Or, Of Ice and Men. Story #23, in which three magi survive a Pennsylvania blizzard only to confront the rigid social norms of New Jersey.*
To hear the story, ask Santa for directions.
To read the story, check Santa's list.
*Preceding telic clause dedicated to Monika.
This story is cross-posted on Doug Drones On,
thanks for the warning
Ah, yes, the wonderful Jersey Pike.
When I was at CalArts there was a guy from New Jersey in my class. After introductions, I asked him which exit. The other east coasters thought it was funny. He didn't.
WHAT THE HELL IS THAT??!! and I liked the poochie soundeffects at the end. xoxo
and I'll bet you didn't ask for directions either
Great story! Very New Jersey
Hey, Doug, I was leaving Ithaca, NY for PA in December 1986 myself! How close our paths must have come... Actually, TLP had to come and pick me up, so she was there too.
Great story... geez. That's incredible that they pulled you over for going 57 in a 55 zone, and then gave you all that sh*t.
I remember during that era that I lived in fear of a speeding ticket from PA State Troopers, who were over-zealous about such things at the time.
So, why were you in Ithaca? Did you go to Cornell? How have I missed that?
Guys in a van are just askin' for it, ya know?
Loved the dog barking on the story.
New Jersey: Hell.
Oh! You didn't even tell folks who that Santa is.
Haha, Dddragon, you avenged me!
That's funny, Mireille, I didn't know the dogs were barking. Guess I'll have to listen.
Karma, directions only matter if you have someplace in mind.
Aral, if that hadn't occured to me, I'd have started the story in Hazelton. I think they pulled us over for having mud on the license paint or for looking like Mystery, Inc. I suspect he mentioned my speed so I would know I was a lawbreaker. It's funny you mention the PA patrol. It wasn't an issue because I was lucky to drive 20 in the weather, but I remember signs up that told you what the fine would be at three speeds if they caught you. Scared me straight.
No, TLP, I was at Deep Springs college, which explains my being at Cornell in December but it's a long explanation. I probably visited Cornell a half-dozen times while Aral was there but to have met her she'd almost have to have been a member of Telluride House, more or less a coeducational fraternity for people who prefer symposia to bacchanalia for spiritual self-destruction. It's better this way.
Oh, and for two hours, people were asking that guy in the Santa suit who he was. His answer was "Santa Claus" and I'm sticking to it.
NJ Turnpike: Usually where I let loose to the tune of a hundred miles but as it is the easiest gateway from Maryland to NYC and I’ve traveled it much I have to pay homage to it; therefore I will not slight it in fear of the NJT jinx that plagues so many.
I would like to have seen a picture of that van and it's inhabitants.
Alice, as ever, your wish is my command. See below.
I lived in Philly for eight months and drove to New Jersey and New York and few times. Luckily, I never had any encounters with the law.
I got stopped by a cop once when I was a freshman in college. I was driving my Pinto (named Mona) and the officer made me get out of the car. I nearly had a heart attack. I stood at the side of Fremont Blvd. (a busy city street) while he searched my car and hassled me with some questions. I was scared to death!
I bet you live dangerously and still go over the speed limit now and then.
Overzealous is definitely the word for those cops! Never been in that area but my brother used to live in Ithaca and loved it.
Great story Doug!
and who were the mice and who were the men here? :-P
(unfortunately I couldn't listen to the story but read it only because it was jammed like some radiotransmission, or maybe it was just my speaker.)
Oh, that's good. I drove from Long Island to upstate New York frequently for school; there were years I had to navigate I-80. I-380, and I-81 through some pretty wicked conditions. I'm happy we never met the firm of Lenny and George.
Another Doug in the mix of trouble story - love it!
Funny you should mention NJ Tpk, as Strider & family drove it on their way here last night and will have to tackle it again on their way back home tomorrow night. Better them than me! :)
Jamie Dawn, I enjoyed your story, and somehow naming a Pinto Mona just seems so you. In Los Angeles, I'm told I drive like a farmer.
Miz B, I'm not sure they were overzealous. That was one questionable looking bunch appearing out of that snowstorm. Your kind sympathy is appreciated, though.
Funny you say that, Ariel. The same thing happened to me when I tried to listen to hear the dogs bark. I tried again later and it was gone. Oh, and George and Lenny were the main characters in Steinbeck's novel. I'm not sure there's anything but badgers and raccoons in the story. :P
I'm happy for you, Fred.
Oh, good, Sar. I hear Robert's in town and might need a ride.
Yeah, I want the story on wearing a shirt for that long.
That van does look like trouble.
The dogs toward the end add just the right touch.
It's actually a long story, Actonbell but at Deep Springs I was once caricatured that way by a fellow student. Deep Springs is an all-male school impossibly far from any potential opposite-sex date so your reputation with women is largely a matter of conjecture. A talented artist, clever wit and poor judge of charisma drew me as an affable neanderthal. It was pretty funny, though. I remember hoping he was right.
TLP, the van was a googled image but not far off, just the wrong color. The shirt? I was young and exploring my inner sewer rat.
You sure can tell a really good story. That was good! And you wrote a good one on Indie's blog. That was good too. And I hope you don't mind that I wrote about that new job you gave me. Thanks, Doug!
Obviously the 57 mph was an excuse to make a drug bust. You seem to be a magnet for undeserved trouble with authorities.
I too know the NJ Turnpike well, though I can't remember whether I went down to NJ or D. C. from CT that December. I do remember that whenever I drove down alone and stopped at one of those service plazas the guys would try to tell me something was wrong with my car so I would pay to have it fixed.
only to confront...Doug, you make me ever so proud!!!
And migth I just add that John Steinbeck would have loved to print that as a preface in that bestseller of his!
It strikes me everytime, what an adventurous life you have led so far, I just can´t help wondering about the crazy things you do now and are not telling us. But I´ll guess we have to wait a decade to read about them.
Haha, Lula, I saw what you did. Go on. Scandalize my name.
I agree, Weirsdo, and their cause was pretty probable.
You're a fine teacher, Ms. Monika. Adventure follows the unsavory.
That and an apple will get you a high grade:)
It would be my first, Monika. I'll look for an apple.
Sorry to arrive so late, but thanks for the story. I spent a lot of time on the NJTurnpike myself in those years. Your story evokes a familiar feeling about those days...
Hey, you gotta love a story involving a van and drugs. Good times.
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