pantsmail - 4:53 am - Thursday,May 30, 2002


date : 4:53 am - Thursday,May 30, 2002

from : mrp

subject : PANTSMAIL 020: plane, train, automobile

Hey there,

Welcome to Pantsmail 020. Only 80 more pantsmails to go before the first of the three digits after PANTSMAIL is justified. For now that 0 in the hundreds place is pure pretense.

Because you're subscribed to Pantsmail, I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Are you ready? Okay, hunker down and let's talk all quiet. Okay. Shh. I'm not really stalking Louie Anderson. I just wrote that to keep Mr. Anderson on his toes. Here's what I'm doing:

(This is still the secret, but now we don't have to be crouched over anymore. Now we can stand erect.)

I took an airplane to Connecticut. I don't have any funny airplane stories except that the judge from one of those TV judge shows was on my plane. Not Judy. Some other judge. That sort of celebrity sighting is so not interesting or funny or anything; I probably shouldn't even have told you. Okay, and the other thing is this: the Charlotte, North Carolina airport has lots of rocking chairs in it. And those chairs are so popular that you can sit forever (in a normal, non-rocking chair) waiting to rock in one and you'll never get a chance. Seems like people show up early in the morning to rock in the airport rocking chairs. And, well, god bless people who love to rock. That's all.

Oh, also in the Starbucks there, I saw someone order a Grande Soy Chai Latte and the girl behind the counter repeated the order back. And hearing "Grande soy chai latte" said with a Southern accent is just so cool that I wish I could bottle the experience and sell it. And I'd sell you one. And you'd like it and you'd use it up and probably want to buy another. But now they're all sold out. I'm sorry. If you fill this out and leave your phone number, we'll call you when we get more in.

Or maybe I'd create some sort of virtual reality simulation. How about that? Everyone thinks VR is going to be porn and movies and ultraviolence--and probably that's true, but what about just a VR snapshot of a really beautiful moment like when the girl at the Starbucks in Charlotte, NC says, "Grande Soy Chai Latte" with her Southern accent while behind her hundreds of people in rocking chairs rock mindlessly and behind them through the giant windows, planes are taking off and landing?


And then I took a train. And I don't have any funny train stories except that the 7-year-old girl sitting next to me talked non-stop for about 2 hours before her parents had her move, presumably because she was telling me too much:

-she has 1 brother and 1 sister.
-her dad wants 7 more children.
-her mom quit smoking when Dax (her baby brother) was born.
-she has one grandma in Boston.
-her family lives in Montana.
-her mom doesn't want her dad dressing in women's clothes.

Also, after riding Japanese trains for a year, American trains sure seem cruddy. I hate to say it because I know that the oily powers-that-be would be happy to gut all our public transportation so that they can get bigger and fatter watching us all individually chug around in our gas-burning ozone-eaters. But, still, American trains--not so good. And I love trains like I love peanut butter, which is to say that I have some love in my heart for all trains, whether they're crunchy or smooth, lite or regular, Laura Scudders all natural trains or plain old JiF trains. Even with that train-love, taking a train today has all of the romance and flair of taking the bus, where it could be more akin to taking a cruise ship in the 1920s. You know what I'm saying?

Oh yeah, also before getting on the train, I was interviewed by the channel 22 news in Springfield, Massachusetts about whether the vague security warnings affected my travel plans. (No.) To be interviewed for this, I was asked if I was "a Memorial day traveler." It was Memorial Day and I was traveling, so I guess yes. And hopefully that means that on the news, under my face was my name and the title, "Memorial day traveler."

Anyway, (speaking of gas-burning ozone-eaters) next I'm going to be driving back to LA more or less along the lines of America's famous route 66. If you know of any fun and/or freaky must-see Americana (or any -cana, not necessarily American) or good weirdness on that route, please do email me about it. I'm not going to have a lot of extra time, but hopefully just enough to stop for a few things. (Like the Precious Moments Chapel in Carthage Missouri, just for example. And some Lincolnia in Illinois.)

Reporting live from the Hoosier state,