450 Miles in a Minivan

27 February, 2009

(((Wife))) and I just returned from a 450-mile trip, in the rain, on I-80.  Round trip.  And we came back with my (((Son))), his fish (the snail (named ‘Raoul’ (no, I have no idea why)) did not survive), and all of his clothing (dirty).  I did see a few things which struck me as amusing:

  1. A home-computer generated and printed sign in the window of an old Chrysler K-Car:  “Pray for the Homeless”.  Praying is mental masturbation — it makes you feel like you are doing something while you do nothing.  Why not contribute money to shelters? or vote for Democrats?  or, oh, I don’t know, actually take in a homeless person and shelter him (or her)?  Guess not.  Praying is easier.
  2. In Walmart (we had to get stress-coat for the fish), a stack of baby dolls.  Underneath, a large sign reading:  “Unbeatable:  $5.00”.  Now all we need are real children who are unbeatable no matter what the price.
  3. Why do people in gray cars refuse to turn headlights on while driving in heavy fog?  And why do they suddenly slow down when they leave the fog?  And what the hell is wrong with Virginia drivers (got cut off by the same Lexus from Virginia three times)?
  4. Why would (((Son))) name a snail “Raoul”?

Well, I’m back safely.  Ramble on.



  1. Glad you made it back safely. ENjoyable post as always

    Have to disagree with you slightly on the homeless piece. In my neck of the woods a lot of the shelter beds are in churches and the volunteer staff church members.

    I’ve never prayed or been to church and wouldn’t know God if he smote in the head but I do know that a lot of the community-based services for homeless folks come from churches and you have to at least give them a nod for trying while others stand in the background and just point fingers and yell about injustice. A lot of democrats in that mix too…

  2. What’s wrong with Virginia drivers (particularly in suburban DC) is that they interpret turn signals differently than people in other locales. It’s a simple communications failure. When you flash your turn signal, you probably intend to indicate that you want to change lanes or something like that. Virginia/suburban DC drivers interpret that signal to mean, “hit the gas pedal and cut that guy off ‘coz no one gets in front of me.”

  3. Ram: One of our local homeless shelters uses church space provided free by the different denomoninations. Many (perhaps most) churches do a very good job. This particular vehicle, though, just suggested we pray for the homeless. Other homemade window signs wanted us to pray for Palin and McCain, pray for rapture, and pray for America.

    Chappie: Same thing up in Boston and Providence. Actually, I think it is any crowded urban area where, because of the anti-tax zealots, the highway infrastructure is inadequate. If you ever want to freak someone out in Boston, yeild the right-of-way; the look on the other drivers face is priceless.

  4. Ram, how does giving examples of people doing something to help the homeless address the objection to people who instead think doing nothing (ie – praying) is sufficient?

    Around here, IF I see a turn signal, it’s an announcement of action, as in “I’m coming over, biatch, outta my way!” There’s no look to see if it’s safe first. They’re the transitional form of course, between the dinosaurs like me who signal to alert my intent and then wait for the opportunity and those who simply don’t bother with turn signals and looking altogether.

    I think driving behavior is a great window into behavior in general, and I feel confident in laying most of the awful driving behavior at the feet of self importance and lack of empathy, which are hallmarks of the Millennials, so we better get used to it since we’ll have a long time to appreciate such behavior.

    Oh, and I think the better question is why have a snail in the first place, regardless of what you name it?

  5. Philly: I was down in Philly for some training a few years ago and the person riding in the passenger seat kept yelling at me when I used the turn signal. He said not to warn them — if you warn them, the spot will disappear. Screw it. I still obey the rules.

    And as for the snail? It cleans the algae of the walls of the fish tank.

  6. That should be past tense — ‘cleaned.’

  7. As to #4, why not?

    Well, Philly, if they run away they are fairly easy to catch, don’t need licenses or shots, don’t shit on the carpet, don’t shed on or chew up the furniture, don’t disturb the neighbors with noise. I don’t think that I’ve ever heard of a lawsuit because one’s snail bit someone or destroyed property while running (?) loose.

    BTW, I guess spring is on the way, (((Billy))). I saw a rather disgruntled looking groundhog yesterday, and there’s a harrier type hawk about two yards from mine that seems to be interested in something.

  8. Sarge: the depths of winter are over, but remember, the biggest storms come in March (more energy in the atmosphere and all).

  9. Oh, yes. I have watched robins perched on my garage, looking at two feet of snow on my yard, and I can almost hear them thinking, “I’m up here, there’s worms down there, I’ve got to get worms…but how”!!??

    There’s a bait shop a couple blocks over, if I gave the robins gift cards…?

  10. well, sarge, obviously the robins need to evolve opposable thumbs and invent a shovel.

  11. Nah. The have people like me that put out suet.

    Some actually don’t migrate around here.

  12. Anton: Why would they need to invent a shovel? They can just borrow Sarge’s snowshovel.

    Sarge: Yeah, we humans have gefucktedup the natural migration of many species.

  13. Sarge: After looking at the other comments Anton has made, it appears he is a troll. I think he was attempting to make an uneducated dig at the Theory of Evolution.

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