Saturday, December 8, 2012

Riding in Cars With Poise

I am readying myself at this writing for my outing to the signing.

An image of The Book House has been obtained, thanks to Google Street View. Hick has been doped up to that fine line between coughing up his left lung and driving under the medfluence. The Pony is back from his smart tournament. I've painted up my lips and rolled and curled my tinted hair. Wait a minute! That's Ruby, pre- taking her love to town. I haven't done that. But I am, you know, contemplating going out somewhere.

Now for the issue of how to pass the time during the drive. I am not a good passenger. I'm sure that comes as a shock to those of you who've read my scathing reviews of OPD. Other People's Driving. Hick, in his weakened state, would be no match for my side-seat driving commands. So I must distract myself from his sweaving, and leave that business to a man and his GPS.

The Pony will be of no help. He's low-maintenance. A book, a Kindle, a laptop, a phone game...any or all will be his focus. I daresay we could drive from Backroads to Hawaii in a tricked-out Duck (the amphibious vehicle, not the fowl), and The Pony would not bother to raise his head for an appearance off the starboard bow of a mission of mermaids.

I could use the time to read one of the many books that are stacked and waiting in various Pisa-towering piles, turning slowly to dust as I breeze past them every day. But the removal of a single book might Jenga the stack. I could nap. But then I wouldn't know if Hick succumbed to his lung-sparing elixir and started sleep-driving like Clark Griswold piloting the Family Truckster. I could take my special little notebook, three of which the boys and Hick gave me for Mother's Day, and only one of which I now retain possession, and jot down notes for hilarious and riveting blog posts. Or at least for blog posts. But then I would have to find some way to hide it upon my person while out of the Tahoe and inside The Book House. Because if Hick is inside the car without me, he will be all up in that.

One boundary that Hick does not understand is privacy. Never mind that he would not read a national bestseller if I wrote one. If I left a notebook carelessly in his line of sight, he would examine that journal with a fine-toothed comb. In Hick's mind, I am some dastardly dame who might as well change her name to Harriet Plotter. A schemer, I am, intent on overthrowing Hick's oligarchy, composed of he, himself, and him. Sending out feelers for an eventual abscondence with a Fabio-coiffed viscount of indeterminate nationality. Or a tubby, bespectacled French model that I met on the internet. Bonjour.

So...I will most likely stare straight ahead, fingernails gouging my palms, while I endure the death-defying drive at the hands of Hick. Chauffeur Extraordinaire.

Did I mention that I am stoked for this foray into civilization? And re-thinking that 44 oz. Diet Coke that I picked up at 9:00 a.m.


  1. I am certain that you will be quite alright. I mean, how bad could it be? Not like riding in a 40' motorhome round the mountains in Tennessee. I almost pushed my imaginary brake right through the floor. On the return trip, I sedated myself and stayed in the back of the coach, unwilling to look out the windows.

    Hope you have fun!!

  2. I love the word "Poise" in the title. When I am taking a long road trip, I am tempted to resort to wearing something a bit protective and proactive, but it DEPENDS on who is driving.

    Hopefully Hick's driving was not too much like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.

  3. Hope all went well with the drive (loved the post title) and the BIG EVENT. Best wishes on your way to that best seller.

  4. Dang woman, you are a word weilder. I am so thrilled that I finally got to meet Happy and the Hooker and Genius, too. When I came home after an all day book signing and my husband asked, "What's for dinner?" I shoved a container of Chex Mix at him and he gorged on "the best stuff he ever ate!" which makes me feel really inferior to you all the way around. Thanks so much. It was really fun. you look just like my cousin. When I peeked in I wondered why Diane had come to the wrong store.
    You and Sioux would be dangerous together; you are both so witty. Y'all come back now, hear?

  5. Hope the trip was worth it and that your family enjoyed it too! And that you made it back safe and sound.

  6. Kathy,
    Even as a child, I was aghast at the audacity of OPD (Other People's Driving) techniques. I shudder every time I watch the opening credits of The Shining, because it reminds me of a trip down Pike's Peak with my dad burning up the brakes on our black Olds 98.

    After finishing my last sentence, I scanned my brain cells for an appropriate title. Since I had already used Driving Miss Crazy somewhere along the line, on one blog or another, I chose Riding in Cars with Poise. I used to be a Drew Barrymore fan. And how convenient that there's a product such as Poise to lend itself so fittingly for my title.

    I certainly hope you're not speaking of a long road trip across the country to Florida, to confront the mistress of your fellow astronaut former lover, with a knife and some rope and mayhem on your mind. That's been done.

    Possibly due to the level of narcotic cough medicine that had built up in his blood for three days, Hick kept his sweaving to a minimum. He did, however, leadfoot it right up to the last-minute lane changes, ignoring the woman GPS commander with the insolence of a school-board-member's offspring.

    Everything went according to plan. Thanks for your well-wishes. I'm afraid you might grow a long white beard by the time I complete a work that I would like to compete for best seller recognition. Not that I'm calling you hairy or anything...

    I can't be feeding your husband every night, you know. Teach him how to make that Chex Mix for himself.

    I plead ignorant to the whereabouts of the missing Diane.

    Sioux and I might as well take our stand-up act on the road. She would have to drive, of course. And also do the standing up, while I get comfortable onstage in a recliner.

    Thank you so much for my new name. Happy probably does not even remember going to The Book House yesterday. And just to set the record straight, you met THE PONY. As much as it pains me to lay it all out here for public consumption, and to deface imaginary literature, I must rip a page from former Senator Lloyd Bentsen's debate playbook, and inform you: "Linda, I serve The Pony. I know The Pony. The Pony is a son of mine. Linda, The Pony is no Genius."

    I am glad I got to meet you. Don't worry, I'm not going to say you remind me of any of my crazy relatives.

    The trip was definitely worth it. The Pony enjoyed himself, or he wouldn't have been talking to people. He'd have been ducking his head and muttering, "Can we GO now?" We made it back with only a minor calamity involving a mushroom and a frog's leg.

  7. It was great to finally meet you! I managed to pilfer some Chex Mix, and as a connoisseur, I must say that you are a master. Few people understand the necessity of leaving out the Wheat while adding the subtle nuances of Cheerios and low-peanut mixed nuts. So glad you all made the trip and survived it as well!

  8. Tammy,
    I hope you didn't nab any of that Chex Mix from Linda. That was Bill's supper, you know. I'm sorry I didn't get any of it to you or Beth.

    Since you appreciate the horror of the Wheat Chex, I must share that my mom likes to put BUGLES in her Chex Mix. That is wrong. But as an Official Chex Mix Taster, or at least a clever impostor, you already know that.