Monday, November 12, 2012

Road Trip Rules

1. No smoking of anything in the car-EVER (thanks to a former co-worker who asked if she could smoke and then lit up a spliff in the wilds of Tennessee. I damn near turfed her out onto the road)

2. Drinks will have lids, spills will be sucked out of the upholstery by the spiller

3. Trash will be removed from the car at every stop. If my car is infested with fruit flies/ants/anything after the trip, every passenger will be called upon to come fumigate the vehicle while I crack a whip over their thick skulls.

4. If you are the assigned navigator, do not tell the driver that they need to “turn here” or “take this exit” as we are careening past it at 90 m.p.h. Otherwise be prepared to take turns on 2 wheels and/or be soundly cursed at by the driver.

5. If you are the assigned navigator, and we are traveling according to written directions, READ THE DIRECTIONS EXACTLY AS THEY ARE WRITTEN. DO NOT THINK THAT THEY ARE OPEN TO INTERPRETATION. Trust me, they AREN’T.

6. We are not stopping every 50 miles for you to pee. If you have a bladder the size of a lentil, consider Depends or cut back on the liquids. (This will be waived for certain medical conditions and/or at the driver’s discretion)

7. When we do stop, if food/drinks are available and you feel the need for one or both, GET THEM THEN. Asking to stop for either after we have just pulled back onto the interstate will get you smacked, hard.

8. Meal breaks are negotiable. Saying “anything is fine” and then rejecting the driver’s choice is not.

9. Trunks & cargo hatches have limited space. Pack accordingly. You do not need as much luggage as the Cirque du Soleil for a 2-3 day trip. You may wind up riding with your excess luggage in your lap. (learned this one the hard way traveling with wrestlers. Trust me when I tell you that 6 hours in a car clutching a 75 lb suitcase on your lap teaches you how to pack lightly)

10. Sharp inhalations, clutching the dashboard, or exclamations of fear are frowned upon by the driver. You don’t like the way I drive, you can drive next time. (just be aware that I morph into the passenger from hell- there are reasons I'm usually the driver and that is one of them)

11. Unless you are alerting the driver to law enforcement vehicles or other impending doom, “Ooooh, look at that!” is not something wise to say. In other words, "Oh look, a cow!" is not particularly helpful. On the other hand, "Oh look, a state trooper," is.

12. Control of the music may be negotiated, but the final say is up to the driver. (Warning- musical complaints may be resolved by me singing the entire catalog of Garth Brooks, Animaniacs, Phantom of the Opera, and anything else I can remember the words to. You'll be begging for the Metallica CD witihn 4 miles)

13. Control of the heat/AC is up to the driver. (ie, during winter trips, we will not be driving with one window down so you can breathe cool air. Conflicting temps are one of my migraine triggers. Do you really want me driving with a migraine? Didn't think so)

14. We do not stop anywhere not visible from the main road/interstate unless it is a DIRE emergency. (see the story about the ride home from Aunt Lora's funeral for reasons why)

15. Contributions to the gas fund/toll booth fund are not optional unless arrangements were made WELL beforehand. (thank some former friends for this one)

Idiotic Things I Have Done On Road Trips (mostly in my misspent youth)

1. Worn a bra on my head

2. Changed clothes in the front seat (I wasn’t driving)

3. Tied glow-in-the-dark condoms to the radio antenna

4. Jumped out of the car before it stopped moving and skidded 16 feet across the parking lot to talk to Ric Flair (who was most impressed that I slid to a stop in front of him without falling or knocking him over)

5. Driven backwards down a dirt road at 90 m.p.h.

6. Raced a carload of WCW wrestlers from Winston Salem to Raleigh (I won!)

7. Asked someone with a mush-mouth Southern accent for directions. (20 minutes/6 passes up and down the highway later we figured out that "faaaar taar road" meant Fire Tower Road)

8. Decided that it wasn't time to fill up even though I was down to less than 1/8 tank of gas. (and very luckily made it to the next stop)

9. Decided that the solution to utter exhaustion was to take No-Doz on top of Dr Pepper, a quart of tea, and very little food. (first trip to Toronto- I saw every bathroom from Ohio to Toronto thanks to that bit of foolishness)

10. Picked up a hitchhiker because he was cute. (to be fair, there were 4 of us in the car, I wasn't the driver, and he was on crutches...and very relieved to get out at his destination. I think WE scared HIM)

Suggested items for road trips

1. Cooler stocked w/beverages of choice for asst passengers (for trips in excess of 4 hours)

2. Plastic bags (grocery store are fine) for trash disposal

3. Asst snacks for passengers (also for the 4 hour rule. Things like trail mix are good. Yogurt and things that require utensils or are potentially messy are not)

4. Wet wipes

5. First aid kit with extra pain killers, sunblock, antihistamines (for myself & allergy prone passengers), and lipbalm. Also good are those little Listerine toothbrush thingies.

6. Small pillow & blanket (you never know if/when you'll need a nap or someone is going to get cold while the rest of the party is roasting)

Anybody have any other rules or suggested items for the car?


  1. I would add that while talking is fine, it is not actually required. Silence is OK.

    Passengers should refrain from reading every freaking billboard and storefront sign. I can see them, thank-you-very-much. Had a brother in law who read every billboard from Smiths Grove to Branson, Missouri. I started pronouncing Missouri 'misery'. LOL

    If there were no billboards, he would name the make and model of whatever car was passing by. This would be followed with a specs list of said car, to include the engine size, known problems with like vehicles, popular colors, stories of cars like it owned by various and sundry friends and relatives, and finally whether he had owned one or not.

  2. Alice, I'm with you! I'm kind of amazed that I forgot that one. My mother has never met a silence she couldn't fill. You'd think that after 42 years, she'd know that I am not a morning person, so trips that start before noon mean I don't want to talk...or listen to anyone else talk. Be quiet for a couple of hours and let the caffeine hit my bloodstream...then we can negotitate conversation!

  3. haha! I feel exactly the same way. I am the opposite of a morning person. I can't function until after the first cup of coffee and a diet mountain dew to follow.