On Colorado’s Interstate 70, mile marker 420 signs kept disappearing, winding up in the possession of pot smokers, who wanted a snicker-worthy souvenir to celebrate their favorite pastime. 420, in case you live under a rock, is a revered number in cannabis culture, shorthand for “let’s get high.” The term was invented by a group of San Rafael, California teenagers in 1971, who planned to meet at 4:20 to smoke weed. April 20 has since become a counterculture holiday across the land, and is especially celebrated in (where else?) Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco. And they say hippies are extinct!
In an effort to put a stop to the sign crime, the Colorado Department of Transportation came up with a rather novel solution. They replaced the 420 mile marker with a sign reading 419.99 miles instead.
Pretty freakin’ clever, if you ask me.
This isn’t the first time CDOT had to get creative with road signs. Amorous bandits kept taking off with Mile Marker 69 signs near Fort Collins. No need to explain the why behind that one, I hope. This is supposed to be a family blog, yo.
On a related note, my parents and I got into a conversation on Saturday about the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes in Washington state. They are staunchly and conservatively against this, while I voted YES and helped get the initiative passed. It’s a touchy subject, to be sure. Especially considering Audrey and a friend were approached last week and offered weed by a strange man. Gulp. At least they were honest about it, which gave me the opportunity to sit down with her and say DON’T YOU DARE EVER IN A MILLION YEARS. (Actually, I didn’t phrase it like that, but I did tell her to stay away from drugs, especially those offered by strange men. Fortunately, she knows better than that). But then I turned around and argued that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol and that it’s got a place in society beyond use by those with medical conditions. The last thing in the world I want to do is glorify pot smoking, but I also hate to condemn it, as well. I personally feel that smoking marijuana is not on the same par as taking other drugs, and if people want to toke up behind closed doors where they aren’t harming anybody, let ’em. Obviously I feel differently if they step behind the wheel of a car while high and cause an accident. It’s all about being responsible, of course. I guess I just have a live-and-let-live philosophy, based on my attitude toward gay marriage and other social issues. And while I disagree with my parents’ stance, I certainly respect it.
Let Me Hear Your Body Talk
In less-controversial news, Tara and I quit LA Fitness last week, and switched to a membership with 24 Hour Fitness. We have nothing for or against either club, but the bottom line is, we were unable to find a good time to work out consistently at LA Fitness. First we tried mornings, but getting up at 4:50, dragging yourself out in the cold and rain, and exercising for 30 minutes or so max before going to work just sucked. We were tired, and our workout time was limited since we had to shower and prep for work still. So then we switched to working out in the evenings after we got home from work, but that wasn’t ideal, either. We were tired from working all day, and hungry, and still had to worry about cooking dinner. We’d end up eating at 8:00 some nights and heading upstairs for bed at 9:00. No bueno. But this 24 Hour Fitness facility is smack dab between both of our jobs, just a couple of minutes away. This offers the perfect solution: working out during our lunch hour! We’re just a week in and it’s already become an established routine. We’re able to get in about a 40-minute workout during a time of day where we have plenty of energy. We don’t lose any sleep in the process, and aren’t eating dinner close to bedtime.
However, now there’s the issue of The Locker Room.
I feel like an adolescent still, because the sight of naked men letting it all hang out is something I’ll never get used to. I’ve seen more pasty, flabby buttocks in the past week than at any time ever. It’s as though I landed on a planet where nudity in social settings is the norm. Some white-haired old guy was talking about “great football next weekend” and all I could do was nod my head in agreement while carefully looking the other way in order to avoid his dangling junk. I mean, I’m no prude or anything, but I had been avoiding the shower because it seemed far too stressful. I’ve ramped up my workouts though, which translates to sweat, and while I’m not the type to ever really smell bad, I do get self-conscious over returning to the office with sweat coating the back of my neck and my shirt collar. So today I swallowed my pride and made my way to the showers.
Only to discover the stalls don’t have doors.
What the hell kind of voyeuristic outfit are they trying to run here?! I thought as I faced the wall, hunched over, scrubbing and rinsing as quickly as humanly possible. Had I known there were no doors, I would have made a beeline for the shower on the opposite end, against the far wall, rather than the one right up front that everybody else walks by. I felt like a zoo animal on display.
I realize as I write this that I’ll probably never join a nudist club in my life.
Meanwhile, Tara regales me with tales of her locker room experience, and I can’t help but envy her. “You wouldn’t believe all the boobs I saw today,” she’ll say, and if that isn’t turning the screw just a little bit tighter, I don’t know what is.
“I’m sure they’re all old and ugly,” I say, in an effort to stave off any additional jealousy. “Floppy, saggy, and…”
My voice trails off because I can tell by the look on her face that they are anything but that. A fact that she confirms without hesitation. She’s using words like “perky” and “curves” and I’m just tuning it all out, because life is so damn unfair…