Greetings From Old People Camp

On the road with Thelma, Louise and Sally

suzdavis489@yahoo.comOctober 22, 2013 

Suzanne Davis

Thelma, Louise and Sally recently took a road trip. Louise and Sally, my geezer soul sisters, consented rather impetuously, to accompany me (Thelma) on a little jaunt with Lance, the travel trailer. Three anonymous, mature women in the wilds of Oregon — an adventure in the making.

One of the things I conveniently neglected to mention to Louise and Sally was the fact that I’d had a recent mouse issue under the hood of my truck, i.e. there was a dead body in there somewhere and every time the air conditioner was fired up, Eau d’Mousie permeated the cab. In my defense, I thought that over time, the “problem” had resolved itself, so to speak. As it turned out, once we ventured into warmer climes ... well, let’s just say Thelma hoped Sally and Louise wouldn’t return home with hantavirus.

As you know, choosing road trip names is never easy, and I admit that the Thelma and Louise handles are reaching their saturation point. I love the name Sally though. I get nostalgic when I hear it. She was, you remember, the kid sister of the notorious Dick and Jane. Those little white suburban twerps: offspring of Mother and Father, reputed slacker caretakers of Puff and Rex, and alleged owners of PONY! OMG I loved Pony! I wanted Pony to come and live with me and forget about that stupid Sally, Dick and Jane family! If Dick, Jane and Sally lived next door to me, I would so have been Jane’s best friend. I would even have been nice to that Dick guy, and Sally would have looked up admiringly as I gazed down from atop that perfect little pinto with the awesome me-sized saddle. As for how Sally met the infamous Thelma and Louise, it is my understanding it involved a chance encounter in grade nine while lighting up in the girls’ bathroom.

But enough about road names, back to our trio. We learned a lot of cool stuff in Oregon. For instance, in one town, maybe it was Shady Cove, there was a sign that advertised tans for only $3! From the name of the place, you understand why one might have to pay for a tan, being so shady and all. But when you think about it, a tan in Avila Beach costs more than that. It’s $5 just to park — the tan is free, of course. The sign in Shady Cove didn’t say which body parts would be involved. Louise couldn’t imagine a full-body tan for three bucks. So what was it? Left arm? Right elbow? Sally, Louise and Thelma still have questions, but that’s the thing about travel — it always leaves one wanting to know more.

Louise and I got sprayon tans once for a trip we took with another teacher friend to a conference in Las Vegas (and before you get all hot and bothered about teachers in Sin City at district expense, it was on our own dime!). In the hotel room I (Thelma) felt pretty fetching in my $25 dollar tan and $19 dollar Costco bathing suit. Then I took a twirl in front of the full-length and glanced at my thighs. I hadn’t even turned 60, so Iwas really just into my freshmen year of Seniorhood and consequently, had not much fashion panache. Now that I’m mature and into my sophomore, sexagenarian years, I have enough sense to dress like Susan B. Anthony. Sexagenarian indeed — if only real life mimicked words.

Meanwhile, back in Oregon, the three travelers moseyed through Bend, drove the Cascade Lakes Highway, complained bitterly about clear-cut forests, gagged on mouse fumes, gazed down at Crater Lake and finally found themselves in historic Jacksonville — with a locked trailer and no keys. Thelma seized the opportunity to blame Louise who was last to occupy Lance, but of course Louise, no fool, insisted that she had passed the keys off to Thelma. Sally went to light up and hang out in the girls’ bathroom at the Chevron station.

Would you believe me if I said they left Lance in J-Ville, downed a beer and hitched back to Shady Cove for a $3 tan?

SuzanneDavis is happily retired and living in the South County with her husband and their three dogs.

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