What’s not to like about a road trip? Other than me.

6 Sep

It’s 10pm on Labor Day, and after 10.5 hours in the car (for what should’ve been an 8 hour trip), I’m simultaneously exhausted and and too charged up to turn my light off. So in an attempt to tire myself, I’ll subject you to random snippets and observations inspired by today’s roadtrip.

First, Ohio. Can anyone give me a reason to not despise northern Ohio other than Cedar Point? That stretch of the toll road from Youngstown to Toledo is about as flat and boring as the Olson twins’ chests. To add injury to insult, the police in Ohio set up speed traps the entire length of the toll road. I think they should COMMEND you for speeding, because it means you’re somehow managing to stay awake.

Second, damn you, restaurants that decided to close for Labor Day. It’s a holiday celebrating WORK, people. Keep those establishments open!

And as for those restaurants that were open (I’m talking to YOU, Arby’s in Somerset)… if your menu advertises loaded baked potatoes, I urge you to keep potatoes in stock. Or was there an unexpected holiday run on potatoes before we got there?

Actually, I’ll answer that question. I think the answer is NO. I think you don’t ever stock potatoes, or the teen cashier would’ve been able to answer my question (Do you use cheese SAUCE or shredded cheddar on your potatoes?) if he had ever seen one actually cross the counter.

Yes, it does matter if it’s sauce or shredded cheddar. I refused to eat cheese sauce. (Yes, that means I won’t eat movie theatre nachos either.) Or cheese whiz. Vomit. Moving on…

Hey Ohio! I’m not done picking on you yet. Is your unemployment rate miraculously low? I ask because I’m pretty sure I’ve seen DC homeless people with more hustle and mental acuity than the woman working the register at the service plaza just before the PA border.

Not only was she slow, but after waiting an eternity behind someone buying lotto tickets to get one soda rung up, just as we got to the register, she held up her finger and told us to “Hold, please.” She then proceeded to make a phone call. A long phone call.

Actually, for all I know, she’s still on that call. And our soda is still sitting on the counter, right where we left it when we walked away and completed the transaction at a vending machine, while watching her. And you wonder why you’re being replaced by machines?

Enough about her. Back to me. I am convinced that I have it in me to write an awesome musical. Not only can I create a song for any occasion (Greatest hits include, “There better be a bathroom in the next five miles!” and “I can’t see jack because of this rain.”), but I’m really skilled at rewriting pop songs with improved lyrics. Alan claims I just got lucky with some of my rhyme schemes, but I recognize jealousy when I see it. Sorry Alan, not everyone has The Gift.

Another gift I have? Word games. And I don’t even need a partner. I can play Solitaire with words, as Alan realized today when he refused to humor my version of a game I call, “Can You Smell What the Rock Is Cooking?” It starts when I’m looking for agreement on something, and this is a sample:

Me: How about we stop here? Can you smell what the Rock is cooking?
Alan: Nods.
Me: Huh? Are you buying what I’m selling?
Alan: Uh huh. 
Me: Are you composting what I’m discarding?
Alan starts to ignore me. 
Me: Are you fertilizing what I’m planting?
Me: Are you smelling what I’m wafting? 
Alan: That’s gross.
Me: Huh?
Alan: I don’t like it when you say wafting. 
Me: Fine. Are you snorting what I’m milking? 
Alan: OK! I will stop here. Will you please stop this game? 
Me: Only if you admit that you’re smelling what I’m wafting. 
Alan: No.
Me: OK. Then I hope that you’re at least shucking what I’m picking? 
 

Speaking of entertainment, I love NPR, but would like to know how they manage to coordinate it so that the only show airing at any given time is Fresh Air with Terry Gross. The first time we heard the interview with the retired Hollywood stunt man, it was amusing. The sixth time? Not so much.

And finally, after about eight hours in a car, I noticed that I smelled like peanuts. That was especially odd, because we didn’t have any nuts in the car. [Insert immature joke here. And cue up the song “Roxanne,” but substitute, “NOOOO Nuts! We don’t got no nuts in here…” for the lyrics.]

Are you shelling what I’m smelling?

And now we’ve got ourselves a roadtrip! 

Get it? This IS a rock cooking. And I bet you CAN smell it. I mean, it's fish.

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10 Responses to “What’s not to like about a road trip? Other than me.”

  1. Alicia September 6, 2011 at 10:22 am #

    Does this approximate your rest stop experience?

    • pithypants September 7, 2011 at 6:26 am #

      Pretty much. Except instead of Bon Qui Qui, I had a near-sighted, pimple-studded male teenanger with about zero personality who was baffled by the menu of items they were allegedly serving.

  2. thesinglecell September 6, 2011 at 10:29 am #

    I was srsly going to tell you about Bon Qui Qui because that is exactly what your Arby’s experience sounded like. Sucurrity? Suh. Currity! Lawd. I hope you had a good time in Ohio before the drive home. I lived in Central Ohio for six years. On the rare occasions for which I go back, I find myself wondering, “How did I live here for six years?” And I’m totally with you vis-a-vis the cheese sauce, PS.

    • allenavw September 6, 2011 at 11:28 am #

      Needs to go! Needs tuh go!

    • pithypants September 7, 2011 at 6:25 am #

      Fake cheese sauce people must unite! And I’m sure that having lived there, you’ve had plenty of time to ponder the actual name of the state. It’s always struck me as surprised but friendly… Oh! Hi! Oh?

  3. Lorna's Voice September 6, 2011 at 10:35 am #

    I must say, you are quite immaginative after a road-trip from hell, er, I mean Ohio. Love the graph at the beginning. I knew this would be a hold-my-ribs laugh fest. And it was.

    Glad you got back safely!

    • pithypants September 7, 2011 at 6:23 am #

      Thanks! I guess I just don’t have much use for Ohio. I’m waiting for someone to tell me what I’m missing.

  4. skippingstones September 6, 2011 at 10:39 am #

    We came home the Friday before labor day and did the 14 hours overnight. Traffic was great, but I wish I had slept more beforehand. Just be glad you’re home safe and sound, right?

    • pithypants September 7, 2011 at 6:22 am #

      The beginning of a drive like that is fine… but then you become deliriously tired. I’ve had drives where I would’ve paid $100 for a 40 minute nap. Yet I wasn’t willing to get a hotel room with that some $100. Wonder what that means?

      • Alicia September 7, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

        I think in those instances (tho I’ve never tried it and I’m sure any health professional — licensed or otherwise — would advise against it) you save $92 and buy “5 Hour Energy.” No?

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