I-75 Observations (last of my vacation reflections)

Awash with trucks, porn, DQs
and fast lane nimrods.

Ahhh… a week in the sun and sand has ended.  However, we still had the blasted commute back home.  Hours, and I mean hours, before we departed at the beginning, my beloved purchased a 2008 Chevy Tahoe, so we were able to travel in style and comfort and confidence… my Honda lacks comfort on long drives, his very old Tahoe lacks confidence; net this was a welcome upgrade. But although the commute was relatively easy, it was full of interesting observations…

1. Tennessee drivers are governed by a law, much like the law of gravity, that I call the law of the blind and stupid.   Like the law of gravity, there is no getting around it. This law compels them to drive in the fast lane no matter what their speed. This wouldn’t really be bothersome if their speed was, let’s say, more than 70 mph. But it isn’t. They drive, and I do intend to imply this is true for all drivers in the state, below the speed limit in the high-speed lane. I spent most of the trip inhaling sharply between my teeth as Frank would run up on one of them, trying to use the massive breadth of the new Tahoe to scare them into one of the other lanes… it didn’t work.  Like most laws in physics, there are other accompanying laws. In this case, the law of assholes often is found at work when the law of the blind and stupid is in play. Tennessee drivers make assholes out of the best of us.

2. The good, God-fearing folk of southern Georgia have a porn problem.  I have been driving the top half of the state for over 25 years and outside of Hot-lanta, you don’t get a lot of billboards coaxing drivers to stop off at road side girlie shows. This time, I ventured south of Macon for the first time in many years, and was astonished at the number of billboards and resulting establishments for all things “adult”.  My favorite? “Strippers. Need we say more?”  I thought that was a brilliant, easy to follow marketing campaign in a market prone to clutter with loads of unnecessary information (books! movies! shows! naked! truckers welcome! now with attached Subway!). Now I know that the people in peanut and cotton country down there will say that it is all those northern born truckers bringing their sin to town… but I don’t buy it. Between Cincinnati and Macon (560 miles) there are roughly two, maybe 3, adult establishments right on the interstate (that commute is really boring, okay? you notice these things). Between Macon and the Albany exit — a grand total of 60 miles, I saw no fewer than 4. Wow.

3. Our new Tahoe has a built-in DVD player. Typically on long drives each kid has a device of some sort which requires recharging and never seems to have, amongst the 25 preloaded movies, what they want to watch. But this time they watched the same movies, displayed over head, and loved it. Nothing ran out of batteries; no one got bored; everyone shared. It was like our family entered some parallel universe where the kids are happy and grateful all the time.  I have a saying that on the 8th day, god created macaroni and cheese. Well, on the 9th day, he created in-car DVD systems.

4. I spent the bulk of vacation wearing either a swimsuit or pajamas. Really couldn’t be bothered with any clothing that would fall “between” these two ends of the spectrum. So when it was time to drive home (and since by this time I was also in the middle of a fairly uncomfortable upper respiratory infection), I really, really wanted to just keep those PJ’s on for the drive. No one would know me. What were the chances I would run into someone I recognized?  But then I realized something. What if all those videos of people at Wal-Mart in their PJ’s weren’t just lazy hicks, but were simply people like me coming off vacation, still clinging to the last vestiges of that holiday feeling? I didn’t want my PJ-and-croc wearing self showing up on some video for Bob’s Truck Stop/DQ/Dirt Museum. So I was ruefully sensible and wore normal clothes.

5. You know you have been on vacation too long when you crave salads. By the time we returned to Cincinnati, the thought of food that came from any place other than nature made me sick to my stomach. I think part of the reason was (warning… keep reading at your own risk) I began suffering from what I call vacation-bola. This is where instead of bleeding-out, you poop-out… all the shit you have eaten for the last week (you know the menu, no need to repeat it here) decides it must exit your system as soon as possible, in pretty much the same form as it entered – “shit”. It is actually a blessing to get hit with vacation-bola — a great way to reset your system after the various over indulgences without requiring medical/pharmaceutical intervention. However, on this trip, it required no fewer than 3 stops on our already-over-long commute home.  I must rethink my vacation menus…

That’s it. I return to the real world on Monday, slightly less white than I was 2 weeks ago, and much better rested. Happy end of summer to everyone!

Leave a comment


  1. welcome back

  2. #5 is sooooo true. I can’t stand not having things like veggies, fresh fruit, and milk for too long.


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