Thursday, July 9, 2009

Lessons from I-10

Just made the drive back to Celina, Texas from Manhattan Beach, California.

Lots of life lessons to be learned.

1. Get the hell out of California. Gas is up to one dollar more expensive there. $3.55 in Manhattan Beach. $2.55 in Kent, Texas.

2. Once you are 100 miles east of Los Angeles, the landscape is the same from there to Ft. Worth. And so are the people.

3. You can tell the parts of the country we stole from Mexico (all the exit signs have Spanish names). You can tell the parts of the country we stole from the Native Americans (all the exit signs have Indian names). You can tell when you reach land untouched my Mexicans or Indians and only by Americans. You have exit signs like, "Stink Creek".

4. Why the hell are so many people stacked up on top of one another along the coasts? There is alot of land with nothing on it for 1300 miles between Los Angeles and Ft. Worth.

5. If you have ever driven I-10 between Texas and California, you have seen the billboards for "The Thing". Well, I have now seen it. It is the scariest, weirdest experience in my life. Put it on your bucket list.

6. If the U.S. government really cares about the health of this country, make it a law that there be a salad bar at least every 250 miles on every interstate highway.
God help the truckers and the people that make a living driving those roads everyday.
The Sonic #12 chicken wrap is as heart healthy as it gets out there.

7. If you want a lesson in international issues, drive I-10 thru New Mexico and Texas. It literally borders Mexico. Everyone on the road gets stopped once or twice at roadchecks to make check your vehicle isn't full of illegal aliens.

And you can observe the U.S. Border Patrol at work. One of the most thankless, harsh and dangerous jobs going. There is a border fence to the south of hundreds of miles of I-10. There is a path just this side of the fence. I saw the Border Patrol dragging three tractor tires behind a truck to smooth the path so that they can detect footprints or other traffic. Do you feel safer now?

8. A greasy steak and a salad bar with the perfect fake bacon bits in Deming, New Mexico is as good as gold at 9:30 at night after 10 hours of driving.

9. Sweetwater, Texas is the wind energy capital of the world. It says so on their signs. Along with the fact that Sweetwater hosts the world's largest rattlesnake roundup each year in March. And all you have to do is look out at those Transformer looking windmills to understand. They are HUGE. And in the last two days, none of them were turning.

For all you environmentalists, do you know how friggin ugly it is to see beautiful desert landscape covered with these oversized tinker toys? It is ugly. It is eye pollution. It bothers the people that live there. And it doesn't produce enough energy to power an iPhone. And those stupid things will be there for hundreds of years. Guarantee you that the plan to put them up includes no money to take them down if it doesn't work.

But since the windmills are planted in flyover areas, it won't bother you at all.

10. My last conversation in Manhattan Beach was with a young man who moved to the U.S. three years ago from Indonesia. He hates LA. Because it is fake. He wants to move to the east coast.

Here is his analogy. "In New York, if someone tells you some bullshit, you say fuck you. And they say fuck you, back. In Los Angeles if someone tells you some bullshit, you say 'really'? And the teller says, 'Trust me'.

11. Open a door for someone in California, and they look at you like you are trying to steal their wallet. Especially women.

Open a door for someone along the I-10 corridor east of California, and they say thank you. Or gracias.

12. Home never looked, smelled, or tasted so good.

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