Friday, December 24, 2010

We're in Vermont for Winter Present Tree Day this year visiting the in-laws.

Where in Vermont you ask?  Nowhere.  We're in Nowhere, Vermont.

Oh, ho, ho, I kid.  There's no place in Vermont officially called "Nowhere"  Why?  Because it's just not specific enough.  Everywhere in Vermont is nowhere.

Today we realized that we needed some more water in the house.  My mother-in-law has a well or a lake or something that produces water, but nobody in the house drinks it except me, so we go through a lot of store-bought water.

Buying water in Vermont isn't like buying water in San Francisco.  In SF I walk or drive down to the corner store and return back home in less than 10 minutes.   In Vermont, you slide your car carefully across ice-covered dirt roads on an epic journey from the Middle of Nowhere to the Outskirts of Nowhere.  It takes at least an hour.

I bravely took on this journey after getting directions from the Vermonters.  After many miles of icy dirt roads, I finally turned onto a behemoth of a superhighway, paved with some rare substance known as asphalt and featuring a lane for EACH direction.  I believe this highway is known locally as "The Road".  It is revered by some and feared by others.

Turning onto it, however, I feared that on my way home I'd accidentally drive right past this turn-off.  Since the state is filled with zillions of icy dirt roads, I needed some way to remember mine.

"I need a landmark!" I exclaimed to myself.  I looked around and spotted a giant red barn.  That would be my clue to turn on the way home.

I repeated the phrase "giant red barn" to myself about 10 times like Rainman, to hammer it into my brain.  Right about then I looked around and spotted another giant red barn.

"Ooooh!" I thought.  It'll be easy to find my turn-off.  There are TWO giant red barns in a row!

Turn out, har har, there was another giant red barn about a quarter mile past that.  Vermont is stuffed full of these things.  Like the infamous turtles, it's giant red barns all the way down.

Actually, Vermont isn't quite that monoculture.  They also have adorably quaint white farmhouses.  Those two building types, however, comprise the entirety of Vermont architecture.  It's ALL giant red barns and adorably quaint farmhouses.  Any distances that you want measured in this state will essentially be defined by a sequence of those two types.

Want to get to the old quarry?  Go past two giant red barns, one adorably quaint white farmhouse, one giant red barn, 3 adorably quaint white farmhouses, one giant red barn, and there it is!

It's like Vermont's own version of binary.  This explain why the state specializes in dairy and maple syrup rather than computer products.


Anonymous said...

Listen here now, you're a very entertaining blogger but once a month is never going to build a readership. So get off your arse and write. Every second day would be good but we'd settle for twice a week if that's all you can manage.

Mike said...

Anon, you are absolutely right. My only excuse is a pathetic one, that my current job leaves me depressed and/or angry at the end of each day, which is a poor frame of mind for oh-ho-ho blogging.

Guess I just need to drink more.

Anonymous said...

Do whatever it takes. There's nothing punching the boss in the throat and sinking a couple of double scotches won't make feel all better.