Event: Got peed on, sat in the pilot's seat, kissed a pit-bull on the head and went "Potato Bowling"
"The stars at night, are big and bright (clap, clap, clap, clap) deep in the heart of Texas!" This weekend I took a trip to the booming metropolis of Midland, Texas. There you'll find oil fields, President Bush's childhood memories and...my extended family. Yee Haw!
Before packing up and heading to the airport, I took my dog on a walk. He and I found ourselves standing under this enormous tree filled with what appeared to be 1,000 birds. As I slowly stepped away to avoid cha cha bird bombs, I wasn't paying much attention to where the dog was. Quite honestly, I was so enthralled with the number of birds in this tree, I wasn't focused on anything but getting out from under it. My attempt at avoiding one end of the potty spectrum was successful. Unfortunately, however, while standing in awe of nature, I found myself thinking, "Ahhh, that's nice. What a warm, soothing, wet feeling on my...FOOT!" My dog had mistaken my leg for a freaking fire hydrant! It's my own fault because I backed into his territory while watching birds of paradise migrate right before my eyes, but for the love! I'm so glad these were the only flip flops I packed...
Hours later, while boarding the plane, my sister and I looked down at our seat assignments and discovered we were sitting in 19A and 19B. I figured that meant we'd be in the middle of the plane, which is ok by me, as long as we had a window seat (and not a fat person eating Milk Duds sitting next to me). As I passed the flight attendant and turned the corner onto the plane, I quickly realized this plane was what you might call a "puddle jumper" and oh by the way, there are 19 rows. Total. So we put our heads down and kept walking. We were literally sitting in the bathroom. Almost literally because I was so claustrophobic I figured I might as well have the flight attendant send my mini-pretzels to the Lou cuz that's where I'll be.
Buckled in, barf bag in one hand, Hail Mary's in the other, we were off. I found if I focused on the clouds that looked like mashed potatoes, I'd be fine. Sudoku, Solitaire, Entertainment Weekly, a bag of mini-pretzels and two hours later, we landed. Since my sister and I were literally the last two people off the plane, I decided now was the time to act like a 7-year-old and ask the Pilot if I could look inside the cockpit. Being a good sport, he said I could look in. And then I asked if I could take a picture. And then I asked if I could sit in the pilot's chair. And then I asked if I could fly it... Ok, three out of four ain't bad. Before I knew it, I was literally sitting in the pilot's seat looking out of the front of the plane. My new co-pilot was sitting next to me and while I was making small talk, I could not believe how many levers, buttons, pulls, knobs and handles there were. I pushed a few of them for fun, but nothing happened. Just kidding. But I think my foot hit something on the way out, so I ran real fast back into the terminal.
Once we arrived and got settled at my aunt's house, the canine population almost outnumbered the humans. There was my aunt and uncle's dog, and my cousin's dog, and given I was still a little gun shy from my last canine experience, I was particularly standoffish when my cousin's wife's dog arrived. He was a full-blooded pit-bull. And a large one at that. Having never spent much time with a pit-bull before, I have to say I was a little nervous. I kept reminding myself that "dogs can smell fear" so I approached it as if to say, "Hey little buddy, I mean big guy, I mean sweet thing, I mean you're not big, you're just big boned, I mean look at the size of your noggin, I mean, those are some sweet chompers you have, I mean, holy S!@&%! you could really do some damage, I mean, everything really is bigger in Texas, I mean, I bet you have a lovely personality, I mean, pit-bulls really get a bad wrap cuz I bet you're just a big snuggler, really, a lover not a fighter, I mean, please don't eat me..." Facing my fears, I gently crawled up to him, and while distracted with a large, rubber chew toy, I kissed him right on the nose. Whew! After that I felt like I deserved an award! I mean, it's pretty similar to putting your head in a tiger's mouth, I thought. It was shortly after that my cousin-in-law shared with me that this dog is about the sweetest, most harmless dog in the world. Yeah, I totally knew that...
While continuing to have a great time with family and some new friends, it wasn't until about 10pm on Saturday night that I learned what true Texans do for fun. One might think of cow tipping, or drag racing, or even tee-pee'ing. But no, true Midlanders, on a Saturday night, go "Potato Bowling". Excited to learn a new game (yes, drinking was involved, but cannot be blamed) I just couldn't imagine what potato bowling would be like. I know what you're thinking. What would the pins be made out of? What would the lane be made out of? Is the potato the "ball"? I followed my new friend into the living room to discover this game needs only two props: A potato and a magazine. Really? That's it? Before I knew it, I found myself cracking up trying to roll a potato 15 feet away and getting it to stop on the magazine. (You should try it - it's harder than it sounds).
Thank you friends and family of Midland, Texas for showing this Midwest girl a good time, and thank you President Bush for inventing Potato Bowling. What Strategery! (prounounced Strat-eee-ger-y)