Category Archives: Humor

Stranded In Big Cottonwood Canyon: My first date gone awry

The following is a re-working of an article I wrote for the Tooele Transcript Bulletin a few years ago.

Maybe some things are just meant to be—no matter how hard you try to screw them up.

“We’re not too far away from the city, are we?” Meadow asked, veiling the uncertainty in her voice as best she could.  “Nah,” I reassured her, not elaborating that my definition of the term “far” at this particular moment was wildly subjective and that 4.5 miles by foot, in the mountains, at midnight, might be pushing the upper boundary of “not far.”

“Not way far,” I clarified.  What else could I say?

In hindsight, a night hike along what my friends and I referred to as “Certain Death Trail” in Big Cottonwood Canyon might not have been the best idea for a first date.  Especially given the fact that Meadow had just moved to Utah from the utterly flat state of Texas and had never been hiking before.  Somehow these thoughts failed to cross my mind a few days prior, when we met at a gathering of friends and I was arrested by her sultry hazel eyes.

“I’ll take her hiking,” I thought. “Girls dig outdoorsy guys who can take them on awesome hikes.  One look at the city from a canyon and she’ll be mine.”

Turns out my mistake wasn’t driving up the canyon or dragging her on a steep-ish two mile hike.  My slip-up occurred between those two events, but became apparent only after we had returned to trailhead parking lot and I noticed my keys were missing.

Initially, I convinced myself they must have slipped out of my jacket pocket at the overlook near the top. But a return to the top, scouring the mountainside by flashlight along the way, ruled that option out.  Meadow was incredibly patient with the repeat of the hike.

(Miles walked so far: 4)

I didn’t even want to consider the second possibility—that this strapping trail runner who, prior to the second two mile hike was well on his way to getting the girl, had accidentally locked his keys in the trunk of his 1991 Dodge Spirit.

The date, by all logic, was unsalvageable.  It was time for me to suck it up and somehow get this unfortunate girl back to civilization.  It was decision time.

Plan A: Somehow break into my car without shattering the windows and before she starts getting cold.

No dice.

Plan B: Start Walking. Stay upbeat. Avoid mountain lions and potential serial killers offering us rides. Then pick up the pieces of my shattered pride at the bottom.

“Hey, at least it’s downhill,” I told her.  She didn’t seem amused.

We joked about our misfortune, but our guarded laughter dwindled as we rounded curve after curve of quiet mountain road. We walked at least a mile (miles walked to this point: 5) before a normal-looking couple in a pickup offered to drive us to a pay phone (my phone was with my keys in the trunk). The awkward chitchat made the ride seem much longer than it was, but we were glad to be out of the mountains.

“So what are you going to do now?” The driver asked with all the compassion he could muster and still keep a straight face.

“Probably call a friend,” I lied as we climbed out of his cab at a grocery store in the valley, knowing full well that calling a friend would prove even more tragic than locking my keys in my car 4.5 miles up a canyon on a first date. The only thing worse than scaring a girl off is seeing her the next week at Leatherby’s, sharing a Banana Split with your friend that so nobly rescued her from her nightmare first date with you.

No, friends were definitely not an option. I picked up the pay phone and dialed the only person who could look past my idiocy and get me out of this mess. My mom arrived in short order, and we were soon driving back up the canyon with my backup key.

When we retrieved my keys and pulled out of the trailhead parking lot, I looked at the girl I was certain I’d never see again.

“I’m at a loss,” I blabbered, feeling about an inch tall. “I just don’t know what to say. I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay,” she assured me, hinting that all hope wasn’t lost.. “This will be a great story!”

I agreed, and 14 years and 6 kids later, I still do.


Funny Tees: AD/HD

I am a proud owner of this awesome t-shirt.

Leave a comment

Posted by on November 5, 2010 in Humor, T-shirt of the week


Tags: ,

Funny Tees: Stop Following Me, Freaks!

Stop following me, freaks! from

1 Comment

Posted by on September 17, 2010 in Humor, T-shirt of the week



Finding flags: The dis-orienteering sport of moving

photo by Clint Thomsen

A couple Saturdays ago I put my orienteering skills to the test on a professional course.  Orienteering can be a frustrating sport.  Your course is outlined for you, your terrain described in detail.  Control points are clearly marked.  Everything’s right there, but if the sun’s shining just so and your tired, and you’ve misread your compass by a few degrees, you might as well be lost in a foreign land.

Don’t get me wrong– it’s a fun sport– but as you’ll read in tonight’s Transcript Bulletin (and here on Monday), locating fluorescent orange and white striped flags on a desert hillside proved more challenging than I expected.

I had some truly disoriented moments out on that course, but I discovered (or re-discovered) last week that nothing is more disorienting than moving to a new home.

It’s been nearly a week since our family relocated to another corner of Stansbury Park, and while I’m confident that everything from the old house made it into the new one, we still have no earthly clue where anything is.

Like the box (or bag, or bin) containing my work clothes.  Or the basket (or bag) containing any of my shoes.  I have a sneaking suspicion that the box we packed all of our dishes and silverware in (the one labeled ‘KITCHEN’ in black permanent marker) is somewhere in the garage.

Ah, but that box of old cassette tapes I haven’t opened since 1995?  Living room, baby.  Front and center.  Right next to the pile of blue jeans from my pre-love handle days and my childhood Voltron toys.

I have a theory as to why this happens every time we move.  You see, the weeks leading up to the move are spent carefully packing non-essential items.  The stuff you need every day stays put until moving day.  Then it’s crunch time.  Things are packed haphazardly, thrown into random boxes, and hauled away and stowed under that “let’s-just-get-outta-here-already” mentality.

And that’s when the little world you’ve carefully crafted for the last decade turns upside down and inside out, and the stack of old middle school yearbooks ends up on your kitchen counter, while your pots and pans are nowhere to be found.

Things should improve as this massive Rubik’s cube comes together.  Until then, I’m laying low, hoping the boss doesn’t notice I’m wearing Christmas slippers, and rocking to Peter Cetera.

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 22, 2010 in Humor, Random Musings


Friday Funnies: Satanic rooster, anyone?

If you want to buy or sell something in Utah, there’s only one place to go– KSL Classifieds.  My brother T sent me this one last month.  My favorite line: “criticizes you as you work, etc.”  Looks like the ad expired on Wednesday.  I wonder if this guy got any takers.

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 16, 2010 in Humor


It’s a great day for some Sasquatch Jerky

If only I was in the position to pony up $500 for a bag!

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 1, 2010 in Humor


Rebels destroyed my Death Star – Please Help!

Look who dropped by the local grocery store parking lot today!  I was on my lunch break when I spotted ol’ Vader panhandling on the corner.  He graciously posed for this picture.

Leave a comment

Posted by on March 10, 2010 in Humor