My son cracks me up! The boy calls me at the strangest of times, he's in the Army, he should be marching or something - it was 5:00 a.m. his time - he was too excited for his own good. He was telling me, in the overly hypertensive way that he explains any and everything new and exciting to him, that he was driving a new Dodge! A truck! He was driving it all over the town of Fairbanks, and he didn't have to give it back to its owner for 10 days. The boy was in Heaven. He's wanted transportation in the Klondike for months. Transportation other than the Stryker tank/vehicle that he drives when he's actually being the greatest soldier on the face of the Earth that is.
"Mom," he cried out "I'm in Anchorage." He's stationed 6 hours away in Fairbanks, this was a concern for me. He continued: "My buddy came through the dorm asking if anyone wanted to take him to the airport, he was going on leave - Hell yeah! I got out of bed faster than snot! (his words) I was there man! I was there!" Then there were some screaming noises, hoots, and a few more obscenities that I don't wish to bore you with - the Army doesn't curtail the language thing - and it's clear that they may actually encourage it. Reuben excels in explicit exchanges. What had apparently happened was simple: The buddy needed a ride to the airport, trusted my son to take him, handed his keys to my boy, and went to Birmingham - probably praying that his insurance carrier never got the call that he was filing a claim on an occasional driver from Fairbanks while he was doing a little R & R in Alabama. The minute the buddy stepped foot out of his truck, the truck was gone! Gone as in 10 days of wasting gas, driving endlessly through the highs and hills of the never-ending mammoth that is Alaska - Reuben's always wanted to see exactly how far it was from Fairbanks to Anchorage - June is a good time to test that in a borrowed truck.
Makes me think - would the Army buddy had been better off taking a cab? Doesn't Fairbanks have a metro bus that picks up and takes people from point A to point B when necessary? At least one thing is certain - the mileage on the Dodge will have increased and the smile on my son's face will not have decreased - not for some time.