While visiting Salt Lake City, I spent a morning visiting The Red Butte Garden at the University of Utah. The gardens are very nicely done, and were I ever to be in the vicinity again, I think it would merit another visit. However, any return trips would probably prove at least slightly less amusing, but only because Mike was in top form that day.
Mike still hadn't calmed down after the whole baggage debacle. Having lived with the guy for a big part of my life, I knew that one of two things could quickly sour the sweet smell of the Wisteria overhead. 1) He would run ahead of us and get cranky about how Mama Crow and I always get lost. Or, 2) He would get bored and the boredom would devolve into crankiness.
Luckily, Mama Crow is an expert on his habits. She landed a preemptive strike with finesse that can only come from a delicate combination of putting up with Mike's antics since the mid-1960s and regularly dealing with 1o-year-olds with behavioral issues. It was swift, it was clever, and most important to my sanity level, it got the job done:
"Mike, if you're going to hold the map, you have to be our tour guide."
"I'm not doing that!" he protests, but not 10 feet up the path, he points to an elevated sprinkler head perched over a sprawl of native plants crawling up the hill. He turns to me and says, "This is a Rainbird sprinkler head. It pops up and sprays this whole son of a bitch."
Mike took this tour guide job very seriously. He pointed out various flora with colorful new names, from Albino Bison Munch to Big Chief's Favorite Asswipe. He pointed out "turdilizer" left behind and indicated various grades of PVC pipe left exposed in an area under construction.
When we had about finished our tour, he asked if the garden had been worth the price of admission. I said something along the lines of yes, definitely and wasn't it nice to enjoy the scenery and the nice day with good company and didn't he notice that we laughed at all of his jokes. To which Mike replied, "I HAVE NOT BEEN TELLING ANY JOKES."