Thursday, June 24, 2010

When I was growing up, Highway 51 was this little two lane road that ran from Wagoner to Coweta that took me to my grandmother's house on Sunday's.

I hated that road sometimes, because you'd get stuck behind a slow driver, sometimes for miles, and you couldn't pass, and my grandma had good food cooking, and I was hungry, and I wanted good food, and these slow drivers wouldn't let me get good food. 

It was pretty lame. 

Then they four laned it. Champagne fell from the heavens, the Lord stepped out of Heaven and proclaimed it good, the speed limit was changed to 65, and the drive to grandma's house got a lot cooler. 

It wasn't until a couple of months ago I discovered the other side of Highway 51. The side that runs from Wagoner to Tahlequah, which is where I work now. The side that is ugly. The side that makes you cuss at people in the morning. The side that you want to throw whale semen and Crystal Pepsi on and deem unfit to drive on so they build a better road. 

I've got a picture. 

Seriously. You'll never find Lost City. They have a monastery there. They have the whole town covered in some sort of monastic force field cloak type thing. Monks have mad cloaking skills, yo. 

So you see Highway 51 there in all of its shittiness. Now I'd like to give you some things that you'll run into on the drive. 

I've got another picture that depicts 6 different things that are usually problems for me on my drive. 


1. This bridge is seriously 500 years old. I am almost entirely sure that this bridge was first erected (heh) in the year 1510 to help with the Battle of Marv. It has more patches than the new iPhone 4 OS. It is one vehicle holding a fat guy away from falling into the water, and it is one of the true sources of motivation for my weight loss. It is also about 3 feet wide. I would have trouble WALKING across it and not getting stuck. 

2. This is the Tri-B Nursery, employer of the most illegal immigrants in the state of Oklahoma. It's an accomplishment, y'all. Here we usually have a person of the Latino race with a vague concept of what the words on road signs mean drive out into the middle of the highway on some sort of farm implement with a top speed of 2 MPH, taking me from 70 to 2 in a gut wrenching 3.2 seconds. And I wonder why I'm always out of brake fluid. And the greatest part? They go about 10 feet in said farm implement, stop completely, make the slowest right turn in the history of right turns, and leave the highway. I'm going to stop busting their balls though, because I seriously love Mexican food. Stay up, hombres. 

3. Clear Creek Road. If you live on Clear Creek Road, you are a FUCKING RETARD. I know that the grass is so tall you can't really see that you are pulling out into the middle of oncoming traffic, and I know that you assume we're all still going 2 MPH following a Mexican on a tractor, but the fact of the matter is, we've gotten a good pace going again, and you've just gone and fucked it up. Also, brake checking me while going 35 is not a wise idea, because I'm looking to get a new truck anyway, and I'm pretty sure that I will fuck your Prius up. Die in a fire, Clear Creek Road. 

4. The town of Hulbert. It's a speed trap. The speed limit through this town drops down to 30 MPH. If you are going 30 and 1/2 MPH, you will get pulled over. If you are going 29.99 MPH, you will be pulled over. I have had to seriously calibrate my cruise control to get through this town unscathed. Stay classy, Hulbert cops. 

5. Usually there is a dead animal of some kind laying in the road at this point. The animals I've seen have ranged from cow to turkey to deer to wild hogs to bald eagles to elephants to zebras and to cats and dogs. I am starting to think there is a zoo nearby, or someone is killing endangered species and planting them on the road to make it look like an accident, or a circus truck is traveling a hell of a lot lighter right now and wondering why they are getting better gas mileage. I'm open to suggestions. 

6. This is the last stretch of "No Passing" zone until you get into Tahlequah. This is where you will undoubtedly have a vehicle with more than 13 axles or be longer than 10837 feet pull out onto the highway and do a steady 45 MPH on into town. This morning it was a school bus. IT IS FUCKING SUMMER. SCHOOL BUSES ARE NOT RECREATIONAL VEHICLES. To make matters worse, I think there was one kid on that bus, and I'm pretty sure they were in the backseat crying and holding a sign that said 'HELP ME!' Those crazy kids. 

So that is the story of my drive to work daily. You might think you have it bad in rush hour, but I encourage you to come out for a ride on Highway 51. You'll fall in love with rush hour all over again. 

And you may get to see kids being abducted in school buses. 

P.S. If you've made it this far, you are probably a fan, and that means you'll be excited to learn that I'm going to do a Memoir Monday on Monday morning. So if you've been waiting to hop on that train, here is your chance.