Stupidity, Part 1

I could have died, twice, on my drive from Plano to Las Vegas — and both times were from my absolute and utter stupidity.

Day 1 — last Sunday — saw me leaving home at about 8am, day’s end destination TBD, looking forward to a drive through small-town America.

By late afternoon, I finally cleared West Texas. I won’t say it was a boring drive — I did hit a tumbleweed full-on somewhere outside Plainview; terrible mess, cleaning twigs and such from my front bumper and license plate — but it was when I got to New Mexico that the fun started.

Normally, I travel very carefully and with much preparation so that I don’t have to worry while on the road. This trip was a little different. Maybe my mind was still in Britishland, where no trip lasts longer than a couple of hours, and if it does, there are always villages and such where one can find gas and such — and even on the small byways, there’s traffic.

This was not the case on US Highway 60 in New Mexico. Whoa. I could drive for an hour without seeing anybody — couple of trains, but few cars and even fewer people. So when my gas gauge showed a quarter-tank, I looked at the map and saw that the next town was 30 miles away — easy, because even when my gas warning light comes on, I get 40-odd miles, as my car’s handy lil’ trip calculator showed. Except that the next town wasn’t a town, per se, but a few houses; and no gas station. Okay, the next town was only 15 miles away, so no problem, right?

By now night had fallen and the temperature had plummeted from Texas’s warm and friendly 56F to much less: about 28F with, as I was to discover, a biting wind which put the chill to about 15F.

As I got to the next town, I looked for a gas station, but nothing was visible. According to the calculator, I now had 20 miles’ gas left. Shit. There was also (surprise, surprise) no cell phone coverage along that stretch of road.

There was a motel on the east side of town, and I decided that if there was no gas station in town, I’d turn back and stay the night there, and deal with the fuel issue the next morning: in that kind of weather, sleeping in the car was right out.

Luckily, however, I turned a corner, went under a railway bridge, and there was the blessed sight of a 7-11. I dad to pop an aspirin tab, my heart was racing so fast by that point.

I stopped, filled up (nearly freezing to death in the process, because — idiot! — I had forgotten my gloves at home), and set off again. Right before I filled up, though, I checked the trip calculator one more time, and saw that I’d had 12 miles’ of gas left. Way too close for comfort.

Anyway, just as an intellectual exercise, I looked to see where the next gas station showed up — US 60 was about to join I-25 shortly, according to the map, and there had to be a gas station there, right?

Wrong. The next gas station anywhere came up a full 30 miles after I’d filled up. Without that 7-11, I would have run out of gas in the middle of Fuck Nowhere, NM. I wouldn’t even have made it to I-25.

And with no traffic to be seen anywhere, I would have had to stay in my car and wait till morning. Where I would have been found, probably as dead as a doornail and stiff as a board — even though I had a blanket and warm clothing.

But that was nothing, compared to what happened to me the next day. I’ll tell you about that tomorrow.

Dog Bites Man, So To Speak

We’re all busy people, so if you don’t have time to read this tragic tale, I’ll give you the executive summary:

Man keeps African Rock Python as a pet, raises it from infancy. Treats it like a pet: plays with it, kisses it and hugs it. One day the grown-up python hugs him back, with predictable consequences.
The End.

And somewhere out there, Charles Darwin smiles.

Just A Minute, Sparky

From our mole in Scandinavia comes this little gem:

Seriously? You mean just laughing at this bullshit would send me to jail?

…and:

And who is this priceless little feministical?

So all that study in the hard sciences, and young Ashleigh is analyzing the  implications of gender differential in flatulence?

Send me to jail now, Judge Sotomayor. Because I’m never going to quit making fun of these spoiled First-World fuckups and their loony little “philosophy”, ever.

Mind The Gap

…or rather, mind the passengers on the Paris Metro:

A man was stabbed to death on the Paris metro as witnesses filmed and posted photographs on social media instead of helping, it has been claimed.
Andy Brigitte, from Martinique, was knifed in an attack at the Châtelet-Les Halles RER station in Paris after a row with another passenger.

Just so we’re clear on this: Châtelet-Les Halles is not some little craphole in the northeast (see below); it’s the Parisian equivalent to London’s King’s Cross or New York’s Times Square stations. (It’s also a rabbit warren if you don’t know where you’re going; a buddy once spent two hours down there trying to change trains.)

But that’s not the point. As one commenter acidly noted: “Oh ok. In 2018, we die in front of a camera without any help.”

Disgusting. I can understand (a little) why people wouldn’t want to get involved in a knifing, because that’s how you become a co-stabbee. But just to take happy snaps of the occasion?

Still in Paris, the linked article has some more cheery news:

Paris metro drivers are refusing to stop at some stations in the capital amid fears over crack-fuelled violence, it has emerged.
A number of train operators have opted not to stop at stations in the city’s north east in order to ‘protect passengers’, according to union bosses.
Some stops are increasingly being used as places of business by crack dealers with Marx Dormoy on line 12 and Marcadet-Poissonniers on lines 12 and 4 said to be among the worst hit.

So if you’re going to Gay Paree in the near future, you’ll want to avoid those two stations, at least.

Unfortunately, there’s no way of avoiding Châtelet-Les Halles because it’s so central a hub. Be careful out there.

It sucks, because the Paris Metro is one of the best subway systems anywhere, and I love using it.

Stupid Idea

January is a crappy month, especially in the northern hemisphere: cold, dark skies, short days, no Christmas holidays to look forward to, and (in the U.S.) the prospect of filing your tax return.

Which makes me wonder why people would want to make the month even more miserable by suggesting that this would be a good time to cut out those things which can alleviate our misery (“Veganuary”, how cute; and “Dry January”). What infamy is this? As if January isn’t shitty enough, now we have to add itching powder to the hairshirt by giving up meat and beer?

It’s only 7am as I write this, yet I feel a nagging need for steak ‘n (butter-fried) eggs, washed down with a Bloody Mary — and we’re not even halfway through the month.

I am getting so sick of people trying to change our lifestyle and behavior “for your own good” — it’s like living with Gwyneth Paltrow and Chuck Schumer in your house, with no earplugs to drown out their endless nagging do-goodery.

Leave me the fuck alone.