|Founder of failed "People Named Horace Are Cool, Too" movement.|
Only presidential candidate to die before electoral votes were counted.
And you thought it would be Bob Dole.
Or so Horace Greeley, founder of the New York Tribune and former presidential candidate (I say “former” primarily because he’s dead. Oops, you didn’t know? My bad.), wrote in his paper.
Actually, some people ascribe (meaning “attribute to,” it’s a Latin word which combines “ass” and “crib.” Although I don’t know why) this to John Soule of the Terre Haute Express (whose motto was, “We Still Have Real Indians Here, So Suck It, New York”). Learned scholars swear what Greeley actually wrote was, “Go West, young man? What are you, frikkin’ nuts? And get my ass stretched on an anthill by Apaches!?”
|"Oh, F!!! |
We're still in frikkin' Pennsylvania??"
No matter who wrote it, my brother, nephew, and I decided to do just that last week. So, we packed up his Nissan Murano and ventured forth through four states, two time zones, countless toll booths, many variations of IQ points, and untold roadkill to Chicago, Illinois.
Our route crossed Pennsylvania, onto the Ohio Turnpike (I now know where Purgatory is), across the Indiana Turnpike, and into Illinois (I think it’s called the “Illinois Turnpike” but I can’t be sure. My ass was too numb by that point to notice). After passing through parts of Illinois (and Gary, Indiana. Thought I forgot you, didn’t you, Gary?) in which Kevlar wouldn’t be out of place, we arrived in Chicago.
|Not as tall as what those a-holes |
put up in the UAE,
but plenty tall enough to
splatter your ass if you jump off.
Only to realize that we (and our sore asses) still had an hour to go to Great Lakes, Illinois. That was where we needed to go watch my sister’s son graduate from Navy boot camp.
NOTE: My sister, brother-in-law, three nieces, and a nephew-in-law (didn’t know there was such a thing, huh?) elected to fly to Chicago. They’re from the intelligent side of the family.
But, that’s another story for another day. I just want to concentrate on our trip for now.
All told, we spent twelve and a half hours in the car heading out there. But, that was okay because we were thrilled to watch the beautiful panorama which is the United States slide by our wondering eyes.
|Beautiful panorama which is the United States. |
Yep, the pioneers may have been forced to endure an arduous trip in covered wagons over hundreds of miles of wastelands occupied by savage tribes and wild beasts. But, they could get fresh air.
|Move along, there's nothing to see here. |
And we're not kidding.
And don’t get me started on the unrelenting sameness which is the Ohio Turnpike. DISCLAIMER: I’m quite sure Ohio is a beautiful state, despite having the wackiest flag in the Union. And even though they claim Cleveland-they've been trying to convince Canada to take it off their hands (especially since LeBron gave them a big "FU!")-I know it has to have its good points. Besides being the easiest state to spell. But, I’m sorry. The most interesting thing we saw while losing contact with our asses was some dog eating something along the side of the road.
For some reason, we never thought to turn on the radio to enliven our imprisonment. Country, Gospel, hip hop, talk radio, some itinerant preacher, farm report, anything would have been better than listening to the symphonies issuing from the seats of our pants. Sadly, nobody (including me) thought to turn on the radio.
NOTE: Remember what I said about the intelligent side of the family?
|Could be worse. Could be Ohio. |
Oh, you've been there?
Some conversations were dead serious while others were comic reminiscences (NOTE: Thank GOD for spell-check!) of days gone by (ANOTHER ANNOYING NOTE: I’m sure my 24 year-old nephew loved hearing two geezers talk about the good old days of the 70s. That poor bastard).
I’ve listed one such conversation below. I’d write about more of these discussions (goodness knows I wrote them all down), but since I’m getting close to 1,000 words, I’ll spare you the details and only go with one (you’re welcome).
|Spaghetti. With meatballs. |
Yeah, I love meatballs.
“Hey, you see that sign back there?”
|RV-MH Hall of Fame. Yeah, this place really exists. |
Bet you thought I was kidding.
I don't blame you.
“No, the one for McGregor’s Farmstand.”
AL’s NOTE (well, whose else’s would they be?): This is where, in typical fashion, our conversations would stray into the bizarre.
“Nope, I needed to steer around that truckload of Amish people hauling their buggy.”
“Wonder if they have fresh eggs?”
“I can’t stand fresh eggs.”
“What do you mean?”
“If I see ‘Fresh Eggs For Sale’, I steer clear.”
“I don’t want no egg from a chicken’s butt.”
“What? Eggs don’t come from a chicken’s butt!”
“Sure they do. Where else would they come from?”
“What? Chickens don’t have vaginas.”
“Of course they do. Especially the girl chickens.”
“What!? All chickens are girls.”
|"Just because I'm a chicken |
doesn't mean I'm a pussy."
“Nope. The girl chickens are called ‘hens.’”
“Then, what are the boy chickens called?”
NOTE: This elicited a laugh from my nephew, who was doing his best not to be drawn into the conversation between us two noted biologists.
“I’ll bet there’s no such thing as chicken vaginas.”
“Everything that lays eggs has vaginas.”
“Easter Bunny doesn’t have a vagina.”
“That’s because the Easter Bunny is a boy!”
“Who lays eggs.”
“Have you ever seen the Easter Bunny lay an egg?”
“No, have you?”
“Of course not. He’s not real. But, if he was, he wouldn’t have a vagina.”
“I’ll bet the Tooth Fairy has a vagina.”
NOTE: Interestingly, chickens don’t have vaginas. They have what are called ‘cloacas’ which is a combination of-wait for it-butt and vagina. So, my brother was right. Meaning, I’ll never have a hard-boiled egg again. How do I know, you ask? I looked it up. Although, I think the government is going to pay me a visit because I Googled “Chicken Vaginas” when I got home.
Wow, I’m over 1,000 words, which is what I use to gauge how much torture to put you through. So, I’ll close for now.
There’s much more to tell, though. The Mars Cheese Castle, Navy boot camp, a place called the Twisted Kilt, the effects of Thai food on hotel room chemical warfare, political incorrectness on a Chicago bridge....all will have to wait for another time.
After all, Giada’s almost on.
EPILOGUE: As we prepared to return home, we were in good spirits. Since we had already proven we could drive a little over twelve hours, the return trip wouldn’t be too bad. All was well. Until we passed that sign in Indiana: “You Are Now Entering the Eastern Time Zone.” Meaning, we lost an hour. Meaning, our twelve and a half trip became a thirteen and a half hour trip. With the Ohio Turnpike still left to go. Donations in lieu of flowers may be sent to help finance our ass transplants.
|Yeah. Like this. |
At least it was sunny.