15 Shots of Nostalgia
It has been a while since I changed column formats from my old shot style to my new formulaic prose. And while I have had way more fun and a better response with the new format, I still reminisce fondly about the old style. It's like your ex that way. Sure, you're way happier without them, but every once in a while you wonder what life would be like if you had one more shot. Or 15 more.
I've been doing a lot of traveling recently. In the last month and a half, I've been in over twenty states. And the prevailing lesson I've learned is that no matter where you are, no matter who you are, at no matter what time, there will always be a Denny's.
Cigarettes are $7.50 per pack in New York City, but I can buy a carton of ten packs for $18 in some of the places I've been. I could make a fortune buying a few cartons each trip and reselling them, but I don't because I don't like it when my friends smoke. Which is odd, since I seem to be okay with racketeering.
Did you know that Indiana has three time zones? A slice is on Eastern, a slice is on Central, and the rest of the state is on Eastern half the year and Central the other half. Which is convenient, because while the Pacers game is starting in one part of the state, they're already down by 12 in the rest.
State College is very proud that during a football game, the stadium is the third largest city in Pennsylvania - even bigger than Harrisburg. So if an ambitious politician wanted to be elected mayor of the state capital, he could just invite Ohio State to his campaign rally.
While at Ohio State, we went downtown to see all the city had to offer. Ten minutes later, we were back in the car.
Speaking of Ohio, the NBC affiliate in Youngstown did a story on me. I was excited, and I called a friend from home. But nothing killed my enthusiasm like my friend saying, "Cool. What's Youngstown?"
The St. Louis arch has got to be the shortest tunnel in the world.
Here's my impression of the Texas panhandle. Flat, flat, flat, flat, flat, flat, flat, flat, church. There could be no one for miles and there will still be a church. Actually, there will be four.
While we were in Oklahoma, we went to the University of Tulsa's football field and played catch. At first we were afraid we'd get kicked out, so we dropped a couple of passes and fit right in.
When I woke up in Colorado, there was a mountain outside my window, and that was pretty cool. But not as cool as living across the street from a huge apartment building. Sure, I appreciate the feats of modern engineering, but there's no chance of seeing a neighbor changing through the window of a mountain.
Iowa is so flat that the tallest thing in the state is a Texaco sign. The second tallest thing in the state plays center for the Hawkeyes.
Parts of Philadelphia can be scary. I was in West Philly, and I couldn't tell which side of the tracks is the wrong side of the tracks. I gave up and decided I'd be safer on the tracks. A train can only hit you once.
California residents elected Arnold governor, proving that they are big movie buffs. So maybe they've seen Superman I, in which Lex Luthor tries to hit the San Andreas fault line with a missile, sending most of California into the Pacific. And freakin Superman had to go and stop him.
One of the stories in New Mexico while I was down there was the rise in reported STD cases. How are any reported at all? If I wake up itching, I don't alert the census bureau. "Hey, Jimmy, it burns when I pee! Just thought you should know."
Driving through Nebraska on a Friday night, there were three high school football games on the radio. I listened to an entire half, just hoping to hear James Van Der Beek say, "I don't want your life."
Writing this was a bit like seeing my ex again. It was fun to reminisce, and things looked pretty good for a little, but by the end of the day I remembered why we broke up. It took WAY too long for this column to come.
Okay, 16 shots.