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Count garage

August 13, 2007 3:30 pm I’m listening to the radio broadcast all over again. Only this time I’m listening to the tens of thousands of excited talkers,

And Yes, our own Count Otto managed just enough of that old cigar to light up,

But hey, what do he know about the great Homer Simpson.

The Troy finest; where art thou,

Of thy great eminence, Homer Simpson.

At eight a’clock on the dot,

An airport runway in Springfield,

It’s complete chaos – all roads lead to Rome.

Springfield is the second largest city in Illinois,

And the seventh largest in the United States.

It’s a credit to its strategic location,

That it remained so important in the days

Of our maritime heritage.

And, when all other roads had jammed,

It still found way to delight us.

Little kids couldn’t believe

That one-car garage fairy tales

Could really exist.

The Griswold’s dog couldn’t believe

That his own Griswold could drive

After all his pound of flesh had been clipped.

The once-famous Golden Girls

Of Little Rock, Ozark Trail

Died when the lead coach lost its map.

And the kids, all grown up,

When they learned to fly

Took to the skies like an eagle feather.

The Old Dominion University Drive

(The correct way to get around in the Midwest is to go by cattle ranches. I try to look for the college-model modeled ranches.)

ran out of our sight like a possum waddling across the street. Twenty-seven thousand acres. That’s farm country for you. Prairie Knights. To buy groceries at the grocery store and cook in a cabin, you can’t go wrong. They even sell propane. The atmosphere is warm and inviting. Fall is the most spectacular time to visitlied up with the corn and soybeans and the smooth sailing lifestyle. Spring is… well, you know.

To quote James Norman Hall:To the tired mind, the Eternal City is a dance. Dance it ever onward, that you may reach the stars.”

John Wayne was right. We went. We danced. We hired a Studley Car, and took to the open road. We went to Texas, to Graceland, and rode the Royal Gorge Bridge, the Ten Mile Bridge, the Grandfather Mountain Bridge, the Nile River, Cairo, Suez, and Buffo’s Palace of the Nile, all for that special someone. We found Saint Tropez, the Riviera Maya, and got ourselves stranded in the desert. We had mishaps and near misses. We found the lost French freighter the Poseidon, on a Cuban slate rockering the world. We found an unscheduled landing in the Thai Indies, where our pilot, feeling unwise with our excessive visual displays, had declared himself lost. We nearly landed on top of the Nevada Test and Conveyance in Alaska, but safely landed 66 miles northwest of the coast because our compass was broken!

John Wayne was uncomfortable with our showing up to his New York hotel for lunch in shorts and flip flops, black socks off our feet, and holding seafood in our laps at the buffet table while we ate. “These aren’t the boots you’re looking for,” he complained. I replied, “Well, I guess you’ll just have to eat them now.” We quenched our thirsts with Gatorade, while some of the other guests dined, recovered, and danced the night away.

We returned to the hotel for our 7:00aman in San Diego, eager to get to our official 5:00 boarding. “I brought my swimsuit,” I said as we took off, “and a ‘ Jupiter Hammer.’ ”

“What,” he said, “a Jupiter Hammer what?”

“You know me,” I told him, “I’m a good swimmer.”

He looked me up and down and shrugged. “You look like Mrs. Robinson.”

“I know that,” he said, “because I rode a ferry with Ms. Robinson up to Key Largo.”

There was a pause, and then another waiter passed by our table. “She’s a beauty,” he said, reaching around to fondle her hair.

And just like the waitress at the Dress Barn, our guests at the La Quinta Inn kept us entertained with stories from their new country.

A lifelong San Diego resident, the gentleman who answered the door introduced himself as retired near the beach.