Saturday, October 21, 2006

Dane Train

Please, rest assured. No pedestrians were hurt in the shooting of this photo. The car wasn’t moving yet. This photo is a self-portrait, taken on our maiden “Dane Train” voyage.

The Dane Train is a marvelous, socialist concept. Dog Azure needs to get to place Far North from the Springfield, Missouri area. They toss her in a car with someone who doesn’t mind windshield time, and so begins the train. Someone takes the first couple of hours, and then you find them at a pre-ordained location at the appointed time, looking desperate and somewhat disheveled. They hand the leashes to you, high-tail it into their car, and give themselves whiplash as they lay tire skids in the parking lot in an effort to get beyond cell phone reach before you have a chance to dial them up and say, “As I was pulling into the parking lot, I got an emergency call from my second-cousin’s ex-boyfriend’s brother, and since your car is already pointed in that direction, could you . . .”

You shrug your shoulders, load the crazy kids into the vehicle for their next two-hour leg, and drive like heck to get to the stop where you pass the favor on to the next victim, uh, I mean, driver. I like to think of it as a modern version of the Underground Railroad, but with fur and drool.

And so it goes, until Ms. Azure reaches her final destination. . .

I knew I was in trouble when I was explicitly and profusely thanked for taking Azure for the next 3-hour leg. For the first 40 minutes of my drive through metro Kansas City, Missouri, we treated passers-by to witnessing Azure's special game that she made up for the drive, which consisted of jumping from the front to the back of the vehicle and vice-versa, alternately using the space between the front seats, the space between the passenger seat and the car ceiling, and the space between the front passenger seat and the passenger-side window. After negotiating the construction zones and big-city traffic, I stopped for a much-needed people potty break. Imagine how glad I was to return to the car for this greeting.

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