Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Surviving California

   I was driving down California Highway One late yesterday when the fog and night rolled in. Suddenly it was no longer a scenic highway, but rather a shockingly elaborate plot to get me killed. Lots of hairpin turns, precipitous cliffs, crazy RV drivers, barking seals, and no doubt serial killers all over the place. One thing I can't stand about California is that no one ever kills anyone without leaving a message written in blood on a mirror. Everyone in this state is so showy.

   So I'm winding and dipping and loop-de-looping on the highway, dodging thick wads of fog, staying alert for deer and psychopathic hitchhikers, fussing with the CD player (so many strange buttons on the rental car...is that one the eject??...not good to take eyes off the road, but if something bad happens, need to be listening to Neil Young...Neil won't let me down), and I felt the tell-tale rattle of the car passing over a cattle guard. I had crossed into open range. Like there wasn't enough to worry about, now I was in the cow zone. You see them on the hillsides, and wonder how they don't tumble down to the sea, building speed and bouncing off rock ledges. I decided that, if I saw a cow in the road, and there was no room to veer without zooming off a cliff, I'd just hit the gas, pedal to the metal. Mass increases with velocity. If there was a collision on open range I'd want the physics equations on my side. Some drivers probably try to brake, but I was going to go with the Hamburger Strategy.

    It had been a tense day, up in the redwood empire, lots of hiking and bushwacking along the San Andreas Fault, research for a story. Interesting fact: If you're straddling the fault and it ruptures, you'll spin to the right, because it's a right-lateral strike-slip fault. I could picture myself spinning so fast I'd turn into a human drill bit and augur a hole deep into the crust. I knew that if the Big One happened while I was exploring the fault, I'd feel responsible. I would feel so guilty! I'd immediately call my editor at The Post and say, "I swear I didn't touch anything!!!"

    Some people want to save the world, but most of us just want to avoid being blamed for its demise.

    I finally reached Bodega Bay, a dark little windswept town, and got a room at a motel. You can rent a video of Hitchcock's "The Birds," filmed here in the early 1960s. For some reason, perhaps because I had already survived the road, the fog, the cows, the ritualistic cults and the giant rift between two tectonic plates, I wasn't in the mood to watch a movie about birds pecking people to death in Bodega Bay.

    Hitchcock grasped the fundamental fact about scenic California: It's really terrifying. The more beautiful it gets, the more you want to run screaming for the flat cornfields and straight-as-string interstate highways of the continental interior. I don't want scenery, I just want to get out of California alive.

By Joel Achenbach  |  August 15, 2005; 11:53 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Peter Jennings
Next: Tectonic Upheaval

Comments

Welcome back, Fearless Leader. Glad you made it.


"One thing I can't stand about California is that no one ever kills anyone without leaving a message written in blood on a mirror. Everyone in this state is so showy."

Excellent. And I never thought about Hitchcock that way, but you nailed it.

Posted by: Cubedweller | August 15, 2005 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Don't you hate those highway signs that just have a picture of a very steep hill and a big truck going up (down?) it!

I was in northern CA a couple of years ago; it was my first experience driving on steep grades, and the combination of mountains, fog and rental car disorientation created driving stress like I've never known. I was starting to miss the crazy Miami drivers--all they do is tailgate, yell, honk, make obscene gestures, cut you off; I've learned to deal with that.

Anyway, the trees are fabulous, aren't they?

Welcome back, Joel.

Posted by: kbertocci | August 15, 2005 12:08 PM | Report abuse

This isn't just a Kit; this is literature. Thanks for checking in, Achenbach. Sorry we trashed the place while you were gone.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 15, 2005 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I remember being stationed at Camp Pendleton between LA and San Diego and comming home on leave telling my homies that no one just gets murdered in California, they get murdered and chopped up. When I flew back and was taking a cab from the San Diego airport I noticed emergency vehicles by the water in the bay. I later read that they had found a body part.

Posted by: LB | August 15, 2005 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I like the signs for a sharp curve that show a truck tipping over. I'm a little sadistic.

What's a cattle guard? At first I thought he meant he had driven over a fence.

Posted by: jw | August 15, 2005 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Mass increases with velocity? And which physics teacher taught you that? Come on, I love reading the blog, but this thing made me come out of lurkerhood. The force you need to accelerate something moving at a certain velocity increases with the velocity. That doesn't mean the mass increased.

Posted by: masschecker | August 15, 2005 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Hahah- I hated the curvy california highways. I felt I was going to throw up the entire trip. All those hairpin turns
When crashing into wildlife, you're actually supposed to let up off the brake at the last second- because that pulls your hood up. So maybe by accelerating, you can send the cow up and over the car!

Posted by: Parasaur | August 15, 2005 12:18 PM | Report abuse

jw, have you ever left a city? It's those grates in the road that keep cattle from crossing. They usually have them when crossing from farm territory into highway territory. Their legs will fall in if they cross them and they'll be trapped, and somehow they know this. Sometimes they just paint them on the road and mess with the minds of the cows. It works, though.

I've always wanted to use those runaway truck roads that the runaway truck signs indicate. But I don't want to be in a runaway truck when I use that road.

Posted by: Sara | August 15, 2005 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Glad to hear you're enjoying your trip, Joel!

From your description of Highway One, I thought you were driving the portion below San Francisco Bay, not above it! So, did you drive Highway One from Legget south, or cut over from Willits to Fort Bragg, roughly the route of the well-known Skunk Train?

Doesn't sound like you left your car to explore any of the charming coastal nooks or that you stopped at any of the coastal wineries (such as Elk)--your experiences sound like a road trip that only Larry McMurtry could love.

If you want the straight-as-string interstate experience, just get yourself on Interstate 5 that hugs the Coastal Range foothills in the Central Valley, or better yet old Highway 99--straight as a ruler smack-dab through the middle of the Valley. Nothing positive to say about the scenic beauty you passed--I see the California trip is totally wasted on you!

If you're really lucky, maybe you can experience a real quake. As an infant I survived the '51 Bakersfield quake--and felt numerous rumbles galore since. Once, after my husband and I were first married and living in an apartment in Fremont, a really big one hit. We were sleeping in the buff, like many newlyweds do. I boleted upright in bed and wondered, "Do we run out the door and down the stairs, or do we thrown on some clothes first?" In the less than a minute it took to ponder this, the quake was over.

When the Loma Prieta quake hit, I was on a corporate trip to Wisconsin. My husband was in Oakland, and it took more than 24 hours to reach him by phone. I ended up on TV, on the Eau Claire NBC affiliate station, in a segment about the quake because my husband had been *IN* the quake--go figure!

However, quakes cam be deadly. It was six months before I learned that my cousin's husband's sister was trapped in the apartment house in Northridge that pancaked when that quake hit. She died.

Posted by: Linda Loomis | August 15, 2005 12:23 PM | Report abuse

jw:
A cattle guard is a ditch across the road that is spanned by fat metal rods with spaces between them. Cows won't go over it because they are smart enough to know better, but cars (trucks, mostly) go over it fine, it is just very bumpy.

Posted by: kbertocci | August 15, 2005 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Sara:

You are very quick--I was just agonizing over my description and you went ahead and posted!

Posted by: kbertocci | August 15, 2005 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I just realized that "jw, have you ever left a city?" sounded jackass-y. I could very well be Achenfan's jackass personality.

Sorry, jw.

Posted by: Sara | August 15, 2005 12:27 PM | Report abuse

um... sara - i didn't know what a cattle guard is either...

A NEW KIT! and a great new kit at that!! phew! all is right with my world now...

JA - i drove that road from LA to San Fran!! Scenic Highway One! no one told me not to drive it at nite... so here i am stuck on this crazy hairpin road - problem with said lovely road is that you cannot get off until you get to, like, Carmel - so you are stuck on this road forever! when we finally reached carmel we got out of the car and kissed the ground! Scenic Highway One - should be called Torture Highway One...

welcome back Joel!!!! sorry we were bad boodlers!!

Posted by: mo | August 15, 2005 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I haven't even had time to read the new kit - busily cleaning up a storm and have to get the laundry and leave for the airport - but wanted to say welcome back, Joel! We had fun running amuck in your absence, but we're so glad you've arrived!

Posted by: bostonreader | August 15, 2005 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Kalifornia - An even creepier film than Birds with a very weird snorting Brad Pitt portraying a psychotic serial killer who catches a ride with your buddy David Duchovny who is, of all things, photographing and studying murder sites. Gimme cows any old day. Growing up in Texas, I loved nothing better than driving with my dad out some highway in search of bluebonnets, and getting stuck behind a truck load of sweet-faced, big-eyed cows.

Posted by: Nani | August 15, 2005 12:30 PM | Report abuse

kbertocci,

I see them a lot in Minnesota. And I used to live out west where they are abundant. It's really the only farm/cattle related lingo that I understand, though. I hear the word "backhoe" a lot around here, but I still don't really know what it is. It's a machine, I know that. At least I hope I know that. It's probably code for a prostitute that works the back streets and I'm just naive enough to think it's a farming implement.

Posted by: Sara | August 15, 2005 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to you, too, mo.

I'm apparently not very nice today. I'll be the first to admit it. Saving the bat was the high point and now I'm just back to Monday.

Posted by: Sara | August 15, 2005 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Hi, jw! Yes, you must get out into the countryside more. Sara explained it quite well - there is a joke about a cityslicker trying to follow directions that involve a cattle guard, but I can't remember it. Feel free to make up your own.

I like the open range areas in the west where there are no fences or cattle guards. And the steep, curving mountain roads that have no guard rails. I drove recently through eastern Idaho, where there was a long stretch of construction. We were on a one-lane road, with loose gravel, and there were signs posted saying "Avoid windshield damage" - well, duh - but they didn't say how!

Sorry for the long, digressing post. Now that I can only post from home, I have to take full advantage.

Joel, I'm so glad you're bach!

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 15, 2005 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I most certainly didn't know what a cattle guard was.

Posted by: LP | August 15, 2005 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to you, too, LP.

Sorry to everyone who didn't know what a cattle guard was. Dang, it's a good thing I'm on vacation this afternoon.

Posted by: Sara | August 15, 2005 12:39 PM | Report abuse


is joel referring to relativistic mass?

from an authoritatively sounding website:
"Using the word 'mass' unqualified to mean relativistic mass is wrong because the word on its own will usually be taken to mean invariant mass."

http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Relativity/SR/mass.html

Posted by: pete | August 15, 2005 12:44 PM | Report abuse

"Some people want to save the world, but most of us just want to avoid being blamed for its demise."

Except for jw. Hey, batta, batta, batta!

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 15, 2005 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Ignorant on cattle gurads. Ignorant on mass and velocity. Generally ignorant on California, am I.

But I am familiar with the Eagles "Hotel California" and while I always thought it was referencing an acid trip, sounds like Joel may have been staying there in Bodega Bay.

Posted by: Cubedweller | August 15, 2005 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Must add spelling the word "guards" to my list of ignorances. (Should have disclaimed that it was nonexhaustive.)

The SCC has been called to order for this boodle.

Posted by: Cubedweller | August 15, 2005 12:50 PM | Report abuse

For those of you who have never traveled to the great West or Southwest, cattle guards are horizontal steel rails placed at fence openings, in dug-out places in the roads adjacent to highways (sometimes across highways), to prevent cattle from crossing. For some reason the bovines will not step on the guards, probably because they fear getting their feet caught between the rails.

President GW Bush received a report that there were over 100,000 cattle guards in Colorado. Because Colorado ranchers protested his proposed changes in grazing policies, he ordered the Secretary of Interior to fire half of the guards immediately. Before the Secretary could respond, and presumably straighten him out, Colorado's Congress-woman Pat Schroeder intervened with a request that before any were fired, they be given six months of retraining

Posted by: Meoowww | August 15, 2005 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Bah. When Sara asks if a lobster pot is what you cook it in, I'll be waiting!

Posted by: jw | August 15, 2005 1:25 PM | Report abuse

This is a completely unrelated topic, but where else can I go with this? It's bothering me at the moment...

Numerous big-time bloggers I read (not including you) refer to the "lead" of a news story as the "lede." I went to journalism school before law school... I was briefly a journalist... I am a fact-checker, I know my evidence... I looked this up in several dictionaries, which told me that there is no such word as "lede." The first paragraph of a news story is the "lead."

I e-mailed the bloggers. No response. You are both a blogger and a real journalist. Can I at least be comforted with someone official like you stating for the record that traditionally, the English language has recognized one correct spelling for the word referring to the first paragraph of a news story, and that is "lead"?

Are bloggers just out there creating an alternate literary universe even for common and ordinary words?

If I'm wrong, so be it. Lunch time. Sigh.

Posted by: no one in particular | August 15, 2005 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Joel, I just got back from California, too, and boy, did I feel like I was going to die on those freeways. Luckily, I wasn't driving (my California friend was), but that was little comfort as my foot jammed at the non-existent brakes on the passenger side of the car and my hand clutched at the door handle, ready for me to throw the door open, and tuck-and-role at any second. Anyway, my sympathies, and welcome back.

P.S. I'm a Philadelphian who reads the Inquirer, but I still come here everyday to read your witty posts.

Posted by: PhillyGirl | August 15, 2005 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I have a theory about why cows won't pass over cattle guards. They believe that the space below the horizontal bars is a portal to another dimension. If their hooves slip between the bars, part of their bodies will be transported to a distant time and place, making further grazing extremely inconvenient.

Posted by: CowTown | August 15, 2005 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Joel, Stop the Car. Pull over and look at your map. If you're anywhere close to San Luis Obispo, you've got to visit the Madonna Inn (no, it's not named after the singer). Just follow the housekeeping staff around and peek in the rooms, everyone does. This is GREAT humor column / blog fodder. Trust me.

Posted by: CowTown | August 15, 2005 1:40 PM | Report abuse

CowTown is back! Where ya been, man?

Posted by: Achenfan | August 15, 2005 1:41 PM | Report abuse

We should have given Joel a sue grafton mystery to take along. Cozy but sometimes creepy/

Posted by: not a nitpicker | August 15, 2005 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I think I remember cattle guards in the wilds of Maryland and Virginia, but that was a long time ago, and I could be wrong. Are there any farms left back there? Maybe too many fancy-schmancy horse farms - and horses would no doubt plunge to their doom if faced with a cattle guard. I love horses, but they are accident prone.

And when I said I like open range areas, etc, I was being sarcastic. Wouldn't want to imply that I'm a thrill seeker. Quite the opposite. Usually when we're careening wildly down a steep mountain pass with large trucks in hot pursuit, I am a helpless passenger, silently screaming while my husband fiddles with the heating/cooling system, plays with the radio, lights a cigarette and /or eats an ice cream cone.

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 15, 2005 1:42 PM | Report abuse

No one in particular:

http://www.randomhouse.com/wotd/index.pperl?date=20001128

Posted by: kbertocci | August 15, 2005 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Sara,

A backhoe is not just for farm work, it is also used in construction, forestry and landscaping work etc. It's basically a tractor with an jointed arm like an upside down V and the shovel/scoop faces back towards the tractor. Hence the back part of the hoe.

Merriam-Webster:an excavating machine having a bucket that is attached to a rigid bar hinged to a boom and that is drawn toward the machine in operation.

http://science.howstuffworks.com/backhoe-loader10.htm

Posted by: omnigood | August 15, 2005 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Sara:

True story, my brother recently rented a *backhoe* to construct a *cattle guard* at his ranch. He and my dad had SO much fun playing with their big ol' toy.

Posted by: kbertocci | August 15, 2005 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Why haven't the mainstream media impeached George Bush yet? I just got back from vacation, and I find that nothing has been done, except frivolous articles about driving in California. This is not what you're paid for. Get back to work.

(Sorry, I just finished reading today's Media Backtalk; Howard Kurtz is back from vacation, too)

(Achenfan: Glad to be back. Spent last week actually working)

Posted by: MaoSeDung | August 15, 2005 1:50 PM | Report abuse

LOL, CowDung!

Posted by: Achenfan | August 15, 2005 1:54 PM | Report abuse

CowTown, is that you? I was wondering where you were, and there you are.

I can't find the Howie Kurtz column. Where is it hidden this time?

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 15, 2005 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Good link on mass, pete.

Joel probably wasn't approching relativistic velocities over cow guards and through fog on those loopy Pacific coastal highways.

While E = m * c squared, F = m * a probably fits this situation better.

The only problem is that the while F is imparted to the the bovine decellerator, it's also imparted to the m and a side of the equation, including the people. I'd add that unless you're in a taller SUV, that cow's likely to join you inside the car via the windshield. Might want to reconsider your braking there, Joel. I'm trying to figure out whether it would be beneficial to release the brake just before impact to bring the front of the vehicle up, rather than standing the vehicle on it's nose, hard on the brakes, with an invitation for Elsie to join you for a Drive-In Moovie (I couldn't help myself. Sorry).

Speaking of relatvisitc velocities, it used to be easy to make haste in the desert between LA, San Diego, and Phoenix, particularly at night. I'm happy to still be alive, despite some poor judgement some years ago.

bc

Posted by: bc | August 15, 2005 2:02 PM | Report abuse

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2005/08/10/DI2005081001508.html

Live Chat--(not live anymore) with H. Kurtz today

Posted by: WaPo Shill | August 15, 2005 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Mostlylurking: Look under Live Online (lower right-hand part of webpage), it's under "Earlier Today." It's entertaining to see Righties decry the perceived bias of the mainstream media in favor of the Democratic Party, while lefties decry the failure of the MSM to actually act as a wing of the Democratic Party. Editors must roll their eyes alot.

Posted by: CowTown | August 15, 2005 2:07 PM | Report abuse

bc - was that when u were a long-haired rocker?

Posted by: mo | August 15, 2005 2:13 PM | Report abuse

bc, I just knew you'd be able to answer the physics question!
We're happy you're still alive, too.
("Drive-In Moovie"! Ha!)

Posted by: Dreamer | August 15, 2005 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Come to think of it, mo, yeah.

On the other hand, I'm still me.

You can judge for yourself next Tuesday.

bc

Posted by: bc | August 15, 2005 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I know someone that hit a deer at 140mph (He was in a race car. Porsche 944 to be exact) and the deer literally exploded, doing no damage to the car; but leaving numerous small pieces of meat that he was picking out of it for weeks afterwards. Maybe a cow would do the same?

Posted by: jason | August 15, 2005 2:33 PM | Report abuse

bc: I think the scariest bit of road is the highway from San Bernadino to Las Vegas (I'm too lazy to look it up). At night, it's like a scene from David Lynch's "Wild at Heart." People drive like they're being chased by Satan. As they pass you, they have the look of maniacal contempt, like somehow you pose an obstacle to their breakneck journey. You pass by roadsigns marking towns apparently spelled by people with seizure disorders ("ZZyww" 2 miles). And, yes, there are occasional tumbleweeds rolling along the highway, harbingers of doom. PCH, phsha! It's cake compared to the Road to Vegas.

Posted by: CowTown | August 15, 2005 2:47 PM | Report abuse

In answer to your last sentence, "Good."

Posted by: Penny | August 15, 2005 2:50 PM | Report abuse

That barking you heard was not from seals, it was from California Sea Lions. They're a protected species, which is why when they took over Pier 39 of the San Francisco wharf nobody could do anything about it.

Posted by: Former Cal Girl | August 15, 2005 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I hit a deer once; actually it jumped on the front of hood. I was probably doing 15-20 miles an hour. It bounced off the car and I saw it land on its feet in the rear view mirror. Then it bolted off into the woods like nothing happened. Meanwhile my mom's car had 900 dollars worth of damage. Boy was she mad. Then my brother made it worse by telling me that most likely the deer later died of internal injuries. Knowing how sensitive I was (and still am), and that it would probably make cry to know that, it was very much a jackassy thing to do.

Posted by: omnigood | August 15, 2005 2:56 PM | Report abuse

cowtown - have you ever driven pch at nite? and i had to laugh b/c you are so right! what is it about the drive to vegas that makes ppl so crazy - admittedly it's a pretty boring drive... tho that last hill where you come over and down below you see vegas spread out like a glowing amusment park is awesome! i loved the tumbleweeds! they are so cool when they hit your car and disintegrate - altho i'm not sure if they scratch whilst doing so...

i know a guy who hit a deer riding a bmw motorcycle - the deer died and his bike was pretty much totaled - you couldn't mention venison around him for years!

Posted by: mo | August 15, 2005 2:58 PM | Report abuse

My father once told my sister and me he'd seen a kangaroo on the road that had been hit by a car. He said it was still alive and was "just lying there, looking around." The "looking around" part really creeped us out.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 15, 2005 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Joel:

Those Midwest cornfields can be reassuring. But if you see a crop-dusting plane, keep your eye on it.

Posted by: Tom Grubisich | August 15, 2005 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Another time I was driving and ran over a rat scurrying across the road. It was dusk out and my friend said what the hell was that? And I said it's a dead rat. And he said dead rats don't move that fast (which got a chuckle out of me because dead rats don't actually move at all) and I said not anymore. He didn't get my lame attempt at humor until the ride back when he saw the dead rat. That time he was the one to chuckle.

Posted by: omnigoof | August 15, 2005 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I heard an interview with a NPS (National Park Service, the guys who keep you from falling into the geysers at Yellowstone) ranger on NPR (National Public Radio, life's blood of pinkos and treehuggers) about deer strikes. He advised driving through the deer rather than braking, so that the body goes under the car rather than throught the windshield. Within a week I witnessed this exact scenario on the GWP (George Washington Parkway, a scenic artery along the Virginia shore of the Potomac River) at rush hour. Traffic was thick but moving 40-50mph. Bambi's mom (deer character from a popular children's film ) leaped into the path of a car with no warning and WHUMP (sound effect). The driver was shaken, the car was still functional, the doe (female deer) was a goner. Don't know if the same technique would work with cattle though. Your average hereford's (type of cow) gonna weigh 5 or 6 times what a deer weighs. (This post has been checked by Jargonchek for clarity. No cattle guards or lobsta pots were harmed during this process.)

Posted by: kurosawaguy | August 15, 2005 3:13 PM | Report abuse

mo: Years ago, when I lived in LA, I'd occasionally make the treacherous drive from Santa Monica to Malibu to visit a girlfriend. Everyone drives this curvey, narrow highway riddled with potholes and fallen rocks like they're in a movie chase scene. Recent immigrants from Mexico, China, Sri Lanka, and Tehran all practice driving their late 70's model automobiles with wagging tailpipes, amid bored Angelinos with brand new Porsches and BMW's. It's dangerous, but not as spooky and terrifying as the Road to Vegas. That has more of a sense of impending doom about it.

Posted by: CowTown | August 15, 2005 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I once hit a raccoon the size of a rottweiller. I burst into tears - my friend in the passanger seat, adam, started laughing hysterically. It crunched in my license plate.

Posted by: LP | August 15, 2005 3:20 PM | Report abuse

CowTown, I sympathize with your "actually working". I'm finding that boodling from home takes much more time than at work. I suppose because I have to get up from the computer to do anything, where at work, I am more or less chained to my desk and computer.

bc, Dreamer, anyone, comments?

kurosawaguy, missed you too! Great post.

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 15, 2005 3:22 PM | Report abuse

jason, I think your friend is quite lucky, and I think he'd agree.

I've seen deer/race car collisions more often than I'd like.

Sadly, I've seen human fatalities as well as the "deer bomb" effect that Jason mentions.

Fatalites happen from full on impacts generally, "bombs" occur from glancing impacts or sometimes from the fact that Porsche (that's a two-syllable name, folks) 924/944/968s and many other sporty/race cars are quite low and have drooped "cow catcher" noses that can toss a 200 lb. deer over the top.

I would consider that same impact with a 1200-1500 lb. cow a different matter. A Porsche may be strong enough to toss a white tail deer at a buck forty, but may not be strong enough to do the same for a Holstein.

I hit a rabbit at Watkins Glen several years ago heading for the Inner Loop at 120 mph when it burst out from under that pretty blue guardrail right onto the racing surface. Didn't hurt the car at all other than minor cosmetic damage as I caught it with the tire while trying to miss it. The car owner/crew chief chewed me out about risking my life over a bunny.

bc

Posted by: bc | August 15, 2005 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Correction to Previous Post: The road referred to was Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). I apologize for any confusion or inconvenience my prior posting my have caused. Thank you for your kind attention.

Posted by: CowTown | August 15, 2005 3:32 PM | Report abuse

cowtown - that part of pch, while trecherous yes, is no comparison to the pch (or scenic highway one) betwixt santa barbara (or there-abouts) and big sur/carmel... at nite... there aren't any street lamps and no guard rails to keep you from plunging down to a watery grave...

and kurosawaguy - wouldn't the deer have "lept"?

i hit a possum once - i cried...

Posted by: mo | August 15, 2005 3:34 PM | Report abuse

You can say either "leaped" or "leapt" (pronounced "lept")

Posted by: Tom fan | August 15, 2005 3:40 PM | Report abuse

oooo scc entry! i meant leapt...

Posted by: mo | August 15, 2005 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry to hear that you were scared, but I'm surprised to hear it didn't subside after seeing all the beautiful scenery. The rugged geography is what makes California so beautiful. I find myself much more terrified of the flat, strip malls that line our congested highways here on the east coast.

How about we all take more chances - feel the wind in our hair and let go?? Safety isn't sexy.

Posted by: missing the fog | August 15, 2005 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Snarky Squirrel has anything to add to this roadkill thread?

Posted by: Achenfan | August 15, 2005 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Hey mo, I've made that drive up to Carmel on the PCH. Nice ride.

I hear there's a lot of shenannigans on Mulholland near Topanga Canyon. Not that I would know anything about that myself...

bc

Posted by: bc | August 15, 2005 3:45 PM | Report abuse

The Snarky Squirrel is appalled at the level of tastelessness this Boodle has sunk too. Some of our best friends were possums, Herefords, deer...
Remember, always brake for squirrels!!

Posted by: grtc | August 15, 2005 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Hey, the East coast has its fair share of scary drives. I've ridden on the road that is in the opening scene to "the Shining," at night, and WOW did we ever think we were going to die. Got lost and everything - and it's just a sheer drop off from the road down into....well, nothingness, really.

Posted by: LP | August 15, 2005 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Don't you people have lives? Geez, I'm beginning to think editor Sydney was right.

I didn't know what a cattle guard was, but I do know what a cattle loader is.

Posted by: Just surfing.... | August 15, 2005 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Somehow I think Joel might be exaggerating his fear just a tad, mtf. He's really not THAT much of a girly-man. I think he might have made up the part about the ritualistic cults, too. Which is too bad; I'd like to have heard more about those.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 15, 2005 3:50 PM | Report abuse

brake for squirrels? One word: GEICO. (well ok and acronym)

Posted by: omnigoof | August 15, 2005 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, sure you're just surfing . . .

[See Sara? I really AM a jackass.]

Posted by: Achenfan | August 15, 2005 3:52 PM | Report abuse

"...the more you want to run screaming for the flat cornfields and straight-as-string interstate highways of the continental interior." Clearly you've never seen "North by Northwest", Hitchcock's attempt to keep us out of cornfields too.

Posted by: E | August 15, 2005 3:54 PM | Report abuse

SCC entry: well ok an acronym

Posted by: omnigoofball | August 15, 2005 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I loved that GEICO commercial. I just wonder if it was the gekko driving that car...

Posted by: grtc | August 15, 2005 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm agreeing with E. cornfields = scary.

Posted by: LP | August 15, 2005 3:59 PM | Report abuse

"...the more you want to run screaming for the flat cornfields and straight-as-string interstate highways of the continental interior." Clearly you've never seen "North by Northwest", Hitchcock's attempt to keep us out of cornfields too.

Posted by: E | August 15, 2005 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Oops - sorry for the double post. My computer hiccuped.

Posted by: e | August 15, 2005 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Now I'm REALLY scared.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 15, 2005 4:01 PM | Report abuse

(Sorry, my previous post wasn't funny; it was just jackass-y.)

Posted by: Achenfan | August 15, 2005 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Ha ha, the gecko driving.

Posted by: omnigoofy | August 15, 2005 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Today a computer hiccups; next week JW and Gene W. match win/loss records... the apocalypse is just around the corner. Anyone seen any horsemen galloping by?

Posted by: grtc | August 15, 2005 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I think the horsemen got hit by a car.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 15, 2005 4:07 PM | Report abuse

What scares me about the cornfields of the continental interior: earthquakes.

I have less fear of quakes on the west coast than the middle.

Posted by: omnigood | August 15, 2005 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm worried that Joel is lost...he thinks he's in the "Redwood Empire" which is much further north than the San Andreas Fault and Marin County. In the Redwood Empire, the San Andreas Fault is way off the coast in the Pacific Ocean.

This may explain his fear of roads--an inability to read a map.

Posted by: Karen | August 15, 2005 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Karen, are you saying that Joel is actually treading water in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in his attempt to straddle the fault? Should we worry? Should we send out a search-and-rescue helicopter? Should we alert Sydney?

Posted by: grtc | August 15, 2005 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like he's already en route to Japan.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 15, 2005 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Every car commercial ever made features Hgwy 1, the snaking and rugged flora of it all. Zoom Zoom Zoom.

This brings back memories of driving in the rain through Big Sur with a trunk full of warm beer and fungus. I was Henry Miller; my co-pilot was Hunter Thompson.

I forgot to wipe the rain off my glasses and drove a few vistas before it was safe to stop. Hgwy 1 death defiance, whoosh - that was the sound my life passing before the headlamps, quoth the rodent.

Posted by: peter | August 15, 2005 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Haha, good post Karen.

Posted by: omnigood | August 15, 2005 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the article! We need more stuff like this to scare morons from elsewhere away from our highways, our housing market, and California in general.

Ohh... boo hoo... the road is CURVY! Boo hoo hoo... Ye gods, how wimpy can you get?

Seriously, this is really great -- we need less nancies driving 35 mph on a road clearly posted as 50 because they're terrified a big earthquake could just SHAKE their car off into the ocean. I was a bit worried when every car commercial ever filmed uses Rte.1 for their ads (realize it or not every single one of you has seen parts of this road in such ads, usually the part with the big white arched bridge). But you are doing great work by scaring off idiots in automatic-transmission-equipped rentals from our fun-to-drive roads.

Oh, and F=ma. Force increases as your acceleration/velocity increases, but the mass stays the same (at seriously subluminal velocities, of course). So your best bet is to accelerate, turn the wheel, and go right over the cliff edge.

To sum up: California is SCARY! Really, REALLY scary! Plus there are COWS there!! You should probably just stay at home and watch it on TV and dream about it...

Heh heh.

Posted by: SantaCruzian | August 15, 2005 4:37 PM | Report abuse

truthfully i'm more scared of driving through west va - i start hearing banjo music and my blood runs cold!

one of the most beautiful drives i ever had was from arizona thru the red rock mountains and into colorado along the river and over the natural bridge! breathtaking!!

Posted by: mo | August 15, 2005 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Me too, mo -- especially since WVa has all those "dry towns." (Dry?!? Whaddya mean dry? Why would you want your town to be dry?!?)

Posted by: Achenfan | August 15, 2005 4:48 PM | Report abuse

too true achenfan - too true!! i never trust a teetotaler! (sp?) hey, isn't there a dry town in maryland? near wheaton?

Posted by: mo | August 15, 2005 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh, no, not a dry town!! YOu mean, no hot and cold running Scotch?? Ye gods, no wonder those yobbos in Deliverance were so cranky.

Posted by: grtc | August 15, 2005 4:51 PM | Report abuse

california gets a bad rap back east, but it really doesn't deserve it. i know because i moved here from virginia 9 years ago--and it took me about 6 months to truly understand why california is so, well, california. once you have been here 6 months you'll get it.

not to say the state isn't without its problems, but there is so much about it that is great. i liken living here to dating a really hot woman who is a bit screwed up in the head. you'll put up with her crap only because she is so beautiful.

Posted by: VA to CA Boy | August 15, 2005 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I lived in California for 38 years and I must say that it changed so much since the '60's. The overpopulation, smog, traffic, and just human overabundance (and not only by Mexicans) transformed it from a Paradise to a Hell. I am glad to be out of it.

Posted by: norman | August 15, 2005 5:00 PM | Report abuse

"Hitchcock grasped the fundamental fact about scenic California: It's really terrifying. The more beautiful it gets, the more you want to run screaming for the flat cornfields and straight-as-string interstate highways of the continental interior. "

It's time to rent "North By Northwest" and reevaluate the comfort of the flat cornfields of the continental interior.

Posted by: Bill | August 15, 2005 5:11 PM | Report abuse

"Given a story to enact in which the world is a foe to be conquered, [people] will conquer it like a foe, and one day, inevitably, their foe will be bleeding to death at their feet, as the world is now."

-- Daniel Quinn, "Ishmael"

Posted by: Dreamer | August 15, 2005 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Hey now! Whatever CA may be like, that is no reason to dump on beautiful West Virginia. We sojourn regularly in the Canaan Valley and it is lovely, but does require a good bit of treacherous mountain driving to get there. Fortunately, the Big Byrd has filched yet another huge chunk of pork for the state and a nice straight highway is under construction as we speak.

And for ANY county in WV, wet or dry, best to BYOB unless you like your wine of the screw-cap variety.

Posted by: Cubedweller | August 15, 2005 5:31 PM | Report abuse

The man awoke and slowly rose from the moist ground. He looked in utter confusion at the dirt caked on this clothing, and slowly rubbing his tattered sleeves, peered into the black fog. About ten yards away, an automobile rested on its roof, one of its wheels spinning in a futile attempt to gain traction from the thick night air. The car's headlights were still on, throwing twin cones of light that merely illuminated the heavy fog that shrouded the forest. At least, the man thought there was a forest. He seemed to remember seeing thick woods of Frasier pine and redwood before twilight. Puzzled, it occurred to him that he remembered little else. Dark night, a twisting narrow road with captivating views of the ocean, he recalled passing over a cattle guard and being startled by the brief rruph noise it made. In a flash, he saw the Hereford standing in the road before him. To late to stop - he threw the wheel to the right and flew into the blackness.

But that is all he remembered. He was astonished, then angry, to discover that he couldn't remember his own name, or why he was driving the treacherous road. What had brought him to this abyss, this dark Purgatory? Vaguely, he heard a rhythmic murmuring in the distance. He had to hold his breath and slowly turn in order to her the faint sound of - human voices, several of them. The man walked with his arms extended and palms facing the darkness as protection from the probing branches of the forest. After stumbling through the thick stands of pine for what seemed an hour, the man saw a dim light in the murky darkness. His eyes came to focus on a flame. It looked like a lit match held frozen in space just steps away. But his eyes adjusted to the light thrown by the flame and saw instead that it was an enormous bonfire, still far enough away that he could not hear its roar.

But he could hear the human voices, chanting. Carefully, he approached the fire, and saw the forest open into a large circular clearing. Standing around the fire were perhaps twenty shrouded figures, their heads covered with hoods, and pentacles on the chest of each one. They turned quickly as the man stepped into the clearing. The shrouded person closest to him pulled away his hood, revealing a smiling young man who exclaimed, "Look, friends, a visitor!" "A VISITOR!" the entire group intoned.

Others in the group began to pull back their hoods. All were smiling. Some were licking their lips.

"And what is your name, Visitor?" the first man asked.

The man contemplated this question for a moment. His mind was still as foggy as the air that hung around the forest like a giant damp blanket. At length, he replied.

"Joel. I think my name is Joel."

Posted by: DarkCow | August 15, 2005 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Where is Joel?

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 15, 2005 5:53 PM | Report abuse

that's great, darkcow....

Posted by: LP | August 15, 2005 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Great cheese comes from happy cows, and happy cows come from California...

They're happy becasue they aren't under Joel's wheels.

Posted by: Parasaur | August 15, 2005 6:26 PM | Report abuse

"...perhaps twenty shrouded figures" -- could it be there were, maybe, FIFTEEN?? And the young man licking his lips -- could that be JW fresh from a Chipotle run??

Posted by: grtc | August 15, 2005 6:49 PM | Report abuse

What kind of idiot drives PCH in NorCal at night? Clearly, sir, you know nothing about surviving in California...

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2005 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Aw, for hair-raising adventure--the chills and thrills type--forget California coastal fog after dark in the summer along the Pacific Coast Highway. For the real he- or she-mensch, there's nothing quite like California tule fog in the winter--whether it be coming down from the Tehachapis in January, or paralleling the Delta river bottoms in December.

Ah, many a night, mates, on a job that kept me frequently almost near the midnight hour, I navigated the lofty and treacherous Altamont Pass by feel alone, as I could not have seen my five fingers before my eyes had I extended my hand, let alone get a visual bearing on the highway.

Joel is such a wussie!

Posted by: Linda Loomis | August 15, 2005 7:53 PM | Report abuse

The real proof of the pudding is eating the roadkill you create in California.

Californians are far better drivers (skill, safety) than people back East.

And the roads are better.

One of my favorite places is leaving the high desert at the El Cajon Pass. It drops 3 thou
feet in just a few miles, and at the bottom there are gravel pits for runaway trucks (no brakes) to plow into.

It's the kind of place that, pardon the term, goombah (where are you, mate?) could drive into and live to tell the tale.

Does Yoel know about the T&A outing in his absence?

Posted by: bananananabodana | August 15, 2005 8:09 PM | Report abuse

JW:
You were obviously in the wrong section of California. I now live in Santa Barbara which is home to many of the famous and imfamous people. But what is most beautiful is the secenary. If you had driven from San Francisco to Los Angeles via US 101 you would have realized that you could have the best of both worlds, open ranges of the mid-west and the beauty of the Pacific in rolling hills with giant oak trees in footsepts of the founding missionaries who walked from San Digeo to north of San Francisco. I invite you to come back to central coast sometime to really see, taste, drink, and take in the REAL California.

Don't be such a Girle Man!

Posted by: wileecoyote | August 15, 2005 8:37 PM | Report abuse

JW:
You were obviously in the wrong section of California. I now live in Santa Barbara which is home to many of the famous and imfamous people. But what is most beautiful is the secenary. If you had driven from San Francisco to Los Angeles via US 101 you would have realized that you could have the best of both worlds, open ranges of the mid-west and the beauty of the Pacific in rolling hills with giant oak trees in footsepts of the founding missionaries who walked from San Digeo to north of San Francisco. I invite you to come back to central coast sometime to really see, taste, drink, and take in the REAL California.

Don't be such a Girle Man!

Posted by: wileecoyote | August 15, 2005 8:37 PM | Report abuse

JW:
You were obviously in the wrong section of California. I now live in Santa Barbara which is home to many of the famous and imfamous people. But what is most beautiful is the secenary. If you had driven from San Francisco to Los Angeles via US 101 you would have realized that you could have the best of both worlds, open ranges of the mid-west and the beauty of the Pacific in rolling hills with giant oak trees in footsepts of the founding missionaries who walked from San Digeo to north of San Francisco. I invite you to come back to central coast sometime to really see, taste, drink, and take in the REAL California.

Don't be such a Girle Man!

Posted by: wileecoyote | August 15, 2005 8:38 PM | Report abuse

JW:
You were obviously in the wrong section of California. I now live in Santa Barbara which is home to many of the famous and imfamous people. But what is most beautiful is the secenary. If you had driven from San Francisco to Los Angeles via US 101 you would have realized that you could have the best of both worlds, open ranges of the mid-west and the beauty of the Pacific in rolling hills with giant oak trees in footsepts of the founding missionaries who walked from San Digeo to north of San Francisco. I invite you to come back to central coast sometime to really see, taste, drink, and take in the REAL California.

Don't be such a Girle Man!

Posted by: wileecoyote | August 15, 2005 8:38 PM | Report abuse

welcome back Joel.I felt fear when i was reading your post.don´t let those mad californian people hurt you.The west isn´t the best.

Posted by: Paulo Assis | August 15, 2005 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Your article is absurd.

Posted by: Former East Coaster | August 15, 2005 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Sheeeit. WEST SIDE TILL WE DIE, MUTHA.

Posted by: cali | August 15, 2005 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Your mother is absurd.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2005 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Paulo-

Posted by: kbertocci | August 15, 2005 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, typing in the dark...

Hey, Paulo, welcome back. So far you are the only avowed European on the A-blog. Stick around.

Posted by: kbertocci | August 15, 2005 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Now that I'm caught up...I have very little to add. I suppose I could ask jw if a lobster pot is what they cook the lobster in. Or I could sympathize with mo about hitting a possum (you did say a possum, right?) because I hit a squirrel once. It was devastating. I think that's why I save trapped birds/bats/winged creatures/etc... now.

Posted by: Sara | August 15, 2005 11:17 PM | Report abuse

bananananabodana: I must respectfully take issue with your claim that Californians are better drivers that people out East. They've got an advantage of better roads, that's for sure (with the notable exception of the Hollywood Freeway). I grew up in LA and have driven most of the state. But now, when I come to visit, I find the same obnoxious, rude, dangerous manuevering as found in Chicago. Tailgating, stealing parking spaces, middle--finger lane changes, I've experienced them all on LA freeways. I think only Iowans and South Dakotans are the really safe and courteous drivers. God Bless Them All.

Posted by: CowTown | August 16, 2005 12:03 AM | Report abuse

No offense, Sara, but do you eat the animals that you save?

No offense, CT, but the driving in Chi town is super-polite compared to the East Coast.

No offense, T&A woman, but it's time to disclose your perfidy to Yoel and to adopt your new (third) name that begins w J.

No offense, but what explains the lackluster participation on Monday?

Must do my job today but will try to check in between pulsings.

Posted by: bananananabodana | August 16, 2005 5:14 AM | Report abuse

glad you came to califonia

Posted by: ed | August 16, 2005 9:39 AM | Report abuse

DarkCow:
What a brilliant literary piece! Thanks for quenching my thirst for a story about ritualistic cults.

Posted by: |:
Why are you so angry?

Paulo:
Welcome back! We missed you!

Former East Coaster:
Why are you so angry?

bananabanabodana:
T and A were outed well before Joel went to California, as was the third persona. I think Joel is hip to it. As for the lackluster participation yesterday, maybe it was because you didn't grace us with your presence. But seriously, and no offense, the blog waxes and wanes. It is what it is, and it is what we make it. We must go with the flow.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 16, 2005 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I don't know if the Kaboodlers are aware of this term, but with the Dark Cow entry above, A-blog has officially entered the realm of "Fan Fiction." I loved the DC entry, don't get me wrong, but Fan Fiction is a scary zone on the internet. We don't really want to go to far into it; before you know it we'll be dressing up in costumes and having conventions...

on the CA road sign issue: would it be funny to have a highway sign that just said "AAAAAAAIIIIIIIEEEE!"--?

Posted by: kbertocci | August 16, 2005 9:47 AM | Report abuse

T&A woman,

If we're into "oneness" why not be a one-named chief factotum and bottlewasher, or whatever the role assumed is.

I said I wouldn't be around much, and I will try to follow through. I need to work.

Posted by: bananabanabodana | August 16, 2005 10:01 AM | Report abuse

You're right, kbertocci. This transition into the realm of fan fiction is a bit worrisome. The existence of multiple identities seems to be as much fiction as the 'blog can handle right now. Not to mention the fact that some bloggers can't even tell when JOEL is kidding about something -- to inject any more fiction into the 'blog at the 'boodle level would surely be a recipe for disaster.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 16, 2005 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Fan,

Yes, let's not worry about identity multiplication. That's not fiction, BTW. It's disengenuous tricksterism; pages of the WP are filled with real-life accounts of such every day.

But let's not get too exclusive or hierarchical either. It's bad enough that new people here get hosed a bit.

Now, I must brief the press.

Posted by: melvin/a | August 16, 2005 10:22 AM | Report abuse

You're right, melvin/a. Multiple identities are no big deal. As for new people, we love new people. It's only when they barge in here and tell us what jackasses we are that we hose them -- and just a bit, as you said. Remember, we are all real people in here. If you call us idiots, do we not bleed?

If you went to a party where you didn't know anyone, would you walk through the front door and yell "What a bunch of horsehockey! Don't you people have lives?" I think not. At least, I hope not. Maybe bananabanabodana would, on a bad day, but I don't think you would, melvin/a.

Tell THAT to the press.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 16, 2005 10:36 AM | Report abuse

melvin/a, you've been here long enough to realize that only those who come in and are unnecessarily rude get hosed a bit. Otherwise new bloggers are more than welcome.

Posted by: Sara | August 16, 2005 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Fan (I don't know what to call you, but you keep bringing up jackass),

Calm down, please. You could make the j word a self-fulfilling prophecy.

As for b'dana, your guess is as good as mine.

Sara you are right. And I'm past the unnecessarily rude stage and only into the necessarily rude phase when it is inspired.
No offense.

Now, I must get back to the work at hand.

Posted by: melvin/a | August 16, 2005 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Don't you just love melvin/a?

Posted by: Dreamer | August 16, 2005 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Alright, someone's gotta say it -


can't we all just get along?

Posted by: LP | August 16, 2005 11:01 AM | Report abuse

OK, we can all get along because I am actually all of the following:

LP, Dreamer, Achenfan, Tom Fan, Cubedweller,
kbertocci, melvin/a, Sara, goombah, Mo, gorbydoll, bostonreader, bananabanabodana, Cow Town, and last but not least, pompousass.

Actually, the above are 3 or perhaps 4 people, according to someone else's analysis.

Posted by: Everywoman (nom de guerre) | August 16, 2005 11:08 AM | Report abuse

What's this? I write a simple story, and now I've become a SYNDROME? AAAAAAAAH! (Running down the hall, screaming)

Posted by: CowTown | August 16, 2005 11:11 AM | Report abuse

now now cowtown - i liked your story!!! you've fan fictioned in the boodle before!

Posted by: mo | August 16, 2005 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Now, I will be necessarily rude:

Everywomen, now is not prime time for your shenanigans. Just calm down. If you are good (and single, that is, single-persona), you can join us in the figurative hot tub.

m

Posted by: melvin/a | August 16, 2005 11:17 AM | Report abuse

It's like an electronic cybil.

I've lost my identity!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 16, 2005 11:17 AM | Report abuse

me, too. Heeeeeeeeeeeeeelp, I've lost my identityyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 16, 2005 11:19 AM | Report abuse

For those who are confused and/or easily led:
Everywoman (nom de guerre) may indeed be goombah, gorbydoll, pompousass, bananabanabodana, and possibly even melvin/a. But she is definitely not Cubedweller, mo, kbertocci, Sara, CowTown, Tom fan, Dreamer, or me.

This has been an Achenblog Public Service Announcement. The views expressed are entirely my own and do not necessarily reflect those of Achenbach or the Washington Post.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 16, 2005 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Correction: Everywoman is not melvin/a -- I think; melvin/a actually seems to be helping us out here in protecting the blog from this saboteur.

And I'm sorry that my having three personas has caused so much angst. As melvin/a has said, it's really not such a big deal. Worse things happen at sea.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 16, 2005 11:27 AM | Report abuse

hey, she's not me either.

Just for the record.

Posted by: LP | August 16, 2005 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Joel--where are you? These people are starting to turn on each other! They need a new Kit as a diversion (or fresh christians for the lions)

Posted by: Lmm825 | August 16, 2005 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Your three identities aren't causing angst Achenfan. melvin/a is right, it really isn't a big deal.

I think I'm going to take a blogging vacation for a day. Here's hoping there will be a new kit and these ridiculous postings will stop.

Posted by: Sara | August 16, 2005 11:32 AM | Report abuse

and for the record, i didn't eat my roadkill (yes, sara it was a possum and i was devestated)... does anybody even eat possum? or squirrel for that matter? and i mean those of us here - not people starving in countries where they eat all KINDS of crazy things...

Posted by: mo | August 16, 2005 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Ooh, sorry LP -- I didn't mean to leave you off the list. Seeing my three names listed consecutively there must have served as some sort of weird buffer zone in my mind between your name and Cubedweller et al.

[OK, guys -- if you still don't know who my third persona is after that blatant hint, there's no hope for yas.]

Posted by: Achenfan | August 16, 2005 11:35 AM | Report abuse

melvin/a - you are the patron saint of newcomers. You were most kind to me when I posted about a week ago, and Joel - the Man himself - made a joke of my post (which was actually quite flattering).

m.a.

Posted by: Mary Ann | August 16, 2005 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I am following Sara's fine example and taking a blogging holiday, too. Probably in the figurative hot tub.

You girls play too rough for me!

But first, I must brief the press.

Posted by: melvin/a | August 16, 2005 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Ha! I knew it. K. Now I'm gonna try and take that blogging vacation.

Posted by: Sara | August 16, 2005 11:41 AM | Report abuse

achenfan - i'm guessing cowtown and tom fan???

Posted by: mo | August 16, 2005 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Sara: We'll have new stories for you when you get back.

Short ones. Little ones. I mean, if that's ok with everybody.

Posted by: CowTown | August 16, 2005 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Sara:
A blogging vacation. What a refreshing concept. That reminds me of that Bill Murray film "What About Bob?" The Bill Murray character is advised by his psychiatrist (Richard Dreyfuss) to take a vacation from himself. He ends up taking a vacation in the same town in which the psychiatrist himself is vacationing. Shenanigans ensue.
What a great film.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 16, 2005 11:45 AM | Report abuse

No, Achenfan is a female person. I am a male person. Hair on belly. Knuckles drag on ground. Fascinated with jet fighters.

Glad I could clear that up.

Posted by: CowTown | August 16, 2005 11:48 AM | Report abuse

No mo, I am not CowTown. CowTown is a man. I am woman. Hear me roar.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 16, 2005 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Did you happen to run into Eddie Duran amongst the cow manure ??????? Enjoyed you story.

Posted by: Miami Connection | August 16, 2005 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Did you happen to run into Eddie Duran amongst the cow manure ??????? Enjoyed you story.

Posted by: Miami Connection | August 16, 2005 12:04 PM | Report abuse

then are you dreamer as well?

cowtown is a MAN baby? and all this time i thought it was estrogen writing those stories...

Posted by: mo | August 16, 2005 12:05 PM | Report abuse

quick, take out, how you say, gender genie, quick

Posted by: gorbydoll | August 16, 2005 12:10 PM | Report abuse

You got it, mo.

And yes, CowTown is a man. I guess he's one of those scared-of-California girly men, like Joel. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 16, 2005 12:11 PM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: Achenfan | August 16, 2005 12:13 PM | Report abuse

how old you Ms. Achenfan?

Posted by: gorbydoll | August 16, 2005 12:16 PM | Report abuse

achenfan, tom fan and dreamer - who woulda thunk? hmmm... and all i am is mo... little old mo - the granny goth... well i look forward to meeting all three of ya at the boodle porching hour!

and gorbydoll knows about the gender genie so she musta been here for a while...

Posted by: mo | August 16, 2005 12:18 PM | Report abuse

and cowtown - i spose you are male!

Female Score: 507
Male Score: 1243

The Gender Genie thinks the author of this passage is: male!

*psssttt - i like jet fighters too!

Posted by: mo | August 16, 2005 12:22 PM | Report abuse

DarkCow, your story gave me chillblains; it's been a good long while since I've had those. Actually about 40+ years ago via the original Twilight Zone series.

Posted by: Nani | August 16, 2005 12:23 PM | Report abuse

gorbydoll:
I 39. And I mean REALLY 39, not 39-again 39.

mo:
Never say "all I am is mo." One mo is perfect. You are self-contained, without needing to split into three. I look forward to meeting you at the BPH too. (And yes, I noticed that gorbydoll knew about the gender genie. I recall that melvin/a also had a fondness for the gg at one time. I'm really getting confused here . . .)

*psssttt! Although I don't have a hairy belly or like jet fighters, I do drag knuckles on ground.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 16, 2005 12:38 PM | Report abuse

all you need do 's read backwards (u know what I mean) to find out gender genie.

gender matters on blog are interesting--in warm sense.

thank for validity about your age.

Posted by: gorbydoll | August 16, 2005 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Who said hairy belly. Girl share razor where I used to grow up.

Posted by: gorbydoll | August 16, 2005 1:27 PM | Report abuse

hair on belly of a jet fighter? that is meshugganah.

Posted by: goombah | August 16, 2005 3:13 PM | Report abuse

I thought mass increased with acceleration, but I am a scientific moron so I'm probably wrong. Anyhoo.

Posted by: Jon | August 16, 2005 6:07 PM | Report abuse

CowTown, keep those posts (fiction or non) coming! Love your creative names, too, and thanks for sticking with the cow theme, so even I can keep up.

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 16, 2005 10:55 PM | Report abuse

What, all these posts on driving in CA, including the road to Vegas, and not one mention of being on the edge of Barstow when the drugs began to take hold...much less giant bats, large pistols, and scared hitchhikers? That would be one King Hell of a CA driving story....

Posted by: Raoul Duke | August 24, 2005 12:37 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company