Saturday, September 20, 2008

Xtra Files 6: The Creepiest City in Utah


It was one of those winter nights when the fog confederates with the occultation of the moon to produce a thick shrouding darkness that becomes a catalyst to strange and unexpected events...

On this particular night, I was returning to Salt Lake City from Provo, (the creepiest city in Utah) and heading north on I-15 when something unusual caught my eye.

It was late, (or early in the morning depending on how you look at it), past midnight, and the highway was almost desolate. There were only a handful of other cars on the road braving the fog. About two hundred feet ahead in the distance, I could see a small orange glow that appeared to be floating in the thick darkness. As I got closer, it was revealed to be an illuminated rear window of what I determined then to be an ambulance. Soon, I could see that the window in the back of the squarish vehicle was decorated with an orange curtain... causing the ominous anarajado glow that was enhanced by the fog.

I was traveling about 15 mph faster than the mysterious vehicle. Creeping closer, I could determine that it wasn't an ambulance after all, but was yet unable determine what manner of vehicle it was. The auto was as tall as the average ambulance, but much wider, and lower to the ground. I'd never seen anything quite like it in my million miles of driving experience. I changed lanes to pass, and take a closer look. As I did, the identity of the strangely shaped vehicle was revealed to be an official McDonald's vehicle with Ronald McDonald himself at the helm, driving cautiously, and peering ahead into the thick darkness.

It was kind of disturbing to think that Ronald McDonald was out in the fog driving... somewhere. Where? Where would Ronald McDonald be going in the middle of the night? I couldn't imagine. I wondered if Grimace and Hamburgler were riding in the back playing cards. That would explain why the light would be on.
Hamburgler was no doubt winning.

I remembered my friend Big Qusch in Connecticut, and how she had told me that Ronald McDonald lived across the street from her when she was a kid. Imagine that. Ronald McDonald drives up, gets out of the car, and in his oversized shoes, flippity flops his way to the front door, opens it and hollers, "Honey, I'm home! Whats for dinner?"

What would Ronald McDonald eat for dinner? Does he eat at McDonalds ALL the time? I imagined Ronald McDonald at a neighborhood barbecue, and wondered if he had the Hamburgler over for tea on weekends, and what they'd talk about. "Maybe they study the apocalypse together," I mused. Ronald McDonald was becoming more mysterious by the minute.

Then he was gone. His headlights consumed by the thick atmosphere, but I knew he was still out there... moving stealthily through the night.

That is my one and only encounter with the infamous Ronald McDonald. I have also encountered the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile on a handful of occasions. The subject of a future post.