Thursday, January 8, 2015

Things I Think On Road Trips

“because he had no place he could stay in without getting tired of it and because there was nowhere to go but everywhere, keep rolling under the stars...”
― Jack Kerouac

I do a lot of traveling alone.  Mostly, I travel for work but I also have been known to simply get into my car and drive.  North.  South.  It doesn't matter much to me as long as the road is my faithful companion.

The problem with traveling alone as an extrovert is that, well, there is no one to talk to.  I have been known to have long (and, I have to admit, absolutely fascinating) conversations with myself as I speed past highway signs, billboards, and annoying motorists driving slowly in the passing lane.  

As I drove along today, I made notes to myself (talking to that bastard Siri).  I wanted to be sure that I captured the true essence of a road trip alone.  I'm pretty sure after you read this, you'll want to go ahead and sign up for my next trip.  Don't be shy.

Welcome to my stream of consciousness.  (You're welcome.)

1.  Meghan Trainor is an ass-kicker. OK, so Meghan Trainer is a baby.  She was born after I was an adult and I totally want to be her.  I was listening to her song to her future husband.  She told him, "Hey listen, I work, too.  And I am not going to cook.  That's just not something I'm good at.  And I expect you to pull your weight in this relationship.  And here's what I deserve.  And you're just going to have to accept it.  But, hey, if you treat me right, I'm going to be a great wife.  And I'll make you happy.  But this is not a one-way street."  This from the same girl who brought booty back.  I am in awe.  Her self-confidence is enviable.

2.  It takes approximately three hours to go full-circle on the Fleetwood Mac station on Pandora.  I was listening to songs that apparently just hummed over and around my brain but whose lyrics never really stuck.  I hummed happily along and burst into loud vocals when the chorus hit.

3.  Speaking of lyrics, what in the hell do the lyrics to Elton John's Tiny Dancer mean?  "Hold me closer, Tiny Dancer.  Count the headlights on the highway.  Lay me down in sheets of linen.  You had a busy day today."  Was Elton high?  How is the Tiny Dancer holding him close if they're on the highway?  And do they have a bed in the back seat where the linens are kept?  And how did Tiny Dancer's day come into the picture?  Is the Tiny Dancer a mini-ballerina?  I just kept picturing a palm-sized angry chick in a pink tutu doing laundry.

4.  There may not be a single Starbucks between Concord, NC and Savannah, GA.  I looked.  Hard.  At one point, I asked Siri.  He responded,  "Listen, Princess, (side note: yes, I asked Siri to call me "Princess."  And, yes, Siri is a dude in my phone.) there is a Starbucks.  But you'd have to go north 29 miles."  Listen, even people who barely know me understand that coffee is actually the main component in my blood stream.  I NEED coffee like meth heads need...well...meth.  I had to settle for travel center Dunkin' Donuts coffee.  Starbucks people, are you listening?  Off-highway Starbucks locations are not optional.  They are a necessity.

5.  Travel centers are my dream.  I truly do want to be a female truck driver.  I think I would be a fabulous truck driver.  But I need a handle.  Do truckers even use CBs anymore?  I wonder if I could have a special horn as a truck driver.  I also think it would be fabulous to use the showers at the travel center.  I'm half tempted to use them even now and I'm NOT EVEN DIRTY.

6.  Driving drunk will cost you $10,000.  I learned that from a highway billboard.  Unfortunately, if you are drunk and reading that billboard, it's already too late for you.

7.  Which brings me to adult superstores.  I put this one on Facebook today.  Why are so many adult superstores advertised on billboards?  Are random people driving down the highway thinking, "You know, I could really use a blow-up doll, some handcuffs and some cherry flavored underwear. Oh, LOOK.  There's an adult superstore conveniently located just off the highway! Bonus!"

8.  Do people wash their cars on road trips?  I'll be honest:  I rarely wash a car.  Stella has been bathed maybe three...four times in the entire time I've owned her.  I believe the rain usually does the trick.  I mean, why on earth do we HAVE rain if not to serve as nature's car wash?  So, I saw a lot of cars from north of the Mason Dixon which were FILTHY. They'd obviously been through a lot of terrible weather and I felt sorry for them (though not as sorry as I feel for all the people who are still in the weather).  But, THEN, I saw this car from Nova Scotia.  You KNOW the weather is for crap there.  And yet...THAT car was spotless.  Did he stop at a car wash?  Was he like, "Hey, I think I'll stop for a sandwich and a car wash"?  If so, why is not in a hurry to get where he's going?  Is he sad to be going south?  Can he not wash his car at the end of the trip?

9. The farther south you go, the more you see billboards for communities for "active, older adults."  Listen, as far as I can tell, the real active older adults are those ones with the dirty cars north of the Mason Dixon.  Those buggers are out shoveling and trying to stay warm and alive.   That's where the billboards need to be.

10.  When did people start moving over to the other lane for stopped police vehicles?  When I was little, I don't remember anyone moving over to the left lane to give the police room.  Now, everyone is like, "Whoa!  We need to get over!  That car is stopped 15 feet over on the shoulder!"  I mean, it's polite.  But when did it start?  Was there some rulebook distributed that I'm not aware of?

And it went on.  And on.  And on.  For five hours.  I talked (out loud) and sang and even danced a little.  (To answer your question, it is not as easy to do the Cupid Shuffle while driving as it is to enact the Zumba moves to "You need a BAD GIRL to blow your mind...bang bang into the room...")  And I was sorry that I was all alone.   Because I obviously needed to share.

You're welcome.  Again.

And, hey, happy 2015.  Let's talk.  It's been too long, really.

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