Thank God for interstates.
They lead me back home.
However slow, however toiling, they lead me back to civilization.
I occassionally forget that while Central Arkansas is still Arkansas, it is civilized to a point. Then I go back to my parents in SouthWest Arkansas and remember how good I have it.
THIS is exactly how bored I got in the town of 10,000 (and I think the census people included the cattle, chicken and pig count into that number):
Last night I drove 45 minutes with my parents and my brother. 45 minutes to go to a fish restaurant. FISH! You can't even get FISH in Hope. Anyway.
We get to the fish place which is thankfully in a wet county (meaning you can drink alcohol there)!!! We order the all you can eat (EVERY restaurant in the South has an all-you-can-eat something . . .and that's what you're expected to order, even if you only eat a handful of food) fish and shrimp. This means for the next 2 hours you get steaming hot plates of fried catfish, fried shrimp, boiled shrimp, french fries and a variety of sides delivered to your table. Of course, this is no good without freezing cold pitchers of beer, so we order them as well.
About a gazzillion plates of food and a 4 pitchers of beer later, we are ready to leave. We drive 45 minutes home only to discover it's still far too early to go to bed. There is NOTHING to do in that town! In fact, even 90% of the restaurants are closed by 9. So my brother and I are bored stiff and refuse to drive another 45 minutes to a semblance of civilization to go to a bar . . . so we drink a bit at home. Just a bit. And make bad decisions:
We decide to relive our high school experiences. First, this means getting in a big truck (his, as it turns out) and driving down dark country roads while drinking. Dark country roads because they are not paved and the cops don't bother unpaved roads.
Then, we do something that always amused us endlessly when we were in school. We go back to the house, steal my mom's car and a hair dryer and then go park in the middle of the funeral home parking lot on the main strip in town.
Sidebar - My mom's car is a big ole land yacht of a vehicle. It's a cop car. Big ole State Trooper looking vehicle.
Now, in Hope, Arkansas, what you do for fun when you're under 21 is drive the strip. It's called cruising. You drive from one end of town to the other on Main Street and then turn around and do it all again. You typically speed while doing so. And the police are constantly hasseling you because they know you're either packed 12 deep in a vehicle designed for 4, drinking alcohol, smoking weed or doing some other form of lawbreaking which can take place in a vehicle. Also, because eventually, you see enough of your "friends" on the strip that you decide to all park in a parking lot and camp out on tailgates drinking in public.
The funeral home is smack dab in the middle of the strip. We park facing the road, turn off the lights and start pointing the hairdryer through the window at vehicles that speed by.
We realize it is stupid and childish to be doing this to these kids, but it's funny as all hell, because:
- They immediately assume mom's car is an unmarked cop car.
- They immediately assume the hair dryer is a radar gun.
- They immediately assume they are about to get pulled over for speeding, drinking, doping and being packed into a vehicle.
- They are wrong beyond all reason.
Is it sick and sad to have fun at the expense of the paranoia of teenagers? Probably. Did we give a damn? No.
Do it yourself. Get a hairdryer, a fake cop car and a small town. I promise you'll have gobs of fun.