Friday, June 07, 2002

While I'm messing about trying to put links in the other colour blocks I'll put the (Put our WORD WARRIORS to work for you!) link here, and humour, Chandra K. Clarke, and literature, Arts and Letters Daily, and, finally, a favourite island, Seguin. One day this site will be useful in its way.
Hah! Webmonkey taught me how to create links. This will be ever so much better. Okay, I know, 41 years old and couldn't create a link isn't a way to impress, for instance, other bloggers. The cat is mightily unimpressed and doesn't mind yawning to prove it.

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

I'm happy that paper is not used for this...
It's a 14-hour drive from SW Ontario to Bath, Maine. It's a 24-hour drive to Halifax, Nova Scotia. It's 13 hours to Keithsburg, Illinois, 12 hours to Manitoulin Island and 12 hours to Marthaville, New York. I don't know the straight-through hourage to Florida -- we actually STOPPED on the way when we went there. STOPPED and SLEPT. Otherwise it's the straight-through business, stopping only to fuel up the car, herding the kiddies out at the time to avoid any wastage of precious minutes between fuel stops. We run laps around the car (quick ones) every second stop for exercise but we're not talking much exercise -- we drive a fuel-efficient little Civic.
With us, it's not the journey. It is the destination. We hate travelling. We like being other places, but we hate doing what it takes to get there. So we marathon drive, and wait until our eyes are sandpapered by the road to smarting unblink-able orbs before turning the wheel over to the other. We do not take winding, lovely or historical roads. We take queen's highways and interstates and toll roads and anything hideous and reeking of diesel just to get there faster.
On the road we live on dried apricots and smoked cheese. We listen to books on audio tape, borrowed by the armload from the library. We listen to Christie's Murder on the Orient Express and long for a comfy sleeper berth, murder and all. We do sleep, with heads balanced on taut seatbelts, and the parts of us that haven't gone numb are cricked. We wake up drooling, "What, what?" when the driver asks, panicked, "Do we want exit 2A or 2B?"
And because it is three a.m. we fumble for the flashlight we know we have somewhere near the front seat but that we won't find until dawn. We attempt to make out the small print on the map in the dark, and because by now, of course, we've taken the wrong exit, we attempt to navigate through the snarl of downtown streets that we would have missed had we taken the right exit. Our map doesn't have the detail we need. We find ourselves at last back on the interstate. We have found it by smell.
Our short-term memory fades with sleep deprivation and we leave our gas cap at a service centre but miraculously pick it up a week later on the way home, when our common sense (which would tell us that it is, of course, someone else's cap) has been diminished by the new round of forced wakefulness.
We sing arias in the front seat until the back seaters plead for mercy. The back seat choir sings the hits from Grease until the we-lived-through-it-the-first-time-thank-you front seat squares get bossy. "All right now, that's enough." Know what's worse, though? What's worse is when the back seat sings out every radio/TV jingle for every recognized sign passed. "Bob Evans, down on the farm..." and "Did somebody say McDonald's..." That's why newspaper/blog page advertising is sooooo much better. No jingles.
We finally reach our destination and have our fun, and attempt to forget that we'll be driving home again. Someday we'll drive somewhere, say to British Columbia, and just stay there. With our two t-shirts, our two pair of jeans and extra socks each, plus 24 books on audio tape and a few wizened bits of cheese, we'll snap, and stay there forever.