Stuck in a minivan, and I’m not allowed to drive
By Jeff Salter
First of all, I can’t believe this was my topic. What was I thinking?
Secondly, I really hate traveling when I can’t drive — there’s nothing to do, I can’t read on the road, and I usually don’t like the way most other drivers operate the vehicle.
Thirdly, I don’t think I ever really liked road travel, even during the decades I was still able to do a lot of it. And I believe that goes back to those many [ ? eight ? ] family trips when I was a kid and we were stuffed into tight quarters for up to 12 hours a day with hardly any stops. Yeah, we got to see quite a few wonderful places, but I always had the notion that the time and effort to get there had been an inordinate ordeal.
Fourthly, when I did want or need to go somewhere, I much preferred to drive by myself — no other humans in the vehicle. That let me leave when I wanted, stop when I wanted, for as long (or short) as I wanted, and I could spend the entire time in silence… thinking.
Fifthly, due to a number of circumstances and conditions – which I won’t belabor here – I’ve reached the point where I hardly travel anywhere, at all… period.
So, I’m back to the beginning question: how did I arrive at this topic?
Surely I must have been mulling over the type company that I should like to be with… rather than anything about the travel itself. And this week, the resident Foxes are showing a variety of interesting and perceptive responses.
After a great deal of soul-searching, I’ll have to conclude that – for a looonnnggg road-trip, I’d want to travel with three people whose entertaining company I would enjoy and folks from whom I would learn a lot.
Here are my fellow travelers:
Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)
He traveled widely, including overseas, and always had a keen eye and sharp wit. Sam was especially perceptive about human nature and could see through pretences. Oh, if Sam is still smoking those nasty stogies, he’d have to promise to abstain while we travel — I can’t stand cigar smoke.
He was one of my childhood heroes, a beloved humorist, entertainer, and commentator on both society and politics. He, too, travelled all over the world. During the restroom stops, Will could entertain us with his rope tricks. Oh, if Will still loads up with chili at every eatery on the road, he’d have to promise to abstain while we travel — I can’t stand noxious gas.
Though he has recently upset me by unnecessarily veering off into harsh and obtrusive political statements – where no political observations were appropriate – I still enjoy Bill’s wry perceptions and incisive commentary. Some of his stories are laugh-out-loud funny, while others are just chucklers — but surely Bill’s keen eye and encyclopedic grasp of geography / history would make our trip enlightening and entertaining. So, if Bill could refrain from political commentary during our travel, he’d be welcome to come along.
So those are my travel companions — Sam, Will, and Bill. Minus the cigars, the chili, and the politics.
By the way, all three were terrific writers as well as genuinely funny guys. Think of all the fascinating stories they could tell later, after I spend that loonngg trip regaling them about the goings-on here in Possum Trot!
What about YOU? Which people would you want to travel with?
[JLS # 324]