The Frequent Whizzer’s Club, Deaf is Not Dumb, and What Fools Believe

I survived.  500 miles, give or take a mile or two, is not a terribly short trip. I managed to get back in just about 9 hours, which is not bad time for someone who gets a bit wigged out by mountain driving, and is doing good to drive 200 miles at a time without having to stop and whiz.   Central Ohio is flat.  I have no problem with driving in the city, but I don’t have to deal with either curves or grades too much here.  There’s something unnerving about mountain driving when you’re not used to it.    I’ve seen a bit of the carnage that comes off the rural Interstates, and it’s not pretty.

The route I prefer is about 30 miles longer than going via the WV Turnpike, but I don’t go on the Turnpike for a number of reasons.  First of all, the Turnpike is a toll road.  Second of all, the speed limit is 75 and should be 45.  The last time I drove the Turnpike the speed limit was 55, and that’s way the hell too fast for those curves and grades.  Perhaps if I had a suitable rally car (i.e. VW GTI…) I would find the curves and grades exciting, but all I can envision in the Yaris is being blown off a hillside by either a big truck or a nice gust of wind.  42 MPG has its trade-offs.  Weight is one of them.  The Yaris is a light car with a moderate suspension, which is optimal for most road trips, but not for extreme mountain driving. Wind is its nemesis.  I have no logical reason to drive the Turnpike, and no pressing reason to find myself stranded in the middle of WV.  Let’s just say hotel accommodations down in the hollers can be a bit primitive, and the nearest trauma center is clear the hell back in Columbus.

I’ve been around body shops way too much.  I  often visualize the worst.

Granted, this dismembered Audi met its fate on the Autobahn, where there are very few speed restrictions.  I don’t see any blood and guts though, which meant that German engineering must count for something.  The driver likely survived.

Taking I-71 to I-75 to I-40 is the least offensive, though not technically the fastest route.  Most of that route takes one through the rolling hills of Kentucky- lots of horses and tobacco fields and, as Jerry was quick to point out, truck stops with $30 a carton cigarettes. If I had to take the Turnpike, it would be a few miles shorter, but any time gained would have been spent scraping the crap out of my pants.  The worst part of the trip is that stretch of I-40 between the Tennessee border and where my sister lives, in Old Fort.  When you see runaway truck ramps, going downhill is a tad bit disturbing- especially when Dad’s driving and he’s pushing 90, changing lanes, and laughing like a teenage kid.

This scares the living hell out of me.

Speaking of frequent whizzing, I don’t think Dad can make it 100 miles without having to whiz. I thought I was bad about constantly having to hit the head, and Mom’s not much better, but geez! I swear we stopped about 8 times on the way down, including munching as well as whizzing, which is why it took us 11 hours to get down there, in spite of Dad mistaking the Yaris for a rally car and doing about 85 all through that nice little stretch of I-40 from the Tennessee border all through NC.  The Yaris is not a rally car.  It will do 85 in the mountains, but suffice to say it’s ill advised.  I’m glad I was sitting in the back seat, trying to distract myself with the DS.

Suprisingly, Sheena is not weird about touch- as long as she can see you.

I’m still trying to get it through my own thick skull that Sheena can’t hear at all.  Many dogs with her coat pattern are deaf.  All puppies are born deaf, but if her deafness is inherited, she simply never acquired hearing at the age of two weeks like normal dogs do.  She compensates amazingly well, but knowing she’s deaf makes her shortcomings easy to understand.  She survives on what she can see and smell and even feel (she is very sensitive to touch and vibrations.)   Motion is a huge trigger for her.  Her peripheral vision is amazing- but stand directly behind her and she’s oblivious.  If she can’t see you, and you don’t stomp on the floor behind her, she has no idea you’re there.  To me that would be a scary way to go through life, but she has never known anything different.  You deal with life using what you’ve been given.  Sheena has survived and adapted remarkably well. Somehow she’s ended up incredibly outgoing and affectionate.

OK, a little original artwork of mine, in honor of Miz Izz.  Black cats are awesome.

I’m not much of an artist.  Sometimes I like to scribble about, and this actually looked kind of cool.  Of course, black cats are always cool.  If I were required to have a tattoo, which I’m not, and I don’t see it happening, I wouldn’t mind a cool design like this.

The 1950’s were such an innocent time.  Hell, all the TV on back then probably was educational.

Today Motorola’s claim to fame is cell phones, but back in the days of black and white TV, it was a popular brand.  This ad (and all those lovely “More Doctors Smoke Camels” ads) only goes to show that advertising is exactly that: an attempt to convince you to buy crap, even if it might kill you.

1950’s TV- no TruTV, no Investigation Discovery or Science Channel or History Channel.  That would have to have sucked, but not knowing any better, kids went outside to play.  Even in the 1970’s the TV landscape- at least for kids- was pretty bleak.  Mom didn’t mind us watching Mr. Rogers or Sesame Street.  Saturday morning cartoons such as the Flintstones, Scooby Doo, Tom & Jerry, Bugs Bunny, Fat Albert and The Hairbear Bunch were OK too, but usually she turned the TV off when Soul Train came on.  Soul Train was not appropriate, because 1. the girls didn’t wear enough clothes, and 2. they “dance dirty.”

Mom had no idea how much worse the world of “dance” was going to get.

Mom grew up in Catholic school, so I can understand her distress at this girl going braless, and shaking her booty, but this was long, long before Marion County got a Wal Mart.  If you want a true clothing FAIL, that’s the place to go.

And it doesn’t mean “Fantastic.”

Have you no self respect?

4 thoughts on “The Frequent Whizzer’s Club, Deaf is Not Dumb, and What Fools Believe

  1. whiteladyinthehood says:

    Glad you made it home safely! I get a little car sick going through the mountains – all those twists and turns and drop-offs! I was laughing about your dad driving and the truck runaway – Holy Shit!
    My mom edited what we watched on t.v. – yes, to anything cartoony, Little House on the Prarie, Happy Days was a fav of mine, Three’s Co – was pushing the buck but we still got to watch.

  2. I loved the caption on the last pic. Awesome!
    Also, were the landscape photos ones you actually took on your trip? They look like what you might see in Southern Oregon.
    Also, I am a map dork, and would REALLY have loved a little more detail about your route. I did a mapquest driving direction search from Marion, Ohio to Winston-Salem (which I figure will give me a pretty good idea of how you went). That would be a beautiful drive. I have always wanted to drive through Eastern Kentucky (I’ve been through Western Kentucky–I’ve been to or through 49 of the 50 states–FU, Alaska!). There must be real beauty there among all the inbreedin.
    Lastly, Tina (I still remember), I admire you’re toughness on so many things, particularly your “dude-like” sensibilities (that’s a compliment, if it doesn’t sound like one) and your gear-headedness, as well as your general resourcefulness. However, when it comes to distance driving, you’re a little soft (I originally wrote “p***y” but then realized the 500 miles was one-way, so I downgraded you to soft). Yes, you get extra points for making the drive with mom & dad, but about ten years ago I drove 2,200 miles (round trip) with my grandma (and in March my grandma and I went on a 5,000 or so mile train trip & drive across the wilds of North Dakota–although that’s a little different).
    I’m kidding (mostly) about you being soft, but that would be a beautiful drive.

    • Oh- the first mountain pic was from the WV Turnpike- I took it back in ’04 before Jerry almost made me soil my pants passing trucks on curves in the ’99 Tacoma. 4X4 Tacomas don’t corner terribly well and they’re top heavy.

      The runaway truck ramp pic was one I found online- I think it was taken in the Rocky Mountains- because I didn’t take one of one of the runaway truck ramps on I-40. Dad was going about 85 past them and I couldn’t get the camera to focus that fast.

  3. You were pretty close on the route, although we left from right here just east of Columbus. It is a pretty drive, with lots of rolling hills and lovely scenery. I admit I am a LOT more conservative driver than I once was. Part of that’s from living next to a body shop and seeing what can happen when you and/or others drive stupid, and part of that’s just from trying to avoid encounters with law enforcement here in Ohio. Remember the line from “Smokey and the Bandit” – “Ohio is the only state that has the death penalty for speeding.” That line is not far from the truth. The fines are outrageous- up to $500 depending on where and how much over the limit- and once your insurance company gets wind, your car insurance rates go up at least 20% or more for the next three years. So I’m conditioned to drive very cautiously which sort of sucks because I enjoy performance driving but not as much as I enjoy keeping my insurance rates down and avoiding encounters with law enforcement.

    Down South the speed limits are ridiculously high to start with, and there are probably half the number of cops. Most of the cops I saw on this trip were on I-71 between Columbus and Cincinnati- and that’s pretty consistent with any road trip I’ve taken. Statistically, you’re more likely to get busted in Ohio than any of the surrounding states.

    I don’t do as much distance driving as I’d like to do, but I can say that I never left anything in Chicago, (the most boring drive ever is from Columbus to Chicago) Indianapolis, Cleveland or Detroit. The mountains are far more beautiful, and will be a lot more fun if I’m ever able to afford a performance/rally type car where the wind and tight corners don’t pose as much of an issue. Steve-o keeps trying to talk me into a VW Jetta or GTI which would be fun from a performance point of view, but nobody beats Toyota on reliability and inexpensive maintenance and operation costs.

    If you get the chance, KY is an interesting and beautiful state to drive in. So is WV, but the Turnpike is not for the faint of heart. Avoid Ohio if you tend to get lippy with cops. 🙂

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