Where I am not but maybe should be…

I have a rather annoying habit of twittering/facebooking (verbing, anyone?) photos of large suspension bridges when I cross them. I’m sure it gets rather tedious given that this particular large suspension bridge is just about the only one I ever cross. If you are one of my five regular readers, you know that this is the Mackinac Bridge. Contrary to a long-ago Wall St. Journal editorial, it does not connect Michigan with Canada. No. It connects Michigan’s lower peninsula with its upper peninsula. Yes, there is an upper peninsula, sometimes referred to as the (da?) Yoop. Not all of us can just hold up a hand to show people where the heck we live in this beautiful but rather godforsaken state. You have to drive another 50 miles and cross another large bridge to get from Michigan to Canada. That bridge is called the International Bridge and it is not a suspension bridge.

Waaaayyyy waaayyyy back in the day, I knew a person who had an interesting bridge-type adventure driving from somewhere in Michigan’s lower peninsula to the Yoop. This was back in the 70s or thereabouts and he was driving a pickup truck full of, well, paraphernalia. The kind of stuff they sell in what we used to call “head shops”, and one of those was the final destination. But it wasn’t located in Canada. So. As the story goes, he crossed the Mackinac Bridge with no problem. After all, the only thing you have to do to get across the Big Mac is pay the toll at the north side of the bridge, which was $1.50 in those days. Nobody asks you any questions about anything. You are going from the Great Lake State to the Great Lake State. That is all. But then, he apparently forgot that he had crossed the Mackinac Bridge because, when he got to the end of the I75 SUV Speedway, he paid the toll for the International Bridge and crossed *that* and suddenly a Canadian Customs officer was asking, “Well, what do you have to declare?” Our hero woke up immediately! “I have paraphernalia!!! I don’t wanta go to Canada!!!” The Canadian Customs officers told him to turn around and go back across the bridge. I’m not sure what happened on his *return* trip but apparently since he hadn’t actually set foot on Canadian soil, they had to let him back in without any questions. That was waaaayyyy before 911 and it’s within the realm of possibility that the Canucks called the Yanks and said something like, “We’re sending this nut back to you, eh?” and they all had a good laugh. I bet that scenario would play out differently today.

I think I remember being told that the hero of this story died quite a while back, not of natural causes if I remember correctly and I may not. If I’m right, he lived a fast, fun (?) life, and died young. The GG took today’s photo, crossing the Mackinac Bridge. I did not go up. I am feeling like I should have but, for reasons too numerous to list, I worked today and am hanging out with Mouse in the Landfill this weekend. It feels a bit dangereuse for me to want to stay home for so many weekends in a row but I do not get enough alone time these days and that is what re-a-charges me. I’m sure I am missing The Commander doing something crazy like wearing an onion bag on her head or prancing around the living room holding jingle bells up behind her you-know-what. I am very happy to have married a guy who doesn’t mind hanging out with my mother when I’m not there and I am glad my mom has been such a good, tolerant mother-in-law. Have fun up there, you guys. Miss you!

3 Responses to “Where I am not but maybe should be…”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Your mom sounds like a hoot–and you are very French, you dangereuse woman. If I have nothing at all planned for the weekend, I feel at loose ends. But if I have too many activities or too much travel, I don’t look forward to it. An occasional busy weekend interspersed with some quiet times would be perfect. I’ve been over some very cool bridges in Europe and the Narrows Bridge in Tacoma is amazing. (but it scares me to death to drive over it)

  2. Jan Miller Says:

    Happy Birthday to Fran tomorrow!!! Love Jan and Pete

  3. pooh Says:

    To show the whole state of Meesheegan with your hands, do this. Turn your right hand palm-side up – this is the lower peninsula, the part most people outside of MI seem to think is all of it. Now take your left hand, also palm-side up, and stick the index finger to the right, the thumb up for the Keewanaw, and curl the remaining three fingers. * It should like a kid playing Coast Guard and Rum-Runners, which is a game Yooper kids of a certain generation played. LOL. Put both hands together, and you have an approximation of Meesheegan.

    *Actually, it looks more like da YOOP if you hold out both your index and middle finger, and only curl the last two under, but then I couldn’t have referenced CG & RR.