Road Trip!!

Y’all have probably been wondering where the daily posts have been.  Well, some of you maybe.  I’ve been on a little road trip.  I’ll tell you why I was on a road trip, two, actually, in as many months, sometime in October if you’re still interested.

I would rather drive, no matter how far, than take a plane, train, or bus to get anywhere.  I don’t want to leave the driving to them.  Why?  For one, I’m not in a hurry.  I plan for travel days.  Two, I want personal comfort.  I don’t want to be standing in a line with a lot of other people getting strip searched, questioned, and I don’t want other people around just plain aggravating me because they can.  I want to smoke when I want, and eat when I want, and have a drink when I want.  I think I’ve been over this before, maybe in an earlier rant about airplane travel, I can’t remember.  I also do a lot of my traveling by RV.  That’s “Recreational Vehicle” for you uninitiated.  I like to have my own “hotel” room with me too.  Don’t want to have to deal with thinking about other people having slept….or whatever….in my bed.  Don’t want to pay $100 plus for a few hours sleep and a shower.

So, I like road trips, and I’ve been doing them for a long time.  Like, say, when gas was under a dollar a gallon, although at times, harder to get, say more than 40 years at least.  I was brought up that way.  We always went on vacations in a car when I was a kid. I like seeing the scenery, the countryside, the weird and strange road-side attractions, like Dinosaurs in the middle of Arizona, a house built into a huge rock cliff, a place called Nothing, a real live mummy advertised on billboards for miles as “The Thing”, (okay not live but you almost have to stop), a restaurant shaped like a long horn skull, underground caverns, The Roadkill Cafe, petrified ground slouth dung.  Yep, it’s all out there to see on a road trip.

What I have noticed over my years of traveling by highway and byway, is the increasing pigification of the traveling population.  Maybe it’s because we’re the ones that can’t “afford” the airplane tickets, I don’t know, a lower class maybe?  (I guess they haven’t noticed the gas prices.)  But it seems to be getting worse.  People traveling in vehicles are turning into swine.

Back in the late seventies, I tried to start an organization I called “C.A.M.P.”  “Campers Against Miserable Pigs.”  The only requirement to join was a promise to leave every campsite cleaner than you found it.  Pick up the cans, bottles, bottle caps, dirty diapers, napkins, paper plates and cigarette butts.  I found them scattered around every time I pulled into a campsite.  Still do.  So you would do this clean up, then set up camp and keep it that way, clean.  Leave a C.A.M.P sticker on the picnic table when you left.  The only littering you would do.

Remember the “Give a Hoot, don’t Pollute” Campaign?  Where did it go? The “Litter Bug”.  “Don’t Be A LitterBug.”  A sign on the highway threatening a $150 fine for littering is doing little good.  Who’s going to turn you in?  Someone going to call 911 with a license plate number for a litterbug?  Texas has their “Don’t Mess With Texas.”  Will cost you a little more if caught.  How about you give me a hundred and fifty dollar bounty if I supply you with video evidence, and a license plate number of someone I see messin’ with Texas?

You see those highway signs now where some group or business is responsible to clean up litter along a mile-long section of highway?  Why is this necessary?  I can’t imagine rolling down my window and pitching the empty drink container out the window.  Or the remnants of the Happy Meal?  How can anyone consciously do that?

The same pigs that are pitching the empty container out the window, are using the public restrooms.  They can’t get the paper towel into the garbage can, can’t flush the urinal, or worse can’t make the stream make the urinal.  It’s all pretty lazy and pretty unnecessary.  Just because it isn’t your bathroom (I hope you don’t treat yours that way) doesn’t mean you can’t be respectful of the others that will use it today.  I don’t like standing in puddles of piss.  Really.  And I seem to be doing it a lot more lately.  I approach the stall, careful where I step, hit the flush lever first thing, almost every time.  Lazy.  Unnecessary.  WTF.

But I really recommend the “road trip.”  Best way to travel.  

On this recent road trip I encountered, besides pigs, a new way to get gas for free.  It wasn’t really new, I guess, but a twist on an old idea.  You need an old motor home.  It’s got to run, but if it breaks down, get it to break down at a Love’s, Pilot, or Flying J.  You’ll also need at least a five-gallon gas can.  Ten would be better, but harder for the woman to carry should someone charitably fill it up. 

Here’s how it goes.  The husband, boyfriend, accomplice is nowhere to be seen.  This one was in the store getting coffee and Danish.  The girl approaches a traveler at a gas pump filling up their tank.

“I don’t mean to be rude, or even a pain,” she starts out setting down her empty gas can next to the startled traveler.  “See that motor home over there?” she turns, points, then continues, “We’re trying to get to Kansas.  That’s where we live, see, and I’m so embarrassed to ask, but we need gas.  We’re out of money (not true, they had money for coffee and Danish at least) and they’re threatening to tow us out of the lot if we don’t move soon.  I understand that you probably don’t like being approached by people and I don’t want money for gas, just some gas, however much you want to give me.”

This ploy worked on the guy she approached next to me.  Good Christian man I guess.  Struck up a conversation with her about how many people actually helped her.  She explained that it was all about not asking for actual money as he promptly filled up her seven gallon can.  She lavished thanks and god blesses on him while he did this.  Then feigned disbelief that he was going to give her the full can.  I watched her walk off struggling with the weight of the gas can.

I was walking behind the husband, boyfriend, accomplice, as I was coming out of the store, and I heard her tell him, as she walked by with the again empty gas can, that they got another one.  His response was that they only needed one more for a full tank as he sipped on his coffee and took a bite of his Danish.  A full tank.  That’s 100 gallons on those motor homes.  At $3.54 a gallon, I don’t know how long they had been at it, but they had earned almost $350.  Those RVs only get around eight miles to the gallon, so that would only get them 800 miles down the road.  Closer to Kansas, Dorothy, but not all the way there.   

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Road Trip!!

  1. Don’t get me started on litter. Here in AZ I live in a culture of garbage, thrown out of car windows, on my front walk, up and down the street, and yes, people here let kitchen garbage in plastic bags pile up in their yards where it gets torn up by the weather and animals. It’s everywhere you go.

    I love road trips. When we first came out here to look, we drove from CT to AZ. People told us we were crazy because we only had a week. But I’m so comfortable in my own little car I could probably live in it. Back when gas was cheap we drove and drove all over the place, remember “trying” to get lost? Those days of traveling the back roads sure were fun—such adventure.

    Man scammers are everywhere. And public restrooms? Forget it. Give me an alleyway or roadside. Women are PIGS.

    • Don’t you think it’s gotten worse though? I know it has always been bad, but maybe I just noticed it more. The litter and the public restrooms.

      • I’m not sure since I don’t travel much anymore. I think it depends on the area. I live in a culture where litter, junk in yards, and disgusting restrooms are not considered socially inappropriate. Where I grew up in CT, it was rare to see anyone throw something on the ground, and there were strict zoning laws about how much junk you could have visible in your yard. Of course, many parts of CT that were once well-kept are now slums, so it really depends on the neighborhood.

        I tell ya it’s so bad here I could fill 3 big garbage bags in a mile’s walk. I’m trapped here, so there’s nothing I can do but try to keep up with it in my neighborhood. I actually stopped going for daily walks because I come back more depressed than when I left.

        I long for a clean, quiet, neighborhood in a nice town where people don’t litter or chain dogs up. That kind of life is out of my reach, and I’m not dealing with it well!

  2. There’s so much in this post on which to comment! I remember when driving was the way to go–the only way to go for families like ours, and that was just great. The potential for adventures is so much greater the longer it takes to get “there” and back.

    As for litter, I don’t get it either. I remember one summer day when a family of travelers stopped at the end of our driveway, had a picnic and left all their trash behind. We were home at the time and just looked out our windows in disbelief. Some people just don’t think about other people or the environment we all share. I also noticed that litter increases as the number of fast food joints increase. Don’t know the reason for the correlation exactly, but I have my theories.

    And scammers…they come in all shapes and sizes. We tend to blame the woman for using her feminine charms, but what about the men who fall for those charms?

    Very interesting post. I’ve missed you!

    • I was in a Motel 6 parking lot and someone had emptied the entire remains of a McDonald’s meal next to my truck. It looked like I was the responsible party and the damn trash can was a few feet away. Will never understand why people think someone else should pick up after them. Which I did. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Road trips are the best but I agree with you about bathrooms and litter along the highway. And the gas station scam you describe is pitiful. At least the scenery is nice!

    • If most of us would never think of chucking the empty container out the window, I wonder who’s doing it? As your recent pictures show, the scenery is awesome. Road Trip! When I was in college and even after, someone would yell that and we would jump in a car. Thanks for commenting, Stacia.

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