It took about three times before I "got it". Brad would say, "Oh, great!" and I'd ask, "What? What's wrong?" before I figured out we'd just crossed a cattle guard grate. Each time he would laugh and I would groan at my gullibility.
These "great-grate" episodes happened on a road trip he and I took to Colorado, a number of years ago, seeing the sights, visiting canyons, ghost towns and camping along the way. We were in Brad's truck, windows wide open, music blasting, stopping at every creek to dip our bandanas into the water, to wrap around our necks, to stay cool. It was hot! Air conditioning? Nope! Our favorite quote was Edward Abbey's "air-conditioning is forty miles an hour; four windows down."
Naturally, keeping the family tradition going, the first cattle guard we came to on this trip, I said, "Oh, great!" Ed fell for it. "What? What's wrong?" he responded. Hehe, got'm!
Now, 5,000 miles later, I've worked the word great in at almost every grate we've crossed. And, believe me, out here in the southwest, there are hundreds and hundreds of cattle grates on the back roads.
After so many miles and so many cattle guards, I'm needing to get more creative. As I see a grate approaching I'll start preparing, "Wasn't that a 'great'", as we hit the cattle grate, "dinner we had tonight?" Or, "that was a 'great' campground we stayed in in Natural Bridges". Can you just see Ed? Yep, he's rolling his eyes.
The "great" conversation unfolds. "The weather is 'great' today!" "Shall we have 'grated' cheese on our salad tonight?" "I just finished the 'greatest' book." "Our new friends are 'great'!" "What a 'great' day we're having." Look at that 'great' sunset." "Benton's such a 'great' dog!" "I'm missing Yessi and Brad 'greatly'. "Thistle is a 'great' vehicle." "It's so 'great' to be missing the news." "You're 'great'!" "We're playing 'great' music today." And, on a particularly rough stretch of road, "Wow, 'great' driving."
Today is our 66th day of 'great' travel!
"A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs — jolted by every pebble in the road."
~Henry Ward Beecher