Mile 2,400 and Something - Caricatures
The left coast is a strange and beautiful world. When we left Vegas, pre 9:00 a.m. it was almost 90. Yet just a few miles out of town we noticed a mountain with a snow cap. It wasn’t too many miles past the snow capped mountain until we were in the Mohave Desert and Death Valley. There we saw our first mirage. What looked like a blue lake evaporated into brown sand the closer we got. We took a moment to point it out to the girls. We then had a long conversation about Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. I do feel this trip is lacking one unfulfilled joy. I would love to see a real Road Runner. We have been in about 84 states this trip. One of them has the Road Runner as its state bird; Arizona I think. I think Nevada’s state bird is the ever allusive Snipe. Upon exiting the desert in California we had to stop at a road block for a fruit inspection. How ironic. But it was not long out of Death Valley until once again we saw snow covered mountains. Victorville, CA is going to have a white 4th of July this year. You’ve got to love global warming. All along the way I marveled at the rapid temperature fluctuations in a relatively short 5.5 hour trip. From the point where we ate lunch in Victorville to a place just 20 miles down the road the temperature dropped about 13 degrees. The whole way the temperature would rise and fall several degrees at a time. Once we got to San Diego it was 65 degrees. Sorry to my mates melting in the ‘ham. Wish you were here.
Being a Southern fried gentleman, allow me for a moment to correct Cali. When people in Cali try to “do Southern” they always overdo it. The end result is more of a caricature than a representation. This happens most frequently in movies. If you have ever heard me speak, you will sense the irony in the following statement. Dear Hollywood, there isn’t a person alive in the South that sounds like Gone With the Wind. We sound more like Dale Jr. than Rhett Butler. Pay attention and get it right. My two days in California will be a clinic in the Georgia brogue. I have already noticed several Californians passing on the sidewalk, breaking their necks when they hear me speak. Yes, mam, I said “c’mere,” “whatsat,” and “overdair” in the same sentence. Pay attention. Get it right.
In Victorville we found a BBQ joint that tried to pass itself off as being a “Southern style” restaurant. Shannon called the whole thing cliche, but we ate there anyway. Being from Alabama I felt like the Dixie rep. for the Food Channel. I even told the waitress who had a distinctively Cali accent, “We came all the way from Alabama to make sure y’all got this right.”
The restaurant was the epitome of the Southern caricature. When you opened the front door it triggered a soundtrack of a rooster crowing, chickens scratching, and a dog barking. The windows of the restaurant were all crooked perhaps assuming that everyone in the South lives in a house that was built with a isosceles triangle instead of a builder’s square. Dear Mr. Cali restaurant sir, please take my critique of your food kindly. It was good, but it was more Southern Indiana than Southern U.S. In the South we season everything with ham, bacon, and fat. We can even tell by the taste of the sweet tea if the person who stirred it had been into the ham hock that morning. Perhaps these ingredients are contraband at your fruit inspection barricades, but if you truly desire to have a southern kitchen you need some good ol’ southern fat.
So since Cali has offered us its caricatures of southern men, please allow me to offer a cultural corrective to the left coast. You people have a beautiful landscape, but your environmentalism is making you crazy. At the Grand Canyon I pulled an eco friendly bar of soap out of a recycled box with soy print. The bar of soap was missing the middle. The box said that the soap was more ergonomically correct and alleviated the middle portion of the bar because that was the most wasted portion of soap. Mr. environmental, I have no idea how your momma taught you to use soap, but I wear the middle of a bar of soap out first. Do left coasters use soap end to end? Why am I even asking? I bet left coasters use shower gel. In the South our mommas teach us to use soap in sort of the same way we sop a biscuit. We lather up. In fact the problem with soap is not that the middle is wasted, it is that the middle is weak. In time the bar of soap will break and because Southern men are way too lazy to get another bar we will put two thinned out broken ends together in a rag and rub them together like we are trying to start a fire with a pair of sticks. Dear Mr. Eco, I want the middle of my soap back.
Yes, as usual, you people are going to drive the rest of us nuts by legislating how we should live. It won’t be long until congress raises the debt ceiling, requires us to use florescent bulbs, and outlaws the middle of the soap.
By the way, L.A. is smogville. Want to know why? The rest of us have to buy cars with an extra 20 grand of California emissions garbage, but you guys are out here blowing smoke. You people aren’t driving smart cars, apparently you are fans of the new Camaro. I have been passed by more colors of Camaro out here than Baskin Robbins has flavors of ice cream. You aren’t saving money on gas, especially at $18.00 a gallon, but your blinker bill must be low. Maybe in Cali drivers are more battery conscience because you sure don’t waste energy letting people know you are about to cut them off. There is a little lever on your steering column that produces a blinky little green light. Blinkers are loads of fun. Maybe if you used them, along with the middle of your soap, you would be less stressed out and more prone to leave my people alone.
I digress. On to San Diego. . .