Postcards From the Road

I just had a FANTASTIC time visiting friends. Lots of them are known around WordPress World, though, so I’ll leave them — and myself — their/our privacy and focus today on another aspect of the trip, which is Road Trip World.

I love road trips, personally. I have an immense collection of CDs, not just the bought-at-the-store kind, but many homemade discs. I play around on iTunes and create theme CDs. Hey, some people knit, some smoke, some watch TV: I make theme CDs. And I haul ’em all with me, so I never have a moment of silence on a road trip. Silence = death, especially when you’ve been driving for 8 hours straight and might doze off going 80 around a West Virginia curve.

Here are a few observations:

West Virginia, to my complete and utter shock, has the best drivers in the world. The only place that comes close to it is California. I was astonished to see people riding in the correct lanes for their speed, truckers staying where they’re told (the far right lane, thank God), drivers using turn signals and moving over to let others merge… I didn’t expect this from West Virgina, which previously only existed, in my mind, so we crackers from SC could make fun of somebody. I only experienced ONE asshole driver with a WV tag. I have no idea how this is accomplished, but I don’t care. As far as I know, the WV highway patrol could be pulling over lousy drivers and shooting them, then dumping their cars down the mountainside. If this is the case, someone please let me know, because it means there’s work for me in West Virginia.

Along with West Virginia, Virginia is the most beautiful place I’ve seen on the East Coast. Rolling hills, untouched mountains, towns few and far between… It was like looking at the U.S. the way it should have been left, before we came along and paved/electrified/billboarded/tunneled through it all. It was beautiful, but at the same time very sad.

If anyone had told me there was more farmland in Ohio than in SC, I’d’ve said they were smoking something. But it’s true. Instead of our ubiquitous tobacco and hay and peaches, there were acres and acres of corn. I felt right at home, like any minute now I’d see a sign that said “Tigereye’s Hometown, 17 miles.” And the Amish country is lovely.

Back in the Carolinas: Ludacris is right. MOVE, BITCH, GET OUT’ THE WAY. Jeeeeezus H. tap-dancin’ Christ, why does my state produce such total morons? The worst drivers in the U.S. are from Florida, Georgia, and, unfortunately, SC. There were assholes driving the speed limit in the left lane, assholes tailgating me when I’m speeding 20 miles faster than I should be, assholes who drive slowly until you try to pass them… I understand road rage. It’s why I don’t keep a weapon in the car: I’d be overly tempted to use it. Well, a real weapon, anyway — there’s always the tire iron. But really, I’m tired of being embarrassed for my home state. CAN’T YOU IDIOTS DO ANYTHING RIGHT? You vote red and you drive badly and you fly a goddamn Confederate flag — I belong here like flour in a torte.

I am the palest person alive. I saw five states’ worth of people to prove it. In a photo y’all won’t see, I’m posed beside a mannequin that’s only slightly paler than me. This hair sure does show up vividly, though.

In a hotel room in West Virginia, I stepped out of the shower to find a wolf spider crouched in the corner of my bathroom like a tumor set free. For those of you who don’t know, wolf spiders are black or gray, hairy, and they JUMP. He stayed still a while, and I dried off and went away. I returned to the bathroom twice and there he was, still in his corner. (In case you’re wondering, I didn’t kill him because I didn’t have any bullets, Malathion, or hydrochloric acid.) Then I discovered, on my third return, that the only thing worse than having a wolf spider in your bathroom is coming back to the bathroom and not knowing where the wolf spider went.

I brought two lovely pairs of shoes and schlepped around all weekend in my ratty Birks.

Virginia and North Carolina have the cleanest rest stops I’ve ever seen. These things are important. I only encountered one stop, on the Ohio turnpike, that was actually worse than a single man’s bathroom.

MapQuest’s new slogan should be: Close Enough. It took me off the highways and into Amish country, and while it was a scenic route, I prefer an all-70-mph course, thankyouverymuch. I then discovered MapQuest doesn’t allow you to select “mostly highways” as a planning option, although you can opt out of highways altogether. To which I say, WHAT THE FUCK?! I’m supposed to get from SC to Ohio using all back roads? How does one do this without taking a hot air balloon, pray tell? Also, MapQuest gave me a few key wrong directions, solved by my own sense of place (I know Columbia is south of Charlotte, for one thing) and the assistance of one of my hosts, about whom I will say Kevin No Last Name Officially Kicked MapQuest’s Ass. He got me onto the turnpike and knocked at least an hour off my trip.

A hotel drink machine stole a $5 bill from me and I was so incapacitated with a leftover migraine I didn’t feel like doing more than glaring when the manager told me to piss off. It’s a chain hotel, though, which means it has a website. Dude, all you had to do was be nice to me and give me five bucks — I did it all the time in retail. Now I’m home, healthy, and havin’ a grudge. Just wait.

 I came home to 6 work assignments, 135 emails (about 40 of which I didn’t delete), a cat pissed off at me for boarding him, and a thermostat on 77. You know you’re back in the Carolinas when the temperature is over 101 and the gas is under $3.90.

I miss my friends, though. I’m ready to do the whole trip again, this time without the spider.


15 Responses to “Postcards From the Road”

  1. I didn’t finish reading this because I started getting The World’s Fastest Oncoming Migraine during the first paragraph. Srsly. Can’t even read now– too much snow in my vision. Shall return.

  2. my darling!!! I’m so glad you enjoyed your trip, i concur with the west va thing, and the virginia having clean rest stops. I enjoy them. I guess I was far out of the way, but I am glad you had fun. The green eyed monster was sitting on my shoulder the entire weekend.

  3. But those Birks were beautiful!

    I’m here to kill all of your spiders for you. Don’t worry.

    You just have to mail them to me.

  4. tigereye Says:

    In WV, I saw a guy with a dustpan on a stick shoving dead raccoons off the road — wonder if I could pay some redneck to come scoop up spiders that way? Hell, he could kill them too. I grow a gray hair on the inside of my head every time I have to get close enough to a spider to kill it.

  5. I almost feel sorry for Chain Hotel Manager.


  6. Daners Isadora a.k.a. Busty St. Clair Says:


    I’m glad you made it back safe and sound! And I’m glad you had fun! I miss road trips 😦

  7. I’m just glad you made it back in one piece. I was worried for a minute there.

  8. tigereye Says:

    Oh, yeah, Wanda’s right — and I drove part of the trip Sunday after spending Saturday night crushed under a migraine. It took nine hours of sleep to restore my humanity…

  9. pandemonic Says:

    That was some road trip. Next time, bring a friend. 😛

  10. bring me! 🙂 hehehe…what a good idea j!

  11. I make ipod CDs too. It’s fun. I don’t understand people who don’t prepare for road trips with stellar music.

    California drivers are cool bytches. Except the hos in my corner of the East Bay of San Francisco. Wankers can’t handle their shit. I’m glad you understand how to drive though. Seriously, nothing makes me more psychotically emotional than awful drivers with beans for brains. I just dislike them a great deal.

    Mapquest blows chunks. Use google maps.

    Glad you had a good trip. 🙂

  12. jojovtx1800 Says:

    We loved you and your paleness. Anytime you want to come up to Va and ride around let us know, we will be glad to have you.
    (oh- we didn’t take the Amish highway out either- we found a better way.)

  13. tigereye Says:

    Thanks, jojo!

    Anners, are we related? Sometimes reading your stuff is like hearing myself think, and now the iPod thing too…!

  14. We’re related through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.


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