A Drive in the Country….or….
Why I am so glad to be back in civilization.
I don’t know quite what overcame me this morning when a friend asked me if I would like to ride with them to drop another friend off in the country. I guess it was the nostalgia of “Wow, a ride in the country on a Saturday morning. That sounds nice.” But it isn’t quite like that, is it?
For those of you who suffer from the same phobia as me will no doubt understand. I have courouge-phobia. That’s right, I am afraid of rednecks. But not just rednecks. It is far deeper than a fear of men who drive pickup trucks with mudflaps and the women who love them. It’s about everything having to do with the country.
The typical country house epitomizes everything that is wrong with living in BFE. There is the lilac and black-berry wallpaper in the dining room, the oversized rosebud border paper in the kitchen, and the god-aweful stench of cheap, Family Dollar Brand sun-ripened rasberry potpourri wax purchased in 1987. And country houses smell.
That’s right. They smell. It isn’t an unpleasant aroma. It isn’t a bad smell. But it’s a smell…or more expressly, the notable *lack* of one. You step through the door, inhale, and you smell apple pie and sausage and Carpet Fresh. There’s always a pot of Folger’s Coffee brewing in the kitchen, and the unmistakable tinkle of a faucet dripping in the background.
I can handle about fifteen minutes of a country ride. After that, my eyes glaze over and I have to fight the urge to play a harmonica, sleep with my cousin, and kill something or someone. My tonsils swell and my head begins to throb because of the lack of smog in the air I’m breathing. My ears ring with the silence of nothing happening, and I begin to desperately long for a Starbucks, a convenience store, or anything resembling civilization.
And then, there it is. Big and hard and friendly and inviting. The Interstate. The first sign of civilization with its wide, sweeping onramp and smiling overpass. A hundred yards wide and every inch of it screaming “Come with me and I will take you somewhere, anywhere other than right here.
That’s why they said all roads lead to Rome. It wasn’t because they really did, but that was the SOMEWHERE out there, that unknown destination of a city on a hill and the interstate is how you find it. And the first place we went upon our return from our jouney was that most civilized of all institutions: McDonalds.