One Pack. No Turning Back.
Number of miles driven today: 632
Total miles driven on road trip: 6,652
Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts? Finally, we're getting into Dunkin' Donuts' stronghold, although Starbucks is still holding its own. DD takes it.
Starbucks' record (# of days Starbucks was more common): 19-7-2
Dunkin' Donuts' record: 7-19-2
Cheapest gas I saw today: $2.28
Number of states visited overall: 15
Number of red states visited overall (as of 2012 presidential election): 10 (Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina)
Number of blue states visited overall: 5 (California, New Mexico, Florida, Virginia, Maryland)
Strangest advertised road side attraction: Tiger World
Most recent Iron Sheik tweet: "JOSH SMITH DON'T FUCK IT UP BUBBA"
Whoever is in charge of public relations for the pecan industry in Georgia deserves a medal. Or at least a sticker.
Routes 75 and 85, which run roughly north/south across most of the state, provide a nice antidote to sleepy travelers: A barrage of bizarrely entertaining billboards that just don't quit.
Most of the billboards here are designed to appeal to two camps: the evangelical Christians and men (I recognize they're not mutually exclusive). For the former, there are countless messages from Jesus himself, often followed by an ellipsis. For example: I'll be back...Jesus, and Let go, I'll catch you...Jesus.
I found this use of the ellipsis curious. What part of Jesus' advice are we missing? Were the omissions forced by the space constraints of the billboard medium and its size 4,520 Times New Roman font? You'll be back and...what? What happens after you catch me?
The ellipsis is, of course, one of my favorite forms of punctuation, having experienced a renaissance in the age of text messaging due to its inherently flirtatious nature. "What are you up to?" texts boy. "Not much..." texts girl. And it's on.
Stick to the periods and commas, Mr. Christ, and leave us the more creative punctuation.
The second set of billboards, directed at men, is of an entirely opposite variety: Adult entertainment. My favorite example of the day was a billboard that read: Strippers, and underneath "Need We Say More."
My favorite part of this one is the fact that "Need We Say More" is in quotes. Quotes should be reserved for something that has been repeated so often that it has reached the status of motto or for some kind of euphemistic statement. But Need We Say More?
And now the pecans. The pecan PR people deserve that sticker simply because of their choice in billboard placement. Driving down the 75 and 85, a flat, boring expanse of freeway, the crazy Christians and porn kingpins dominate your senses with their onslaught of messages. You find yourself repulsed by both, sullied by the thought of roadside porn DVD emporia (by the way, do truckers not have Wi-Fi? How is the analogue porn industry still doing so well here?) and disgusted by the heavy-handed brimstone of the extreme right.
But in this cauldron of polarity emerges a most welcome respite, a series of signs for....you guessed it. Pecans.
Never has the thought of pecans felt so good. Honey roasted, salted, raw. Mmmmmm, pecans. Yes, I'll exit here, thank you.
For older blog entries, click here.
Salvation Through Pecans
Day 29: Lavonia, GA to Aberdeen, MD, 7.17.15