07.22.06

1:23 a.m.

rehashing pt. 2

Just for the record, if I ruled the world this would be the new map of the United States:

New US

I hate Iowa and Missouri with every cell in my body. Missouri is my least favorite state for many reasons, but a main one is that they do not know the meaning of the phrase, “Drive right, pass left.”

Iowa just sucks overall and I’ve never had a good experience there.

I’d turn them both into a giant lake for the rest of the world to enjoy. (Completely off topic: Who knew Puerto Rico looked like a penis?)

Anyway, on with my trip rehash. Bored yet?

I woke early from the Bates motel, and headed east. Somewhere in my least favorite state, Missouri, I stopped at NostalgiaVille, which was nothing more than overpriced foreign junk.

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Nostalgiaville

Across the road was Ozarkland, which was nothing more than cheap foreign junk.

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That thing scared the bejeebies out of me. Who would buy that? Even if you loved dachshunds, who the hell would buy it?! (I almost did)

At the same stop in my most hated state, Missouri, was a McStop. Whatever the fuck that was. In any other state, they’re known as McDonalds. Which, by the way, is at EVERY SINGLE exit. EVERY. SINGLE. EXIT. Even if the exit is just a country road to someone’s house, you can bet your sweet ass there’s a McDonald’s there, too.

1. I wonder why Americans are so fat?
2. I never want to eat another chicken McNugget in my life.

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All along I-70 there were billboards proclaiming that abortion was murder; it’s a child, not a choice; etc.

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Don’t even get me started on these fuckers.

During my long, drawn out drive through Missouri, I decided to stop at the arch and go up. I went straight into the heart of St. Louis – during rush hour. I had been stuck in traffic for 2 ˝ hours before I finally reached the turnoff to the arch. There were signs for miles before proclaiming St. Louis’ famous tourist attraction was nearby and which exit to take. I had no troubles finding the exit, but once off the interstate there were no signs or directions. I came to the end of the off ramp and decided to go straight.

Bad idea.

I started crossing over a bridge and before I even had time to say, “where the fuck am I?” I was in Illinois.

I had already wasted almost 3 hours and decided I would just have to go in the arch another day. I stopped at the first exit in Illinois to make sure I was still going the right direction and on the right path, when I saw the arch.

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Granted, it wasn’t the real deal, but it was close enough for panda baby. We hopped back in the car and took off.

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Though at first he didn’t want to share, he finally gave in and we listened to one of my favorite albums in its namesake.

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My next cheesy stop was completely unplanned, but as I approached it, I knew I had to go.

Some chuch built a giant cross right next to the interstate.

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It had a door, and I really want to know what’s inside.

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The cross is surrounded by ten monuments, each with one commandment written on it. There are also benches with speakers so you can listen to a loud, Godly voice, tell you a story about that certain commandment.

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They reminded me of gravestones.

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This family came as I was walking around the cross. They went straight to “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. You shall not covet your neighbor’s possessions.” sat down, listened to God reading them a story, and bawled.

Maybe their neighbor got a really cool new tractor?

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I know I’m going to hell for making fun of them, but I just can’t figure out why, out of all the cry inducing commandments, would they choose that one? After that, they shuffled around to all of them and listened to each one.

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We left the cross and went about our journey. As I finally pulled into Fairfield, Ohio to get a hotel I was bombarded by signs from Tom Raper. There were literally at least 20 of them, and they all claimed I was entering Tom Raper territory. Raper, Raper, Raper.

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Um. Yeah. Not the best ad campaign.

When I finally arrived at the hotel, I was so happy it wasn’t the Bate’s motel I was willing to pay any price. It was a nice room – which even came equipped with a couch.

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Panda enjoyed the couch.

By 6:00am I was on the road again, and headed towards my next destination: The Longaberger Basket building.

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I tried ordering Chicken McNuggets, but they just looked at me funny.

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According to the very nice older lady in the lobby, this building is just a bunch of offices. There’s another place, called the Homestead, where you can see the baskets being made and buy cheesy postcards. It was 15 miles away and I decided to go.

I saw this dilapidated house along the way and stopped to take a picture. What you can’t see is the insane old man coming towards me as I snapped this photo.

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I finally found ‘The Homestead’ and went on a self-guided (read: free) tour. Stupid panda baby wouldn’t stay, so I kind of shoved him into the slats of the wall for his photo. In retrospect, I would have chosen a different pose.

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Not to be outdone by their corporate headquarters, The Homestead had a giant basket full of giant apples in their courtyard.

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I’ve found that Longaberger basket people are a breed unto themselves. They’re fanatics and The Homestead is their Mecca. I feared for my life if I was caught defiling their statue with my panda baby, so I had to take the photo from the back.

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I stopped at many truck stops, but none as sexist as the Tits & Ass truck stop. There were hundreds of these blatantly sexual sin buildings all across the Midwest.

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West Virginia was full of hippies. With no teeth.

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Just for the record, I want to live here and I’m not joking. I loved Pennsylvania, it was gorgeous.

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The only downfall is the humidity. Never in my life have I been able to see air. It was so think and humid that things look foggy more than a few hundred yards ahead of you. I was in awe the entire time I was in the east coast area. I guess I just took clear, dry mountain air for granted.

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I don’t care, I’d put up with it.

I finally got to DC around 11:30pm. I was so excited, the adrenaline kept me awake and driving. Panda baby called the window bed, so I was stuck next to the bathroom. We went to bed dreaming of the real panda baby’s birthday the next day.

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Enough for now. :)

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