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Inspirational Reads

Jiggity Jig

January 10, 2011

First off, big thanks to everyone who helped out with the voting for J.R. Salzman's video entry for the Vail, CO trip. I think we got them up to ninth place, which doesn't get them the trip, but it did get them a nice prize. Thanks again to everyone. It doesn't amaze me anymore when people do nice things, mostly because I kind of know you all now, in a way, and I know that you're all good--no, great folks. Thanks again for the help.

In other news, I'm home. I've been home since Friday afternoon. It was a whirlwind tour of the southeastern parts of the United States. As promised, I saw a lot of Interstate 40. My favorite part of it? Altus, Arkansas, but only because it's a Latin word meaning "high, deep" and also because I didn't go to Jenks, Oklahoma.

So, I flew out Wednesday night, and the flight from Raleigh-Durham to Atlanta was fine. I had my own bank of seats with no one pressing in around me. I was behind the stewardess' station in the back of the plane, so I didn't have to look down the cabin at anyone. I was basically alone in my own little world, reading my book and staring out the window.

The flight from Atlanta to Tulsa, however, was not as pleasant. The plane was full, and it was a smaller plane, to boot. When I was lining up for my tickets, the person in line behind me was one of those people who doesn't respect personal space. She was right on my shoulder and hip and I turned to stare her down and mentally tell her to back the fuck off. She couldn't understand my mental clues.

We boarded the plane, and as I made my way down the aisle to where my seat was, she was still clinging to my backside like a fungus. I went to stow my bag in the overhead, and she pushes past me...into the seat next to mine. "I have the window," she said, in slightly accented English. Fuck you and the window seat, I fired back at her, mentally.

She sat down and promptly dialed someone on her cell phone and yammered for thirty minutes about some guy who invited her to come to Colorado and how she slept on the plan from Moscow to New York and--SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY!!! Fortunately, she slept on the ride from Atlanta to Tulsa. Unfortunately, she farted the whole way there, too. I was calmly sitting in my seat, reading, when something would reach up and assault my olfactory sensors. Being that I wasn't tooting, I knew it had to be her. And then she would shift and her leg would be brushing up against mine and...well...if we were in a car, I would have reached over and opened the door and let her roll out. Unfortunately, we were in a plane, and I did not have the escape hatch seats.

I got to Tulsa with no problems, helped my mother-in-law with some stuff and talked with my wife's grandmother. Then it was to bed. The following morning, I got up and out the door and, after leaving my grandmother-in-law's house, I promptly got lost. I made the wrong turn--or didn't turn enough--or something and I was headed toward Joplin, MO instead of Meskogee, OK. I knew something was wrong because the sun wasn't in the position where I knew it should be if I was traveling south and east. I was able to cut back through some scenic Oklahoma countryside (read: flat, scrubby, brown) and find my way back to I-40. From there, it was simple: head east.

I'm terribly sorry that I didn't bring my camera with me, because I would have loved to have taken a picture of myself visiting Toad Suck Park in Arkansas. Alas, since I had no reason to, I didn't stop. I'm going to regret that for a long, long time I fear.

I was able to outrun the snowstorm that's now targeting the southeast and I was just ahead of another storm dropping from the north that hit Nashville shortly after I drove through it (no time to go to the Parthenon this time...). I made it to my wife's aunt and uncle's house and stayed the night there in Knoxville. They were calling for a good snow storm, too, so I got up early so I could find my way through the mountains (which was being forecasted to get 5 - 10 inches of snow overnight and into Friday) without incident.

And, it was largely without incident. I continued on my merry way, stopping for gas occasionally, but then I had to stop for a restroom break and I pulled off into Conover, North Carolina.

Never, ever stop in Conover, North Carolina, if you can manage it.

I swung into a BP station so that I could use the facilities. BP shit on the US last summer, so I thought I'd shit on them. Only thing was, I knew it was a mistake almost the minute I put the car into park. I went into the restroom and was surprised when vermin didn't flee before the light being turned on. I sat down, looking at a floor that I didn't want the bottom of my shoes touching, let alone my pants. I hurried along and left quickly, my entire being feeling touched by the uncleanliness of the establishment. I then caught the furious stares of some of Conover's finest citizens, envious of my upright posture, my full set of teeth, and...I don't know what else. I was just not very comfortable in that village.

After a twenty minute wait to pull back onto the road, I headed home. No further incident. I stopped off to see my wife at work and then home to see the children and try to work on cleaning up the house some more. So, I once again have wheels, which is a nice feeling, to be certain.

And, as usual, whenever I'm on long trips where I'm mostly just listening to the voices within my head, I generated another story that I want to write. I've gotten some notes written down at home that I came up with over the course of the trip and I've got a couple of lines of a prologue written. I basically started coming up with the idea on the flight from Raleigh to Atlanta and then further refined it on the flight from Atlanta to Tulsa. I had a few characters that that I had been kicking around in head for a while that fit into this story nicely.

Now I just need to finish what I'm working on now and then the three other stories that I want to refine and finish before I get to this new one. If only the house would clean itself...

11 comments:

Bev said...

I'm glad you're back, safe & sound & with more stories to tell!

SkylersDad said...

Was there a blind kid playing banjo at Conover by chance?

MJenks said...

@ Bev: I'm still sad I didn't get a picture of me in Toad Suck, AR...

@ SkyDad: Of all the places I drove through for those two days, Conover was the ONE place where I thought sure I'd hear banjos playing...

BeckEye said...

You should have whipped out your best Cee Lo Green impression on Svetlana Gassyassovich with a "Fuck you and your window seat toooo..."

There's also a song by Jesse Malin called "All the Way from Moscow to New York" that you could have bellowed loudly while she was trying to talk to Moose and Squirrel.

MJenks said...

@ Beckeye: I cannot believe that I whiffed on the Rocky and Bullwinkle show reference...

soft nonsense said...

I've been flying a lot the last few months, so I identified with your story. And by identified with, I of course mean thought of all the things that I've done to people who have tailgated me. My favorite is the sudden stop when the line gets moving to reinforce how close the person is. If they don't get it, I do it again. And again.

My record is 4 times during the course of a line.

Amber said...

I think I want to get married at Toad Suck Park. You, of course, are invited.

Scope said...

I believe "Toad Suck Park" may be the center of the Universe.

snowelf said...

That's the thing about stories...they never leave you alone.

And dude, that plane chick...I can't even imagine... that turns my stomach just reading it--ew. I laughed my ass off when I read how you wanted to roll her out the door though...I am a bad, bad person.

--snow

Amber Tidd Murphy said...

" BP shit on the US last summer, so I thought I'd shit on them." <-- reason number 5464351 that I love you.

DEZMOND said...

how come you have monkeys who type instead of you, but you don't have monkeys who clean the house instead of you?