- THE BUZZ: Giving a Face to the Displaced
- FEATURE: Houses of the Holy
- REDNECK PERSPECTIVE: Truck-ed Sparks Controversy
- MUSIC BOX: Abundance to the Nth
- THEM ON US
- WELL, THAT HAPPENED: The Traveling Pants
- FEATURE: Voices of Choice
- THE FOODIE FILES: Spring in a Bowl
- GUEST OPINION: A Big Win for Wolverines
- THEM ON US
REDNECK PERSPECTIVE: A curved bridge to the Caribbean
JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Susie and her husband just returned from a vacation in the Caribbean. “It was awesome,” she told me. “We went to a resort especially built to protect the environment and employ indigenous people so they could earn an environmentally compatible living by waiting on Westerners and Europeans rather than degrade the environment by farming.”
“Wow,” I said. I was impressed. With the exception of recent jaunts to Washington, D.C., to play with Blythe Winters-Paulson, vice-president of ethics at Goldman Sachs, for whom I serve as paramour, I have only been out of Wyoming twice.
The first was to St. Anthony to attend a wedding. To be honest, it was one of my weddings. She was heir to a potato farm, and it seemed I had finally found a way to finance early retirement. But in the end, she left me. “Clyde,” she told me all teary-eyed. “We just jumped in too fast. We barely knew each other, and we’re not even first cousins.” The second interstate trip was to Vegas for another wedding, this one mine as well. It ended when we both sobered up. I didn’t touch tequila again for a solid two weeks.
“You really need to go on an eco-friendly vacation,” she told me. “It’s time you started doing more to save the Earth. And the Caribbean is perfect. It is closer than other destinations like Spain or Australia so there is less consumption of airplane fuel, less overall global carbon footprint.”
The idea of rum drinks and an assortment of succulent tan females attired only in dental floss bikinis held a certain appeal. “How did you guys afford it?” I asked.
I knew Susie wore a low-cut halter-top to help keep the tips flowing at her barista job at Shades. Her husband received a monthly allowance from his family’s trust in Connecticut as well as income from being an urban alternative sustainable green smart-growth technology design consultant, but that wasn’t enough for a Caribbean vacation.
Susie smiled. “As I told you last time we … the last time we talked …,” she said. Susie still has a hard time with her husband’s lack of sexual interest and stammers whenever reminded of the little adventures we occasionally share, always referring to them as “the last time we talked.” “Andrew was the one who came up with the design idea for the Wilson bike path bridge. Originally, it was proposed to include an arch, making it more environmentally sustainable. Others suggested a curve. It took Andrew a week of intense thought and free association brainstorming to come up with the idea of a bridge that was both arched and curved! Anyway, for his idea he received a $20,000 bonus. He is so smart!”
I felt a twinge of resentment at the “smart” comment and, though I feared it would pose a risk to activities with Susie later in the evening, my manhood had been challenged. “What’s wrong with a straight, flat bridge?” I asked, curtly.
“Clyde, it’s more than just a bridge, it is a statement of our community’s commitment to the environment.” Since she moved to the Aspens, she refers to “our community” every chance she gets.
“You’re jealous,” she smiled. “I think it cute!”
Susie linked her elbow through mine. “Smart is not everything,” she said.