Sunday, November 26, 2006

the long way home

24 november 2006, 2:55 pm, mst, mile 175: we’ve stopped along route 66/I-40 in tucumcari, new mexico. we learned on the way out which end of town had all of the eating establishments, and now we find ourselves at the same blake’s lotaburger where we ate lunch five days ago.

the guy in line in front of us is creatively costumed in coveralls, white athletic socks with stylish grey accents, and flip flops. as we approach the counter, he’s bargaining with the waitress, asking her which combinations of double-meat, cheese, and beverage will come closest to the amount of change sitting in a gleaming pile in his palm. it was sort of like watching an audition for the price is right.

which reminds me- i’m sure you’ve heard by now that bob barker has decided to hang up his microphone next year. this was perhaps the oddest thing i read about in a magazine geared toward a much older audience all year.

no, wait- let me amend that. it was the second oddest thing, because seeing robin williams on the cover of a retirement magazine nearly made me hyperventilate. surely mork’s not old enough to retire yet. i mean, he’s what- 45? 46?

but i digress.

7:45 pm, cst, mile ish: i am sitting in the middle of my bed at the super 8 motel in clinton, oklahoma. i have no clue what our mileage is, but val kilmer was wandering around shirtless in a field (i was watching willow on my laptop in the car) when we pulled up to the motel.

25 november 2006, 3pmish, cst: no trip to kansas city is complete without a trip to taco john’s, and i’m thrilled to report that we’re taking a slight detour to bonner springs, kansas, so i can stuff myself full of tacos and potato oles.

6:15 pm: i’m sitting next to a guy who’s busy tapping away on his apple laptop. i’m not completely sure exactly what he’s working on, but it appears to be a map of europe with song lyrics that are either czech in origin or else bob dylan, as transcribed by a hearing impaired monkey.

there’s a guy a couple of rows ahead of us with his ipod cranked so loudly that i’m beginning to wonder if he has any eardrums left. the guy next to him has already requested a seat change, and the folks in the row behind him are taking advantage of the noise to loudly discuss some of the various things they’d like to do to each other as soon as we get near the “family” bathroom at the airport. (funny- that one never showed up on the “purity” tests that made the rounds when i was in college....not even in the infamous “dr. seuss” section of the 1500-pointer.) all that’s missing is a crying baby, although the guy who seems to be hacking up a lung right behind my right ear is probably close enough.

i’m kinda glad i ate all of my tacos in the car. call me unadventurous, but tacos seasoned with other people’s phlegm just don’t whet my appetite.

1 comment:

Labbie said...

I was in Tucumcari once, back in 1995, with Dad and the young one. I thought the name was funny. It was as if some chick named "Cari" asked where her glasses were, and someone answered, "Somebody Tucumcari!"

Get it?

Yeah. Hope your trip(s) end well.