Migraine headaches have visited me twice in three decades. The first reared its head during a 10th grade history class. When the headache struck, I turned green and nearly vomited. As a result, I was excused from an afterschool play rehearsal. I did not always enjoy play rehearsal. I thought this a fine migraine indeed!
The second migraine struck as I was traveling I-80 West through Utah in 1998 on my first cross-country tour. This migraine was ill-timed—-there was no play rehearsal to be excused from, and I was too debilitated to regard the Bonneville Salt Flats. The Bonneville Flats, a desolate salt desert that serves as a test site for land speed record candidates, is one of Spaceship Earth’s most striking geologic features. However, I was too busy trying not to vomit to check them out.
On Sunday, I drove through Bonneville for the second time. I was late for my show in Salt Lake, but could barely contain my excitement. I was migraine free! As I drove across the Flats, I called the club in S.L.C. to say that I would arrive after a short Bonneville viewing. Unfortunately, the representative of the club had depressing news.
“Today is Easter Sunday,” said the club representative. “Many Utah citizens are celebrating the birth of the Living Christ. These citizens will not attend your show, as the Living Christ has a greater draw than you. Thus, your show is cancelled.”
“Oh,” I said. I had driven 700+ miles to play this S.L.C. show. In frustration, I began to verbally abuse the club representative. At the conclusion of my tirade, I employed a popular telephonic technique called “hanging up.” This technique is employed to express disgust at the outcome of the conversation.
Unexpectedly, my bandmate spoke. “You should not have hung up on that individual,” observed my bandmate. Long car trips often play midwife to a phenomenon called “the pointless argument.” This phenomenon overcame my bandmate and me. Our “pointless argument” did not cease until my bandmate seized the steering wheel and forced me to pull over at a rest stop.
As the car ground to a halt, I realized that I was in the middle of the Salt Flats. This was the place I had wanted to return to for almost a decade. I now regarded these Flats and the desolate moon-like landscape. The Flats are so….well, flat that they perfectly trace the curvature of the earth. Mountains in the distance appear to float above the ground because their bases rest below the horizon.
The bandmate who had not participated in the pointless argument regarded the landscape. “You two picked a fine place for an argument,” he said. I looked around and agreed. Only an appearance by the Living Christ could have improved the scene. Unfortunately, I hear that He spurns door deals and will only play for guarantees.