Monday, October 4, 2010

The Locals May Stare...

They saw us coming from a ways off, but didn't know what to think just yet. All they knew was that a unknown white pick-up had made the turn into their sleepy Montana town, and was slowing creeping down the unpaved Main Street. Few strangers would make the turn, as the town consisted of only a few run down buildings and a post office...but our quest for a bar after a long, hot day of fishing had brought us here.

There were four of them, stereotypically leaning against an beat-up truck. They all had cowboy hats on, they all had plaid shirts, and all of them were eying us with a uneasy look of suspicion. As we got closer, with our windows down, we could distinctly overhear comments about us. "I don't know him," one said, while another chipped in "Those were the guys parked down by the bridge fishin'. Where do you suppose they're from?" They were held momentarily in suspense as we passed them by, and then you could see them all lean forward as one to get a glimpse at our license plate. They all could clearly read the plate which began with the all-telling number 6. They all knew what that meant, and we could easily hear as they drawled out the word "BOZE-MAN" with a note of contempt.

My buddy and I looked at each other, but he beat me to it by saying "Maybe we should just get a beer back home." I agreed, as the bar was clearly devoid of life anyhow, and we turned the truck around at the other side of town. We drove by the four locals again on our way out, they were still leaning on the truck unabashedly glaring and an instinctual friendly wave that I threw up went unanswered.


  1. Ah, the price you pay for being from Bozeangeles...

  2. I do love the way Montanans instantly judge you buy the number on your plate. My elk hunting buddy & I were just getting out of the truck to start up a ridge in the predawn darkness. A truck pulled in ahead of us with 5 plates. I mumbled, "Damned Helena riff-raff, driving up here to hunt the Pintler." Just as we were moving into the trees I heard one of the Helenans say, "Geez, that's the first time I heard anybody from Butte call anybody else 'riff-raff.'"

  3. It may be worth getting a vanity plate just for the geographical anonymity.