My Life

Sunday in the Park with Brian: Therapy Session #32 (The “Random Bits about Nothing in Particular” Version)

1. Oops

I’ve just returned from a trip to Tulsa for a family-visit/belated-Christmas shindig. During this sojourn, I refused to let myself check email or WordPress activity. (Excessive drinking helped assuage the guilt. For those of you who do not drink, just pretend that I annihilated excessive amounts of chocolate, thus allowing me to live a carefree life for a few days.)

Ergo, I am woefully behind in responding to comments or even acknowledging the existence of other bloggers. Please accept my humble apologies for such a dereliction of duties. I am truly sorry, and I will strive to not let this happen again. (Those of you who have been visiting Bonnywood for more than a week know that the preceding sentence is a complete lie, albeit my prevarication is nothing compared to anything that Trump has said, ever. I am always woefully behind with my administrative duties here at Bonnywood. Same as it ever was. And will be. Rinse and repeat.)

2. Déjà vu

The drive from Dallas to Tulsa will damage your soul. The return drive will snuff out any spiritual goodness that managed to survive the first run through The Land of Banal Existence. There is absolutely nothing of any interest whatsoever along the way. Unless you have a predilection for cracked-walnuts proffered at roadside stands, a burning desire to purchase a John Deere tractor, and/or an unresolved childhood issue that compels you to date someone named Buford who may or may not be the result of boredom-induced incest on a random Saturday night. (“I don’t know what happened, Pa. I was at the barn dance over to Clodhopper City and somebody gave me some chocolate. I woke up the next morning feelin’ a bit gassy.”)

Just say no. And keep driving. (Lock your doors.)

3. Technology is Erotic

Thank you, Sirius XM, as well as my beloved partner who had the wisdom to both install a receptacle in my vehicle that supports a mobile Sirius receiver AND bring along said mobile device for this questionable adventure. We had roughly 7,000 radio channels from which to choose, courtesy of some satellite that is orbiting Earth along with 70,000 other things that could fall out of the sky at any second. Otherwise, in the barren wasteland that southern Oklahoma has repeatedly proven to be, we would be forced to listen to the weak signals from tiny local radio stations, with most of those signals concerning farm reports and crop totals. Have you ever listened to a farm report on the radio? Of course you haven’t. And pray that you never do.

4. Do you really expect me to eat that?

Out of desperation and a possible sugar imbalance, aided and abetted by the fact that I was experiencing a degree of anxiety over-whelmence (yes, I just made that word up, but I’m sure it will be trending on Twitter within seconds) due to the fact that I was once again in Oklahoma against my better judgment, I pulled into a surprisingly-expansive convenience store/truck stop in Atoka, Oklahoma. First, I took advantage of the personal-recycling station, as I needed to do so and something told me it was rather important that I mark my territory in some way, lest Buford offer me some chocolate at the barn dance. Then Partner and I ambled our way to the “deli section”, mostly out of curiosity that they even had such.

To our astonishment, said section offered a startling array of things that people were expected to put in their mouths after a financial transaction at the counter.

Nothing in the array spoke to me in any way, whatsoever. Even the pizza slices had an other-worldly quality that reminded me of old “X-Files” episodes. (How do you mess up pizza? You put some bits and bobs on a circle of dough and you bake it. Such an easy-to-follow directive should not lead to something that looks like the roadkill we spied as we zipped past mile-marker 137 a few miles back.)

We fled, empty-bladdered and empty-handed.

On the return trip, we stopped again at this establishment, just to see if something miraculous had somehow transformed the offerings. (After all, everyone deserves a chance at redemption. If we don’t follow that philosophy, this country is completely screwed.)

We fled, once more. I might have even screamed in terror, but any vocalizations on my part were drowned out by Buford revving the engine of his newly-purchased John Deere tractor in the parking lot. Everybody who was working in the deli came out to cheer him on and see if he wanted any pizza.

5. Karma, reverse-engineered.

As we rolled into Dallas earlier this evening, we immediately encountered rabid jerks on the highways who will cut you off just because they can, endless examples of the same restaurant-chains popping up every few miles, designer stores offering over-priced crap that nobody really needs, radio stations that play the same five songs in annoying repetition, and a complete lack of roadside stands where one can buy cracked walnuts and a jar of homemade honey.

I suddenly wanted to listen to farm reports as I drove my way through miles of nothingness.



17 replies »

    • I must say that back in the day, when it was the only radio show in town, I was mystified by some of the words. I knew it wasn’t just an accent thing, because I had the same accent, so there was clearly a whole world that I didn’t know about…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. There are bits and pieces of this country that were truly not meant to be traversed by man, and how our ancestors survived it I will never know. Those are the places better flown over, with clouds completely blocking the view between plane and earth. Been there, done that. Once was enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d like to say that some of these adventures have been learning experiences, but then that would make me a liar, and since I don’t work for the Trump Administration, there’s no need for me to have such in my skill portfolio…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. welcome home. As a child, we traversed rural Utah and Nevada visiting the CA relatives every summer. The homemade ads and songs added variety to the farm reports. Bedroom suits (pajamas or furniture) for sale, and “your eyes are all red, Fred” still make me laugh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do have a special fondness for some of the rural advertising slogans of yore, many of which were absurdly but innocently naughty. The faded and dusty accidental raunch is one of the few highlights of the Tulsa trek…


  3. I don’t know America very well but I do imagine, should I traverse it likewise one day soon, that the word over-whelmance might come in handy, red-wiggly line underneath it or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Chews, horks, spits, and stares. That’s the reaction I got one time while traversing a mid-west agricultural state from an older, overalls-wearing gentleman when I asked how far the next gas station was. This was before cell phones. I thought it was best to leave and take my chances.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think your first line could easily become the new Oklahoma state motto. I’ll send an email to the local congressman later, even though he doesn’t represent me anymore. (Not that he ever did.)

      And you were wise to flee. The best defense is often a fleet foot and a refusal to look back…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You’re smart to take the trip POST holiday. We had a late night flight Christmas Eve, planning on a nice dinner at a restaurant. Which is totally possible in Phoenix, but apparently not in central Minnesota. Or southern Minnesota. Or southeast Minnesota.
    Wound up eating a gas station burrito. No lie.
    In truth, the place was hopping busy and the clerks were the most cheerful clerks you could ever meet. Most amazing of all is the burrito was darn good. Of course, I was starving, so…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, the Holiday Burrito. Perhaps, one day, should I get to the point where I have any degree of focus, I will share the sordid tale of a certain Thanksgiving in 1986, wherein I also consumed a surprisingly-tasty gas-station burrito, along with a pint of chocolate milk, a beverage chosen to remind me of happier childhood times instead of the then-current adult times wherein I was eating a burrito for Thanksgiving….

      Liked by 1 person

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