THE KWIK MART KHRONICLES 96 We stopped for fuel in Haines Junction at a station run by an unhappy looking Chinese fella. He looked like one of those old Bruce Lee kung foo bad guys, wispy chin hairs and squinty eyes. Buddy was fueling on the other side of the island while I was inside to pay. In a squawk of what I suppose are Chinese expletives, the guy grabs one of those tire thumpers that truckers use and runs out the door towards Buddy. I ran to the door and was about to shout a heads up when the guy stopped in his tracks, turned around, and came back to the office while muttering some Chinese gibberish. I swear that the sounds that they call a language remind me of the sounds that come out of the hen house when the barn cat makes a mistake and wanders in. WTF! I couldn't figure out what was going on until I realized that this dumbass thought that Buddy was washing down his bike with the window squeegee scrubber. The jerk was lucky, and the Canuck guys would understand. Buddy and I are both old northern Minnesota boys, and hockey guys from the day we could walk. In other words, if you want violence, well, let's just say we were born to it on all that old time Minnesota outdoor ice, postcards from an entirely different era. I know you think that all Minnesotans are just namby pamby liberals who elect comedians to the Senate. Those are just the young people up there, the old guys are the ones that wrapped on the foil. My old man was already teaching me the finer points of high sticking, slashing, and hooking before I could talk in full sentences. If that crazy Chinaman had touched Buddy with that thumper, he would have found out what it’s like to take his meals through a straw. This whole episode was putting a damper on my sense of humor, and it was past time to get the heck out of Haines Junction and turn south. The road was reported to be a great bike road for scenery, and the surface was supposed to be in good shape. Towards the bottom of the road, we would cross the border again into Alaska.