She had no right. She was from MICHIGAN.
I’ve been inundated with
a thousand a question from hundreds of my fans a curious person or two: “How do you remember all your stories?”
Easy. I don’t. They go in the leather-clad cotton pages of this marvelous contraption:
What it’s not:
- a journal
- in possession of a name
- an ephemeris
- a memoir
- an almanac
What it might be:
- a chronicle of reminiscence; perhaps a ledger
- a captain’s log
- an archive of fluke brain occurrences (strikes of rare inspiration)
Writing names, places, details, quotes, sights, sounds, tastes, brain activity and happenings in this allows the telling of stories such as:
A Waitress in Mammoth: How We Made Her Entire Year
We stopped in Mammoth, Wyoming on our way out of Yellowstone to get some food. Naturally, we figured who wouldn’t want to stop at the Mammoth Inn?
Answer: Those who fall off the cliffs during the perilous drive into Mammoth (imagine that road in pitch dark, no warnings for turns in a vehicle that weighs as much as a T-Rex). We had a few close calls, but we ended up making it to the fine municipality of Mammoth. (Mammoth Count: Four.)
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in Wyoming, eat buffalo. DAMN.
I mean bison.
See, you get a judgmental look from the waitress when using the word buffalo. It’s much like speaking Chinese to a Korean person, or French to a German, or calling a water fountain a bubbler (I’m looking at you, Wisconsin). There are things you don’t do in Wyoming, and among them is calling their bison buffalo.
So, as penance:
- Buffalo and bison share the Bovidae family, but they do not belong to the same genus or species.
- Buffalo have larger horns, a shiny coat, are found in Africa and Asia and have been domesticated for over 5,000 years. They are an economic necessity in many countries of the Pacific rim.
- Bison have a fur coat, are found in the American West and Midwest and were nearly hunted to extinction. The opposite of domesticated, the bison’s history with man has been violent and dangerous.
So when we ordered our buffalo sliders and buffalo meatballs in Mammoth, the waitress may or may not have given us a bit of a hard time about it. We apologized.
We I felt like an ignoramus (Josh still calls them buffalo). Then we found out she was from Michigan.
WHAT?! Critique the car industry, not bison/buffalo identification controversy! She was here for a summer job, and it seems like she took her job as a part-time Wyomingite pretty seriously. That’s OK. I would too.
“Yeah. So, what is the difference between the two?” she says, still pretending she had the upper-hand in this conversation. We did some research and informed her of the differences, and we all made a pact never to call buffalo bison or bison buffalo in Mammoth ever again. Mammoth Count: Six.)
Then she spilled a plate of noodles everywhere. Can’t make this up. She was awfully invested in this conversation about Mammoth bison, and I guess she just lost focus for a moment. (Did I mention we have this on video? Oh, we have this on video. I’ll share soon).
We had a few more conversations with her, all of which involved:
- Buffalo/bison puns
- Spilling food
But we left her, and Mammoth, a parting gift:
That is why you keep a captain’s log. (Mammoth Count: Eight, but 11 if you count the fact I used the word Mammoth inside the parenthesis.)