Yep. I’m on the Road Again, without Willie Nelson, of course . . . .


Jeepers. I love living in California.

Well, if you haven’t guessed by now, I’m on yet another stinking crappy waste of time business trip.  These evolutions make the Father/Daughter (or is it Daughter/Father?) road trip from just two weeks ago seem like skipping down the Yellow Brick Road.  Except that Daughter in no way resembles Judy Garland, and I feel like the (rusty) Tin Man, look like the Scarecrow, and kind of talk like the Cowardly Lion (only when conversing with my wife, that is).

Right now, I could really, really use a FaceTent ™.  It would not only insulate me from the daily challenges I’m facing, it might also bring about World Peace — if everyone wore one, then we couldn’t see each other and hurt anyone.  Of course, I realize a number of other issues are involved, but still.

Having said that, I have been reading Daughter’s recent posts with mild amusement, some bemusement, and a growing sense that I have somehow contributed to the creation of a New Millennial Ne’er-Do-Well who is destined to thumb her nose at the world in perpetuity until she:  finds a no-kidding real paying job, finishes college, and figures out that, although the world can be viewed through the prism of Comedy Central, it is far better to do so through old episodes of The Office.

Maybe I’m the one with the problem.

I guess my greatest fear is three months from now the Epic Father/Daughter journey will be re-traced in reverse, because if any other family member drives home with her, it will cost me three times as much in gas money (I know first hand how my family drives), five times the amount in hotel bills (“This looks like a really great place to stop, even though we’ve only been driving for two hours.”), and an untold amount in roadside trinkets and foo-foo coffee drinks that I shudder to even begin to tally.

Yeah.  I think I’m headed back to the East Coast in May.

But before I go, I have to remind myself from whence I came:  California.

We love it in California, even though we aren’t natives.  If nothing else, living on the West Coast is a constant source of amusement; almost like Daughter.

Take, for instance, the photo above of a sign posted prominently in the baggage area of one of our major airports.  You would think the bald heads, incense, and tambourines would tip people off that the “information booth” is not municipally sanctioned.

Nope.  We all need a sign.

I have a wonderful photo of Baby Daughter in her Mother’s arms at a desert rest stop somewhere in California from about twenty years ago.  That would make it “pre-bad haircut Daughter” if you’re maintaining a scorecard.  I can remember a very similar sign posted at that stop and, at the time, just thought it was funny.

Big mistake.

I laughingly mentioned it to a friend of mine a few weeks later — he was a SoCal native — and he took great offense that I pointed it out as something funny.  “Only in California,” I said.

I was a lot more insensitive in those days.  Just ask Daughter.  No.  Even better.  Just ask my wife.  To be frank, I used to be so bad I’m not quite sure how I managed any sort of human interaction, much less getting married and helping to create what we call “a family,” but that’s a story for another day.

I guess the only problem I have with the airport sign, and it’s not a big deal, is that, from my own experience, I would never classify anything that’s been thrust in my face/hand provided as “literature.” Poorly written — yes.  Badly worded — yes.  Irrational — usually.  Drafted in a dope smoking, alcohol-induced haze — maybe not.  But never literature.

I am firmly in favor of our ability to exercise our Constitutionally protected rights; especially free speech.  It can be rather humorous, after all.

But if we’re going to pass out literature, let’s really pass out literature.  Rather than avoiding these tables (doesn’t everyone, or is it just me?), airport passers-by would be ten deep if those First Amendment handouts included Jane Eyre, or Moby Dick (well, maybe not that one), Heart of Darkness, Atlas Shrugged, Fahrenheit 451, and The Sun Also Rises.

Wouldn’t that be great?  I think so, but I’m an English Major, so it really doesn’t count for much.

Alternatively, if the point was to increase the general angst that permeates most airports these days, the Table Folks could hand out Sudoku puzzles, or copies of The TSA Miracle Weight Loss Diet.  Dealing with either would probably not be ideal, but would pass the time, up until the point I got a massive Frustration Headache — from giving up on Sudoku or trying to figure out how a 4,000 calorie/day food intake qualified as a diet (joking here, people — I love Sudoku and the TSA).

So, in one version of a better world, I can envision a table handing out classics, and close by another is selling FaceTents ™ — thereby making Daughter a millionaire, and a third, somewhat more distant table devoid of anything specific.  It’s just a table, and stenciled in spray paint is the phrase “Serenity Now.”

Or, maybe it’s got a sign on it that says, “FaceTents ™ are for sale on that other table over there.”

Either way, it seems to me a better world.

- Dad

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