Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Georgia Drive

I spent last week in Atlanta - drove up Sunday & back Friday night. My first sign of trouble was at the rental car counter. I'd reserved a full size vehicle. They gave me a Hyundai Sonata. "Uh... where's the rest of it?" says me. "That's all we've got!" Grudgingly I drove off in the Sonata. Thirty miles later I called the rental company thinking maybe I could dump it for something better once I reached Atlanta.

Me: "I need to swap cars in Atlanta - this one's not working out for me."

Rental dude: "What's the problem?"

Me: Uh... It shimmies between 92 & 94 mph."

Rental dude: "I suggest you slow down then. Have a nice day sir." Click

Okay - So it's me n' the Hyundai. I'd manage for a week.

Crossed into Georgia via I 75 & everything changed. A whole new Interstate kind of world. The first oddity - 3 separate pick-up trucks, all towing large wagons overflowing with watermelons, broken down on the shoulder. Maybe that doesn't sound particularly odd, but these were separate breakdowns - spread a mile or two apart.

Next surprise - Georgia must have a law that no portion of the Interstate can be left without orange barrels, concrete barricades & at least one piece of rusted construction equipment (with weeds growin' through 'em!) for any stretch longer than seven miles. Naturally the speed limit drops to TURTLE RACE. State Troopers are only too happy to double the fine - 'cause it's a construction zone dontchyaknow.

Finally - THE SIGNS. Billboards every thirty yards. Like reading one of those old-time flip comics that made the characters appear to be moving. It was easy enough to read 'em all, I was in a construction zone most of the time for cryin' out loud.

I'll admit, many of the signs, were confusing & Mapquest was no help. I should have anticipated this when Mapquest kept leaving off parts of the directions with purple question marks.

Seriously - would you figure this out in your own?

How 'bout this one?

How's your confidence holdin' up with this one?

Local kids & their families must have it tough....

Here's why they hafta run....

At least they post warnings for outta towners like me....

There's no shortage of informational signs tellin' evryone about places to eat n' sleep - lots of extended stay kinda stuff....

This sign makes my top TEN!!!

Seriously - The people in Georgia couldn't have been friendlier & the Sonata only shimmied in Florida (Hah!). For my friend Ronnie in Georgia (As Larry The Cable Guy would say) RONNIE - I apologize for this post & bless them starvin' lil' fellers in New Guinea. Amen.


JaxPop said...

See if y'all can find my misspelled word... it's in there. Actually it's a typo but BLOGGER won't let me edit. So shoot me.

Anonymous said...

Mike E

I like the paint job that said shcool. That's like the commercial when the football field painters finished the end-zone logo for the KC Chiefs and it said Chefs.

Anonymous said...

Snorting laughter is not--I repeat *not*--ladylike. Next time I want to read your blog I think I'd better wait until there's no one else in the room. ;)

"evryone"? (or was that one of your intentional ones?)

JaxPop said...

Sorry Careann. I promise to be serious from now on. You also found "the misspelled word"!!!

Mike - I remember that, though I'm not sure why. You were still in shcool when that happened! Ha.

Ronnie said...

HAH! You and Foxworthy!
Good stuff! Even though I am a Southerner I have more to add.
Today on I-675 people were dodging Porta Potties! Yes! Porta Potties AND orange barrels. For a Southern moment, I wondered if the DOT had finally gotten smart about these traffic jams, helpin' a guy out.

Glad you enjoyed yer stay, Dave!
Next stop should be St. Marys.
Atlanta ain't got nothin' on St. Marys.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

My Lord, Dave. Nobody has more adventures than you do. Made my day reading about 'em. Happy Tuesday!

I've got friends in Florida. I'm writing them right now and telling them to move to Georgia if they're sic of shimmying.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Forgot to tell you. We were driving east on Highway 16 when I looked up and saw an eagle flying straight down the highway toward us, about 60' in the sky. He was carrying a nice size fish.

We figured that was pretty neat... until the poop hit the windshield. Lots of poop, too!

JaxPop said...

Ronnie - It's funny you mention porta potties - One thing I noticed was how far apart they were staged for the highway workers - like every 2 miles. There were guys working with no means of transportation in sight. Guess that's why the road work takes so long. Enjoy your trip to Hawaii. Don't step in the RED lava. Not a good thing.

Joylene - I'm gettin' too old for these adventures! I watched an eagle a few weeks ago flying back & forth to a nest along the river. I couldn't see the birds in the nest but I'm bettin' they weren't finches. Glad alligators don't fly. I'd love to tell the story of my demure little white-haired Presbyterian grandmother & the beautiful sea birds - but to effectively share it I'd have to include too much profanity (hers). She was splatted much like your windshield. Boy, that sweet little old lady could cuss.

Regina Milton said...

This is not related to the hysterically funny signs, sorry: I read some of the sample from your book and I very much like it. Very descriptive. That is what I appreciate so much about good writing. Good luck with the second book.

JaxPop said...

Regina - The scary part is .... my posts are true stories!!! How wacked is that?

Thanks for the kind words about the excerpt. Writing BAD LATITUDE was great fun. RECKLESS has been a total blast. Maybe I'll post a preview of that one soon. Thanks for the visit. Dave

Cheryl Pickett said...

Good thing I didn't read this post BEFORE we went on vacation. I'm usually the navigator LOL. Also, the people working on Atlanta highways must have visited MI to get their idea as to how many orange barrels are appropriate for any give stretch of road :-)

Glad you made it safely.

Cheryl Pickett

Rebecca Ramsey said...

You are too funny. I'm still puzzling over those watermelons. Hmm.

We've got quite the billboards here in SC too. On our trip to Kentucky we looked for the one advertising a new neighborhood, "Just like France but without the French!" Much relief that one was gone. Our French friends didn't care for it.
We did find the Ten Commandments over the soft drink machine in a Spartanburg McDonalds. I love the commandments and all, but over a drink machine?

JaxPop said...

Cheryl - I think the worst roads are in Pennsylvania. To add insult to injury - you have tolls to pay to enjoy the whole experience of squeezing three lanes into one.

Becky - It's true "The Watermelon Man Breakdown" Chapters 1, 2 & 3!!! The way they load those things - it was probably tire blowouts.
Uh Oh - 10 Commandments posted in public!!! In my old hometown they had to be removed from outside the courthouse. Of course, beyond that, anything goes.

Another road trip coming up soon. This time going south.

Kathryn Neff Perry said...

This is one of the funniest blogs I have read for a while! You've got a talent my friend. I'm a little nervous though, I'm going to be driving through GA next week----keep up the good work!

JaxPop said...

Katt - Nice to hear from you again. Glad my musings made you laugh. I like clean, upbeat craziness. I appreciate the compliment as well. I've always been a reader - didn't start writing until a few years ago & now it's a passion.

Good luck with your ride through Georgia - it's really a great state & the folks there are (like all southerners) some of the nicest you'll ever run across.

Kathryn Neff Perry said...

I'm with you Dave---I love humor and those are always the blogs that get the most comments. You are a very talented writer. I'm following your blog! Can't wait to read the next one. Keep me entertained. We are on our way to Ohio and Ky for a few days.