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October 5th, 2010

Originally published at Big Ugly Man Doll. Please leave any comments there.

Operation Wedding:  1200 Miles in 5 Days
My cousin’s getting married in Chicago.  Game on.

Thursday starts, like all Thursdays do, on the Wednesday before.  In this case, at Gloria’s Hair Salon, because I’ll be damned if I’m going to drive from here to Chicago with the mop I’m sporting – that much hair could significantly affect the vehicle’s performance, handling, and mileage.  I made up the cost of the haircut in the gas we saved in the first 100 miles. 

Besides, who feels like driving when you’re not rockin’ your own head?  I built this haircut on rock-n-roll, baby, and I’ve got the gray to prove it.

So Thursday dawns, as Thursday must, and we load the kids into the car.  We have everything:  medication, a teddy bear (the kids did not take teddy bears or dolls; I, however, brought mine), books, music, cell phone chargers, good clothes, bad clothes, and an appetite for road food.  We eased away from our berth, down past the docks, and out of view of the house, our only companion the constant hammer of Nicole – the 16th named tropical storm this year, which graced the Eastern Seaboard with rain for the first time in 4 months.  Not a drop of the wet stuff on the brown patches of dirt that used to pass for my lawn, and on this traveling morning Mother Nature decides to switch on the fire hose?  Bitch. 

When you pause to consider the rain, the traffic, and the incredible distance (yep, 42 miles) we needed to cover that morning, we did pretty well.  We maintained an average speed of 28 miles per hour, which is pretty safe for a Model T Ford.  That we were driving a 1999 Toyota Sienna with a 6-cylander engine and a top speed of 130 miles per hour – not that it’s ever seen that speed, but I hear tell – well, we’ll just let that slide, in much the same way that we slid into the Waffle House in Frederick, MD to meet my folks and sister, who were driving with us in the driving rain to Ohio and Points West. 

Death before dishonor, but neither before breakfast.  My parents, it should be noted, are considerably more healthy than I am; my mother can kill a deer with a cast iron skillet at 30 paces and my father runs marathons for fun and profit.  I used to hope to be in as good shape as they are when I reach the same age; these days I’ve lowered my sights to just reaching the same age.  Needless to say, the idea of actually *eating* in the Waffle House holds a sick, fascinating attraction for them; it’s like realizing that you can order dessert for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and no one will yell at you.  That they were the thinnest adults in the place did not bother anyone – they’ll serve anyone at the Waffle House. 

We greased up, gassed up, and also saw to the needs of the cars, if you know what I mean.  Breakfast, while watching it rain in sheets, was going to be the last fun thing for a good hundred miles, and we enjoyed it as only road foodies can – which is to say quickly, cheaply, and messily.  We looked like great white sharks trying to decide between the cute one swimming by herself or the fat one with the surfboard, and realizing that hey, I’m a shaaaark, I don’t have to choose.  I can just eat them both! 

And we did.  I love me some Waffle House. 

Tomorrow, we cover miles 42 – 292.



Yep, looks like another post from the Big, Ugly Man Doll!