Monday, June 30, 2008

The Mathematics of a Mississippi Road Trip

I've come up with a new mathematical equation:

850 interstate miles/number of bohunks in the fast lane x 36 hours = another Vortex 10 list

1) Not even a Mississippi frog-strangling downpour can extract a Texas bug from its tragic end on your windshield.

2) More billboards on the stretch of I-20 between Dallas and Jackson are devoted to Jesus than casinos, truck stops and John Deere combined.

3) Nothing can light up a cloud-drenched Louisiana day like a technicolor casino billboard advertising the upcoming Chippendale's show. August 14-15. FYI.

4) Starbucks Passion Iced Tea tastes infinitely better during a stolen hour with an old friend.

5) In Cajun families, expletives like "hoo-lawd" and "shewt" exist to train words together into a confusing quagmire of the English language for outsiders.

6) What was, no doubt, a beautiful crystalline garden display in Martha Stewart Magazine can turn, in the hands of a Mississippian, into an excuse to display repeated conquests of Jose Cuervo and Maddog 2020.

7) The observed collective speed on Mississippi highways is directly proportional to the speed of the regional dialect spoken.

8) If it crawls, scuttles or surfaces in the pond "out yonder", wrestle it to the red dirt, sprinkle Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning on it and call it a feast. Hoo-boy.

9) When you get that tingly feeling in your gut at a Shell station near Kilgore, Texas because the restroom has more amenities than a half-empty toilet paper roll, a can of Lysol and a fly to keep you company, it isn't the Cajun sausage you had for breakfast. You'll calculate every future nature call to hail this pee-mecca again.

9 1/2) Speaking of pee-mecca: You know your pit-stop is a Sunday regular for the locals when you find Hallmark cards, alligator jerky and Elvis bling all under one roof and you hear "Harlan, you don't need another bull's ball sack with a Texas star on it" over the snack food aisle.

10) Having watched Duel more times than you can count adequately prepares your imagination for encountering that rusted-out white pick-up with the illegal tint you're convinced wants to play cat and mouse on a Louisiana interstate.

As much fun as it is to envision missing teeth and stretched-out NASCAR tank tops, you'd be hard-pressed to find more gracious, hard-working, genuine people than those in the Magnolia state. My kind of people. Hoo-yes.


Melanie Atkins said...

Okay, watch the snarky Mississippi comments. Ha ha! Your list is hilarious and frighteningly true. Glad you made it back home safely. And I must say, my latte tasted extra special during that hour, too.

K.M. Saint James said...

Loved that picture -- now was that in your friend's yard? Naw, just joshing you.

BTW: nothing removes Texas bugs from your windshield like a shot of moonshine. It's for more than just sippin', you know?

Great top ten list. You made me laugh -- again!

Jen FitzGerald said...

Loved it, too, L.A. Thanks for giving me a chuckle this morning - along with Sandra's pic of the Redneck Tree Swing!


Katie Reus said...

My hubby's family is from Mississippi and let me tell you, it was a culture shock the first time I visited them. Nicest people in the world though ;)

Marilyn Brant said...

Oooh, L.A.--your number 8 has me worried. What, exactly, were you nibbling on while sipping that iced tea?

Loved the list and the insight into your Mississippi road trip :).

Sherry A Davis said...

Oooh, boy. Glad you're back, LA. Sounds like you have lots of research for those secondary characters :)