Wednesday, March 22, 2006

"I Have an Interesting Fact For You"

Ahoy, ahoy. I'm sorry I have neglected my blog for so long. Somewhere between February 24 and March 22 all the blog life got sucked out of me. You know how it is. You wake up, go to your blog, start typing and all you can think to talk about is about how in high school you were a snob who didn't like cool music like Weezer and Beck because you were only into "old" music, like the Beatles and Van Morrison and how now you are seeing the error of your ways in a sort of Second Great Awakening, and pretending that you were totally into Beck back then by calling his song "Loser" the "anthem of your teenage years," and so forth. Who wants to read that?

So what I want to say now is that I went on a hike on Saturday--I know, it's out of character but every now and then I can fake it. I DO own one pair of red, nylon hiking shorts (okay, they are Mike's old ones, but no one has to know that). In tow were my husband and my two children, and another couple with their two kids. This couple were the real deal--totally into hiking and nature, and totally knowing the types of rocks and birds and plants we saw along the way--but, surprisingly, they were not obnoxious but quite pleasant and down to earth. I quite liked them. And Holden was quite smitten with their daughter, and he and she began to pretend that they were running away from ghosts on the way back. They were hollerin' and a'hootin'. But they weren't doin' nobody no harm.

We met an old lady on the trail, who stopped us and struck up a conversation using the phrase, "I have an interesting fact for you." My first thought was to feel dread, because I was expecting a long explication about Pima Canyon, how it was formed, how in the old days the women folk were made to hike it in ankle-length dresses and high heeled boots. My friend was excited, hoping for some nature-fact about the plants and animals. Instead, this woman says to us

"You know how kids are supposed to practice sitting still and behaving in a restaurant? Well, the same goes for hiking along a trail. They need to practice being quiet."


We were stunned. I was speechless, as I often am in these situations. My friend said
"Well, we were just talking to them about that." I DID manage to get a good eye roll in before the mean lady passed us, but that was all. So the rest of the day was devoted to coming up with a good retort for the mean, black-hearted woman who told us our kids were being too loud while they were OUTSIDE.

What could we have said?

"I have an interesting fact for YOU, as well: you are a meany!"

"Okay, here's another fact for you: go jump in a lake!"

Or, my personal favorite, "Didn't you read the sign that said no jerks allowed?"

Better yet, "hiking in the mountains is a time to practice patience"

Finally we landed on this one: "Here's a little known fact: bite me."

In order to avoid ending on a sour note: happy five month birthday to Hazel! May your life be full of zero interesting facts.


  1. "Oh ya? The black-hearted-fun-hating Lady Store called--They're all out of you, jerk!" Eh? Eh? That would have been good.

  2. I wish I knew the new cool retorts like "the jerk store called..." but I am too much of a snob and am only in to "old" retorts like "up your nose with a rubber hose" or "yeah? well yo momma so fat she got stopped at the airport for having 200 lbs of crack!"

  3. Wow, I had no idea that there is such a thing as hiking etiquette. I'm stunned. Well, there goes any incentive to go hiking with my kids!

  4. What kind of a cold hearted person would begrudge kids playing outside?

    How's about, "I have an interesting fact for you: you better stop stifling these kids before I slap the wax out your ears." Or slap the chap off your lips or slap the jam out your toes (sorry for the toe reference Car Car). You can thank Chris Rock for those comebacks. Use them anytime!

  5. I think you could have replied, "It's only Hiking Etiquette that is keeping you from being shoved off the cliff" (if there was one near by).

    Or better yet, you could have acted like you were deaf and couldn't hear your chillins hootin.
    Now that would be funny.

  6. Would that all of you had been on the trail. Your comebacks are way better than mine by a long shot. I guess that's why everybody I know calls me...calls me..."dummy." Yeah, "dummy!"

  7. I thought hiking etiquette consisted of things like picking up your own trash and not getting in other people's pictures! We have a beautiful picture of me and 2 of the kids at one of the waterfalls west of Multnomah Falls, and right in back of us, looking squarely into the camera is our "favorite uncle" the strange guy who butted into our picture.

  8. Here's mine-
    "I have an interesting fact for you: shut up."

  9. Come on, write a new post! Your weekly is way past due.

  10. "Yeah, I suppose you're right. We just thought, with only one month to live we would just let them enjoy life. Sorry if we made your hike less pleasant."