Tuesday, June 21, 2005

When Good Trips Go Bad.

I'm a planner.

That doesn’t mean to say I make things like lists and devise complicated itineraries in order to maximize my output. In fact, the only time I ‘maximize my output’ is when I’m sitting on the toilet.

To me planning means one simple thing. If you have an idea to do something, put it off for at least a day. That gives your brain 24 hours to hammer into your conscious mind all the reasons why, what you want to do, isn’t a very good idea.

Take yesterday for example. The wife and I are driving along, running some errands, when it dawns on her that she’s two days into her week’s vacation from work, and all we’ve done so far is rent a couple of movies.

“Hey sweetie?” She says, as I look out of the window… for some reason thinking about how much fun it would be to be standing on the hood of the car, then fire a web at the lamp-post and swing over and around, like Spider-Man.

“Mmm, hmm?” I answer. That would be so cool, I could fire a web at that telegraph pole, swing upwards, fly over that bridge, and land back on the car hood on the other side…damn that would be fun!

“Do you feel like taking a drive up to the mountains?”

“Sure.” Spider-man, Spider-man, does whatever a Spider can. “Whatever you want.”

I really should have been concentrating, for some reason, the little guy who sits at the front of my brain, takes notes, and hits me upside the head whenever I get close to automatically agreeing to something stupid, must have been on his coffee break.

You see, the wife enjoys what she calls “Little Adventures.”

I, however, have named her ‘Little Adventures’ a little more precisely.

I call them “Terrifying Chains of Events.” We have never, in our one-year of marriage, done anything spontaneous, that hasn’t turned into a Hindenburg-class disaster.

‘Let’s go for a ride!’ KABOOM! ‘Oh, the humanity!’

So the wife wants to go for a trip to the mountains, and I’ve agreed.

Unfortunately I’ve noticed none of this. I’m still zoned out.

Yeah, and I could have a lightsaber, that way, on my flight over the bridge, I could chop down that street sign and use it to surf along the top of that 18 wheeler. Hmm, if I was a superhero, I’d need some form of transport. Flying car? No. Flying skateboard! Yeeeaaah!

One sentence snaps me back to reality. The street sign that reads “Welcome to North Carolina!”

I turn to the wife. “Where in the hell are we going?”

“Up to the mountains.”

“The mountains? When did we decide on that?” I ask.

She’s always doing stuff like this, making decisions without consulting me.

“You really should ask me about things like this you know!”

The wife gives me ‘The Look’..

“Aha ha ha ha!” I say.

As usual, she’s not convinced. Sadly, I realize who’s going to be cooking all this week.

Now I should say I’ve been up into the North Carolina Mountains before. It was fun. The scenery was nice, there was lots of fun and quaint little shacks and things to see. It was an all round, and more importantly, planned trip.

I said I’d been there before. More precisely, I’d been there before I’d seen “Wrong Turn.” Nothing like the thought of in-bred, cannibal, murderous hicks when you can see nothing but trees.

All around me I see things that are straight out of ‘Wrong Turn’, mixed with ‘Deliverance’. I start expecting to hear the sounds of Dueling Banjos filter through the trees.

My heart begins to beat a little faster as we pass the “Road Kill Grill”, a smallish shack which is a biker hangout. Last time I saw it, it was funny. This time…not so much. Now, it looks like a local deviant hangout. The kind of place you stop to ask for directions…and are never heard from again. It looks deserted, I know, however, that they’re all hiding and waiting for me to step out of the car.

We pass a large boulder, which someone has written on the side:

“Are you lost, or saved?” With an oversized, predatory looking question mark.

I start to get just a tiny little bit freaked the f**k out.

I did, however, take the time to snigger at the sign that read: “Rocky Bottom”.

So we drive further along the winding road.

Let me explain, a lot of the time, you can’t see the sky, you can’t see the sun…just creepy looking trees as far as you can see. It’s the kind of place that you could walk ten paces from your car and get lost.

Then I see it…the exact goddamn truck the disfigured cannibals drove from “Wrong Turn”.

I casually lock all the doors, and start to wish I had a 9mm in the glove compartment. Or failing that, an AK-47 with an 800 round ammo drum. The second I hear that ‘nyuk nyuk’ laugh, I’m opening fire…and not stopping.

In fact, screw the AK, right now I want a gatling gun, a bulletproof vest, a large selection of grenades…and just in case one of them does manage to grab me, and I hear a fly unzip…one of those arm-mounted nuclear bombs from ‘Predator’.



Sure, I’d be dead, but at least I wouldn’t be making an appearance on “Hicks on English Guys, Anal Rape #3” (Available in all good hill-billy porno stores)

We pass a multitude of eerily silent logging wagons, past houses that any respectable serial killer would, well, kill for and a large number of locations that would be perfect to dump a body.

I start clicking the heels of my sneakers together and start mumbling ‘there’s no place like home...there's no place like home’

After a while I begin to relax a little. Then…

“Sweetie?” I ask. “Why is the sky so dark?”


The world simply explodes…into the most severe storm I’ve ever seen. Lightning is striking all around us, and the rain is so heavy, we actually have to pull over, because we can’t see more than two feet ahead.

There’s nothing like being caught in a major thunderstorm, on the top of a mountain, surrounded by very tall lightning rod-esque trees…right in what looks like inbred cannibal central.

It takes us about 2 hours to get down off the mountain. We’d drive for a few minutes, then pull over when the rain and golf ball sized hail gets too thick, drive for a few minutes.…oh, and did I mention the cougars that live in these mountains?

The fun doesn’t end there. We get down off the mountain, and keep driving.

I should make it clear here that I inherited a sense of direction that gives me navigation skills on a par with a dead stoat with glaucoma. I mean, I can honestly get lost in my own home. So I ask the wife:

“About how long until we get home?”

She looks at me, and says, with wild eyed glee:

“I don’t know…I don’t have the first clue where we are!”

She laughs.

I whimper.

Eventually, we get our bearings. Or to be more exact, we know what town we’re in, but don’t actually know where that town actually is. As the wife pointed out:

“We’re not lost, we know where we are. We’re here. It’s everywhere else that is lost.”

She actually thinks shit like this is fun. On the upside, we’re in an actual real town. I see actual buildings, I see a Bi-Lo, an Ingles and a McDonalds. I start to relax. I take command of the situation:

“We, uh, need to, uh, find our way home. We should, like, drive down some streets…or something.”

The wife suggests we ask for directions, a suggestion I instantly veto. Not through macho pride…but in every good inbred psycho movie, they always have someone in the town who provides their prey. I don’t wanna get directed to ‘Big Bubba’s house of Rape’, or worse still, get caught unawares, and wake up with a tennis ball shoved in my mouth.

We had three options.

1) A way we knew would get us home, but was all highway, and not very fun to drive when you’re getting 6 inches of rain every second.

2) We could follow road sign to a town that we know, and muddle back from there.

3) Go exactly back the way we came.

Guess which one we went for?

That’s right, option three.

Oh no, one ride through the creepy, inbred cannibal infested woods isn’t enough for us. Now we have to go back through the creepy, inbred cannibal infested woods… with its thin, winding roads…during a thunderstorm, when the roads are slippery and wet. Wet enough so we can slide off the road, get trapped, and get raped, before ending up on Bubba's dining table.

Oh, it was fun.

You see, I have no luck whatsoever. What should have been a fun trip through nature, enjoying the local flora and wildlife, turned into a pant-wettingly ordeal of Shakespearian proportions.

Like this afternoon. We decided against going to see a movie, and decided instead to fill up our new inflatable pool and lounge in the sun for a few hours.

Can you guess what happened 15 minutes after I inflated the pool? (With my mouth, by the way, the foot pump had vanished). I filled the thing with water, getting the crap bit out of me by the mosquitoes in the process…and did I mention I’m allergic to mosquito stings?

I’ll give you a clue what happened.

It begins with ‘K’ and ends with ‘ABOOM!’

That’s right, the same storm from yesterday followed us home, and waited until the most inopportune moment to spring a surprise reunion.

You know, some days, it’s not even worth chewing through the straps.


Miz S said...


oh stop whining......it was an ADVENTURE!!!!
You cant have a bona-fide ADVENTURE without a little scary parts and getting lost and a bogeyman or two to make things INTERESTING!!

Just think......we have YEARS to have more of those little adventures.

Love you sweetie!!

Miz S said...


oh stop whining......it was an ADVENTURE!!!!
You cant have a bona-fide ADVENTURE without a little scary parts and getting lost and a bogeyman or two to make things INTERESTING!!

Just think......we have YEARS to have more of those little adventures.

Love you sweetie!!

Vicarious Living said...

You guys crack me up!
It's all fun and games till Bubba comes out to play.

I've got less spontaneity than a doorknob, until it comes to driving. The Sunday Drive is my favorite weekend activity. Endlessly roaming around, miles and miles at a time. Out here you worry about freeway shootings and car chases, not trees and cougars however. Not that I get Sundays off very often. Wah.

serendipity said...

I'm afraid I have to agree with Paulius on this one. As much as I laughed reading this I would have turned into the mardy bitch from hell if i'd been made to go on that drive. I would have freaked out, bitched and moaned and probably made the whole journey not much fun at all. I'm a terrible scaredy cat - I wont even watch horror movies!

Kato said...

Yea, "Hicks on English Guys, Anal Rape #2" was really the best of the series. After that they started using actors instead of guys they ambushed outside of the one-pump Texaco station.

Chief Slacker said...

You just need to get a bumper sticker of Old dixie and slap it on. they'll think you're one of the crew and leave you alone ;O)