So this afternoon I’m driving to a little town called Healy to visit the post office. I’m not sure you could really call Healy a ‘town’, because all there appears to be here, is a bus depot, a petrol station, a dinky grocery/liquor store and (oddly enough) a quilting shop in someone’s house. But seeing that Alaskans seem to classify Juneau as a ‘city’, with its 30,000 odd (very odd) people, and no telecommunications stores whatsoever, then I guess Healy can be a ‘town’. *shrug*
Either way, I was headed to this small village(?) because the Denali Post Office was unable to mail my parcel to Australia, due to the fact that they don’t have customs forms in their post office – fuck knows why they can give you an International Flat Rate mailing box, and they can send it for you, but they don’t have the customs forms that need to accompany it. Oh well, ours is not to wonder why! Anyway, I was driving along the Parks Highway around Mile 238 (yeah, another Alaskan weirdness, nothing on this highway has a street number, just a mile marker and the place you’re looking for could be anywhere within the mile on either side of the mile marker) when this big blue pick up truck starts tailgating me.
Now this is pretty much situation normal over here, from what I can gather… no one ever seems to be just doing the speed limit anywhere so far. In Canada there’s no speed cameras so it’s go for broke. And in Alaska, everyone seems to be in such a hurry even though their ‘good’ roads are positively shot to shit from the harsh winter weather. So this guy is following right up my butt and I’m trying to keep up the speed so as not to piss him off too badly while looking for somewhere to pull over and let him go past, because there’s no where for him to safely overtake.
Of course, when you’re doing near 70mph in a 55mph zone with a speed racer of a monster truck driver behind you – THAT’S when you’re going to go flying past the first Alaskan State Trooper you’ve seen since you got here. So me and the guy behind me found ourselves both getting pulled over by two State Troopers in two separate cruisers and I got that horrid backwards or ‘bad’ adrenaline rush go over me and thought, ‘Fark… This is so not going to be fun.’ :S
The Trooper gets our of his cruiser and heads towards me and could not have been more stereotypical if he tried. He swaggered over my car, and didn’t take off his highly reflective TopGun style RayBans, hitched up his belt about just under his too many donuts belly and said ‘Afternoon Ma’am, did y’all know you was jus’ speedin’ in a 55 zone back there?’ They have a strange way up here of addressing you in the singular and the plural in the same sentence that makes no sense at all! He had his book out and I had a really crappy sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach as I replied –
‘G’day. No, I wasn’t aware it was a 55 zone, sir. I thought it was 65 through here, as I hadn’t seen any signs for a while. To be honest I was trying to stay away from that drongo who was tailgating me, while looking for somewhere to get out out of his way!’ Oh yep. Totally trying to play the cute dumb blonde Aussie tourist on this one. He asked me what a ‘drongo’ was as I handed over my license. Hoping for the best, I quickly explained that a ‘drongo’ was someone of limited intellectual capacities and prone to doing foolish things, which gave him a bit of a chuckle. He took my license and went back to his cruiser and then I saw him radio his buddy who had pulled up the monster truck dude behind me.
I swear I must have Mr K’s Parking Fairy with me today because he came back, returned my license, and told me he was ‘lettin’ me off with a warnin’, and that I ‘shud pullova an’ let the drowngoes go on an’ pass me next time, cuz welcum to ‘Merrica ma’am, where no ones got no patience!’ No shit.
So yay. Thank you, Mr State Trooper for letting me off with a warning, and Thank you handy Aussie accent and strange slang for breaking the ice! 😛