When we go on vacation we have traditions we look forward to. Little things that came about unintentionally, like starting the trip with Snickers bars and Red Vines, or by listening to the Meat Puppets "Too High To Die" CD. On this particular trip my wife told me, "I'm looking forward to doing the crossword puzzle from the Newspaper with you while we drive..."
At first I was like, "Whaaa...?" But then I was like, "Okay." So we did the crossword. In the middle of it, I said, "I think this must be like looking 40 years into our future." Because I can leave a gray hair on my head or watch an episode of The Golden Girls without feeling old but spending a day doing crossword puzzles is only something I would do while bedridden.
Driving across Nevada is comparable to spending a day in bed with a debilitating illness, so we stopped at a gas station and bought a book of crosswords. It only took a couple of randomly selected puzzles to realize that crossword creators totally wimp out and use the same words OVER AND OVER AND OVER.
How many different ways can they find to come up with "PTA, USA, NASA, Mia, Erie," and so on? Every crossword is pretty much the same. The "hard" clues are only hard because they're either lame clues to begin with or because they're vague or obscure. A 1963 Alain Delon film? I don't feel bad for not knowing that or the capital of Qatar off the top of my head.
So I think I will save my crossword adventures exclusively for drives across Nevada.
In a somewhat-related topic, I was talking to my mother and step-father about The Wheel of Fortune game show. I think that I'm pretty good at the game and my stepdad thinks that he is, as well. Over the past several years he has made numerous attempts to earn his spot on the show. Alas, he has failed. He was upset that a friend of his made it onto the show and never won a penny. Why would they choose the sucky guy over a real contender?
After not being chosen for The Wheel a second time and watching another acquaintance of his get on and go nowhere, my stepdad has formed a theory: Pat Sajek is insecure about his short stature and refuses to allow anyone on the show who towers over the humble host. My stepfather is pretty tall. Pat Sajek does not realize that he would be willing to stand in a hole if that's what it takes.
If Pat Sajek insists on being petty then my stepfather understands and he continues to be a fan of the show. My stepfather has moved on and has won a chance to spin the big wheel in the California Lotto.
No hard feelings.