i believe it was either summer of 1983 or 1984, the PHBFH decided that she had to take her either 6-month old, or her 18-month old baby (depending on what year it was, and i’m not 100% certain which one it was), to see her grandmother, who lived in gilroy, california, and her great aunt, who lived in san bernadino, california. it was important to her to “introduce the generations to each other”, but, as she didn’t know how to drive, i became the default driver for her
crazy scheme well-thought-out plan… which was sensible, since her baby was my son, but i didn’t have a regular job, and she didn’t have a job at all, and the whole trip was (supposed to be) without any cannabis whatsoever (because the PHBFH is a paranoid psycho) so it took some figuring out to figure out how we were going to pay for a two week road-trip to california in a borrowed ford pinto station wagon…
never the less, she figured it out, and we packed up the station wagon and headed out to california.
at that time, there was a place just north of kelso, washington (about a two hour drive south of where we lived) where there was a planned nuclear power station, part of the trojan nuclear power plant. it was never an active nuclear power plant, and never housed nuclear material of any kind, but i didn’t know that at the time. all i knew was that it was there, quite visible from southbound I-5. i also knew that the PHBFH was TERRIFIED of nuclear power, and was constantly “muscle testing” for the presence of “elevated levels of background radiation” which made her “sick”.
she actually claimed that she was able, through “muscle testing” to tell the difference between an “irradiated” carrot and an “organic” carrot. naturally, she couldn’t, but that didn’t stop her claiming that she could… 😐
so, anyway, i pulled off the freeway, before we got within view of the trojan nuclear power plant, and, innocently, asked her to “muscle test” for background radiation. she did, and couldn’t detect any elevation… then we drove around the bend in the freeway, and came into view of the plant, and she IMMEDIATELY started complaining that she was getting sick from the elevated radiation levels, which stayed in the “danger zone” (i.e. the Making-the-PHBFH-sick range) until we were well south of portland, approximately another hour’s drive south from kelso.
i didn’t know at the time that there was no radiation level AT ALL, otherwise i would very likely have turned around in kelso and proceded immediately back to bellingham. at the time, i was only slightly less ignorant than the PHBFH, herself — although i had enough sense to ignore her paranoia and bring some cannabis with me, which probably saved the entire trip.