Friday, February 10, 2012

Country Roads, Take Me Home

WARNING: The following could be viewed as a bigoted harangue of the southern United States.  Please know that I love the South and would love to move there (if the judge would only lift the restraining order).  I’m just exaggerating our experiences there for the sake of comedy.  But, you still may want to observe the posted speed limit if you have New York plates.  I’m just sayin’...

    As most of you know, I spent last weekend in Virginia with Mrs. Penwasser and our daughter.  The purpose of our trip was two-fold: 
Tech 'Hokie.'
Standing next to turkey tying his shoe.
    1.  We visited our son, who is a college sophomore in Blacksburg.  Virginia Tech is a beautiful school with a rich tradition of excellence, higher learning, fake IDs, and tuition higher than the national average.
    2.  We also took a tour of Lynchburg College because, for some strange reason, our daughter (like our son) has no wish to attend any school in her home state (at in-state rates). 
    Lynchburg is a lot like Virginia Tech, only without the cosmopolitan ambiance of Blacksburg.  But, what it lacks in a certain rustic savoir-faire (NOTE:  French for “Savior Fairy,” although that makes no sense), it makes up in mobile home parks, road kill, pawn shops, and fundamentalists. 
Jerry Falwell, founder of the Moral Majority
 and noted dead guy. 
    They do have the Reverend Jerry Falwell Regional Airport, though.  It’s kind of small with a grass runway, but the beauty is that you don’t need airplanes.  Prospective passengers just wait for the “Rapture” to whisk them away to such luxurious destinations as Raleigh, Rocky Mount, or Pat Robertson’s house.
Reverend Pat Robertson.
Claims to be Jesus' real BFF.
Despite the handicap of not being dead yet.

   NOTE:  For those unfamiliar with Southwestern Virginia (sorry, Mynx, Tony, Eva, Anne, Nancy, Yeamie Matthew, Pat Hatt, BlackLog, Robyn...geez, most of you), you probably don’t realize just how frikkin’ hysterical that last paragraph was.  Well, let’s just put it this way, it’s just a little piece down the road from Appomattox, the town where, in April, 1865 
"Okay, so whaddya say?
Best two out of three Rock, Scissors, Paper?
Incidentally, that 'Just For Men'...does it really work?"
[NOTE within a NOTE: a long time ago] Robert E. Lee surrendered his army, sword, and beard to Ulysses S. Grant (who gave back the beard because he already had one).  This pretty much ended the American Civil War. 

    {NOTE following NOTE within a NOTE:  For those of you who aren’t American or who are products of the New Jersey school system, space precludes me from a longwinded treatise on this most tragic event in our history.  In essence, though, a lot of people died and the blue team won}.

    Despite everything, we had a pretty good time way down South in the land in the land of cotton, old times there are not forgotten (which is exactly why this Yankee never opened his yap, except to say “y’all”, “fixin’ to”, “reckon”, and “are yew sure it’s dead?”).  So, look away, look away, look away, Dixieland.

    Our first day, we....oooh, crap!  This post is already 464 words long (471, if you count the last sentence) and I haven’t even gotten to the main points I was trying to make. 

    So, I’ll have to continue my story next time.  Don’t worry, it will be worth your while.  I’ll be talking about Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts.  Plus, there’ll be a picture of a half-naked fat guy!

    In any event, it will definitely be better than that crappy metric system post from last week.  And, don’t worry-I’m not the fat guy.

    Until then, a little tease. 

Why Al Should Not Be Left Alone at the Hotel’s Breakfast Bar:
Bagels should be sliced in half before jamming them in conveyor toasters.
Bagels not sliced in half before jamming them into conveyor toasters tend to burst into flames.
NOTE:  Flames not shown. I was a little too busy to take a frikkin' picture.


  1. Was funny, but yeah that last paragraph sorta escaped me a bit, just a Canadian I did know the blue team won. Well starbucks and dunkin's donuts do produce fat guys, half naked must be a life choice.

  2. I thought it might. Your knowledge of Virginia is probably the same as my knowledge of Manitoba. Half-naked because his clothes don't fit. But, I guess if you can't move off your couch, no sense putting your britches on.

  3. Did you get to use "How many ya lack?" or "I'll talk atcha later." Or is that just Arkansan?

    1. Elementary School humor:
      What did Tennessee?
      The same thing that Arkansas!
      Thank you.
      The End.

  4. I have said, "I'll talk atcha later."
    "How many ya lack?'
    "I can't make up muh mond. I lack 'em all!"

  5. And I didn't even need to wear shoes. Thanks!

  6. Whenever I want to have good feelings about the US South, I think of Oliver Hardy and the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Maybe they'd take a shine to you if you pretended to be Stan Laurel?

  7. You were right, I did read most of this in a completely clueless state.
    I do however agree that it is never a good idea to jam a bagel in a toaster without having a fire extinguisher close by

  8. I'm looking forward to the picture of the half naked fat man. No, I'm not really, I'm just kidding. I have a blogger buddy from South Carolina and he's taught me about grits and moonshine! Out of state tuition, you'll need a 3rd mortgage on your house for that!!

  9. As you know, I recently moved to the south from the north. Stay in the north. Trust me on this one. Sorry to anyone from the south who may be reading this. Perhaps my experiences are not the norm or it's just my own damn fault for being a hopeless yankee. It is pretty here. The Blue Ridge and surrounding mountains are breathtakingly beautiful.

  10. Excuse me....what's wrong with being a product of a New Jersey school system? I was smart enough to know to leave the state wasn't I? They must have taught me something. And just because I moved to South Carolina where the winters are warmer should tell you something shouldn't it? Oh Al...what did I ever do to you?.....hahaha.

  11. @Gorilla: I'm sure I'd get someone into another fine mess.
    @Mynx: I figured that you, above all, would have little idea what I was talking about. After all (lucky you), it's summertime where you are.
    @Anne: Well, you can't go wrong with pictures of half-naked fat guys. Unless you have a box of doughnuts.
    @Jenn: It was breathtakingly gorgeous, I'll admit. Although, I kept hearing banjo music everywhere I went (sorry, another unfair gratuitous shot at the South).
    @Barb: True story: I originally was going to write "the Detroit school system." Then, since I hoped you'd be reading this, I switched it up to "New Jersey." See, you impacted my post! :-)

  12. i'm from ny, but now live in the south, not far from the area you ventured into. that means i got all the jokes and enjoyed them. thanks, al. now get to your dang story already! or are you too busy putting your elbow under the faucet & then giving it a good shake? because, as we established yesterday, wetter is better.
    btw, i giggled at the "blue team won" line. cuz i'm dumb like that.

    1. I shook it too much, got faint, and fell over.

    2. yup, i have my new yorker visa.
      stop shaking your stuff. you're too old for such shenanigans. it's bad for your health & you might break a hip next time you fall down.

  13. My favorite part of the south is the small town and nature park chimney rock

  14. @Sherilin: So, you've got a New Yorker visa? "Blue team won"-Cliff Notes for the Civil War.
    @Adam: There's actually quite a few great parts about the south. All kidding aside, I do like Virginia very much (except the Norfolk area-which is full of sailors and is pretty much northeast North Carolina).

  15. Very funny! And somehow satisfying in a very unsatisfying sort of way... with the fact you never got the point, whatever that was going to be. ;)

    I enjoyed your Lincoln comment over on FFF... and I'm glad it only took 30 minutes to write. Honestly... who needs rules to writing anyway.

    Pat Robertson... hmm... remember Jimmy Swaggart? He was everywhere and then suddenly no where. Ah how the mighty disappear...

  16. @Sherilin: Imagine the look on the rescue squad's face. "I've fallen and I can't get up! Now, can you help me put this thing away?"
    @Jira: I'm going to give FFF a better effort next time. I hope my Lincoln comment doesn't offend too many people. It might be too soon. I remember Jimmy Swaggart crying, "I've sinned." Or some other such. I lived in Virginia Beach for 11 years and saw all those guys on TV. In fact, Mrs. Penwasser grew up only five miles from where Pat Robertson and company broadcast the '700 Club.'

  17. Clever. I'm surprised SNL doesn't have a Savior Fairy character.

  18. @dbs: Well, they DID have the Church Lady.
    @Eva: And you haven't even seen my prom pictures.

    1. That comment to Eva sums up everything awesome about to you Al, made me laugh so much. If you weren't such a talent in the navy I think stand up would be your calling!

  19. Great stuff as always Al, I love how you use the notes, great work man!

  20. My youngest has no wish to attend college in her home state either. But, once they get away from home they can't wait to come back.

  21. Won't let me use reply, junky thing. But my knowledge of Manitoba goes as far as to where it is on the map and the capitol, that's about it..haha

  22. Now that was a funny read.....................and I often learn things when I come here

  23. Al, I have an award for you. You can check it out next time you stop by.


    Can't wait for part 2 - my son just enrolled in Uni here but kids here in Oz rarely leave home to go to college - thank god!

  24. Hahaha! I've burnt plenty of bagels in those things. Nothing like the smell of black char in the morning. I'm really looking forward to part 2.

  25. @Yeamie: Thanks! NOTE: You're the coolest. NOTE within the previous NOTE: By 'coolest', I mean the best.
    @Mrs. E.: That's exactly what I was thinking. Especially since it costs $1.25 to wash a load of clothes and $1.00 to dry a load of clothes at Lynchburg College. The guide felt that was necessary to point out. That, and the fact that freshmen can't bring their cars with them
    @Jo-Anne: I try to be sorta historically accurate. For instance, the blue team did win. Which explains all the sour looks I got in Lynchburg. Sheesh, talk about holding a grudge!
    @ComeatMeBro: Thanks! Real life quite often gives me the best material (tomorrow's post is just such an example).
    @Pat: So, that's pretty much how I am with Nebraska.
    @Robyn: So, we won't have to worry about yeast infections....? On a related NOTE: I used to think you could only get clamydia from shellfish (NOTE: Deliberate misspelling. Hee hee hee...who'da thunk we'd get some much mileage out of an STD?).
    @Marlia: Thanks-I'll check as soon as I'm done here! All kidding aside (this is a tough go for me), I'd be very happy if she didn't leave home to go to school. We already miss her brother. Next year will be rough with only me, Mrs. Penwasser, and the "Dog With No Nuts" rambling around the place. And...yet...he still licks himself. Lucky dog.
    @Shockgrubz: Tomorrow's post will address that issue. Guess I shoulda just had wheat toast.

  26. That's why they make lox for bagels y'all! Julie

  27. And now I'm even more scared to visit the South. Though my girlfriend insists we go down there someday.

  28. @crowbloke: Back atcha. You got some funny stuff out your way.
    @DWei: The only thing you really have to watch out for is the dude who says, "Yew shure do have a raght purdy mouth."

  29. Can't wait to read the rest of this. Being a deep-southern gal, I'm cool with it. Also, the rest of the south is pretty much great with people making fun of Virginia, West Virginia Kentucky and Mississippi. Just saying.

  30. Ahhhh, West Virginia.....where family trees are telephone poles.