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Friday, July 13, 2007

Escape 2007, Part 1: A Day of Strange Signs

What’s worse than no Internet?

Answer: having Internet with no way to access it. Or maybe having unreliable access (so close and yet…)

Thus I sit in my hotel room, in Bloomington IN, sipping a beer and pondering such deep thoughts as I write this post and struggle to get enough of a signal to get online. Daughter Dearest is out with her boyfriend — “we should be back by 10:30,” she assures me, and she has a better track record than The Boy about time. Or Mrs. Fetched, for that matter. They said they would pick me up some socks while they were out, because I forgot to pack any.

But until they get back, it’s me, a laptop with a net connection that works just enough to be frustrating, and my thoughts.

The beginning of this year’s vacation started out much like the last: much delayed by Mrs. Fetched wanting something done. This year, it was the floor molding in Daughter Dearest’s room. Now that we replaced a white carpet with slightly darker (tan) bamboo flooring, suddenly the original molding was too dark. She had said she would get it early in the week so we could get it done before it was time to leave, but somehow the molding didn’t arrive until Wednesday night — which, after Daughter Dearest stained it, would leave us just that one day to do it. Mrs. Fetched enlisted J to help out, and they got one piece down and mis-cut another before I managed to finish my work stuff and get home.

I left work as early as I could (4:30, which is nearly two hours earlier than usual these days) and came home to find… The Boy at Mrs. Fetched’s computer. With his girlfriend, of course. Neither of them seemed to be inclined to help with the floor, naturally, so it fell to J and me. We gamely attempted to do it, but we kept cutting the wrong angle or getting it too short. Such are the hazards of trying to rush the job. After we screwed up several more pieces, Mrs. Fetched said something snide like “I guess since we have all the money in the world, I’ll just hire someone to do it.” You’re welcome. Dear.

I suppose if I’d been in the mood for a quarrel (extremely rare), I could have pointed out that had she listened to me and not bought FAR Manor in the first place — or perhaps getting the molding earlier in the week, even — we wouldn’t be having this problem. But I had more important fish to fry: packing, for one. Mom had called and asked me to bring some basil, and I wanted to bring some bell and jalapeno peppers, so I had to do a little picking and plucking as well. I also decided to bring two basil plants, because Other Brother’s wife never got around to planting any this year and I still had three in pots. To keep them from tipping over, I appropriated Daughter Dearest’s tennies.

But with one thing and another, it was close to 9 p.m. before Daughter Dearest and I started Barge Vader and headed out. We drove a little ways past Nashville and spent last night in a town called White House, named appropriately after an inn that once served people traveling between Nashville and Louisville. After a late breakfast at a Waffle House across the road, we stepped out and saw what we thought was the Dumbest Idea Ever: a DVD rental kiosk outside the adjacent McDonald’s. On further consideration, it might not be such a dumb idea after all: if you can drop them off at another McDonald’s down the freeway, it would be a good way to keep the kids quiet.

After getting a couple of pictures, we headed on and were shortly in Kentucky. I marveled at some of the signs I saw along the freeway:

“USED COWS FOR SALE” — perhaps that doesn’t carry such a stigma in Kentucky? (I will apologize to the people of Kentucky when they remove Mitch McConnell from the Senate.) I wish I’d thought to have the camera out before we got to this one.

Flea market sign
“THE MOST AWESOME FLEA MARKET IN THE WORLD” — it must be; they say so themselves. Right?

Crossing into Indiana, we picked up US150 West (and north). In between the numerous little towns, the road itself was curvy and hilly — nothing like Planet Georgia, but compared to the rest of Indiana it’s positively mountainous. It would be a nice road for motorcycling. Eventually, we cut onto Hwy. 37 and made our way to Bloomington. While on the way, Mrs. Fetched called: “I was at the Dairy Queen today, and they wanted to know if you still wanted to sell some jalapenos.”

Well, yes… but I don’t remember telling them that. A family from India runs the DQ in town; great people but I’m still trying to figure out where they heard about it — maybe they overheard me saying something last time I was in there.

“How many do they want?” I asked.

“As many as you have to sell.” Cooooooooool. “So how much do you want for them?”

“Um…” I thought a moment. “Find out what Kroger is selling them for, and charge 2/3 of that. That’s probably pretty close to wholesale.”

I probably recouped the price of the plants, anyway. There were plenty of peppers looking for a home, and plenty more are coming. She was making the delivery when we arrived at our hotel.


  1. FAR whenever I go someplace I start packing way ahead of time and usually over pack. Even with all of that, I usually forget something.

    You covered a lot of ground in this post, so I'll end my comment by saying very coooooool about the jalapenos.

  2. I have the packing thing down pretty well, I was just rushed and left the socks behind. Underwear, socks, and t-shirts for each day out, shorts, pants, swimsuit, bathroom counter items, camera, laptop, bicycle, any books I want to read… and put some drinks in a cooler.

    I covered a lot of ground alright: about 500 miles. :-)

  3. (late to the show)

    Hi FARf, I didn't pack any socks when I went to California for the funeral last month. Luckily, being California, I could just go without...

  4. Count me late with KB, too! Used Cows for Sale had me going there ... only in the south. And ah, the fabled Waffle Houses of yore... I always thought those things were just dropped in place from above, but they do make tasty breakfasts! Bet you noticed how they get scarcer the farther North you go, eh?

    Wish I had your abundance of jalapeƱos, but I didn't get any planted this year... we were too overwhelmed by everything else that veggies got edged out this year. I Know I'm Gonna Regret That....


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