Friday, July 1, 2011
The day started off with us actually getting up ON TIME again.
Even though we didn’t actually leave Tupelo until 8:30 am (original plans were to leave by 8), I still call it a success.
For those that know us, this is something we are NOT good at. If you tell us to be somewhere at 7 pm, odds are we won’t even leave our house until 7 pm.
After all the goodbye hugs and kisses, we stopped by Starbucks to get some coffee and were on our way south.
Beer + Picnic Table = Bad Idea
For the most part the trip down highway 45 was pretty uneventful; lots of small towns, farms, forests and truck stops.
I wish I KNEW where we were when we saw what had to have been conceived after a few adult beverages had been consumed. I also wish I had been able to get a picture, but it’s kind of hard to stop when you’re doing 80, so I figured it wasn’t worth it.
Someone thought it’d be a good idea to make the picnic table in their yard more functional by putting two recliners ON TOP.
“Hey Bubba, I got me an idear. Hows bout we put them recliners up on tha’ picnic table so’s we can sit up ther’ and watch the cars go by.”
Southern Hospitality Part I
We made it down to Citrelle, Alabama and decided to stop for gas so I wouldn’t have to try and find a place in Mobile.
That’s where both of us experienced Southern Hospitality, albeit in two different forms.
As I got out of the car, an older man who spotted my tag when he had been sitting in his truck started talking to me about how I don’t have heat like this “where you’re from.”
I told him we didn’t but that I was originally from Mississippi so I was familiar with it but didn’t like it too much.
As I was filling up he came around to the side where I was pumping gas. I guess I’ve lived up North too long because my immediate thought was that he was going to ask me for money or try to push one of the watermelons he was selling. I was wrong on both accounts.
He just wanted to know how much this “thang, this SUV, set ya back.” I told him what we paid for it and that we got a pretty good deal. “I’d say so, ‘cause this is real nice.”
I told him it gets better gas mileage than what I originally had (Jeep Wrangler) and he told me that he’s also got a 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee, “whatever the top of the line one is.”
He then started talking to someone else and was standing in front of my when I got inside, cranked it up and startled him.
He walked around to the driver side and said, “Don’t run me over just because I’m an Alabama fan.”
I told him I wouldn’t do that and told him to be careful out in the heat.
Southern Hospitality Part II
While Jason was experiencing Mr. Watermelon Truck Man, I was experiencing my own very different type of Southern Hospitality, one that has a little creepy sprinkled in.
I walked inside the gas station to go to the bathroom. As I walked in I immediately noticed the a few differences from the gas stations up North.
Apparently in Alabama it’s OK for kids to run barefoot in gas stations and gauging by the barrel full of ice and Budweiser, it’s OK to buy a single, cold, ready-to-drink beer for the road. No need to waste money on a six-pack when all you need is one.
Those two things combined with the odd, back-of-the-store feel the bathroom had were bad enough. I found my place in line and waited.
The lady behind me apparently had ruptured her bladder, said she couldn’t wait any longer and headed off to the men’s bathroom. She opened the door, peeked inside and saw a man relieving himself, “Ooops!! I’m sorry,” she said as she found her place in line behind me.
The door to the women’s room opened and as the lady was coming out she leaned back and said, “Are you almost done?”
Seriously, I’ve waited this long and there’s still someone in there?
The second lady came out so I headed inside. This is where the first sprinkle of creepy was added.
When you go into the bathroom, especially in a single-unit like this was, you expect to be alone. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case.
The second lady who walked out had followed me inside.
Lady: The toilet paper won’t go down. You try it.
Me: Oh, OK.
At this point I had two thoughts and in both instances she was setting a trap for me.
First, this lady wanted me to flush the toilet so it would overflow and then blame me for it.
Second, she was going to hit me over the head with something to try and steal my wallet or kill me. I watch too many crime shows and Nancy Grace.
Lady: It’s just toilet paper.
Me: I really don’t care. I just need to go.
Lady: That’s what I was thinking too but I just wanted to be honest.
I don’t know what was funnier; the fact that she wanted me to know that it was “just toilet paper” (instead of other stuff) or that she wanted to “be honest” and let me know she really hadn’t clogged the toilet.
Old School Air Conditioning
The traffic was really backed up getting to and through the tunnel in Mobile so we decided to take an alternate route.
It was on that route that we two teens riding in the back of a pickup truck. That in and of itself wouldn’t be very interesting, but the fact that they were sitting on plastic lawn chairs while their parents going 60+ caught my attention.
Fifty Percent Off, Traffic and Lulu’s
We made it into Foley and Tammy wanted to hit the outlet mall since the kind people at Ann Taylor had emailed to let her know that everything in the store was going to be 50% off.
I took off for the Nike outlet and a few other stores before texting to find what store Tammy was in. She had left Ann Taylor and was two stores down. I had walked to the back of the outlet mall, down one side and to the middle. Tammy had moved down two stores.
I started making plans with Daniel and my sister to meet at Lulu’s around 5:30 for dinner and told Tammy we had to be out of there by 4:30. We left at 4:45, which according to our standards was on time.
Little did we know that it would take us over an hour to make the 10-12 mile drive from the outlet mall to Lulu’s. Fortunately my sister, Goob, had already put our names in for the two-hour wait.
Everyone eventually arrived; including the Butler’s who had been in the car for 9+ hours that day. Daniel’s right eye had developed a nervous tick that finally went away after his first Bud Light.
As we were waiting in the massive sand, bar, play area I saw several instances where people had obviously ignored the first rule of wearing sandals and/or flip flops.
I don’t understand how people can wear sandals outside when their toe-claws are all jacked up. I saw a couple of people that could scurry up a tree because their toe-claws were so bad.
They can’t use the excuse that they didn’t notice them. That only works when someone is wearing socks, which wasn’t the case. They had to look at their feet when they put their sandals on and at that point the thought it would be OK to have jagged pieces hanging from the ends of their toes.
Thanks nasty toe-claw people.
Did You Have To Let It Linger…
While we were eating dinner at Lulu’s I stood up so I could feel the breeze coming over the top of the deck we were on.
At that point, I decided to relieve a little pressure that had been building up in my stomach. Little did I know that I had also turned the odiferous valve along with the pressure one.
I leaned down to tell Tammy what I had done, thinking she’d be proud of me, and as I was telling her about it she saw Peyton (17-year old nephew) make a face and say, “Somebody farted.”
I just started laughing because pretty soon after that everyone on that end of the table was in on the action.
Unfortunately for everyone that was only the beginning of my “experiment.” I was trying to determine if the humidity is what causes certain things to stick around longer than others. Once we got back to the condo I decided to run a full-scale test that nearly made Peyton throw up and made my sister wish she had left earlier in the day.
I was happy with the testing, but the results are inconclusive, so more research and experimentation will need to be done.
After a long day of driving, shopping, playing, eating and experimenting we finally hit the bed around midnight. We’re looking forward to spending tomorrow on the beach with the Butlers.