Doing a bit of travel this week and find myself in South Carolina visiting my brother. I drove out, and this trip has seen many oddities thus, far. Way more than Texas for sure. Here is my absolute favorite piece of the trip:
The great thing about this little gas station was that it was, in a word, "country." The woman behind the counter had many missing teeth, multiple tattoos, and a gravely voice that could only be earned through many years of smoking several packs a day. Ambiance notwithstanding, the notion that the place was under "old management" was intriguing. What treasures were minding the counter before Steve came back? My imagination fails me, but only because I have seen what I have seen and cannot imagine anything more strange.
Other fun items from this trip:
- Houston is supposedly the nation's fattest city. I stopped at a Cracker Barrel in Louisiana and let me tell you something: it's no surprise that New Orleans jumped from 22 to 7 on this year's list. I saw maybe, and I emphasize the maybe, two women under size 6. Most were 14 or larger. Wow. Women in H-town definitely have some heft, but these Louisiana women were LARGE.
- Alabama, wherever I stopped, is scary. I can offer no other explanation. The gas station scared me, the roads scared me, and the people gave me the willies. I don't know what city I stopped in. In fact, it didn't even occur to me to ask. I simply hopped that the memory would fade faster if I didn't know the name. The restaurant I ate a speedy dinner in had no non-smoking section. The entire place was smoking allowed. Where else in this country is that even possible?
- My nephew loves Lil' John. He knows maybe 20 words in total, but if you start playing any Lil' John music, my nephew yells "What? OK!" Apparently these are some Lil' John lyrics he heard. He also throws his hand up and down like a rapper. It's very, very cute. Bill O'Reilly be damned...who says rap is a bad influence on children?
- I went to Fort Jackson to do my long bike ride. Ambiance was in full effect. There were live fire exercises going on, replete with artillery shells flying around, and tanks blasting away. I appreciated that there were holes in the road which were probably not caused by errant shells, but I liked to think that they were. It made the ride more interesting.
- There was one piece of highway that came to a junction. I really wish I could remember the highway numbers, but I can't. I'll take note on the return drive. For now I will make up the highway numbers. At this junction you can turn left and get to 14N and 75S or turn right and get onto 14S and 75N. Is this a nexus of the universe? Could one put their car at this juncture, turn either direction, floor it, and in fact be going nowhere? It boggles the mind.
- Every third exit, on three different highways, going in different directions, here in Irmo, SC (next to Columbia) is for Broad River Road. I'm not sure how this is possible, but it is the south. Maybe I am overstating this, but there are a lot of exits for what appears to be the same road, none of which, due to the laws of physics, could connect.
- If you think Starbucks is taking over the world, I have two words for you. "Waffle House." I started counting the Waffle House signs somewhere in Louisiana. I stopped when I reached 100. Basically, at every stop between Houston and Irmo, which is 1070 miles, there is a Waffle House. No, I'm not kidding.