PORFLE!PORFLE: IN SEARCH OF AMERICA

Once upon a time, I set off in my car to travel the highways and byways of this great country of ours, in my own personal quest to “find America.”  This had been a dream of mine ever since watching movies like “Easy Rider”, “In Search of America”, and “Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla”, not to mention TV shows such as “Route 66”, “Then Came Bronson”, and “The Flying Nun”, in addition to books...
August 6, 200810 min

Once upon a time, I set off in my car to travel the highways and byways of this great country of ours, in my own personal quest to “find America.”  This had been a dream of mine ever since watching movies like “Easy Rider”, “In Search of America”, and “Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla”, not to mention TV shows such as “Route 66”, “Then Came Bronson”, and “The Flying Nun”, in addition to books as diverse as the phone book and Edna St. Milton McWatermelon’s “Gee, Rodney Daingerfield Smells Terrific!”  So one day I finally made the decision to do it, and off I went!

I brought plenty of cassette tapes with me to listen to while driving.  Most of them were mix tapes, because I usually only like one or two songs from the albums that I buy.  One of them was a theme tape entitled “Songs That I Like” and another one was a theme tape called “Songs That I Can’t Stand”, which I didn’t listen to very much.  I also brought a 27-inch color TV that I’d installed in the passenger seat and hooked into my cigarette lighter.  This got to be a bit of a problem when I found out that it’s difficult to concentrate on watching TV and driving at the same time, especially when I kept ramming into other cars and running over pedestrians.  Once, during a particularly exciting courtroom finale of “Matlock”, I crashed through the front wall of someone’s house and ended up in their livingroom.  As it turned out, they were watching “Matlock” too.  It’s a small world!  I told them I was “real sorry” and backed out and drove away.

As so often happens during a motor trip, I got lost along the way and had to stop for directions.  Now, I know there’s a common misconception that guys don’t ask for directions, but I ask for them all the time.  Sometimes I ask for them even when I’m not going anywhere.  I’ll just be sitting somewhere like the waiting room at my doctor’s office, and suddenly I’ll ask the person next to me, “How do you get to Cincinatti from here?”  They usually don’t know, but once the nice lady happened to be from Cincinatti and she was able to give me detailed directions.  I thanked her politely and continued reading my copy of “Highlights for Children”, trying to find the hidden objects in that damn picture.  The football and the ice cream cone had been easy, but the teddy bear and the candy cane were proving to be quite elusive.  Anyway, the lady finally asked me, “So, uhh…are you going to Cincinatti?” and I said “None of your damn business, FAT ASS!!!”  

Well, the old geezer in front of the Mobile station was only too happy to give me directions after I threatened him with a stick of dynamite and a match, because he didnt want to get blown up.  It wasn’t real dynamite, of course–it was just a stick of fake dynamite that they gave me when I graduated from an assertiveness training course last year.  Anyway, the old guy couldn’t have been more helpful.  After giving me directions, he gave me his wallet, his watch, all the money in his cash register, a full tank of free gas, and a handy road map that I deftly folded into a pirate hat before his very eyes and shoved onto his head.  “Do a pirate dance!” I suggested, wielding the fake dynamite.  So he started dancing around singing “yo-ho-ho” as I drove off, laughing.  

Presently, I breezed into a small town that was having a colorful street festival with lots of sidewalk booths and other fun attractions.  I could see brightly-colored streamers and balloons everywhere, and lots of happy people gaily enjoying the fun activities.  There were wooden detour barriers barring vehicular access to the streets, and as I crashed through them I gazed in childlike wonder at the delightful displays of interesting wares and baked goods that came flying over my hood and splattering all over my windshield.  

The deafening, cacophonous sound of terrified screams was music to my ears as I demolished all of the cheerfully-festooned booths and chased dozens of terrified pedestrians all over the town square.  I didn’t mean any harm, of course, and the only people that I actually ran over were the ones that simply couldn’t run very fast or were unfortunate enough to trip over something.  Having left my mark on the occasion, I headed for home thinking to myself with great satisfaction, “Truly, I have found it…I have found America.”  

It didn’t take long to get back to my house, since, as it turned out, I had been driving around in circles and had never actually left town the entire time.  One reason for this might have been my decision not to make any left turns during the trip, which, in my opinion, greatly simplifies the act of driving by cutting down on the highly-distracting decision-making process while also making it much easier to watch TV while driving.  

Anyway, unlike the idiots in “Easy Rider”, I not only made it back home alive but I also avoided having to spend the night in some boring hippie commune with mimes running around in it.  If I had seen a bunch of mimes running around, I would’ve just chased them with my car, and I’ll bet you a million dollars they would have actually run screaming for their lives instead of just miming it.  Mimes are funny that way–they like to give the impression that they’re dedicated to their “art”, but few of them are really willing to sacrifice their lives for it.  Which is probably why there are so few mimes in the military, or why there’s never been a TV cop show called “Mime Squad.”

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