Road Trips and Dragons Who Want to Eat Me

This one time, I was driving down the road at night when a gray, mossy cave rose up in the middle of the highway. A dragon emerged and opened his jaws wide to receive my vehicle. I could see its tongue flicking around its sharp teeth. I was pretty sure that if the dragon failed to swallow me up then his giant wings would envelop and trap me and everyone else in the car with me.

Then I shook my head and the dragon and his cave disappeared. I should have known better than to try to drive home at midnight after spending the previous fourteen hours at Six Flags Magic Mountain, but I’m an insomniacs and insomniacs think their lack of sleep give them superhuman powers.*

*We don’t like to brag about this to you ‘normals’, but it’s true. We’re amazing and we know it.

The View from Vern’s Driveway

Ever since that night the road has an adverse effect on me, no matter the time of day. I get hypnotized by the painted yellow strip far, far to easily. Couple days ago I drove my Grandma up to Pilot Hills, CA to see her friend Vern. After dropping her off, I drove right back home. It was 10-hour trip, all during the daylight hours, and, sure enough, I nodded off.

I’m smarter about it now. I’ll pull off and grab a cold drink or some candy to stir me. If I’m really desperate, I’ll buy some Diet Mountain Dew. This is a HUGE deal for me. For religious reasons, I don’t drink caffeine. Caffeine is not technically forbidden by my religion, but addictive and mind-altering substances are so I’ve always figured caffeine was part of that. I’ve now come to believe it is better to drink half a bottle of Diet Mountain Dew* than die in a ditch with a car on top of you.

*A half bottle is MORE than enough when you you’ve gone 30+ years without caffeine of any sort. I’m a friggin’ coked-up rodeo clown after half a bottle.

So, no dragons after dropping off Grandma. No hallucinations of any sort. It’s shame it’s come to this though. I find highway driving relaxing and enjoyable when I’m lucid enough to enjoy it. I particularly enjoy night driving. But when I get sleepy, it’s just misery. Lots of slapping my face, turning up the air conditioner and ruining my diet.

Okay, so ruining my diet is kind of fun. Have you guys tried the Hershey Air Delight? Man, that’s a good candy bar.

How do you stay awake during road trips? Doesn’t being a trucker seem like one of the hardest jobs ever?

3 thoughts on “Road Trips and Dragons Who Want to Eat Me

  1. I have always thought that being a trucker must be one of the worst jobs ever. I mean, I like driving, but to go for so long? With a big ol’ truck?

    Not to mention some of the gross gas stations they must run into. Yuck.


  2. I drove from LA to Douglas County, Wisconsin (just southeast of Superior) back in ’80 in 72 hours… I slept for a total of ten of those hours.
    About two hours outside St. George, Utah, another three just outside Denver (I had to stop at the Denver union hall for the Ironworkers union and talk to the Business Agent for my stepdad), and about five outside Des Moines, Iowa.
    By the time I hit Albert Lea, Minnesota, I was definitely on the low end of what ability I had; I stopped at a gas station, bought a box of No-Doz and a Pepsi (they didn’t have Coke, my drink of choice), popped about half the box, chased it with the Pepsi, and drove the rest of the way up through Minneapolis/St. Paul, across the river into Wisconsin, and up U.S. 53 to the stepdad’s land outside beautiful Lake Nebagamon, hallucinating all the way.
    Massive caffeine overload does that for me.
    I’ll do it again if I have to, but I’m old enough now to plan things so I DON’T have to.
    A slight benefit.


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