I was on the road again last weekend. It seems that I am on the road a lot lately gobbling up that pavement. I probably have more miles than Liz Taylor has wedding pictures.
This time I was traveling alone. My favorite way to travel. That may not appeal to a lot of people. They like to have someone to talk to, keep them awake if they get sleepy, or just like the fact that someone is with them in case of trouble. I seldom get sleepy when I drive, and if I do, I know enough ways to combat it or just pull over. Some people consider it strange, but it is relaxing to me in a strange way.
When I am driving by myself, my car is an impenetrable chamber of absolute privacy. Who is going to walk in on you or eavesdrop on you when you are going down the road at 70 miles per hour? When I am behind the wheel in my secure and snug domain, I can croon a saloon song that would be the envy of Sinatra or belt out my favorite Broadway lyrics that would make Goulet jealous.
I, who was once asked by my junior high chorus teacher to “just move my lips” at a school Christmas concert, can now achieve unbelievable decibel level with perfect pitch and can direct my fantasy symphony orchestra on the CD player with flawless artistry. This sometimes gets me a few looks by passing motorists like was having a seizure of some sort or the butter has slipped off my pancake. But who cares? I hardly ever start to sing or direct until I am a least a hundred miles from home and then all the strangers in the world can think what they like.
While in the car, I have the verbal ability of Clarence Darrow and the wit of Mark Twain. I could bring Rush Limbaugh to stuttering apologies with a searing statement of razor-sharp perception. I can deliver a scathing ultimatum to my wife, silence my blabbering teenagers with a squelch of my white-hot wit, make juries eat out of my hand and leave witnesses on the stand quivering in fear and looking up at me through tears.
When I am eating up the pavement in my private chamber on wheels, there is no one who approaches my genius with the spoken word and my brilliance in dialogue. I can make creditors retreat, I can extract humble apologies from patrolmen who have pulled me over to issue a ticket, I can change the mind of politicians, sell snow to Canada in January and skillfully defend myself from all manner of criticism. I can convince the gun lobby and the NRA to surrender the weapons by convincing them that there will probably not be an ambush by furry animals.
While traveling to my destination, I kept having a run-in with this woman who was armed with a ten-year-old Cadilac and an obnoxious attitude. She must have stopped at every rest area because I know she passed me at least six times. When she passed, she pulled directly in front of me with little margin for error or thought for safety. I am sure her only credentials for a drivers license was a birth certificate. Her last incarnation was probably driving the landing craft at Normandy Beach.
I swung into action, I was feeling super assertive. The whole world was a fire hydrant and I was a one hundred forty pound bull mastiff. I delivered a butt chewing of fiery and scathing eloquence that would have her wriggling and tearing in the grip of my deadly wit.
It is sure too bad she couldn’t hear it.