Missing: Pair of Snowbirds from B.C.

Exploring Nature

Boss and I went for a hike today in Arizona. We thought “Let’s get away from the hubbub and crowds and explore nature in the desert landscape.” Or was it, “You’re pissing me off by getting in my space all day; lets get outa the house.”? (Maybe those were my words more than hers … but probably not.)

Anyway, we drove to the local mountain trailhead. As we arrived there, we noticed that a couple from B.C. parked next to us (at least, I’m assuming they were a couple; they looked extremely miserable and quite the worse for wear).

Canadian Snowbirds Eh?

As the two “whiteheads” * emerged from their car, we greeted them in the typical Canuck snowbird fashion:

“Nice day for a hike, eh?” I enquired.
“Yeah, sure beats working” the man replied whimsically.
“Oh no, I would much rather be slaving away at the office,” I said sarcastically.
“I’ll bet.”
Changing the subject, before we cycled back to the weather, I asked “Is it your first time hiking here?”
“Yes,” they replied in unison “can you give us some help with directions?”

At this point, we directed them to the preferred trail. Boss further pointed out to them that when they came upon a sign post where there’s a split in the trail, to make sure they take the right pathway (as the trail sign is quite confusing). We then left them to their own devices (as they were starting to warm up to us, and as I stated earlier, our mission was to get away from people) and set out ahead of them.

grey haired man playing shuffleboard

whitehead

acne

whitehead

* Note: the locals refer to snowbirds as “whiteheads.” I’m not sure if they’re referring to the conspicuous, distracting, annoying, pus-like type of acne often associated with oily individuals, or the conspicuous, distracting, annoying, grey-haired individuals associated with old dudes and dudesses.

Just Boss, Me and a Million Cholla Balls

For those of you who haven’t experienced desert hiking, you might think that it’s rather mundane, simple, and innocuous. In fact, it can be exhilarating, intricate and fraught with danger!! (OK, so maybe not typically, but it can be. Or could be   …   it’s conceivably possible.)

Teddy Bear Cholla (sidebar)

Beware the Cylindropuntia Bigelovii

One of the dangers of hiking in the desert (other than being shoved into the rocks by a vindictive spouse), is that of prickly things. Almost without exception, plants along the hiking path have spines, spikes, spears, barbs, and yes, pricks.

teddy bear chollas and cholla balls

teddy bears and their balls

One particularly sticky bugger is the cholla ball. Cholla balls are fuzzy little detached stems from the Teddy Bear Cholla, found in great numbers (for you Arizona newbies, it’s pronounced ‘choiya,’ not ‘chawlla,’ or ‘chola,’ or, heaven-forbid, ‘choo choo.’)

Here’s a little known fact about these little magnetic lovelies: they emit a vapour that, when inhaled, causes extreme stupidity. You can warn neophyte hikers of the dangers of these sticky little buggers, but in their stupefied state, they insist on hugging these baby teddy bears. Another little known fact: the vapours cause the experienced hikers to enter into uncontrollable fits of laughter (especially as they watch the neophytes try to dislodge the cholla balls from their body parts).

Back to the trail   Having dodged our share of cholla balls and navigated the trails for over two hours, we realized that we hadn’t seen hide nor hair of the B.C. snowbirds (even though we doubled back over the same trail on our return). “Where could they have gone?” we mused.

The only logical explanation is that they turned left instead of right at the trail sign post, despite the warning from Boss. WTF? As my friend, Al, says: “NEVER to be seen again!!”

We ruminated about this all day, but couldn’t imagine how they got mixed up. Then, at 3:00 a.m., during my mid-night-time pee (when my best thinking happens), I realized that we missed the obvious source of the problem: the couple was from B.C., the province rife with liberals and socialists, but nary a conservative to be found; they ONLY KNOW LEFT, not right.

And in case you care, I slept like a baby after that.

Cheers,
Old Dude

Photo attributions:
– Feature image (left image): Alan English (flickr)
– Whitehead (man): Jeff Sharp (flickr)

2 Comments

  1. As usual Doug, very entertaining & funny.
    Al

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