Mommy, my smiley muscles hurt!

Geez, talk about a manic depressive kinda night. One minute, I’m surounded by a zombie mutant army of old peple; the next, I’m defying the laws of time and space. First, I’m despairing of ever finding civilization; the next, I’m drinking beer and laughing my ass off. Stuck in the traffic jam from hell; then watching Manny being Manny.

The day started off with making arrangements to meet up with Buzz, the Empress, Statia, the Meester, the Artist Formerly Known as Buddha and his non-oriental, non-blogging (I think) spouse and soul-crushingly cute baby daughter. The arrangements went something like this:

THEM: We’re having food at 6:30.
ME: And the Red Sox are playing at 8:30.
ME: Bite me.
THEM: Does that mean you’re not coming?
ME: No, it means I’m eating your food, drinking your booze, and plunking myself down in front of your TV and ignoring you.
THEM: What else is new?

Unfortunately, when I started to leave the hotel, I was enveloped in a sea of old people headed for dinner. Four tour buses had pulled up and disgorged their contents that afternoon, and now every square inch of floor space was covered with little old ladies and gentlemen slowly shuffling their way toward the exits. From the 6th floor to the ground, there wasn’t a stop we didn’t make. I called and left a message for Buzz that I was already late, getting on the road at 6:45.

But when I got on the highway, it was like the seas had parted and a time tunnel was dug just for me. All of the evening traffic was going the other way, and I was able to fly to a spot in 15 minutes that Mapquest told me would take 30. Hurrah!

Unfortunately, I zigged when I should have zagged. I got to King of Prussia, PA, and I turned right instead of left. I wasted all of my time savings just getting turned around. And then I got lost…

About 8:00, I was ready to call it quits. I felt like I must have made it to Ohio by then, and if I were lucky and turned around now, I might live to see the hotel again before sunrise. I dialed Buzz to tell him this when, suddenly, I saw a sign for an exit that I thought I was supposed to have seen a hundred miles back! Huzzah! I hung up the phone and thought, “Well, I’ll be late, but at least there might be some food left.”

My hopes for a speedy end to this nightmare were dashed when 30 minutes later I had still not found the place. That’s when I started to go through patches of the scariest fog ever and began seeing bloated, dead deer carcasses every 500 yards. Once more, I called Buzz to admit defeat.

This time, however, Buzz answered the phone. He told me I was very close (in fact, I had passed their road at least once), and with Pat’s help, he guided me in. Hurrah!

Soon, I was safely inside the insane asylum with my fellow nutjobs. To laugh so much during the course of just two or three hours is either extremely good for you or will cause permanent brain damage. Or both. I think I’ve said it before, but I’m kinda glad we don’t live too close to these people for health reasons.

When it was finally time to leave, after a quick glance at the sleeping Mini-Meester (who’s not so mini anymore), I felt confident that I could follow even Buzz’s complex directions home. (“Just turn right out of the driveway, then never turn again. Ever.”) So, I trundled down the highway in my XM Satellite Radio-equipped rental car, listening to the Sox game and generally happy with life.

Then came New Jersey.

You know that whole “zig when you shoulda zagged” thing? See, I have a habit of doing that. A lot. So, naturally, when I was presented with a choice of I-95 North (clearly marked with a sign that says “Follow I-95 North if you want to get back to the airport vicinity, dummy”) and I-95 South (just as clearly marked “New Jersey and other places you don’t want to be at midnight”), I zigged.

After about 20 minutes, I realized that I was going the wrong way, but by then I was stuck in the middle of the construction-created traffic jam from hell. Seriously, why were there a hundred thousand cars on the interstate at that hour? Was I surrounded by fellow ziggers?

I took the first opportunity I could to get off the highway and try to turn myself around. Unfortunately, I was in the middle of an area where “our gang” doesn’t mean you’ll hear Alfalfa singing odes to Darla while Spanky and Buckwheat get involved in some hilarious escapade. Yet, somehow, I found my way back to the airport without wetting myself.

In the meantime, the Sox game (the important stuff) was awesome to listen to and kept me company the whole way. I pulled into the hotel parking lot just as Lugo was on 2nd and Youkilis came up to bat. I figured I was either going to miss his game-winning hit or they’d be going into extra innings by the time I got into my room. But when I turned on the TV, there stood Manny with a freshly walked David Ortiz at first base. Pow! A thing of beauty launched into the Boston night, and the game was over!

Anyway, I’m stuck in Philly for the weekend with nothing to do. So, this morning I headed back up to Valley Forge to check it out. (Now I know where the dead deer came from. The place is crawling with them.) Being the geeky sort who likes to tour old battlefields, it was really cool, especially Washington’s headquarters. I think I’d like to come back and rent one of the bikes next time.

Maybe I’ll do less zigging on a bicycle.

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3 Responses to Mommy, my smiley muscles hurt!

  1. statia says:

    So you’re saying we’re retarded? I mean, we laugh like that all the time when we get together.

    Don’t answer that.

    Then again, you’re the one that got lost several times. S-M-R-T.

  2. mac says:

    I still think you should have come down to the river on Saturday. Meh.

  3. Chiquita says:

    Ooh! Ooh! If you’re in Philly, just do this for me, if only once. Go to Pat’s King of Steaks and get a philly cheesesteak.
    Or at least eat some Popeye’s fried chicken, and red beans and rice.
    That way, I can experience it vicariously but without sabotaging my diet (or eating animal).
    Still though, that was some good eatin’…

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