Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Saga of Crazies, Variety Thereof.

Define crazies:

a) pl. n. referring to a group of persons usually referred to in more polite society as mentally erratic and/or behaviorally eccentric.

b) n. a particular brainstate, induced by excesses of the following: caffeine, driving, alcohol.

c) pl. n. a delicious boxed snack, like craisins, only wilder and more frightful.

The answer is, of course, all of the above. (We will be serving Crazies, incidentally at one of, if not all of, the four restaurants I plan on opening when my writing career goes bust and I resort to food service entrepreneurship. Those 4 restaurants are, in order: (1) Mr. Waffles, which is actually a real restaurant but went out of business, and which I find the funniest name of any restaurant in the universe--wait, no, (2) Frickin' Chicken wins that. This will be a joint endeavor with Karlena Jimjams Riggles, and our menu will include three sizes of drink, Small Medium and HUGE, and everything will be served with a side of Ranch Dressing, including our staple, Fried Ranch Dressing Balls with A Side of Ranch Dressing, Drizzled in Ranch Dressing, Tossed in a Light Ranch Dressing Salad of Ranch Dressing. (3) Burger Plane. Like Sushi Train. Only burgers and tiny remote-controlled planes. Lastly, and this one is the murkiest in my mind but the name is too good to pass up: (4) Artichoklahoma. Get it? Artichokes? Oklahoma? Artichoklahoma!)

Actually the answer to the above multiple choice question was b. Which is the meat-and-potatoes of this post, or why I decided it was a good idea to post, because I had a bit of the coffee crazies earlier and have decided, as usual, not to channel that energy into something, oh, I don't know, worthwhile/meaningful and instead am typing while Rob does laundry downstairs. Hooray for Saturday?

But first a PSA: JUNIORS OF GLAMILTON COLLEGE, OR ANY OTHER COLLEGE REALLY: are you currently in a country that is not the United States? Are you keeping the perennial tradition of all college students living in distant lands, The Study Abroad Blog? If the answers to both of these are yes, by all means let me see them! They will be linked! They will be touted! They will inevitably become abandoned as you realize you should be out and living in the great wide world and not sitting at your computer typing about it!

Truthfully, though, I just love blogs. I love blogs the way I love Clean House and Ross Dress for Less and gray t-shirts (I own four, potentially six. I am trying very hard not to wear gray t-shirts exclusively in 2010 as I think it is a bad sign for my mental well-being) - with a certain sense of shame, but with an overwhelming sense of deep and strange satisfaction. If you have a blog, persons of the world who I may or may not know, rest assured that I have found it, and read it, and taken delight in it. I think we all need to be more upfront with our blogging, especially when we are blogging about nothing more than our silly little lives - none of this thematic, political, topic-by-topic business (Minimum Wage Stories, you are an exception because you are singularly amazing). There has, however, been a disturbing trend in my dreams where people in real life accost me about things done in the foggy realm of the Internet, and say things like, "Oh yes I saw on facebook" or "I read on your blog." I think the idiocy of the word blog is definitely partially to blame for the sad, narcissistic,certainly pathetic reputation of them.

But then I also frequently dream that I am beating the shit out of somebody. No joke. Complexes ahoy!

Point being, give me your blog and I will adore it.

As for the crazies: I am here to address three kinds of crazies. The Road Crazies, The Coffee Crazies, and Tulsa As Capital of Crazy But Not in A Good Way.

The Road Crazies are what happens when you drive 20+ hours, at least when that driving is being done East of the Mississippi. I'm picking on the East because once upon a summer, I drove 6,000 miles in the West, and the landscape was so bizarre and strange and changing that I never felt my brain start drifting away like an unmoored rowboat the way it does driving in the East. There are other factors too, naturally - Katie was with me in the West, but she napped a lot (the first time I was convinced she had died in the passenger seat and I nearly pulled over just so I could take her pulse - she was not, in fact, deceased). I'd never driven such a monumental distance before, so there was the thrill of Can I Actually Do This. Overall, though, the Road Crazies have been a singularly Wilmington-to-Tulsa phenomenon.

The Road Crazies go like this: It gets dark. You have been driving for 8, 9 hours. You are contemplating stopping and sleeping but you are also determined to make the next city before doing so (because you have this weird numbers/competition thing and somehow you will have failed if you do not complete the next 38 miles). You have listened to about 45 episodes of This American Life, backdated at least a month, possibly a year, and now Ira Glass is narrating your thoughts. You turn on the radio, and this is when the really bonkers thoughts begin--thoughts like I really should listen to The Police more often or Maybe this year I will go to an amateur rap battle; I should begin a notebook for my rhymes or My father gave me this leftover Tupperware of New Year's Dinner--instead of stopping for a snack I'll just eat these slices of ham and, consequently, Ham breath is one of the lesser-publicized plights of the modern age.

Then you hear yourself thinking and you find a motel and run a hot bath and fall like a proverbial felled tree into your overpriced, oversized, overstarched king-sized bed, but not before considering sleeping diagonally solely because the mattress would allow for that.

The Coffee Crazies are self-explanatory. You drink too much coffee, your stomach lining feels like lava, you take a shower and are so overwhelmed with psychotic spurts of ideas and plots and plans that you can barely concentrate on rinsing your hair. A few hours later, you will be on the couch, watching another episode of Clean House, wondering how you got so tired.

And, lastly, Tulsa As the Capital of the Crazies but Not in a Good Way. During my bout of Road Crazies, I decided I would write an entire piece, an ode if you will, about QuikTrip. The virtues of QuikTrip. My deep and abiding love of QuikTrip. That time we were stoned and went to QuikTrip. It would be a commercial, but it would be more than that - a treatise, where I ultimately discover the source of my infatuation with a gas station (I'm open for suggestions as to what that source may be).

Thing is, QuikTrip is about the only thing left in Tulsa that I can count on being there whenever I go back. Tulsa seems possessed with a burning need to raze or relocate every landmark I ever cared for: the amusement park is a parking lot, the Metro Diner is a ceremonial gate, the supermarket-down-the-street from my childhood home was long ago replaced by a Jamba Juice (don't get me wrong, I love me some Jamba). Altogether, the state of Tulsa elicits one reaction from me:

What up with that?

And the capstone on all this, the really coup-de-grace or whatever (I took German goddammit), is this new business with area codes. Tulsa is changing its area code.

What up with that?!

No longer the 918, all new Tulsa phone numbers after a certain date will be some bullshit like 536 or 549 or something terrible like that. I feel a little guilty, but also a little proud, that I have retained my 918 number, even though I live in the 910 - it's like a collector's item now. So much for the Don't Hate the 918 campaign. While I do not hate it, I am certainly wary of it now. I feel like this will spawn a huge sentimental movement along the same lines of Pluto-used-to-be-a-planet. Poor Pluto. Poor Tulsa.

Tulsa, I'm disappointed in you. But so long as there are QuikTrips, and so long as there are 49-cent drink specials in summer, and so long as Penny is still sad and adorable, and oh, right, my parents too - I guess I'll keep coming back. Mainly QuikTrips, though. And Penny.

1 comment:

  1. This is my new project, Rachel. One day, I hope to have as many fans as you.