(Because every other post should be about Wyoming, you know?)
“We don’t smoke marijuana in Muskogee
We don’t take our trips on LSD
We don’t burn our draft cards down on Main Street
‘Cause we like livin’ right and bein’ free”
This story doesn’t really take place in Thermopolis. The name is just a placeholder for any old town in Wyoming. I don’t want to say exactly where I overheard the following conversation, since Wyoming towns generally trend towards the small and isolated. Somebody would probably pinpoint exactly when and where I’d been inadvertently eavesdropping, remember what I looked like, and I’d never be welcomed back.
Or something like that.
Anyway, the setting for this one-sided, paraphrased conversation is a restaurant where the food should be spicy, but it isn’t in the slightest because you’re deep in the heartland, where the closest thing you’ll find to hot sauce is a bottle of Heinz 57. In front of me there’s a table full of middle-aged women dressed business casual, their hair done up in that immaculately hairsprayed way that to me, as a guy, defies physical explanation.
How do you get your hair to do stuff like that?
“Oh, did anybody tell you about the story about the new guy, X?” (Editor’s note: Of course his real name isn’t X.)
They’re all smiles and giggles, picking at their food idly.
“Well,” she stops to smirk. “X came into work on his first day just reeking of… weed.”
“He wasn’t high, was he?”
“No, no. I don’t think so. Don’t get me wrong, he seems like a really nice kid and all, but I finally had to have Y talk to him and tell him, you can’t come in to work like that. And on your first day! I guess he stayed with some friends in Colorado for a couple weeks, and the smell got into his work clothes. Aw, who knows?”
“You really think he was telling the truth?”
“I think so. But I wanted to say, honey, this is Wyoming. We don’t do that stuff here.”
“And I’m proud to be an Wyo from Thermopolis
A place where even squares can have a ball
We still wave Old Glory down at the courthouse
And white lightnin’ is still the biggest thrill of all”