Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wednesday: September 12, 2007

Start: Baltimore, MD

End: New Paris, OH

Most Memorable thing heard on the radio

DN and MM AGREE - Ring of Fire, as sung by Dwight Yoakam

Most Memorable Thing on the Side of the Road:

MM: Billboard that says TiVO THIS! (if she weren't sick, I'm sure she would have said the busses)

DN: a recreation of Noah's Arc. If these folks are in charge of repopulating the earth, the next society will be without engineers or carpenters


The day begins in Charm City with two tired campaign volunteers weerily packing the car with an assist from Will. However, it gets off to a bad karmic start as the battery for the film version of Monkey Across America will not feature much footage of today. MonkeyCam's battery was already nearly dead.

The actual trip gets off to a slow start as our first stop is about 400 yards from Will's house. Sadly, my last memory of Charm City is not an election victory, but of a charming person trying to recreate one of Jesus' miracles by feeding 40 people at a Dunkin' Donuts without the help of anyone else (despite the presence of several paid employees recreating the role of the Apostles by not doing a damm thing to help.) We gave up and headed into morning rush hour just before 9 AM (sans donuts.)

Feeling the high off the big win yesterday (See: Yesterday, below), we tried to find some election news on Baltimore radio. We instead learned that Art Modell is really cool (WBAL), white people only vote for white people (WOLB) and that someone is trying to kidnap Beyonce (some FM station).

The route took us the long way out of MD, leaving its NWestern border. We stopped thrice along the way before leaving "America in Miniature" at Frederick (where we had a non-religious experience at the Dunkin' Donuts), Norge and Grantsville. It was between Norge and Grantsville that we saw the church which advertised the recreation of Noah's Arc (it looked like a skeleton, and according to Will has for some time). In Grantsville, I picked up a copy of this week's edition of Sword of God, which included part 1 of a 3 part op-ed entitled, Why I Don't Speak in Tongues.

It was also in MD where we heard the "awesome" cover of Ring of Fire. We thought Dr. Teeth and Music Mayhem could have done a much better job.

We stopped for lunch in Norge, West Virginia, where the Wendys played U2's Pride as sung by some girl band who apparently thought it was a love song.

We then traveled through WV to PA. We were in PA for about 20 minutes, then were back in WV. From there, we entered Ohio. Ohio was the last state on the list for the day, but we did have to drive actross the entire state.

Quick note on WV: West Virgina might have the most scenic highways in the country if you're into mountains and trees, which I am.

All day we passed large flat-bed trucks that were carrying one part of an extremely long pipe. In Ohio, roughly 250 miles after we first started passing pipe pieces, we passed what was apparently either the end or beginning of the pipe. After this big tube thin with a pointy end we didn't pass anymore in the last 200 miles of the trip. It was sort of suspicious. If Ohio were Syria, it would probably be grounds for declaring war with Illinois.

Ohio itself is a pretty dull state to drive through (DN's opinion). It had neither the beautiful mountains of WV or MD nor being where America starts like PA. But it did have the weirdest thing we saw all day, which was a caravan of busses where each normal sized bus was towing a short bus.

Just before the trip ended, we heard a remake of song that makes Ryan Whineham want to stick an ice pick in his eye (his words).

We arrived at the Mariott in New Paris Ohio (motto, We Treat You Like Family!), just after 6 PM. To get food later, I had to cross into Indiana, a mere 600 yards away.

When we left MD, it seemed as though MM had contracted the same allergy that I had earlier in the week. As the day went on it got worse. It got so bad that upon arrival at the Mariott in New Paris, OH, I sent MM to the room and unloaded all 800 pounds of luggage onto a cart myself to roll into to our room. Two notes:
1) the Mariott in New Paris, OH doesn't have electronic doors and
2) the people of New Paris, OH, are the type of people that watch family members carry 1200 lbs. of luggage on a little cart through doors that close really quickly without helping.

Since MM was feeling more ill by the instant, I set off to gahter us food (see: two paragraphs earlier). MM wanted soup, but at the restaraunts of Norge, IN soup is a scarce commodity. The first two places I visited sent me away with no soup. However the second place told me to go to a place called Charley O's (sic), as it is the hippest place in town.

As I enter the hippest place in town, I'm greeted by the sound of a Dwight Yoakam cover of Ring of Fire. When I joke with the young lady who takes my order about the choice of music, she curls her lip at me and spits, "You're from Ohio aren't you?" When I clarified that I wasn't she gave me directions to the local pharmacy so I could get MM some NYQUIL.

At the pharmacy, I decide to get MM a bowl so she doesn't have to eat her sick person soup out of one of those styrofoam bowls. When the nice older lady at the counter asks me why I'm buying one bowl (if I get two they're on sale!), I explain the situation. This apparently means we're now tight, as she tells me the story of how her granddaughter was assaulted by a snotty girl at school for taking two long to go down the slide at her elementary school and broker her arm and the school won't do anything about it so she told her granddaughter to bash the snotty girl on the head with her cast.

When I stupidly replied that she should wait until her arm is fully healed or she'll break it again, she agreed and said that her granddaughter should (insert chopping motion that I think implies that said young lady should use her empty cast as a club).


So back to Charlie O's...

They earn their title (hippest place in town) as I'm greeted this time by the second coolest TV theme song in history. On a related note, the coolest theme song in TV history was a frequent topic of conversation today as MM filled me in on everything I missed because I never watched said show.

Back to the Mariott in New Paris, OH. I bough so much stuff (the NYQUIL, a case of gatorade, a soup bowl, and food) that I use the luggage cart again and bring the food to our room. MM is cold, so I go to the front desk to get a blanket. The following conversation ensues between me and a guy that wants to treat me like family.

Me: Can I have a blanket, my wife's not feeling well and is cold.

guy that wants to treat me like family: I don't know can you?

(Folks that were at my bachelor party, I pre-inserted the joke for you...)


Rachel G. said...

Damien, I think of that joke every single time I hear someone's grammar corrected that way. Feel better, Marybeth! Safe travels to you both.

Diane said...

I love the Noah's Ark on Route 68! I pass it every time I go to my parents' house, and over the years I've witnessed a whole new level of I-beams go up. (I think one at a time as they can afford them.) The best part is the bilboard that says "Rebuilding Noah's Ark Right Here!" Hey, I know where to go when it starts raining suspicously hard.

ScottOlson said...

Damien & Marybeth! Great idea, this blog. Write what you have seen - entertain us it can.


Good to hear from you and congrats on the win! Tell Marybeth to hang in there - warm sunny beaches await the end of your journey.

Love the "Ring of Fire" tune also - and it may become the theme du trip - when you get settled in, you must read "Elvis Presley Boulevard: From Sea to Shining Sea, Almost" ( and you'll understand my closing comment:

"Give us this day, our daily Dwight."

Take care, and drive safe!

Bill Henry said...

Ruth used to make fun of me because even when I'd taped "Smallville", I'd still watch the credits because I love the theme song...

As for TGAH being the coolest theme, my friend Dave DuTot broke that title down into two sub-categories, so that Barney Miller could be the coolest theme without words...