Thursday, June 23, 2011

One Last Tale About The Great Road Trip of 2011…

Probably my stories about one single little road trip are getting old. As Vince says, “You’ve milked this trip for – what? – three blogs already?”

Hey. Sometimes there isn’t a whole lot of usable material for a writer to work with and she needs to use the storyline she’s been given. Am I right?

I mean, does anyone really want to hear about how I accidentally punted Twinklebelle off the bed the other night? (And it WAS TOO an accident!)

Hmmm… Perhaps the Twinklebelle story has merit and would be worthy of a future blog…

No, but I promise – this will be the last story about our road trip and then I’ll shut up about it.Really, I swear. So sit back, relax, and read on…

When we last left our fearless travelers (aka The Motley Crew), our chauffeur was resting up in a frigid hotel room in anticipation of a three hour drive the next day from Connecticut to New York.

And, okay, so according to Mapquest, the drive was only 85.58 miles long and it should only have taken one hour and forty-three minutes to reach their destination. But our chauffeur, let’s call her “Wrong Way,” is not just any run-of-the-mill dumb blonde. If she’d learned anything from the trip thus far, it was that Mapquest is a big fat liar.

Before getting some shut eye, the phone in Wrong Way’s room rang. It was the General (her father). He ordered Wrong Way to meet up in the lobby of the hotel at 0800 hours for some chow before pulling out. Being a confirmed night owl, our Wrong Way knew enough to immediately set the alarm on her iPhone for 0700 to make sure she had ample time to prepare for the day and be ready and standing at attention in the lobby at the appointed time.

What Wrong Way neglected to consider was that it had been a very long time since the General had been in the military. And, by-the-by, he’d never technically been a general either.But Wrong Way remembered from decades of deep sea fishing excursions with the General (aw, heck, let’s let him keep the title, all right?), was that when the General meant 0800, he meant 0800 and not one minute later. Except on those deep sea fishing excursions it was more like 0600.

Anyway, Wrong Way was ready. Her bags were in a neat pile by the door and she was sitting in the chair by the telephone awaiting the General’s call. The only reason she didn’t have the bags stowed in the trunk of the car and wasn’t standing at attention in the lobby was that it was pouring rain outside.

Wrong Way had inadvertently relinquished the car keys the night before, and she didn’t want to haul her bags downstairs with nowhere to put them until the rain abated. And, most importantly, she didn’t want to get rained on and have frizzy hair for the drive. Because, God knows, frizzy hair can affect driver performance.(There’s probably even a clinical study proving that very theory. Maybe you could check the Pantene website or something.)

When the General called at 0810 to say that he and Mrs. General had overslept, Wrong Way was dumbfounded. That had never happened before! And Wrong Way was also a little miffed because she could have used a few extra winks herself. Nevertheless, she gamely awaited the next call. She texted a loving “Good Morning!” message to her husband, we’ll call him “Right Way” (because he never gets lost). She played Angry Birds on her cell phone. And when she couldn’t annihilate all those stinkin’ pigs in Level 12, she started playing a mean game of Euchre on her iPhone. Thank goodness for cell phones that do way more than simply make phone calls, eh?

Finally, around 0830, the call came and Wrong Way marched downstairs to eat some grub.And it was rather grub-like. But we won’t go into detail for any readers with sensitive tummies.

Once the Crew was on the road, Wrong Way was surprised to learn they were going to New York via a narrow scenic two-lane road instead of the freeway to the Taconic Parkway in New York, which Mapquest had indicated was the quickest route. Her brother, “No Name Domain” (“Do not talk about me in your blog!”), told her the best way was the Taconic. And Gladys Garmin, if she hadn’t been permanently silenced by Mrs. General, probably would have recommended the Taconic as well.

But our Crew was nothing if not adventurous. So off they went traveling at a supersonic 45 MPH. Sigh. It was a good thing Wrong Way had allotted those three hours for the drive, wasn’t it?

Despite the overcast day and sporadic rain showers, it was a picturesque and scenic drive.Which was rather the point, don’t you suppose? Life isn’t always about getting there as fast as possible; sometimes it’s about the experience along the way. So Wrong Way settled into her seat, grateful that it wasn’t a blistering hot day and the A/C wasn’t even required, and took in the sights. While paying attention to the road in front of her, of course.

Eventually, they came to a fork in the road. We’re not sure which was “less traveled,” but it didn’t matter anyway, because the road on the right, the very one they needed to take, was blocked off with sawhorses. A handwritten sign was stapled to the barricade that said “Road Closed.” That’s all. No explanation. No apology. No suggestions for an alternate route. Nothin’.

This completely flummoxed Wrong Way. The General (who had actually been a scout in the army), was a little taken aback, himself. They sat in the unmoving car in the middle of the road for approximately 45 minutes hoping that someone would materialize in front of them and remove the sawhorses so they could take the road they needed to take.

Nobody arrived. And it wasn’t really 45 minutes either. You know how some people exaggerate by now, don’t you?

So our Crew took the road to the left. There was no road or route sign to indicate where this road might lead. For all Wrong Way knew, it could have led them straight into Wisconsin or someplace they totally didn’t want to go. Had Wrong Way been on her own, she probably would have driven the hour back to their hotel and started over following her Mapquest directions, which is what she wanted to do in the first place.

But she gamely soldiered on. Eventually they arrived in a tiny town somewhere inConnecticut. Or maybe it was in Massachusetts or New York or some other New England state since they’re all bunched up there on the East Coast and they all pretty much look the same. The General marched out of the car and asked a local Good Samaritan for directions.

Thank goodness Wrong Way wasn’t given this assignment. She can never remember the Good Samaritan’s directions after he’s given them to her and usually has to ask 4 or 5 other Good Samaritans the same question until she finally remembers to write down the instructions. And she still gets lost. Sometimes Good Samaritans have even been known to chase after her car yelling, “NO! I SAID TAKE A RIGHT!”

Surprisingly, the road the Crew was on eventually met up with the other road that had been blocked off by the sawhorses. This never happens in Wrong Way’s world. So the General must have good luck or something. Either that, or he was a really good scout back in the day.

After following a truck filled with freshly cut hunks of trees for twenty-three agonizingly slow miles, they realized that two days after a torrential storm where large trees had been uprooted was probably not the best time to take a scenic two-lane route in an area virtually filled with trees.

Eventually, they found their way out of Connecticut and into New York and arrived at No Name Domain’s house where his dog, we’ll call him “Sparky” (“Do not talk about me in your blog!”) barked a ferocious greeting that either meant, “Hi! Welcome to our house – we’re ever so glad you’re here!!” or, “Hi! Welcome to our house – it’s feeding time and I’m ever so hungry!” It was kind of hard to understand Sparky and Wrong Way was a little fatigued from her journey. But for sure she heard him add, “Perhaps I’ll save that little Mrs. General for a snack later.”

Sparky doesn’t get many visitors.

And, okay, so maybe I’m just kidding about Sparky. He’s really a very nice dog. But he should have given me permission to write about him in my blog.

So, anyway, there you have it. Our crew arrived safely and had a very enjoyable visit with the No Name Domains. Beer and wine may even have been involved.

And a Zombie movie was promised for their later evening entertainment, but instead they watched re-runs of “Modern Family.” Probably the Zombie movie would’ve been just a little too much excitement for our Crew. Or, maybe No Name Domain figured that just as the zombies started chowing down on human flesh (which would be within the first 30 seconds of the flick), Mrs. General would probably say, “Oh, we’re not going to have to listen to this the entire time, are we?”

That, my friends, is Mrs. General-Code for “Turn it off!”

So “Modern Family” was a far better choice for their evening entertainment.

So I thank you for following along with our Motley Crew on their travels. Wrong Way especially wants to thank you for allowing her to write about her experiences. This will save virtually thousands of dollars in therapy – psychiatric or retail. (Doesn’t matter.)

The End.

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