There are some folk who don't see the gem inside my rough exterior who might consider me a hot head. To which I say a hearty "bite me". But let this opinion be a caution that within this blog may lurk items of a venting nature or perhaps those which might be considered a rant. So be it. Proceed with caution. You have been warned.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Do Not Drive Into Smoke

(Please excuse any formatting peculiarities on this entry, blogspot has conveniently decided to not let me use their full featured editor)
Long ago in a galaxy not so far away I made a trip from Illinois to California in a 1955 Chevy. People made trips similar to this in similar vehicles in those days and thought nothing of it. This was in the days before the interstate system was complete and much of this journey was made on two lane highways. On the outbound leg of the journey while driving through Oklahoma I noticed highway signs which said "Do Not Drive Into Smoke". I thought this was odd, but saw no smoke during my passage and thought little of it.

A couple of months later on the return trip in the heat of August with no AC and the windows wide open I chose to go by way of Kansas and mid afternoon near Hiawatha I saw a cloud of smoke drifting toward the highway. Having seen no warning signs in Kansas I drove on. At 50 miles per hour and too late to do anything about it, I noticed just before entering the smoke that it looked strangely particulate. No sooner had I noticed this than I was in the cloud and instantly the car was filled with grasshoppers!

When I say filled, I mean that there was not a cubic inch of space inside the car that did not contain a grasshopper. At highway speed I couldn't get pulled over until I was through the cloud and by that time I had grasshoppers in my hair, in my clothes, all over the seats, clinging to the upholstery and ceiling, covering the dash and floor, and in every vent and cranny of the Chevy. A long period of "debugging" myself and the car ensued and even a year later I was still finding grasshopper carcasses in forgotten crevices of the machine.

I was irate and freaked out at the time and wondered why more information was not supplied by the warning signs in Oklahoma. But then what would travelers of the times made of signs saying "Do Not Drive Into Grasshoppers"?