Last week, Vol Fan and I had some time off from work and you know what that means! Adventure time!
We left Abilene heading toward Carlsbad, New Mexico. If you look at the shortest route between those two points, you will see that we went directly through the oil fields. Currently there is another oil boom beginning in west Texas - the Cline Shale boom. There is activity galore and hardly a hotel room to be found. For those unafraid of hot, hard work, there is plenty of employment available. The oil fields aren't exactly a photogenic place but they are exciting nonetheless.
It was windy on the day we were driving through. The winds in west Texas pick up dust and on this day, they had picked up plenty! I took this as we were heading into a particularly heavy section.
We stopped for lunch at Outlaw Grill in Eunice, New Mexico and then we realized that possibly we had stepped into an alternate universe. Or maybe the heat was just too much and had driven everyone mad. Or maybe aliens had taken over. Or maybe the water was tainted.
The Outlaw Grill and our waitress looked normal enough as she smiled and brought our drinks. The problem began when we tried to order. Vol Fan placed our order of an appetizer and a burger entree. The waitress then turned to me, asking what my order was. I said that we just planned to share what he had ordered.
The waitress looked at me like I had sprouted another head and said, "You can't share." Her response caught me so off-guard that I mumbled something about needing time to look at the menu again.
As she walked away, Vol Fan and I turned to each other, trying to understand why we couldn't share. Nothing we ordered had free refills. It wasn't a salad bar. Nothing.
When she returned, we told her that we would just pay for our drinks and be on our way. She offered to ask the manager if we could share. His answer? We could share but just this one time!! We were both immediately reminded of The Soup Nazi on Seinfeld and could do nothing but laugh.
When we were trying to pay our bill, we stood at the register and stood at the register. Finally she came over to take our money. Our total was $21. All I had was two $20s so I handed them to her, expecting change. She just stared blankly at us and then said "Oh.......I have to find some change". Um, yeah?!?
Later, I googled the huge operation I had seen outside of town. All our questions were answered. We had joked about tainted water but I think it is a very real possibility. It was a uranium enrichment plant.
And the adventures had begun.