Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Warped Tour - Post III - Because Road Trips are Fun Too

I truly believe that people like to take road trips with me because of my mad navigational skills. It's true! Every time I direct people, we end up at the right place; in a round about way.

Of course, any little trip, whether it be for just a day, or overnight and even a weekend, is never quite as enjoyable as the roadtrip itself.

Our BIG Warped Tour Weekend was no different. We started off in B-CS in rare form, Ginger's Ipod playing all the tunes our ears could stand and the girls in the back, twittering on their I-phones about how cool their mothers are (don't laugh Kelsey and Austyn; you know it's true).

We made all the right exits and all the right turns (you can thank me AND the little voice in the on-board mapping system with the sexy accent). Yes ma-am...you are welcome!

Of course, no road trip would be complete with out the laughter and the all too important "I HAVE TO GO PAYE PAYE" (pee pee) so I kept my eyes peeled for a suitable exit for when needed.

The first one I saw, I told Ginger "Hey, let's pee here" so we exited the roadway and onto a feeder road that was lined with....grass and a broken down neighborhood; but no gas station or fast food places. We, almost immediately, realized we were not near a suitable place to go "PAYE PAYE." Indeed, we found ourselves immediately on the wrong side of the tracks in an unknown town and the first person we saw was a scary guy on his porch smoking a crack pipe, no doubt awaiting his crack bitch to come home from her waitress job at the Waffle House and fix him a sammich.

"NOBODY MAKE EYE CONTACT!!!" Ginger yells as we all proceeded to be interested in whatever the church was to our left, holding in the "PAYE PAYE" as we laughed at our blunder, bumping over pot holes and gravel. I reassured Ginger that if she just made a left at the stop sign, we would get back on our road and we could exit at the NEXT stop.....just "DON'T LOOK BACK....CRACK GUY COULD FOLLOW" - the voice of the mapping system irritating my own navigation as she said "Recalculating..." (shut up beyotch!)

We were very fortunate though, as the Crack Man Whore was likely too wasted to get off his porch and merely followed us with his eyes, no doubt wondering how much he could get for the rims of the car, were we to stop long enough in front of his house. That was not to be a problem though, as Ginger peeled rubber all the way back to the highway.

You would think that our next exit would be perfect for the "PAYE PAYE" but we were racked with uncontrollable giggles as we pulled up to the "Gas and Stuf" and were unable to control our mirth as we realized that if these people couldn't spell properly, then they for sure kept their nasty bathroom under lock and key and we would have to buy something in order to release the "PAYE PAYE" - we just couldn't do it and after a few seconds deliberation and much laughter, Ginger pulled out and back onto the highway in search of suitable release.

It would have been easy to hold in the "PAYE PAYE" had we not then come across a couple of interesting billboards that made us not only ponder their meaning, but caused us to burst into more uncontrollable laughter as we tried to decipher their code.

The first billboard, I have not been able to find a picture of with my many searches on the internet, but it was undoubtedly an ad campaign warning young children/kids of the dangers of smoking. It had a picture of the back of a school bus and merely read "UNDER AGE SMOKING? MEET YOUR NEW RIDE...."
So, we had to ask ourselves....are they saying that if you smoke, the only job you'll ever get is that of a school bus driver? (*SNICKER SNICKER* *SQUEEZE SQUEEZE*) Or do they mean that if you are caught smoking, they will make you ride the school bus? Like, with all the other smokers? And if so, does that mean you can smoke on the bus?

I dare say, we still don't have that one figured out...

This one, however, was clear from 'almost' the beginning:

As you can imagine, as soon as we saw the "Condoms to Go URL", we were busting a gut, and all four of us were in shock-hysteria-laughter...the kind that is silent because you are laughing too hard to even breathe. Oh, you snort now and then, for sure, but mostly you just gasp for air and nod to the person next to you in case they don't understand that you are just laughing. I nearly lost my grip on my "PAYE PAYE" and Ginger was forced to pull into the very next stop. A halfway decent place, run by some guy who was probably named Achmed. It had a subway AND a pizza place inside as well as pool tables and FOUR STALLS in the bathroom! Talk about elation. RELEASE THE PAYE PAYE!

The problem was....one of the stalls had no door at all. No door.



It's hard enough to release the "PAYE PAYE" when you know you aren't going to sit on the toilet seat at all. But to hover with ease over a john with no door on the stall takes some defined acrobatics (See reference to my rules for bathroom etiquette). I gallantly chose this stall for myself....seeing as it was likely the most unused (ha ha...see I had a reason guys!!!) and there was much sighing of relief.

And more sighing. We had been waiting a looooongggg time ya know....

I want to say that there wasn't any soap, which seems likely given that this place wasn't all that much to the naked eye...but we all washed none-the-less (Ginger being the germaphobe that she is......and really....who wouldn't be in a place like this?!).

We each grabbed a snack, some drinks and were back in business and hitting the road, our eyes NOW peeled for hopefully more hilarious billboards.

None of them had quite the effect as the first two though, so we busied ourselves with finding the correct exit for our hotel.

It was an EXQUISITE hotel. Very nice. 28 floors I believe. If you ever get the chance, I totally recommend the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas. One word of advice, however. When you make reservations, ask about any conventions that might be taking place that weekend. Just a thought.

We actually hit on a very "different" kind of convention. It was for the National Federation of the Blind - their annual convention. It was HUGE. We were most likely the only sighted guests that weekend. There were walking sticks and seeing eye dogs everywhere. And of course, I had to re-pave my way to hell by uncontrollably saying things like "Don't worry - nobody saw that" and other worse things that I REFUSE to mention. I don't want any blind people happening on this site and taking offense. Plus, I was offended myself.....sorry God....and please bless the blind.

There was one occasion when we all loaded in the car to go to Denny's - our favorite thing to do when we are exhausted after a concert. We pluggedthe restaurant address into the Garmin and I "helped" direct Ginger on the route...only to find that the Denny's was just across the street from the hotel. We literally drove across the street to eat....while the BLIND hotel patrons dared to walk across the traffic to get to the same place. The blind people got there quicker than us!

We actually had many, enjoyable interactions with the blind during our stay. One seeing eye dog actually nosed my ass. But most impressive, was Speed Racer, the nice looking blind fellow that approached us and asked us very politely if we knew where the atrium was. He was blind, yet he had beautiful eyes. I wonder if he knows that?

Ginger pointed in one direction (she pointed ya'all.....) and then told him it was just in the way he was already heading and then over to his right. She didn't even really know if she had told him correctly (she did, by the way) but we watched in awe as he used his walking stick and quickly headed in that direction, deftly avoiding all obstacles in his way well before he got near them. . I don't even think I could have kept up with his pace, even if I had to go "PAYE PAYE."

It was baffling to see many of the blind people struggle, AND overcome some of the things that we usually take for granted. Yet is was also amazing!! The other senses that a blind person develops to overcome their lack of sight continues to amaze me. Just listening to some of the conversations many of the blind people had with their colleagues and friends, I was almost ashamed to admit that their intelligence was way above mine. Ashamed, because my narrow-mindedness somehow always led me to believe that if you can't see, how can you learn? How could you know as much as somebody with full sight?

Dude....Helen Keller....Hello?! Yes, me....who laughs at things like getting lost in crackville and dirty billboard signs and getting lost while looking for a restroom. Am I to believe that I am really as shallow as that? I do feel I am a changed person at having witnessed the everyday struggles and difficulties that all blind people have to learn to overcome.

I'm also pretty sure that "Speedy Gonzales," the blind man that we gave directions to inside the hotel, could have navigated us home to B-CS quicker than I did as we drove through Waco, trying to find the highway 6 exit that I was SURE was 'just up ahead' not quite realizing that the exit we needed was the one we had just used to stop and go "PAYE PAYE." *sigh*

It took a lot of willpower for Ginger not to throw her french fries (the ones Kelsey didn't eat) into the back seat at me, (along with her nicely quartered fish sandwich) as I quietly said "I think it's next..." Yeah....my mad navigational skills.

"Will power is to the mind like a strong blind man who carries on his shoulders a lame man who can see." Arthur Schopenhauer

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