April 14, 2004

Home, Home on the Asphalt

I’ve had a long-standing love affair with road trips. I find romance, adventure, soul-satisfaction in the enchanting combination of a cramped car, heart-stopping amounts of caffeine, the excitement of being able to fall asleep at the wheel at any given moment, a floorboard of empty Lays Potato Chips packages, and invigorating music played at ear-splitting levels on substandard speakers.

Road trip highlights:

1. The extemporaneous composition and performance of “The Leprosy Song.”
2.Visiting Times Square Church in NY.
3. That marvelous and indescribable feeling that one can experience only after drinking 2 cups of coffee and 3 Red Bulls.
4. A Dunkin-Donuts-seeking-detour that culminated in our car being searched by armed Marines.
5. Finding out, en route to Baltimore, that Baltimore is not in Ohio. I think that is perfectly justifiable. I didn’t grow up in the U.S.
6. Arriving in Prague, Czech Republic, after which we realized that we had no map, no knowledge of the city, and no idea where any sort of tourist center was. After a few hours we finally found the city’s castle and wanrdered aroudn there for a while.
7.Waking up when the car I was driving started hydroplaning.
8. Standing shirtless in freezing weather, outside a locked car in a traffic jam right outside of D.C.

Posted by jonsligh at 09:44 AM | Comments (8)

April 03, 2004


I’m getting old. Chronologically, I’m old. Well, 23 is sort of old. Style-wise, I’m definitely old.

College-grad males in my age bracket are supposed to prowl about the neighborhood in a car that fits some of the criteria for being a Man’s Car. Like a Camaro Z28 with a tweaked muffler that lets all other drivers hear the beefy 350 bellowing out its soothingly cacophanous roar. Or a Jeep Wrangler, prized for its stunning impacticality and stylishly unpredictable road manners. Or some sort of Japanese sub-compact, with low-profile tires, spinner rims worth more than the car, and a picnic bench of a spoiler. And, of course a paint job with which the owner tries so very hard to give the impression that a rival gang, armed with power sanders and paint thinner, tried with only partial success to remove.

Now, let’s face it. Everything about each of the said vehicles screams out “chick magnet.” Manhood is incomplete without one of them.

Which brings me to my problem. I don’t have Z28 or a Wrangler or a Fast&Furious wannabe subcompact. My car is not a Man’s Car. In fact, it fits quite squarely into the Soccer Mom bracket. It’s a ’95 Toyota Corolla, in beige, and an automatic at that. It looks incomplete without a pair of car-seats and an honor roll bumper sticker. Some have even leveled the accusation that it's practical. I fear that I’m doomed to perpetual soccermomhood unless I acquire some sort of 2-seater car that comes with a hefty gas-guzzler tax. I already can detect a weakening of my aversion to cheering for kindergarten softball and buying cartons of Juicy Juice in bulk. It’s only a matter of time until it all completely erodes . . .

Posted by jonsligh at 06:10 PM | Comments (7)