Taking turns for the worse

Helping out-of-town relatives drive into Grand Junction for a visit ...

(Phone rings)

YOU: Where are you guys?

FAMILY MEMBER: We’re west of town somewhere. Not sure of the name.

YOU: Do you see any fruit trees?


YOU: Do you see any fruit at all?


YOU: OK. You’re in Fruita.

FAMILY: Of course.

YOU: If you need gas, there are two places up ahead.

FAMILY: Looks like there’s a “Pilot Travel Center.”

YOU: A Love’s too.

FAMILY: Um, I love you, too.

YOU: No. A Love’s truck stop.


YOU: Exit at Horizon Drive, at the roundabout.

FAMILY: Round about where?

YOU: No, I said “roundabout.” It’s a circle thing, where — never mind. Just go to 12th Street. It’s by the Safeway.

FAMILY: Good. I didn’t want to go on the dangerous way.

YOU: Now go south past the college. Be sure to watch out for—


FAMILY: I just hit a college student!

YOU: Is he OK?

FAMILY: He’s on my windshield, screaming at me!

YOU: Yeah, that happens. Try the wipers.

FAMILY: It worked. Now where?

YOU: Go south, then west on North.


(Five minutes later)

YOU: Where are you guys?

FAMILY: Aunt Mamie had to use the bathroom, so we stopped at a park.

YOU: Which one?

FAMILY: Let me see. It says, “Whitman Park.”

YOU: Oh Lord.

(Five minutes later)

YOU: How is she?

FAMILY: Traumatized. She says she walked into the bathroom and saw two homeless people engaging in an unnatural act.

YOU: I apologize.

FAMILY: She says she hasn’t seen anything that disgusting since she accidently walked in on Grandpa Earl scrubbing his kitchen floor naked.

YOU: I’m sorry, and — wait. What?

FAMILY: Yeah, toward the end, he was starting to forget to wear pants.

YOU: God rest his soul.

FAMILY: So now where? We’re headed south on Fourth Street.

YOU: At Ute, turn.

FAMILY: But it says “No U-turns.”

YOU: I said, “Ute turn” not — never mind. Just get on D Road.

FAMILY: I AM on the road. Do you think I’m driving on the sidewalk?

YOU: No, I said “D Road,” not “THE” road. 

FAMILY: I missed it. I’m on something called the “Riverside Parkway.”

YOU: Good.


YOU: D Road becomes the Riverside Parkway at 27 ½, but then turns back into D Road at 29.

FAMILY: Of course it does.

(Five minutes later)

YOU: So where are you?

FAMILY: Not sure.

YOU: Do you see any orchards?


YOU: No orchards at all?


YOU: OK. You’re on Orchard Mesa.

FAMILY: Of course. What street am I looking for?

YOU: C Road.

FAMILY: Yes, I see the road. It’s not exactly foggy out.

YOU: No, “C” Road. “C” as in “cat.”

FAMILY: I’m so lost. I don’t know what street I’m on.

YOU: Unaweep?

FAMILY: Yes, I’m going to weep. This is very stressful.

YOU: No, “Unaweep Avenue.” C Road is the same as Unaweep.

FAMILY: Of course it is.

YOU: Let’s meet by the mall for lunch. You’re going to want to head back toward town, so get on Highway 6 and 50.

FAMILY: Which one should I get on first? Six or 50?

YOU: Yes.


YOU: North Avenue turns into 6 & 50 at 1st, or 26 Road, but then turns into I-70B at 22 Road, or maybe 21 ½.

FAMILY: And I thought this was going to be complicated.

(Five minutes later)

YOU: We’re here at Chili’s. Are you guys close?

FAMILY: Yeah, we’re at a bookstore. Aunt Mamie went inside to get something to get her mind off of that disturbing incident back at the park.

YOU: You’re at Barnes & Noble?

FAMILY: No. Let’s see. The sign says, “24 Road Bookstore.”

YOU: Oh Lord.

(Five minutes later)

YOU: How is she?

FAMILY: Traumatized. She says she hasn’t seen anything that disgusting since she walked in on Grandpa Earl changing a light bulb naked.

YOU: Let’s just meet at our house on the Redlands. Just go south on 24 Road all the way.

FAMILY: That’s it? No incomprehensible directions? No idiotic multiple street names?

YOU: No. Although 24 Road is also the Redlands Parkway, which is also South Broadway, but only past the regular Broadway, which is also called State Highway 340.

FAMILY: Of course it is.

Email Steve Beauregard at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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