By communicating with them, we learned that they were in the bar neither to rob me, nor to beat each other with pool cues as might be suspected. In fact, they were from Finland (!) for Sturgis, continuing their vacation with a ride through southeast Wyoming on to Denver. I figured they would want some shots, or at least a decent beer; instead, all but one of them ordered either coffee or Budweiser bottles. The other's order was a Bud Light, and he was clearly the rebel of the group. One ordered cheesecake. I informed them that Abba was the closest thing to Finnish music we had on the jukebox (I don't think they found the humor in it) and that Sigur Ros and Ace of Base weren't available. They told me that, like most Harley riders, they would prefer Sabbath or Slayer. We settled on Led Zeppelin after I offered to play some Prince (When Doves Cry) on the jukebox.
I learned several things from them. One is that Finns are not good tippers, and in fact studies show that no one tips quite as well as Americans. I also learned that Nokia comprises only 7% of Finland's GDP when I had estimated 15%. Of course, all of them had Nokia phones.
The next day was yesterday. I had the idea to climb a small mountain (more like a rocky hill) near our home in the Snowy Range. On our way up to the trail, we passed an area known for moose. There were four cars pulled over at a stop, so we figured there must be a moose that they were photographing. Much to our surprise, there were not one or two meese, but FIVE. Five male moose, eating and traveling together sounded strange to me; most males of any large mammal species travel alone or in heterogenous packs. But this was like a lone moose who had added several wingmen. My mom theorized that perhaps they were a pack of gay meese. Have you ever heard something so absurd?! I managed to snap some pictures of the moose grazing on grass and wading into the shallow lake. I can't wait to publish them, more later.
Yesterday at work passed uneventfully, but afterwards I had some humorous moments. First of all, I saw a commercial for Monster Ballads, which includes Warrant's Heaven Isn't Too Far Away, Extreme's More Than Words, and of course, Whitesnake's classic ballad Here I Go Again. I immediately felt the urge to buy it. Figuring that I could buy it later, I shelved the idea, but saved the number in my phone as first name: Ballads, last name: Monster. I also wondered under the stars (and a beautiful meteor shower) what linked an old song type mostly utilized in the time of bards with 80's hair metal. You just don't hear ballads made like they used to make them.
Another quite funny story, which reminded me of a scene in Dr. Strangelove (Or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bomb), occurred when I went to visit a friend at his home after work. Evidently fairly intoxicated, he told me several fish stories, and we looked for pictures of these big fish (in these parts you really learn why they're called fish stories) but only found pictures of his baby niece and nephew. While looking at these (obviously, I was thrilled to look through his family album with him) he mentioned something strange. The conversation follows, and I am certain Peter Sellers lovers will recognize it easily:
Dude (all of a sudden): "You know what I want more than anything? I want a woman who I can love. Someone who... I can pass on... I mean, I have certain features, features that I want to share with someone. But I have standards, and my essence... there are good things that I want to pass on, you know, my essence, do you understand what I mean?"
Me: "I think I understand. The essence, it's essential, and there have to be certain standards for passing on your features."I felt much like Captain Mandrake, when it hit me that this guy was really talking about Purity of Essence. Peace on Earth. Purity of Essence. Essential. Meteor Showers. Gay moose. It all fit together finally. I went outside and wrote everything down (in anagram-code format, no less) lest I forget this moment in which I realized what was important, and what was not.