So the other day, my editor approached me about my recent (lack of) articles. The conversation went something like this:Editor: Slob, you haven't submitted anything recently.
Travel Slob: Sure I did. I did it just last --
TS: That's the word I was looking for.
TS: Hey I work!
Ed: The only work you do around here is work at eating all the single bags of potato chips and drinking all the free soda in the fridge.
TS: It's just a sacrifice I make.
Ed: It's been way too long since you actually worked here. You need to write something soon.
TS: You're right! I'm depriving all of my devoted fans of my rapier sharp wit.
Ed: I suppose that could be true in a hypothetical sense.
TS: Are you saying I have no fans? I won't stand by this insult. Apologize or I won't write anything for you!
Ed: You need to submit another travelogue by the end of next week or you're fired.
TS: You can't fire me! I--
Ed: You what?
TS: -- will quit lollygagging around and get up a new travelogue.
Thus I found myself on the road, driving south to sunny Santa Cruz. Well, sunny in theory. Crossing over the mountain the clouds that have haunted us in Santa Rosa were hovering about Santa Cruz, a dull and cold haze that foreboded of ill things to come, or maybe snow cones.
Once again I half-depended upon my sometimes turncoat GPS system which I have named Dolores. Dolores seemed to offer correct directions, save that at some point in time she decided that all roads were Piner Road. "Drive four miles then exit to the right to Piner Road Interstate 580. Drive thirteen miles then continue to Piner Road Ocean Road." Piner is a street near where I live. Previously it barely got over two miles connecting a few busier streets that emptied into major roads. Now, through the magic of bugged-GPS programming, Piner extended from my humble abode to Santa Cruz. If I'd known that in the beginning, I'd never gotten on the freeway.
Of course, Dolores had a final petulant temper when I refused to go the wrong way down a one-way street that she swore led to the hotel I was staying. After taking a u-turn and driving the way my printed directions instructed, Dolores immediately started giving me the silent treatment and insisted that contrary to my piece of paper, I was dangerously off-course. Only she could save me from a fate worse than death, and that salvation came from driving the wrong way on a one-way street -- damn the consequences, my life is at stake! I would say that I hated to disappoint her, but I openly gloated when I arrived safely at my hotel.
The hotel itself had a fresh coat of paint to fool me into thinking it was a well-cared for establishment. Sadly for whoever owns it, the World's Most Frightening Elevator gave it away. The doors creaked as they slid ajar, complaining like the lid of an ancient vampire's coffin opening for the first time in centuries. The smell within offered no relief from this impression. The car shivered as it approached its destination floor like a spent marathon runner trying to finish that last leg before all his muscles give way and he collapses in exhaustion and agony. Needless to say, I only partook of this method of ascent once.
The Boardwalk was my ultimate destination, for there my nephew was competing in a beach-soccer tournament. He has a fascinating super power at the beach, in that whenever he stopped moving, he would become half-buried in sand. I'm fairly certain that somewhere in his genes, there's residual traits from some beach-going ape that would bury itself in the sand for protection; its light, sandy-blonde hair aiding in camouflage. Even sitting on the sidelines, waiting for his turn to get into the game, a thick blanket of sand would rapidly cover his legs, making it seem as if some humanoid meerkat was poking out of his burrow to observe the goings-on.
My nieces have managed to gain thrill-seeking traits from their father, as they loved the boardwalk rides like no one's business. As soon as there was a chance, they'd grab their Uncle Slob and drag him off to the next ride. Well, perhaps not drag as I went along willingly. Unfortunately for me, I found that at least for two of the rides, I am much too large. A healthy diet of beer and brats have left me hefty, and rides that had harnesses that went over head, well I didn't fit in them, much to my chagrin. Oh who am I kidding? The Fire Ball looked freakin' insane and I wasn't too keen on dying by amusement park ride. My enemies would get a good laugh out of that, I'm sure! Well I'm on to you! My excess weight saved me from your dark designs!
No one can stop the Travel Slob! You thought you were rid of me, that I'd no longer write? Well you are wrong! The Travel Slob is back, in full swing, and writing in third person! Muahahaha!