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On the road again - Sing With Me If It's Just For Today...
If I should fall behind, Guyster, wait for me.
guysterrules
guysterrules
On the road again
“I didn’t know that was there!” I looked over and saw that Billy was staring at a map of California in the Rand McNally book that was held on his lap for most of our drive back to LA. He would look at a map any chance he got. He just liked them. That’s why I came up with the term “my own personal cartographer,” during our trip.



“What was where?” I saw him pull the map off the bookshelf a half hour ago but paid no attention. When he would get bored or grow weary of television, he would pull out his map and just page through it as I would thumb through an Entertainment Weekly. It calmed him down. I liked when he looked at his map.

“I always thought Joshua Tree was further north. Up past Riverside,” he said and I half expected him to slap his forehead. We had been talking about going to Joshua Tree for some time, ever since he received the camping gear and tent in the mail from Marlboro by saving up “miles.” He enlisted everyone he knew to give him the sides of their cigarette packs until he had enough. In fact, he never saw his last Marlboro booty: a CD-playing clock radio and a Discman.

It was part of the parade of things Billy ordered through saving up box tops, sending in coupons or rubbing the silver coating off a prize ticket. He really liked getting stuff in the mail “It gives me something to look forward to!” he explained when I shook my head once with a smile. He was afraid I was thinking it was stupid when I thought quite the opposite. I marveled at his ability to be thrifty, shop wholesale and gain free goodies. “It’s like a game!

“I know, honey,” I may have sounded patronizing, perhaps it was but I really also thought it adorable. Our home was filled with little plastic action figures, cookware far better than what we purchased for ourselves, and several clock radios. He was not above ordering a Happy Meal for the toy to complete a collection.

When I was trying to map out my trek across America online last night, I flashed on how much I needed Billy’s skills. If Billy were in charge, he would have had the map set, far before any box was packed, and he would have figured out a few silly scenic attractions along the way. He could never pass by a rattlesnake farm but I was always a sucker for those roadside novelties as well.

The aaa.com site was irritating with its cutesy graphic of a put-put clown car emitting exhaust as the loading icon. It proved absolutely worthless. I tried motel6.com, which had a better map, but there was an overriding feeling of agenda attached to it and I wondered how far out of the way I would need to travel for the privilege of staying at their inn. I do like Tom Boddett’s voice, though. Holidayinn.com proved little better and there is something I just don’t trust about Holiday Inns. The greenness of its color theme looks a little threatening.

I would have none of this weighing on me if Billy were here. It wouldn’t even cross my mind. I would just say, “Honey, do you know how we’re going?” He would grab his map and start to show me, in detail, until I said, “Okay, okay. Whatever you say.” That’s the beauty of having a personal cartographer.

Current Music: Route 66 - Depeche Mode

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Comments
ruralrob From: ruralrob Date: August 14th, 2003 10:36 am (UTC) (Link)
And don't forget the world's biggest apple and the world's biggest two-dollar coin, if you really want to make a detour this way . . . .
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: August 14th, 2003 12:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes I'm certain that giant Twoie (Toonie?) is very impressive indeed.
explosivo From: explosivo Date: August 14th, 2003 10:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Here's to the world's largest (rctal) thermometer (for pushy bottoms) in Baker...

love you!
fabulist From: fabulist Date: August 14th, 2003 10:57 am (UTC) (Link)
I'd love to give you some wacky sidetrips along the way, but my travel gems are all clustered between Boston and Sylvania, GA, alas. The curse of my tragic provincialism, methinks...
brianrdu From: brianrdu Date: August 14th, 2003 11:14 am (UTC) (Link)

The giant butt...er...peach on I-85

Too bad you won't be coming through the Atlanta-Greenville, SC-Charlotte corridor, because you could see THIS beauty.



Maybe seeing it to scale is appropriate...



It's been repainted a bunch of times to make it look more like a peach than a giant ass, which it really did (from one direction) for a good many years...
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: August 14th, 2003 12:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: The giant butt...er...peach on I-85

Thanks for the shots. It looks like it's bent over a pillow.
brianrdu From: brianrdu Date: August 14th, 2003 12:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: The giant butt...er...peach on I-85

Yeah, it's waiting for you.

;)
ubermunkey From: ubermunkey Date: August 14th, 2003 02:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
sweet writing bud
thanks
8 comments or Leave a comment