We've had a little excess rain here in Backroads this week. I daresay quite a few prisoners could have escaped shooting through the pipes that leave a giant lake of water between the local prison and the county highway. I suppose they're growing fat and sassy on their correctional grub, complacent with the fact that Missouri only executes one of them per month.
Our gravel road has gone under two or three times. The creek that runs alongside creeps out of its banks and flows willy-nilly down a half-mile stretch of flat non-pavement. The swirling waters, about four inches deep over the roadway, don't so much wash away the gravel as redistribute it. Which leaves interesting ruts for the unsuspecting driver. Which is not Val. Val suspects. Is suspicious. Is sometimes a suspect herself. So she is prepared.
When the uphill neighbors put out a sign, neon green, a little man figure, holding a sign that says SLOW, Val slows. She knows these people have kids the same age as Genius and The Pony. They're not going to be running out in the road. The road so high above the creeks that it would take 40 days and 40 nights to flood it. Nope. Val knows they say SLOW for a reason. Yep. A Great Chasm has formed from waterflow down the upper road. T-Hoe will not be getting his Us out of joint on Val's watch.
These ruts do not run horizontally across the road. No. They're diagonal. I even called Hick and The Pony to warn them when they came home from their weekend trip. You have to take it SLOW. Give each tire a chance to limp over the dip. To do it with haste could quite possibly sever a spinal cord.
Because I had to take an alternate route to avoid overflowing bridges, I had to park at the entrance of our gravel road to retrieve the mail from EmBee on Saturday. Normally, I cruise down the big hill on the county road, and park T-Hoe right there by mailbox row while I get out and fetch it if The Pony isn't with me. But this time, I turned right onto the gravel, and parked as close as I could to those waist-high rocks that were put there to keep people from parking.
Just as I slid out of the newly Armor-Alled leather driver's seat of T-Hoe, with my door wide open, a van turned in. I had not seen this van before. On a tree just in front of T-Hoe was our handmade sign (which really impressed a certain visitor who took the Backroads Gas Station Chicken Tour), clearly proclaiming TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED. News flash. That does not keep people from using our network of gravel roads, privately financed and maintained, as a shortcut to knock three miles off their blacktop route. As if that is going to amount to anything, what with having to drive slower. YOU'D THINK!
That van driver gassed it after clearing my open door. I fumed silently as I crossed the blacktop to EmBee. And heard behind me a rattle rattle thunder clatter boom boom boom.
Is it wrong to feel such glee at the possibility of somebody ripping out his undercarriage and knocking his wheels all wonky?