entirely honest.
My wife, on the other hand, led a miserable existence. The oldest of three children, my spouse suffered the slings and arrows of a mother who had clearly snapped, and thrown her firstborn child to the family of human wolves that surrounded her, in order to get them to back off after a fight was started between Cyndi's mother (Cyndi is my wife) and her father's mother.
My mother-in-law hated her husband's family, nothing was ever done about it, and tensions finally led to a boiling point. After fisticuffs commenced between the two matriarchs of the separate households, with my wife's mother coming up with an "L" in the win-loss column, it was then suggested that Cyndi, age 5 at the time, was the evil spawn of Satan that had started this white-trash family feud.
“Cyndi is the one who made us hate each other”, was the statement recited by various family members for many years afterward, and recalled often, as both sides accepted that premise, put down their torches and pitchforks, and from that time until age 18 when I got her the hell away from there, my wife was the cause of all fights, crops failing, water wells being poisoned, you name it, it was her fault.
Janet, on the other hand, led a sheltered life. Nobody ever told her “no”, and of course, since she never had to provide for herself, or become self-sufficient, it never occurred to her parents at the time that they might have a terrible problem developing on their hands, sort of the same perplexing dilemma facing Germany when they did not come up with a proper answer to, “Hey, uh, what should we do about this off-his-rocker 'Hitler' fellow who's running in this election?”
Needless to say, my sister-in-law could not cope with becoming an adult. She married early in a shotgun wedding, had two children, and then bankrupted her husband: Since she was used to a pampered existence provided by her parents, and the new hubby, while he had a good job, simply couldn't keep up.
Towards the end of the first twenty-four hours, due to a mixture of horrific driving ability by the first bus pilot, and the perpetual loud shrieking from Ms. 7-10 Split, I still had not been able to sleep, and I was beginning to get irritable.
We pulled into Salt Lake City for the first of three bus changes, sometime around 5:30 pm. I was hoping to squeeze in something of a nap, but with only an hour layover time, all I was able to do was call the house, tell everyone I was still alive, and then go sit in another waiting area, admiring what the Mormons have done with the place. I take that time to wonder if I was going to begin sleep-deprived hallucinations of some sort or another anytime soon.
There was one benefit to my changing buses at Salt Lake City; the perpetual giggler from the previous scene had also exited the Greyhound, meaning the poor, haggard, and truly traumatized souls who were trapped on that bus just like I was could now experience some relief/sleep.
I know several of them looked as if they were pondering killing themselves if they had to wait even a minute longer to arrive at the bus terminal. Several comments like, “Thank God she's finally getting off the bus!” were heard to be uttered by uttering, tortured passengers.
They did get a momentary respite from Laughing Twit during this leg of the Gilligan-esque “Three Hour Tour”, but it was only because she and the new ex-convict boyfriend were engaged in some rather adult-oriented "getting to know each other" activity in the seat several rows in front of me.
All I know is that there's no way in hell I would get anything I was permanently attached to anywhere near those rows of various-stages-of brown-and-black, broken-off, jagged teeth that currently inhabited that poor lady's face.
The only downside was that since she was exiting the bus along with me, she might find it necessary to find companionship in someone else, and since I had spent a considerable amount of time being among the passengers clamoring for her to shut the hell up, I was initially worried that she might take any attention, even if it is negative, therefore, though I was wishing that a produce truck would just drop out of the sky and land on her, but she immediately turned away from me when I put on my "happy face", meaning that I was probably going to kill her if she even dared begin to take a step in my direction.
SECTION 6: OLD RACE CAR DRIVERS NEVER DIE, THEY SIMPLY GO TO WORK FOR GREYHOUND.
Night fell completely on Salt Lake City, and the beautiful mountain range to the East as my new bus pulled out of the garage. The driver for this leg of the trip was making good time, and for a while, I thought I would be able to go to sleep.
Providence (and rest) was not to be with me, however, as the driver made several stops between Provo and Green River, Utah, driving Southeast along U.S. Highway 6.
By this time in the journey, I had claimed the back bench seat in the very rear of the bus, and gave a very dirty look to anyone even remotely thinking of getting anywhere near my seat turf.
I very nearly beat the hell out of an older lady who apparently drop-kicked the bathroom door open upon exiting, somehow making the door go past the safety stop on the floor, striking me in the head.
After staring at her in a rather menacing manner for a minute or two, and telling her, “Ma‟am, you really need to go back to your seat before I decide to get really annoyed with you…”, she hurried towards the front, and hid in her row of seats, occasionally peeking backward to see if I was coming in her direction with a weapon of some sort.
I begin to bed back down in my back bench, with my back pack and cooler, along with a couple of blankets creating a seat extension between my bench and the back of the seat in front of me, defeating the 45-degree , partially-folding armrests that Greyhound corporate officials had thoughtfully installed as a final "screw you!" to their customers, depriving them of any last bit of comfort.
The Greyhound turned off of Interstate 70, and headed South on a state highway I had never been on before. I've traveled I-70 several times through this section of Utah, but I haven‟t traveled that path.
I do know one thing, the bus was going up in elevation, on this road that was becoming increasingly windy, and at the same time, the driver was going increasingly faster.
The first clue that something was amiss was that I had almost nodded off to sleep when I was jerked awake by g-forces pulling me head-first into the wall, as the driver attempted to go 10-20-plus miles per hour over the limit, around a sharp mountain corner. The second clue was that lateral g-forces were also pulling on other items affected by gravity inside of the bus, as I could easily hear luggage sliding across the cargo area below the floor of the passenger compartment, slamming into the cargo-bay doors on the side of the bus.
The driver kept pushing the bus harder around corners. I normally don‟t get too upset about such a thing, but it was beginning to feel a bit unsafe, as on the last two turns, he somehow managed to get the tires to howl, as if he was somehow trying to get the Greyhound loose in the corners, just like police cars do on TV.
After another hour of this insanity, and other passengers became alarmed, I finally had enough, and yelled to the driver, “Slow this goddamned bus down, NOW!!”
“No Habla English!” was his reply, as he pushed the bus even harder.
I'm not sure it is a really good idea to annoy someone who hasn't slept in over 24 hours, especially if he stops caring about the consequences. And this point, I really did not give two shits about much of anything at that point.
I then slowly made my way to the front of the bus, to the seat behind him, and said, “If you don't slow this bus down, I will make it my life's mission to get you fired from this job, and at least four more after this one. Understand?”
He glanced back at me, dark circles under my eyes, and wearing my most evil "happy face" that I've ever created…and the bus slowly began losing speed. I walked normally back to my seat, with every passenger on the bus thanking me profusely for having dared go up there and get Juan Manuel Fangio's stunt driver to slow down.
My mind slowly drifted back to Janet, and why, once again, I was on this fool's errand. Among her many problems, Janet was also rather a bit high-maintenance; if her husband did not make it home within a minute or two of the "usual time", she began to suspect (with no shred of evidence) that he was cheating on her.
At one point, I recall a conversation, I'm sorry, I meant to say "gunfight", where she ran outside, armed with a shotgun, and began peppering the side of his truck with 12-gauge loads of squirrel shot (that was the only ammo she could find in bulk quantities inside of the gun cabinet), screaming at him because she had found a blonde hair in her hairbrush which had at one time been inside of his 4x4 pickup— herself forgetting that she had, at one time not too far in the recent past before this incident, dyed her own hair rather blonde.
He responded by rowing the 5-speed shifter of the Ford F150 into reverse, dumping the clutch, flooring it, and somehow sticking his left arm out the driver‟s side window, firing a .40 caliber pistol back in her general direction as he sped wildly backwards down the driveway, attempting to put some distance between crazy bitch with her shotgun and what remained of the paint on the passenger side of his almost-new truck.
I don't think it is all that important, but I guess I should mention that her two kids were between the business end of the Remington automatic shotgun and the truck, and somehow escaped being maimed by diving behind a rather large tree in the front yard. Oh yeah, I also neglected to mention that this occurred at my in-laws' house, which was rather occupied by somewhere around six or seven family members at the time of The Battle of Hairbrush Flats.
The rest of the trip was a blur; not long afterward, the supposedly-Mexican driver kicked the speed up again, but the roads had straightened out considerably on our descent from Colorado into New Mexico.
I was now sitting at 34 hours without any sleep, and was beginning not to feel very well.
TO BE CONTINUED.