Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Slower Traffic Keep Right

In the next hour or so, I'll be heading to my folks' house for Thanksgivin'. So far this morning, I've done two loads of laundry, lugged Pigpen's travel crate toward the elevator, and decided that it will take four cases of Diet Coke to make it through the next 48 hours.

I haven't taken a road trip since last month when it took 14 hours roundtrip (the equivalent of seven Lifetime movies) to get to Ohio to see my sister Runtie. I rolled out of here before 4 a.m.--the crack of 'Kill Me Please'--and was well into West Virginia before my central nervous system sputtered to life. I spent large swaths of I-77 gnawing the heads off of Sour Patch Kids, wondering if I was the first person to ever laugh at a local bank's "Get Your Money For Nothing & Your Checks For Free" billboard, and deconstructing my new relationship using nothing but the lyrics of early Tom Waits songs. These are all reasons why I should never be left unattended.

Driving tends to make me sleepy so I have to find things to keep me entertained, like changing lanes without signaling or trying to make other drivers think I'm having a seizure. I also pay attention to license plates, keeping track of what states have passed me and which have the shittiest mottos (I'm looking at you, America's Dairyland). I also enjoy the quiet war between North Carolina and Ohio for the affections of the Wright Brothers. Ohio's prisoner-etched plates say that they were the Birthplace of Aviation because Orville and Wilbur were, um, born there but North Carolina claims to be the First in Flight because the WriBros actually launched their plane at Kitty Hawk, a place that has probably seen its share of wretched high school field trips.

Sorry, Ohio, but you lose. You may have courted Aviation but North Carolina totally banged her and built a memorial to the money shot.

OK, the dryer is dinging which means it's time to empty my ironic t-shirts into an overnight bag and merge onto the interstate. Safe travels to everyone, whether you're on the roads or in the skies.


Abby T said...

Big ol' lulz coming from a former resident of the Constitution State (aka the Land of Steady Habits) and a current resident of the Land of Lincoln (aka the Sucker State) (I'm not even kidding. Wiki it).


Matt T said...

Kitty Hawk, a place that has probably seen its share of wretched high school field trips

I had a wretched middle school trip there.

*~*Lis*~* said...

holy $hit "Get Your Money For Nothing & Your Checks For Free" - seriously? I've never seen that but I can assure you I would have laughed as well.

RazZDoodle said...

"You may have courted Aviation but North Carolina totally banged her and built a memorial to the money shot."

That needs to be on a t-shirt. Maybe for all the 6th graders that go to for a field trip.

Bogart in P Towne said...

That phalic shaped memorial is actually pretty cool.

Craig said...

Um, I can't believe I am defending Ohio, but you do know what Neil Armstrong said when pressed on this same question when they revealed their state quarter:
"Well, in my mind its simple. Ohio had the brains, North Carolina just had the wind."

Ahh, what do I care, Michigan is the current home of the place where they actually built the first airplane thanks to Henry Ford's Greenfield Village.

Monkey said...

Being an Ohioan, I will say I never got the whole birthplace of aviation thing. Seriously? The state is laying claim to it cause their mom happened to squeeze 'em out here? Big freakin deal.
On the other hand, what else do we have to boast? Hehe.

Andy said...

What, Ohio can't find something else to be famous for, like the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, the Football Hall of Fame or being a swing state in pivotal election years?

Broke But Still Drinking said...

Ah, I-77. Never has such a boring highway ever existed. The only good thing about it is the fact it gets you close to the beach, if you're patient.

Vanilla said...

Happy Thanksgiving J!

Anonymous said...

As a survivor of the IN/OH border wars, here's my take.
OH - "Caution, idiot driver"
MI - "Get out of the way"
IN - "Trying to be worth it"
Now I'm in OR "Was there a sign"

Timi said...

First time visiting your blog. Loving it!
Money for nothing, checks for free.....Tom Petty will never be sung the same by me.
This is how much of a dumbass I am......I thought Seattle was the home of flight. Guess it's home of Boeing which made me believe.....well you get how dumb I am, I don't need to display it to you.
Have a wondeful trip and Happy Thanksgiving.

punchlinewalking said...

Its not just that they were born there; they built, tested, and flew (although not successfully) their plane in Ohio. They just took the plane to Kitty Hawk because it had sand dunes. So there!

Disclaimer: I didn't want to write that, but having grown up in Dayton, Ohio (the birthplace of the Wright Brothers), I have no control over myself.

E Chuod said...

Just came across your site while blog surfing. (I'm exciting!) Good stuff. I'll subscribe. See you around. (ironic t shirts-fantastic)

brenna said...

Hey Timi, that's actually a Dire Straits song, written by Mark Knopfler.

And I would have laughed at that billboard.

Hippo_Lee_toe said...

hahaha@other drivers thinking you have seizures.

you're hilarious! Love it!

M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
M said...

...Wandered over here from 20SB, laughed in the all-too-cliched out loud way while reading this. I deleted the last one to correct embarrassing typos and add some ad goodness...

Is it wrong that I have serious ideas for scholarly publications involving hyper-localized advertisements and seemingly ironic but disturbingly earnest ploys? Not only would the "money for nothing, checks for free" fit in perfectly, but it may be the ideal counterpoint to the Bus Ballet ad for Kansas City Public Transit ( the priceless-yet-humiliating Mr. Sprigg's ribs ad ( I mean, seriously, what kind of twisted subjectivity are these things trying to create?

When I drove myself two thousand miles across the country for graduate school, I had all kinds of questionable ploys to keep myself awake, including listening to Jesus radio and trying to understand the sinister meta-narratives at work behind it. When I did another long road trip in May, I somehow was subject to "Return of the Mack" on every radio station from Chicago to Albany. I'm not kidding.

Mike said...

Not to make you feel bad, but my thanksgiving drive is ..... oh .... 7 minutes. 14 minutes if you count both ways.

Scott said...

Ohio claims the birthplace of aviation because the Wright brothers did all the work on acheiving human flight there. They went to Kitty hawk because it had good weather and was close to Dayton for testing. THEY WERE ALL ABOUT OHIO!!!!

I hate that you made me write all that. I'm from freakin' New Jersey and don't want to defend Ohio.

I have been reading your blog since I found the Rue McClanahan post and don't know why I read that.

My word verification word is "saccory"

Gobble Gobble.

Gregg said...

Being a resident of America's Dairyland, while I agree that it isn't the sexiest of mottos, I can assure you that it's spot-on.


(I'm lobbying to have it changed to, "Who cut the cheese??" So far my efforts have been unsuccessful.)

Eric (Extra P.) said...

I guess it's impossible to hope that my home state of Kansas would adopt "Friends of Dorothy" as a new motto.

nwgdc said...

OUCH! No love for "America's Dairyland?" I'm hurt real deep inside.

I have a shirt that says: Wisconsin...smell the dairy air.

I never wear it.

You want it?


The Dutchess of Kickball said...

14 hours in a car, no thanks. How does Pigpen do with all that car travel?

Drive safe. I'll try not to give you the stink eye if you merge without signaling in front of me.

Dave Q. said...

First time I ever come across your blog and this post was flat out awesome! LOL!!! Who knew North Carolina totally nailed Aviation? Do you think NC called her afterwards? :)

Anyway, looking forward to future reads...

KT said...

Not sure why I feel like I need to defend Ohio, but hey, GO BUCKS! You know one of my faves though? Missouri. How can you not love the Show Me state?

X-Country2 said...

I'm siding with Ohio. Just for the underdog factor.

demosthenes said...

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Wasilla is on Alaska Standard Time. We're all about education here at Sarah Palin for President 2012!

Ours is a happy chat room! Come join in-

Favorite quote: "Everybody wants to save the earth; nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes." -P.J. O'Rourke

Favorite oldie goldie: "Sylvia's Mother" by Dr. Hook and The Medicine Show

Anonymous said...


The sarah palin 2012 camp hired the chinese farmers and they use the handle of a greek logographer? Irony abounds.

In other news...good post.

The Clandestine Samurai said...

Do you only change lanes without signaling when people around (this question then implies that you do signal when no one's around, which makes it pointless to signal)? How many people would you say you've made believe you had a seizure?

TOPolk said...

I'm not sure which I get more madder at Ohio for:
*claiming to be the birthplace of Aviation
*claiming to the birthplace of Rock and Roll.


Good Girl Gone Blog said...

"Sorry, Ohio, but you lose. You may have courted Aviation but North Carolina totally banged her"

Nice states always finish last. That's why I left Ohio for slutty California.