The story behind the name:

One evening, at the Old Broadway Grill in Fargo, North Dakota, my brother caught the end of a Mountain Dew commercial. In the commercial, a Mountain Dew drinker was riding a shark in the ocean. My brother exclaimed in surprise, not realizing that it was a commercial. When I told him he declared "All I saw was a guy coming out of the shower with a shark." Of course, he meant water, but the idea of showering with sharks has been with me ever since.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spaghetti Junction and Cornbread

A couple good stories from the commute this morning...

Preface: I'm a bit concerned about Harper. She delights in her father's driving. Now, for any of you who have driven with Mark, you know this is a scary thing. The crazier he gets, the more she shouts "Wheeeeeee!!" This can't bode well for our future.

On the west side of downtown there is place called Spaghetti Junction where 394 and 94 come together in a tangle of curving asphalt lanes of varying elevations. The name is intended to be descriptive. Traffic slows down at Spaghetti Junction as 394 funnels all eastbound traffic that wants to merge onto southbound 94 from 3 lanes into one. We avoid this whenever possible by taking the commuter late which allows to bypass the 394 traffic jam.

(Not the actual Minneapolis Spaghetti Junction, but similar)

This morning as we drove over the mess below us on the elevated commuter lane Mark sends the van in a wide arc around the curve, punctuated by a verbal "Whoosh!"

I look at him. He knows how I feel about his crazy driving.

"Sometimes I like to try to add to the drama," he says in response.

"Mark," I say, "Your driving is dramatic enough without you having to try."

"Hey," he says, "Harper likes it."

"Harper's a toddler. Hardly qualified to make good judgments about things like driving."

"She's very advanced for her age," Mark says with an air of superiority.

I look at him, skeptical. "She also sometimes tries to eat leaves."

Moments later we merge with traffic on southbound 94.

"Mississippi," Mark says.


He motions toward the car in front of us with his head. It has a Mississippi plate.

"Ah," I say, "Miss-uh-si-puh." I have a very good Southern accent.

"What?" Mark laughs.

"You know, Miss-uh-si-puh. That's how people in the South talk." Now I am the superior one.

"Right," Mark laughs some more. "I think you better rub some cornbread on that accent."

"What!?!? Rub CORNBREAD on it!!" I am appalled. As I said before, I have a GOOD Southern accent. "This from the man who makes every accent he tries sound Scottish," I scoff.

It's true. Every time Mark attempts and accent it sounds like a really bad Scottish accent.

"You shouldn't throw stones," I huff.

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