Wyoming Social Life / Not what you think

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I drove the dogs south to one of my favorite spots to walk and photograph (15 miles from town and nothing in between) Got in the truck to drive home: cranked fine, but would not start. Hmmmm. Waited, tried again, no luck, so I got out my cellphone: no service. Sun had gone down; I contemplated spending the night.

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Walked out to the highway to flag someone down. Waited, waited. Getting dark – finally a little car from Minnesota. Here’s where it gets social: they had a better cellphone, but of course I couldn’t figure out how to dial 911. It was peculiar – the numbers on the pad activated without touching them. So if I waved my finger anywhere near a number it activated. Instead of 911, I dialed something like 990#  001901.

I felt so Asperger, standing next to a car with two strangers, yelling at them, “How do make this thing work?” The woman took it and dialed 911 and handed it back, but forgot to hand me a headset to speak into, so I spent 30 seconds yelling at the dispatcher, who couldn’t hear me. I of course got the headset on backwards, so the dispatcher only  caught a word or two: the couple had to tell me how to put on the headset, and I actually got the microphone in front of my mouth before the dispatcher gave up.

I felt so Asperger!

Success! A Sheriff’s Deputy was on the way, but the closest one was about 35 miles away. The couple refused to leave me “out in the middle of nowhere” alone, and we went out to my truck. It turned out that they transport vehicles all over the country and were returning from delivering a trailer to Washington State. Other than Fred barking like the Hound from Hell, we had a pleasant hour of chit chat about vehicles, jobs, travel, how shitty the economy is and their Bull Mastiff that weighs 180 pounds and doesn’t travel with them. This encounter reminded me of many, many similar situations when I traveled for three years in the southwest. It’s always amazed me how many people make their living “on the road” in nearly constant travel.

Yippee! The Deputy Sheriff arrived. He decided a tow truck was the answer and had the sheriff’s office arrange for one; this was good! It was dark by then, so we gabbed about life as a “police guy” versus being a (former) fireman in Denver; what a shock Wyoming was when he moved here for his new job, but a decade later, he still likes it. He’s on his second wife. She worries about his job, but actually, not much happens except vehicle accidents and domestic violence. We talked about trucks and cars. I found long ago that when needing to converse with unknown males, vehicles will keep the convo going for hours. Dogs too. My 1972 Chevy C-10 is a hit: seems every middle aged guy owned one.

At last, out of the darkness, a big tow truck. The dogs stayed in the truck; Fred was too tired to bark. I rode in the tow truck and gabbed with the tow truck man. Cars, dogs, what’s wrong with our town. He actually managed to drop the Dodge in a tight spot behind the house. Poor truck; poor me. I’m stranded, and existence is not possible here without a vehicle. How much is this going to cost? It’s mind-boggling. Two trucks; neither available. The Dodge – probably the fuel pump. The Chevy needs two tires; maybe much cheaper. I don’t have money for either. I’ll run out of groceries in two days. Order pizza? Walk to the convenience store a mile away? Cheetos and burritos and beef jerky. How did my life turn out this way? I don’t even want to think about it.

But luckily, I’m Asperger. I solve problems. Oh crap!

The point is that I’m perfectly able to chit chat with strangers, and enjoy it, so why do I have so much trouble with other social interaction?

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