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Posted on Thursday, August 10th, 2006

Dave!When I am traveling in a strange place, I notice everything. Few details, no matter how small, escape me when I bother to really take notice of my surroundings. But, when it comes to my own back yard, you might as well forget it. This fact came into vivid relief just this afternoon.

I was leaving the mini-mart after having purchased a Coke with Lime to get me through the day when I hear some people shouting at me. Looking over at them, my keen intellect pegs them as tourists due to the huge motor-home they're standing in front of.

DAVE: Uhhh... yeah?
OLD TOURIST DUDE: What happened up there?
DAVE: Er, where?
OLD TOURIST LADY (pointing): Up there. Up on the hill.
DAVE (seeing a huge blackened swash cut across the hillside): Ah. I dunno. Probably a fire.
OLD TOURIST DUDE: You live here, son?
DAVE: Yes.
OLD TOURIST DUDE: HEH HEH! Then how can you not know if your hills were on fire? HEH! HEH! HEH!
DAVE: I was probably out of town that day.

For the life of me I can't figure out what I said that was so hysterically funny but, one thing was for certain, something had gone on up there...


After walking back to get my camera I asked a local what had happened and, sure enough, a fire had broke out while I was bouncing back and forth between Seattle and Spokane a few weeks ago.

This seems to happen a lot.

The fact that I hadn't noticed before now (and might have never noticed had these two chuckle-head tourists not stopped me) is kind of weak. It makes me wonder what other crazy crap has happened here while I am away that I haven't notice.

One of these days, I'm going to have to be a tourist in my own home town.

Categories: Travel 2006Click To It: Permalink


  1. Kyra says:

    Well, they keep putting up buildings that I never notice until everyone goes “oh, how can you NOT know what I am talking about??!!?!”

    I suppose as long as it wasn’t LITERALLY your backyard on fire, you’re still ok.

  2. Jeff says:

    You must have nailed your punchline!

  3. Laurence says:

    Great idea. To be a toursit in our own town.
    For you, with your observation’s sense, I am sure that it will be very interesting.
    But, for the persons who take literally what you say, it would be horrible to see. Yes… We will be able to see people speaking loudly and pointing finger all that they see. Brrrr…

  4. sultana says:

    I wish I could have some of that Coke with Lime. They stopped selling it here 🙁

  5. Anthony says:

    Granted I may have had a couple of Miller cos my old boss is being a shit and wants to commandere my project but what else could it have been?! Are these people too stupid to realise that it was probably a fire that turned the grass to black.

  6. Dave2 says:

    Kyra… The backyard fire was last year. I most certainly did NOT miss that one! 🙂

    Jeff… But what was the joke? I haven’t a clue here.

    Laurence… Yes, but if I am the tourist, then it will be ME walking the streets of my home town pointing at things and talking loudly! 😀

    Sultana… They stopped selling it at the mini-mart until I went in and begged (threatened?) them to start carrying it again. 🙂

    Anthony… I still wish that I would have made up a story. There are a hundred great things I COULD have told them… Terrorists attacked the hill! Lightning caught the hill on fire! Oregon firebombed us! Canada made an invasion attempt! Hmmm… I guess I just wasn’t feeling very creative this afternoon?

  7. adena says:

    Probably they thought it was funny because it came off like you were only gone for one day, and there was a fire, and you came back the next day and STILL didn’t notice. Aftermaths of fires are as noticeable as the fire itself.

    Yeah…that’s a pretty scorched area of ground there. How often do you “lose” the milk in your fridge? 🙂

  8. Kyra says:

    Wait, your backyard really DID catch fire last year?

  9. Dave2 says:

    Adena… I guess. Perhaps the fact that I wasn’t joking and was totally serious is what they found so amusing?

    Kyra… Yeah, well, kinda.

  10. Bre says:

    I wonder why they chose you to shout at… were you the only one out and about?

  11. Kyra says:

    Hmmm… ya know, with some marshmallows, graham crackers and hershy bars – you got yerself a party!

    😉 Well, it’s good you noticed the entire mountain on fire. I don’t think anyone can fault you for missing the hill after the fact…. too much. 😉

  12. Mooselet says:

    Holy crap dude – that fire last year was incredible. I’d be packing my stuff and getting ready to leave.

    It’s easy to miss the day to day stuff if you live there all the time… although a fire that took out a hillside is a tough one. 🙂

  13. Mrs RW says:

    I’ve lived in Chicago and its suburbs my entire life and when tourists visit they’re always amazed that I’ve never been to see: “the Bean”, Cellular Field, Oak Street Beach (or any of the beaches), Hard Rock Cafe (or name any of Chicago’s famous restaurants), etc. I guess when you call somewhere “home” you take it all for granted that it’ll always be there to see “some day”.

  14. Kapha says:

    Last year? 🙂

    Dave… you – like me – have slipped into some kind of parallel time stream whereby two years truly feel like one sometimes… 😉

    I’m serious. Some things that *feel* like a year ago to me actually happened two to three years ago. Other things that seem like two or three years ago seem like one. It’s like I’m ordering memories by feeling or emotional impact rather than linear time…

    :: Insert Twilight Zone Music here ::

  15. Hilly says:

    I would love to do that, but damn if there aren’t enough tourists out here already and nothing ever changes in Stepford. Still, I have no idea why that couple found such amusement in your statement, LOL.

    Keep rocking the Coke, brotha…..we at Coca Cola salute you!

  16. Kevin says:

    I’m thinking wild, hedonistic orgies break out in your apartment complex on a regular basis and you miss them all.

    I did hear reports that Liz Hurley was in your town in recent weeks. Did you meet up with her?

  17. ms. sizzle says:

    i think it is because old folks find the craziest shit funny.

  18. Cat says:

    Old tourist folks do find weird stuff humorous. I kinda find them humorous too.

    Just this last weekend we were camping and had 3 tents up with a tarp for the rain. It looked like a freaking ‘tent city’, right? This couple walks up from the river behind our camp and says, “um, excuse me, do you know where the campsite is?”

    I could do nothing but point nearby at the other campers. If I had tried to speak I would have lost it!

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