Saturday, June 13, 2009

Adv #7 Continued: HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO ME! One year on the road...

My “anniversary” I guess we could call it?

Yep, it was 1 year earlier on June 13th that I closed the door to my garage and headed out for the motorcycle trip to California. It sure does put a smile on my face to think that those initial plans to work for Suntrek have turned into a much larger adventure. The work I did as a tour guide across Canada and the U.S. really set the stage for what has become a much greater indulgence into my desire to travel, and quite a few of you out there have been comparing me to Forrest Gump with all the places I’m seeing and things I’m doing. (Well…at least that’s why I think you’re comparing me to Forrest…. : ) ????

Since most of these blog posts have been about motorcycle riding, partying and people I’ve met along the way, I thought for this post it’d be nice to point out a bit of a deep, dark secret I’ve been keeping.

What I mean is….did you ever have a strange thought or impulse that…no matter how embarrassing it would be to reveal it, ya just have to share it anyway? Well, I’m about to reveal an embarrassing part of me no matter how sick you might think I am as a result. I should explain that this “impulse” revolves around two things: Dogs and rubber-bands.

First, I need to make it clear that I absolutely love dogs, and it’s tough to think that I don’t have one for myself. The wagging of the tail, that little hip-shake that develops when the tail-wagging gets out of control, and the way they appear to almost “smile” when they’re panting and bursting with energy just because they’re near you. A good pooch is always up for whatever you want to do, especially if it means an adventure outside your home. But at the same time, you can arrive back home after what might have been the worst day of your life, and your pal is always waiting there for you, often seeming that he’s just about to say something out loud with all the gestures of affection being displayed. He’s so happy to see you, and it’s always time to play. Let’s face it: He’s such a good boy….and he doesn’t even know it.

Dogs are everywhere in Latin America. They run the streets freely sometimes in a pack, but often just alone searching for food. Obviously the lack of control over spaying and neutering surely is a factor in this, but they also thrive because they’ve developed the “street smarts” that Fluffy and Scruffy never are forced to develop while they slumber on your couch and eat the food you put before them every day. For example, the dogs here in Chile actually stay on the sidewalk to the street corner and wait for the “WALK” signal to flash in their favor before crossing an intersection. Even without a group of people to walk along with for safety, they must have learned what that flashing light means, having spent so much time in the streets. Of the thousands and thousands of dogs I’ve seen along this trip, I’ve never yet seen one get hit by a car. Oh, they come close…..but they seem to really understand just how close they can get to that car before it means trouble to them.

Because they’re so adapted to street-life, they slumber in the sun often in the strangest of places. Like right in the middle of a busy bus-stop, or in the middle of a sidewalk during rush-hour while pedestrians have to step all around them. Some of them have the smarts to rest off to the side under a bench or something, but many just lie in the middle of all the action like they don’t have a care in the world.

It’s this incredible “comfort” they seem to have that brings me back to this impulse that I just can’t seem to shake. Lying there so relaxed and sleeping while the hustle of the city surrounds them. Maybe I’m just a little jealous that they are so relaxed in a situation I certainly don’t get comfortable in.


It never fails: Every time I walk past one of these pooches resting so peacefully, I think about how much fun it would be if I had a rubber band. I think: "There’s another pooch…..basking in the sun, with not a care in his mind," and I want so much just to sneak up behind him, reach down with a rubber band & pull back and give him a quick “snap” just to let him know he’s not alone. Not with full-strength or enough to do any damage or anything. Just enough for him to feel a quick sting, jump up from his sleep, and let out a little “yip!” And where would I snap him?


Then when he realizes he’s not really in danger, that it only stung a little and he’s done dancing around to shake it off, I just want to look him right in the eye and say “SURPRISE!”

So now you know the deepest and darkest thoughts that make up Eric. Hold it against me all you want, cause that’s the worst of me. Well, unless I actually carry out this impulse….then I guess that’s the worst of me….

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